14th December 2011
Today was my last full day in Germany.
Today was my last full day of my year long sojourn.
Tomorrow I would be winging home to real life.
Tomorrow I would be trying to figure out what to do next…
Nadine had a job to do in Cologne / Koln, and had to leave at 4am in the morning. She felt really bad about it as she was not sure what time she would get back of even if she would get back the same day.
This meant that Yvonne and I spent the day exploring. We went to a local craft shop near her house, and looked for strings and such so I could teach her to make jewellery. Then, she suddenly turned to me and said “Want to pop over to Holland?”.
Popping Over the Border
Coming from countries that did not have neighbors a hop skip and a jump away, that statement left me speechless. And anyone who knows me will know that is almost impossible to do.
So after dropping the kids off at school we hopped in the car and set off across the border. Its even weirder when you have no border control or passport stops. The only way to know you had left Germany at all was a slight change in housing design and the appearance of Dutch. I discovered my Afrikaans background meant I could understand a lot of it. Oh the fact that my cell phone provider switched mid commute.
We explored clothing stores, bought some coffee, found more craft stores and had a small lunch. It was fantastic, a day out before I big trip is always good to take your mind off of it. Yvonne, not being very fluent in English, had felt really nervous about spending time with me. But with hand signals and a little Dutch/Afrikaans and a limited understanding of German we were able to create our own language.
After buying some Christmas Gifts and finding some 100% wool fuzzy inserts we headed back to Germany.
Packing Up Emotions
My emotions were bouncing all over the place. It seemed to have taken such a long time to get to this point, to even start my trip. Now after 9 countries, 2 hemispheres and 345 days on the road, it was all coming to an end. Adding in a new relationship that was already having communication issues, you can only imagine where I was at.
Yvonne kept my mind off things by making me a bottle opener and some magnets using pics from my travels, in exchange I taught her some basic strings to make bracelets and necklaces. We also made Buddha a bottle opener using one of his favorite monkey pics. (Back home I would mail it to him but apparently it never did reach him).
Then it was time for bed. Nadine still wasn’t home and it looked like she might only be home around 5am in the morning and we had to leave for the train station in Koln by 7am.
Tomorrow involved a train to Frankfurt, a flight to Iceland and a flight to Seattle. I love to travel, its only the traveling part that gets me down on occasion.