germany experienced the right way!

Well, here we are again. And do I have some stories for you! I’ll really try and keep this short.

This weekend I went to Frankfurt Germany. Long story short, I had a stressful day Thursday realizing all of the things I had forgotten to prepare for my trip (one being a place to stay!). After nearly missing nearly every leg of my trip and being snipped at in various languages I finally made it onto my plane. In the line to board I happened to find myself next to the first person I’d heard speak English all afternoon. It was really refreshing to be able to exchange at least a couple frustration-free sentences. And as fate would have it (think Southwest-style airline) the seat next to him was one of the few left open, so I sat next to him. He, Christian, is also studying in Florence for a semester and lives about an hour outside of Frankfurt. He was flying home to see his family and his girlfriend for Carnival weekend (European equivalent to Mardi Gras). We spoke the entire flight (some in english, some in italian – he speaks 5 languages!) and eventually began discussing how I was going to find a hostel for the night. At some point he stopped and, beginning with a confession of embarrassment at his offer, asked me if I’d like to just come stay with him and his family that night. How incredible?? After talking it all over for awhile we concluded that would be best and I rode with him and his father to their little town of 300 people (I should note that I’m the first foreigner to stay in their village for 5 years – what an honor!). Neither of his parents spoke English but, with Christian as translator, we ate a typical German evening meal and beer and his mother fixed me a room. It was amazing. What better way to experience Germany? I was so blessed by their kindness. They seemed to love it as much as I did!

The next morning, after a full breakfast and mother-prepared sack lunches, Christian and I caught the train into Frankfurt where he was looking for an apartment for next semester. He went to look for apartments and I found a youth hostel to stay in for the weekend and then spent the afternoon and next morning bumming around what turned out to be a gorgeous city. I adore Frankfurt. At one point, while window shopping, I ran into a store owner who was from Venice and INSISTED that I take a free article of clothing simply because he was so excited to meet someone living in Florence. Where do these people come from? I felt like a celebrity or something.

Saturday afternoon I met up with the friend I had gone to Frankfurt to see. Russ is managing a tour across northern Europe and the UK for three bands called Underoath, Roses are Red, and The Hurt Process. The guys in the bands were fantastic – so nice and absolutely hillarious! We had a lot of fun that night at the concert. I don’t really listen to their type of music, but it’s difficult not to enjoy something with SO much energy!

Sparing all the boring details, despite my planning in several hours of “cush time” I managed to miss my flight home to Pisa. Literally, the subway door closed in my face and I was unable to open it. But I guess that’s the way things go, huh? I was given the opportunity to spend the day with the guys on their only day off on the tour. We were walking down the street and all the sudden a parade started! Talk about a wonderful suprise! They happened to be getting a hotel room for the day to take showers, so I even had a place to stay. I guess it’s just a lesson in living life in the moment. No use being upset about something you can’t control. I have no doubt that everything happens for a reason. It’s amazing how a split second can change everything! I’ve begun to love it when that happens. It certainly teaches you patience and to really just enjoy whatever moment you find yourself in.

In fact, if I’d have made my original flight home I never would have met Francesca. She was sitting next to me on the train home. She was reading Harry Potter in English and I am reading it in Italian (both to practice the languages!). She was really really sweet and works in Florence. She and friends spend every ounce of their free time and money sailing the Mediterranean! How amazing!! She goes at LEAST once a month, every holiday, several weeks in the summer and over a month in the winter. I’ve officially been invited on several of their trips. Crazy.

Well, I had a full weekend and to save time have actually spared some more interesting things that happened. That’s certainly enough for now. On other matters, I love all my classes and am looking forward to another week. Hope all is well. Thanks to everyone who’s been replying. It’s so wonderful to hear from each of you – really really.

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lenticular?

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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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