A network of friends
If there’s one thing I can say above all regarding a college (or school) experience, it’s that it gets you socially active. After moving on from that experience years back (yes, I am getting older), it was quite a change to go back to living in a dormitory and going to classes every weekday. Sure, I’m married, so I had the privilege of coming home (dorm) with my wife every night, but she and I still felt out of place inside the dorm. Speaking of which, there was a specific horror story one night you should read below.
But what was most worthwhile about our experience in Marburg was meeting and becoming friends with the other Fulbrighters. As I mentioned in a previous post, we met Gabe, a tuba player who has a wealth of knowledge and experiences to share. He and his girlfriend also have two dogs which are quite adorable. Gabe’s girlfriend also is now living in Germany. The two are in Hannover. Before we all moved to our cities for the year, Leighanna came to visit Gabe in Marburg. She even sat in on one of our classes, which I’m sure for her was kind of wacky.
We also met Dave and Mariko. They are a couple from Colorado, and they got married just prior to coming to Germany. Dave is in the same situation as me here—he’s the house husband for the year. I’m bummed that the two don’t also live in Berlin, because I’m sure Dave and I would hang out regularly and shoot the breeze. Dave and Mariko are a great couple. They are quick witted, and they constantly poke fun at each other. Their interaction is fun to just sit back and watch. I asked Dave what an argument must be like between the two of them (assuming they’d even ever had one!), and from what he told me, even their arguments are done well. Geez! But apart from all that, Dave is a fun-spirited, kind person who you are happy to be around. Mariko is, of course, the same. She doesn’t take things too seriously, and she will laugh at just about anything. For example, when we had our canoe excursion, Dave fell in the water twice, and Mariko once. When their canoe completely tipped over, they were underwater (so was the canoe). They had to drag the canoe, which was weighed down by the water, to the shore. In the process, Dave lost his glasses. His cell phone also was destroyed. To say the least, apart from Imran and Natalie, they had the worst experience out there. But they came back laughing it all off! Dave said, “I can get some more glasses,” as he waved his arm as if to say, “No big deal at all.” Alisa said she would have been furious! We both thought about how it would cost us so much money to replace everything. (Funny thing: I made sure to wear my contacts that day just in case) We didn’t realize that the two had tipped their canoe until after we got back. Dave came up to me, soaked and without glasses, saying, “I should have worn my contacts as well.” Yet they laughed about it! How awesome are they?!
Catelynn and Tyson also are great friends. They live in Berlin, too, so we’ve hung out a number of times. In fact, they were still looking for a place up until soon before coming to Berlin, so we hosted them for their first weekend here. Our apartment has an office with a sofa, and that sofa converts into a bed, so their stay was comfortable. That weekend we walked around Berlin and saw the Tiergarten, a rollerblading marathon, Museum Island, a flea market and more. We also cooked for each other, which was nice. I made my General Tso’s Chicken, and they made french toast and more. I had to make the General Tso’s Chicken twice, however, because the first time I used too much vinegar. The only reason it was too much, though, is because the vinegar here in Germany is far too sour. Also, my recipe turned out not as spicy because Germans really don’t do spice so much!
Regarding the horror story in the dorms, we had some very loud and unruly neighbors one night. Dave and Mariko lived on the same floor as us, only across the hall. From our door, you can look directly across the hall assuming the doors are not closed. The new neighbors had just moved in a couple nights prior, and this night they happened to have a party. It got very loud and obnoxious. Alisa eventually kicked the doorstop from the door and closed the door in hopes that it would block some of the sounds of their party. Unfortunately, Dave and Mariko did not have that option. Well, it turns out that group did a lot of bizarre things that night. First of all, they destroyed the toilets in the bathroom, stuffing them to the point of clogging them up. They also urinated all over the bathroom floor. They pretty much tore up their own dorm room as well. The next day I passed two of them in the stairwell. One of them gave me the look of, “I will beat the crap out of you.” I never have been able to understand that mentality. Why is it that some people feel that if you make eye contact with them, it means war? Just so silly.
Anyway, after that crazy fiasco, the house maid (yes, they have them here in the dorms!) apparently had a talk with them, and very soon after they were gone. Great news for all of us!
On the last weekend in Marburg, we had dinner with Caetlynn and Tyson and Gabe and Leighanna at a great restaurant called Kostbar. We talked about our stories of how we met, what we hope to accomplish while we’re here, the language course and more. It was a great opportunity for us to sit down and get to know each other a little more. As I can honestly say, we’ve met some great people here, and I am honored to call them our friends. There are so many more people we met as well that I still have yet to mention. There’s always more time. Regardless, I think that it’s obvious that one of the greatest things about the college experience is meeting the people that you want to associate with. We’ve met quite a few of them here.Blog, Family and Friends. Bookmark the permalink.