After getting back from our weekend in Bavaria on Monday, I more or less gave myself the week off and did absolutely nothing. I even tried to make myself feel guilty about doing absolutely nothing, but then I remembered I'd been working my ass off EVERY SINGLE DAY since the beginning of June, and that more or less killed my guilt dead.
I've got a crapton to update on, starting with last Saturday. The political function was fun, the food was delicious, and the band covered every horrible song that has ever existed on the radio, which was really entertaining. I also got to wear my pirate dress, which was stupidly exciting to me.
We wound up taking a taxi early back to the hotel, seeing as the first function-arranged bus didn't leave until 2 AM, and we were tired.
Sunday we woke up, checked out, and immediately headed out for an adventure day of driving through the Alps. Which are drop-dead gorgeous, and made me remember why I like southern Germany so much better than its flat northern counterpart.
Yeah. Stunning. It smelled good. And I desperately wanted to run around singing the Sound of Music, but it had just rained and I was wearing flip-flops.
We eventually stopped in Prien am Chiemsee to eat lunch and check the place out.
There was a fun little Sunday market going on, where I found this dragon:
I also decided I wanted cheese for lunch, so I dragged Al to every cheese stand until I finally decided on my favorite. Unfortunately I refused (out of principle) to pay four euros for cheese, so I had to fight with the Turkish guy selling it because he refused (out of douchbaggery) to sell me a piece of cheese that wasn't as big as my head. Eventually it became apparent that appeasing me would be easier than sticking to his douchbag guns, so I got my 2 euro cheese. It was even more delicious because it tasted like victory.
Priem am Chiemsee is mostly distinguishable for being on the Chiemsee, a giant lake in the middle of the Alps. When we were there, the weather was flipping from sunshine to pouring rain every ten minutes. This bipolar madness eventually culminated in an epic storm that sent us fleeing for our lives into an overpriced cafe, where we drank four euro chocolate. I congratulated myself for paying half of my drink with money I'd saved on my cheese.
When it appeared to be more or less safe outside, Al and I wandered around a bit on the docks until I had the brilliant idea to rent a paddle-boat. The original plan was to take a real boat out to the castle in the middle of the lake, but with the rain effectively killing that idea, we decided to paddle-boat to it instead.
View of the Alps from the water:
And the castle. Or a piece thereof, seen from a great distance.
Then while I was buying postcards, Al unearthed the coolest hat ever:
Then we headed out, and drove through the mountains some more, making a brief side-trip to Austria. As you do.
And then we were back in Göttingen on Monday.
As I said, since then I've done nothing except go to my last couple classes. Al and I took the speaking part of our Swedish final, and, having the feeling we were going to have to go shopping, I decided to shoot for brownie points and bring a shit ton of food with us--thus insuring that the only things we had to talk about were the things we knew the names for. We wound up having to plan a party instead, but the food still came in handy, and I even gave our teacher some Oreos. Brownie points.
Friday was Latvian Friend's last evening in Germany, so I headed back to Celle to celebrate with her. I was pretty anxious about the trip, mostly because Celle holds very few good memories for me. I spent Wednesday and Thursday nights have nightmares that I was an au pair again, and I had a panic attack when I got off the train, which is always fun. And there was the possibility of running into my former host parents to contend with, since I'm 100% positive they'd like nothing more than to roast my kidneys over a spit, eat them with organic butter, and not drink milk while doing it. But I felt much better after meeting up with Latvian Friend--it was really, really nice to see her again. We walked around, got food, got ice cream, and just talked, caught up, and had fun for a couple hours, just the two of us. Yay!
I spent a good part of today in the library getting books for my next paper. Just for the record, I really dislike libraries as a general rule, even more so when it's finals time. The hush feels unnaturally heavy, like someone soaked a blanket and threw it on top of me, and I can't see anything but I can still hear that person breathing. Plus, all the Germans give me dirty looks because I'm American and wear flip-flops and it's impossible to walk silently in flip-flops. There's one particular section of the library that's actually terrifying to me, and of course, that's where all my books are. To get there on the weekend, you have to go up one flight of stairs, cross the entire library, go down a flight of stairs, shove your way through a giant door, go down another flight o stairs, but in this one the lights flicker and it smells like homeless people have peed in it. Then you have to go through another door, and now you're officially underground. It's dark, there are no windows, and it's a straight up cavern of books. Row upon row upon row of books, horribly easy to get lost in. You take one look at the place, and you know there are scary cannibal rapists hiding among the shelves, with nothing to do all day but educate themselves and take generous breaks to rape and eat (not necessarily in that order) the Americans that get lost looking for their books. Every time I go down there, I'm positive I'll never come out. And when I finally stagger through the homeless-urine hallway and into the atlas collection of the main library, I want to bury my face in Topographical: Europe, 2011, and never come out.