What is Foreign Exchange to Me?

"A year of of my life. My life in a year."

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Friday, May 25, 2012


(I apologize in advance when this postP5040090 is abnormally long, but to be fair, I do have to make up for all the lost writing due to the strike. Winking smile )

So where to begin? Well, with nothing other than the beginning of course! After miraculously getting to the train station before the train left at 5:20 a.m., I realized the ONLY thing I forget to bring was nothing other than my camera P5161023memory card; but no worries, I somehow had the luck of meeting a girl the very morning the tour began (THANKS KENZIE!) who brought an extra 8GB card along with her which she let me use for the trip. Now, how I’m going to choose 10-15 photos out of the 1000+ that I took is a little beyond me…

I had the pleasure of not only making a P5070444new best Canadian friend for life, but a new best Canadian friend who speaks French. She defiantly made France a lot easier to get through, and with the Spanish that I speak, the only country we really had no clue what was going on in, was the Czech Republic.

So some highlights of the trip include watching the gay French performers do awesome flips and then make out in Strassenburg, France, meeting a really cool guy from Libya in Switzerland… not to mention feeling like I was in a postcard the entire time I was in Switzerland and exploring the third biggest caves in the world (also in Switzerland), getting stared at/talked too/checked out by/followed by almost every Italian man who saw Anne and I(-quick story, two guys were eating dinner and even ran outside to continue watching us walk down the street!-), regaining my tan/blonde hair in a matter of two short weeks (my German friends even told me I look a lot tanner and that my hair looks lighter xD), walking to McDonald's numerous times for milkshakes with only slippers, riding in a gondola in Venice, seeing the Schönburn Schloß in Vienna and only being able to think of my amazing 9th and 10th grade history teacher the entire tour –yes Mr. Emery, I clearly mean you!-, and last but probably my favorite memory of all, going to the club in Prague.

Anne: “I’ll have 2 strawberry milkshakes please.”

McDonald’s Employee: “Oh are you on a diet?”

Anne, being the kindhearted Canadian she is, agreed to get my milkshake while I went to the bathroom… the employee there however didn’t seem to see her act of kindness.

Being the strange person I am, I took a picture of every meal on the trip (mainly because it felt like something my mom would do actually) so I’m sure at some point there will be a ‘Special Post’ dedicated to just the food, but until then, there was one special salad that my newfound best Finnish friend Akseli decided not to finish in Italy where it’s considered rude to not finish P5060349your meals because it’s seen as insult to the chef’s cooking. Akseli put the salad bowl in the middle of the table, and not only did the waiters refuse to take it away, but they continued to all give him death stares at every meal for the rest of stay in this particular hotel. The funniest part of the story is it was Anne’s salad to begin with that she gave to Akseli.

Touring Europe with a group of people I met the day the tour began was a little strange, but I wouldn’t have it any other way… I have so many memories and new friends I’ll never forget, and through the whole tour, despite how much fun it was, I couldn’t help but feel more and more thankful that I’m having my exchange year in Germany. Germans may be cold at first and have to knock you onto your feet before they say “Excuse Me,” but that doesn’t change how much I love Germany and how thankful I am to be living in it.

Getting back into the swing of things, especially enough to be motivated to write a blog post(and especially ESPECIALLY after having a five day weekend on top of a two week Europe tour) was a bit harder than I expected,  but words cannot describe how happy I was to be back in Hameln at the end of the tour. I remember sitting on the final train to Hameln, almost squirming with joy that I would soon be back in my little, beloved town seeing my family and friends again. If I was like that after only two weeks, I can only imagine what a year or two away will be like. Red heart

P.S. Look what the post did to my Cheese-It’s!?!? Snapshot_20120522_4

And now, a few of my favorite photos:

And a special congratulations to all of California’s Seniors who are graduating tonight! Sorry I can’t be there with you, guys! Red heart

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Days in Germany