November 17, 2013: Mistakes were Made, just not in Würzburg or Augsburg

As far as my week last week goes, Monday through the better part of Thursday was pretty standard. I think the only really big occurrence during this time was the purchase of my Bahncard, which gives me a pretty good discount on train tickets. Other than that I went to class and hung out with friends. Nothing particularly interesting, but nice all the same.

 

Thursday evening was when things started to get crazy. The bar in the basement of my dorm (HaWo) decided to have what they called a Gaßmaß (not sure on the spelling but it is something like that. Also the drink is essentially cherry liquor, beer, and coca-cola, which is much tastier than it sounds) and Absinthe party. The night started out with about a liter of the first drink, and ended with maybe three of the second. Mistakes were made. I hardly remember anything and let’s just say after I blacked out things went downhill quickly. I’m obviously fine now. I think I just need to be more assertive here when I’ve hit my limit and am done drinking. Because even though I knew I had hit my limit and told people that I didn’t want anymore, they kept bringing me more. I remember trying a couple of my I’m going to pretend I’m drinking but not really tricks, but to no avail. Drunk Alicia tends to drink what is in front of her. So on that note I think it will be awhile before I drink again. Just the thought of booze kind of makes my stomach turn.

 

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Because of my stupidity on Thursday, I spent most of Friday in bed. I don’t think I even managed to eat anything until 3 o’clock. The plus side was that I got the package from my parents! They sent some staples that I just can’t get here, like corn meal, ranch dressing, grits, shortening, and fried onions. Mmmmm cheese grits. Later that evening I managed to feel okay enough to go eat some awesome Belgian food my friend made. It was delicious. My only regret was trying the chocolate, because now the German chocolate I usually buy doesn’t taste nearly as good anymore. I’m going to have to stock up on some Belgian chocolate when I go there, needless to say. While I don’t know the names of the dishes she made, I can somewhat describe what she made. We of course had Gouda cheese with some celery salt and spicy mustard. Then, one of my favorite dishes and something that sounds totally wrong together, but really isn’t: tuna salad topped peaches. After that we had asparagus with eggs, parsley, and butter. Then for the main course we ate chicory wrapped in ham and baked in some sort of sauce with cheese on top. It was also good. Then for dessert we had some sort of cheese pie, which was absolutely amazing. Overall it was a pretty fun and relaxing night with friends and the food sure did go a long way in helping me feel better.

As for Saturday I somewhat on a whim decided to go back to Würzburg because I felt like there was much more to see than what I saw last time I was there. I was right, too. And even though the weather was gray and cold, I still think it is one of the prettiest towns I’ve been to in Germany so far. We ended up visiting several churches, which were all built in a different architectural style (Roman, Gothic, and Baroque), the walking bridge, a nice little park/garden below the castle, of course the castle itself, and the residence (which is kind of like a palace). I think the most interesting part for me was probably the residence, not only because it was grandiose, but also because of the landscaping. The trees looked to me like they were taken from a 5 year old’s drawing. In other words, they were perfectly sculpted in the shape of cones. It was kind of surreal looking at it actually. We also had lunch at the restaurant in the castle somewhere in there, which despite having terrible service and only having half of what was on their menu, was pretty good. I had a pork chop covered in mozzarella and tomatoes with hash browns and a salad.

 

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I don’t think there is too much to really say about this trip considering we did the normal touristy things one might do in a new city, but there is a particularly strange occurrence that I would like to note. For most of you who know me, you know I am pretty critical of America and the South in general. I typically don’t mind talking about our shortcomings and usually laugh at many of the jokes thrown my way. It takes a bit for me to get defensive of America and especially the region where I come from. Saturday, however, was a bit of an exception. I’m not entirely sure what set it off, maybe because it was a jab here and a jab there all day, or maybe it just sort of built up over time, but I really felt the need to stick up for my country. And it was odd for me to feel so defensive about my country even though most of the time I am just as critical of it. Now I know there was no ill will intended in the discussion and my feelings were never hurt by it, but it just sort of felt like the scenario where I can bash my family, but you can’t. I don’t know, I can’t really describe it better than that. It was just a weird feeling for me.

 

So Saturday was day trip round one, and Sunday I went with a different group of friends on a day trip to Augsburg, which is in southern Bavaria kind of close to Munich. After someone told me it was not really a great place, I was admittedly a bit worried about dragging four other people there with me. However, I think it was a nice little city. Of course the entire city is not gorgeous, but I thought the inner city part was gorgeous, especially with the Christmas market being set up. City hall was a pretty impressive building and beside it was a tower, which normally people could climb up in and see the whole city, but unfortunately for us, it was closed for some reason (the hours on the sign indicated that it should have been open by the way). So then we decided to go to the puppet museum, since Augsburg is supposed to be known for puppets. We were originally going to watch a marionette show, but the prices were a bit more expensive than we had expected, so we just walked around the museum instead. It was really interesting, especially once you realize how much work goes not only into making the puppets themselves, but also into the actual production of a show. The museum went through many of the steps and inner workings of a puppet theater. There was even an actor who ran around the museum pretending to be the director, the writer, and the actor. Our first encounter with him was when he was the director and he made some of the bystanders “rehearse” a scene from on of the plays. I felt a bit bad for my friend Marko, who was randomly picked to read for the main character. Another guy ended up reading for him as he pantomimed the scene. It was a good laugh though.

 

After that we walked around the city and visited the two giant churches (not cathedrals). Like any other church people visit in Europe, it was beautiful, but there isn’t much to say other than that. We also briefly looked at the Fuggerei, which is one of the first settlements in Augsburg (I think anyway). We decided not to go inside since it cost money and it was getting dark at that point. After that we walked around for a bit more and then headed to the train station where we had coffee while waiting on our train. The train ride back was mostly uneventful, except when poor Helena, who could only find a seat on another part of the train and so was separated from the group, got off at the wrong stop. She had apparently fallen asleep and in a confused stupor, got out at the wrong station. Luckily she realized her mistake in time and was able to push the open door button as the train was starting to leave. It was a close call and I am glad she got back on.

 

So that was my extremely eventful weekend. It was nice getting out and such, but I am pretty tired. The next couple of weekends should also prove to be eventful, seeing as next weekend I am going to a juggling convention in Nürnberg and then the weekend after that I am going with VDAC to Heidelberg.

Also a special thanks to Donald and Yousung for the Würzburg pictures. I will post some pictures from Augsburg as well, but I need to wait until my friends post them on facebook first.

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