Alas, the Reisepost is here. It’s been tough since I’ve been back home, but I think that I’m getting back into the hang of things here in Normalville, USA. And so.. let’s begin (don’t worry, this won’t be a day-by-day recap… that would be too much!)!
I still can’t believe that it all started two weeks ago already. My coworker and I flew to Germany together, so my flight anxiety was at ease. It was also a very smooth flight, strangely we only had some turbulence over Arizona. Of all places. I even enjoyed my airline food. Haven’t had that in a while. I read my history book and finally got to watch Gone Girl to kill time. When I could, I’d sleep. One other transfer later, we finally arrived in Germany.
I was a bit jet lagged afterwards, and even throughout the whole trip I never got a good night’s sleep. We met up with the rest of our team members the next day and we set up our booth at Messe Frankfurt, aka the LARGEST CONFERENCE HALL EVER MADE. Setting up was a cinch, and we headed to dinner: of course, it was at a traditional German restaurant!
You wouldn’t believe my luck, because when I slept that night… I GOT SICK. Yep. Full blown sick. And when I woke up the next morning, I thought I just had a sore throat. It had finally caught up to me – the sickness I had been dreading. Although I started the morning as normal as I possibly could, I felt nauseous, and my team let me stay behind to recoup. After a quick, unexpected date with the toilet, we had all decided it was best for me to rest the whole day. I couldn’t believe it. I had missed the first day of the trade show!
For the rest of the week, my sickness pretty much lingered. Although I felt much better and was able to function the next couple of days, I lost my voice. So just my luck, I couldn’t even talk to visitors at our booth. Luckily there were enough of us to tend to people, but still. The more better I felt as the days passed, the more I lost my voice, the more phlegm I accumulated, the more I coughed. It was ridiculous.
REGARDLESS, we still got to see a lot of Frankfurt when our days at the show ended. We got to see the Römerberg, which I had been wanting to see, ate at some delicious restaurants which included Ethiopian food (my first time!) and the best restaurant in Frankfurt, got to see the view of the city from the Main Tower, and got to see the beautiful Main river. When we got out of the more financial area of Frankfurt and got to see the more traditional areas, it was exciting because it was just so beautiful. Unfortunately, since all I had was my iPhone, I didn’t exactly capture the best photos. The exquisite beauty remains only in my memory. 🙂
Before we knew it, the trade show was over, and my team and I went our separate ways. My boss and my other coworker went off to explore Prague, two of my other coworkers went home, and I lingered in Germany to visit my family in Baden-Baden, a spa town about half an hour South from Frankfurt.
Like a true traveler, I took the train. The German countryside is a sight to see. First, heavily wooded, and then green pastures. I passed by small towns. It was just great to see a little side of rural Germany. You just don’t see that everyday.
When I finally arrived in Baden-Baden, my aunt wasted no time showing me around her beautiful city. While Frankfurt was much more modernized and comparable to San Francisco (it really reminded me of it!), Baden-Baden captured the essence of antiquity and history. The buildings were just absolutely gorgeous. Seeing as the small city is on the cusp of the French border, I could see the French influence in the architecture of some of the buildings.
Since my aunt was essentially German, she fed me homecooked German meals as well as one Filipino dish. It was great hearing stories of how life is in Germany and how it was when she had first come with her late husband. I really enjoyed spending my time with her!
On my last day, we went out to dinner with my aunt, my cousins and their significant others. Funny enough, my last dinner in Germany was – you’d never guess – Chinese food. A buffet, at that. The food tasted much healthier than the buffets here in the U.S. (as I’ve heard from my aunt, Germans prefer healthier foods, although hearty), but nevertheless still tasty. Afterwards, since the restaurant had a small bowling alley below, we went downstairs to play – it was a lot of fun!
The next day, I was off. My family dropped me off at the train station and I began my trek back home. I took the train directly to the airport, and from the airport I flew to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I had missed my connecting flight to LA since there was an issue with our plane taking in gas in Frankfurt – yes, I was terrified, but happy that everything was resolved and we got there safely – so I was booked on the next flight… which was the next morning. At first I was frustrated, but the airline did issue me a hotel voucher, so I got to stay at the Doubletree Hilton. Comfy bed and the Oscars – not too shabby!
I finally arrived in LA the next morning, and was again, surrounded by hella people (yes, hella) and hella cars. WELCOME BACK TO THE UNITED STATES. Fortunately for me, California greeted me well with rain… and In N’ Out! 😀
Overall, the trip was a blast and was also the fastest two weeks of my life. It still feels like I had just left just yesterday!
Now that I’m back, it’s back to the old routine. I made a yummy pasta bake last night and had a fast 2-mile run this morning. I’m most likely going to sign up for a local 5k that’s in two weeks – actually, the same 5k I PR’ed and placed first in my age range last year. Eek. I doubt I’d make it this year… I’m just shooting for under 30 minutes!
Till next time!