What would you do for a Klondike Bar? Give up internet for a week? Ya, that wouldn’t be so tough. What about live with the knowledge that there is working internet just out of your grasp, knowing that you could be in contact with you family, watching youtube videos, playing games, working on your website, or any other number of internet related things if you were a mere 30 feet father towards one end of the house? That, friends, is an entirely new kind of hell.
I honestly don’t know what is worse, living without being able to access internet from my room, or living with painfully slow internet. In one case you can at least do blog posts and download app updates from the comfort of your own room. It really does get frustrating having to unhook all of the things plugged into my laptop, take it downstairs, sit at the kitchen table (who’s chairs are not nearly as comfortable as the one in my room), and only have a limited number of non private time to do the things you want to do on the internet. I mean, I’m not looking at dirty pictures or anything, I just hate writing when there are other people in the room with me. It REALLY throws me off. So I sit here in my room writing this in “pages” for the Mac, which has to be one of the ugliest word processing programs I’ve used, beating out only Word. Seriously, how ugly is Word?
But I digress. The internet situation is the only thing about my time in Germany that is a major bummer. Everything else has been beyond fantastic. There are a few things I’ll get into later that I really need to start doing, but if someone put a gun to my head right now and said “Germany. Thumbs up or thumbs down.” I would be forced to give it a big thumb in the upward direction. To be sure, those are pretty low stakes. I mean, It would have to be pretty bad to get a thumbs down. You give thumbs up to some really benign stuff, right? It’s not the most impressive metric by which to measure an experience. Really though, everything’s been great so far. Let’s look at the pro’s, shall we?
I love my room. It’s literally perfect. There is a couch I leave my guitar on and I can sit on it when I want to play guitar. That is, if I’m not sitting in the huge bay windows (I don’t know if bay windows is the right word. Usually I would stop writing to google this kind of thing, but as we discussed earlier, I am google free in my room for the time being) to play guitar. Seriously, these windows are bloody amazing. Firstly they are enormous. The biggest one goes from about 8 inches off the floor to a foot below the celling. That may not sound high, but these celling’s are at least 9 feet, maybe 10. So that’s a big window. Secondly, they open. All the way. Like a door. And only one of them has a screen, so all of the others open into the wild blue yonder. Well, I’m only on the second floor, so the yonder is somewhat less yonder-y than it might be. Still, one of my favourite things to do already is to open the big window, grab my guitar, sit on the ledge, and play along with the birds and the church bells. Oh yeah, you can see the church for the town from the house and hear the bells every hour on the hour. It’s like a fucking fairy tale.
Something I find very hard to express are my feelings toward my bathroom and, more specifically, my shower. It’s hard to make people understand why I am so excited about a simple shower. You’ll be able to see it at the bottom of the post, but let me paint you a word picture first. Take a deep breath, clear your mind for visualization. I would say close your eyes, but that is a bit counterintuitive for a blogger to tell his readers…
You’ve woken up in the morning and feel the need for a nice crisp shower to wake you up. Or maybe you’ve just come home from a night on the town and you need to wash the night off. Whatever it is, picture your ideal shower situation. You open the door to the bathroom and step in onto the tile. It’s cool and refreshing. Walking forward you grab a towel from the rack then hang it on one of the pegs beside the entrance to the shower. There is no door, there is no curtain, it is only a wall of tile with a narrow drain extending from wall to wall. You reach forward and grasp the cross shaped faucet, turning it one quarter turn to the left. Water comes magically from directly above as you step out of the way. The huge, dinner plate sized shower head rains down a stream of refreshing water. You walk back around the corner while you wait for the water to heat up and strip down, placing your clothes on the counter above the cabinets. When you return to your paradise the water is already steaming hot. You reach in and turn the other tap just a little bit to get some coolness in there. You can feel mist on your face and it soothes you. Testing the water with the tips of your fingers you decide it’s a good temperature and simply step forward, allowing your entire body to be surrounded by artificial rain. It pitter patters on top of your head in an extremely calming fashion and slides down around your shoulders, down your back and between your toes. You bring your hands up to your face and trap the heat, letting all your troubles and worries washing down the drain as the waterfall you’ve created cleanses you.
This is what I experience every time I take a shower in this bathroom. I don’t know why I like it so much, but I really do. Perhaps it’s just the perfect combination of the type of shower, the soft water, and the feeling that comes with living in a foreign place. It has a sense of wonderment and strangeness that hits all of the right buttons. I actually am considering just stopping writing right now to go take a shower…
Maybe not though. I want to go for a run in the morning, so I’ll save it for after that. I’m writing this the evening of the 12th, but this post won’t be going up until tomorrow evening at the earliest, quite possible a bit later. I have German lessons again tomorrow. I’ve been using Duolingo to practice this weekend, and hearing the girls talk and some of Bernd’s friends has been helpful, though I still think I have a long ways to go before I start having even basic conversations. Languages are hard!
I got a little off track I think. We were discussing all the amazing things about living in Germany, no? Ok, how about the roads? Not only are these tiny, winding roads very beautiful, but they are super fun to drive on as well. It takes a certain kind of person to drive here, and I think I’m exactly that type of driver. I know my mom reads these, and I’m sorry mom, but you would not be able to drive over here. Firstly, everyone drives fast. And everything is much closer together, which means the cars are much closer together as well. So you’re going fast, closer to other people, and closer to the trees and buildings too. You would not be able to handle it, mom. The streets are amazing as well. In the town near me there is the huge beautiful church, and the streets around it are all cobblestone. The tires make a really cool sound on the stone and it just feels so cool to drive down these roads that are probably hundreds of years old, that horses and carriages used to drive down. Seriously, Europe is amazing.
Last night I went to something called Schützenfest. It’s a party in the countryside. I’m not really sure what the exact point of it is, but I know there was beer, and many men in green suits. They were wearing some kind of uniform, and all I know is that the day after Schützenfest they all gather around to “shoot the king”. I have no idea what that means, but there was music and beer and good times. Well, decent times. I’ve never really liked going to parties. I much prefer sitting at home in my pyjamas eating chocolate and drinking milk, watching Netflix. I know, it’s pretty lame, but it’s a much more comfortable way to consume the same amount of calories you get by drinking 14 beer in a night. Cheaper too! It was good to get out and meet a few people though. I think I would have had a lot more fun if I spoke better German. Maybe in a few weeks or near the end of the summer I will go out again and have a better time.
I had a really nice day today and managed to take a lot of very nice pictures. I’ll put a few of them in this post. Once I get good internet in my room I’ll make a new page on the website and link it here. It will be just a huge photo dump of most of the pictures I’m taking in Germany. I’ll also make sure I get up a page with all the pictures from Toronto so you guys can see how my trip went there as well. Ah, so much to do, and so little internet to do it with!
Post Script: GLORIOUS INTERNET! I write this the night after writing the above post, tonight, from my bedroom, using my laptop, and the internet. The internet guy came by today and spent some time getting it all figured out. He had to switch out the booster for a more powerful one and switch it’s position and bam! Internet! I almost hugged him, but I restrained myself.
This makes the entirety of this post a little bit moot, but I already wrote it, so I might as well post it, right? Hopefully you guys get a bit of schadenfreude at my previous situation and enjoyed the post. I’ll make sure I get a picture dump up in the next day or two to make up for the lack of pics in this post.
Post-Post Script: I tried to upload a header image for this post and it took like 35 minutes then failed! So, maybe large amounts of pictures are not in my future. We'll see, I reduced the quality (and thus the size) a little bit and am trying again as I type this. You'll know if it worked or not if there's a header for this post!