Well, have I mentioned that I left Fiji just before Christmas to return to Germany?!
The coup in Fiji didn’t affect me at all but still time had come to visit my folks, friends and followers (??) back in Germany, which I had left nearly four years ago.
From tropical 30 degrees (Celsius) to sub zero temperatures near Seoul, S. Korea, where I changed flights and spent a wonderfully comfortable night at the Hyatt Regency Incheon including 2 dinners and the best breakfast buffet I can remember (all payed for by KoreanAir ).
Frankfurt, Germany proved a bit warmer but the dry air was hard to get by.
It was weird to be back on German turf after such a long time…and everybody around me is speaking German, how freaky is that! Coming from the Airport to Frankfurt City (on the train) was like travelling abroad again - less and less people were speaking German, instead Turkish, Italian, Russian, and various Asian languages started to dominate the soundscape… Welcome to Germany! Yes, we are multicultural, too!
The guy at the counter of an internet cafe opposite the central train station (right in the city centre) hardly spoke German at all…
Anyways, I went on to friends of mine where I also met up with my mother who drove all the way from the Blackforest to pick me up.
After a few days in Furtwangen [wiki] (my “home”town since 1994) my parents, brother and me drove north on Christmas Day to attend the annual gathering of the greater family. Driving south 2 days later we stopped for the night at my buddy Philipp’s place (we grew up like brothers the first few years of our lives). Even Steffi, the only other friend I know since earliest childhood, was able to come to complete our meeting. A rare occasion in our busy lives, especially as Philipp (like me) spent most of his time abroad!
So that was great to see the two of them together, I hope to repeat that soon again!
Two days in Furtwangen followed. I meant to meet up with friends who were in Furtwangen those days…but time just goes so quick and I didn’t even get to unpack my bag. At least I managed to see Miriam and her brother Felix. Felix is one of my climbing mates and Miriam and I went to youth group for many years. While I graduated from highschool in Furtwangen she went to the United World College in HongKong [wiki] for 2 years. Unfortunately I couldn’t meet her when I was in HongKong (June 2003) as she was on School holidays (visiting family in Germany) at the time. And then she started her studies in Vancouver, Canada. The last semester (or 2?) she spent in South East Asia and took some time off in Germany. In early January she returned to Vancouver.
Over New Year my family went to France for skiing (snowboarding in my case). There wasn’t much snow in ”Les 3 Vallées” when we arrived but over the week several storms contributed layers and layers of the white stuff - Yippie! One day snowstorm, next blue sky, one day nil visibility and more snowfalls, next day blue sky…and so on
Now I have been hanging around in Furtwangen for almost 2 weeks, surfing the web on 26 h shifts and sorting through my filled up room… should start visiting everybody I once knew in and around Germany (might be a bad time, exams are coming up for many of them these weeks). Working (=making money) sounds like another “ToDo”. And Party - “Fasnet” (=Carnival, it’s so important in this region, they call it the fifth season of the year) is coming up.
My next greater steps?
Um…good question! I might start my university studies at the end of the year here in Germany - or not?!
My world trip is not over yet, though!
I mean, after all, Africa, Central Asia, Middle East, most of the Americas (I spent some time in the US) and Antarctica are still waiting for me!