I meant to write sooner, but the weekend slipped away from me and I’ve been quite busy since I got to Germany.
We had our little graduation on Friday, complete with champagne and shenanigans. Our entire TEFL class plus the trainers went to dinner at the Cortez which was right next to the school. There were many beverages, and it was far too much fun to see Dan and Kenny let loose a bit. They’re hilarious, which we already knew, but add a few beers and the effect is definitely multiplied. After dinner I went to another bar with Sam and Sierra and Kelly. It was this kind of sketchy bar that stays open until 5am, and included a particularly drunk Czech guy who kept standing behind us and stroking his mohawk while staring into a mirror. Weird, but fascinating.
On Saturday morning I met Sam and Sierra and Kelly again, and we grabbed a coffee and then got on the metro to go to Prague Zoo. We had to change trains and then take a bus, but we found the zoo without issue. I thought the zoo was super nice – definitely nicer and cleaner than the Milwaukee County Zoo. It was cold though, so a lot of the animals weren’t out. We saw a lot of birds and a really adorable baby monkey, and got attacked by a live bat (“Are those bats? Wow, it doesn’t look like there’s any glass there. Wait… Is there any glass there?” *bat attack* “OH MY GOD NOPE.”). We did find the elephants, though. And the hot wine. 🙂
The zoo closed at 4pm so we went to the pub right next door and had a couple pivos, including the unfiltered Krušovice, which was delicious. The pub closed as well, so headed back into town and stopped by my flat so I could throw some overnight stuff into a backpack (we’d decided to have a slumber party) and they could pick up their TEFL certificates which we’d left there. I’m glad Sam and Sierra finally got to see my… flat. Sam took one look in the door and went, “Nope.” Go figure. After that we headed up the big hill and I finally got to see where they had all lived, and Kelly packed an overnight bag. Then back down the hill to the grocery store before we got back on the metro to go to Sam and Sierra’s new flat (they’re going to teach in Prague) near Palmovka. Kelly cooked us a bitchin’ dinner, and for the next several hours we talked and had beers and listened to the entirety of the superior Blink-182 album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. It was a lovely day.
I think we all fell asleep around 2 or 3am, and then I got up at 7:30. I tried to sneak out pretty quietly because I absolutely hate saying goodbye to people, but Sam and Kelly woke up so I hugged them goodbye and then headed for the metro. I had a few minutes before the next train, so I flipped through the pictures from Saturday on my phone and got sort of teary/giggly which earned me some early morning scorn from the old Czech lady standing nearby. All I can say is that I’m very glad I met them all, and it was pretty much the perfect bookend on my time in Prague.
I got back to my flat and packed up the last of my stuff. Alexa was still sleeping, so once I got everything out into the hallway I woke up her real quick to say, “Hey, I’m outta here. Good luck!” and that was pretty much it. I checked out and began the arduous task of getting my giant suitcase to the train-station. I received further scorn from all the Czechs trying to change trains around me at Florenc, but there is absolutely no good way to do that transfer when you have a giant backpack and a giant suitcase and that platform is always a madhouse, but made it to the train station with about an hour to kill before my bus.
The DeutschBahn was pretty uneventful. I got a window seat, but was penned in by Stinky Guy, so I tried to bury myself in my coat and sleep. We did get stopped at the border and everyone’s passports or IDs were checked, but we still made it to Nuremberg right on time. Heather and Benni were waiting for me when I stepped off the bus so it all worked out perfectly. A short car-ride later and we were at their place in Cadolzburg (probably about 20 minutes from Nuremberg, I’d say), and we had some Welcome to Germany Beers while Heather made a lovely dinner.
The next morning Heather and I took a day trip to Bamberg, which is about an hour away by train. It was a really adorable little town, and I took a ton of pictures. We had a really good lunch at a little German restaurant, and I was introduced to Rauchbier which is a Bamberg specialty. It’s smoked beer, and it’s absolutely amazing. Heather said it’s generally a love it or hate it thing, and I really, really loved it.
Yesterday morning I had an interview with a school in Korea that my recruiter had set up. My recruiter said they’re looking for someone to start teaching in Suwon (about 20 minutes from Seoul) at the beginning of March and then transfer to a different school (same company, ages, curriculum, etc) in Seoul at the start of May. It’s a little unorthodox, but I told my recruiter as long as it was really clearly outlined in the contract that A) I would move to Seoul, and B) they would assist me with moving to Seoul, I could be flexible with that. Anyway, no word on that yet, but it was good to get an interview under my belt either way. Afterwards, Heather and I took the train back into Nuremberg. We wandered through a couple shops and had a really fantastic lunch at a French restaurant, and then met Benni in the afternoon to go look at cats. Meow. The jury is still out there.
Today Heather had class all day, so I was on my own. I lounged around most of the morning, and then walked into downtown Cadolzburg. I found the castle, which was really cute but was closed so I could only really see one side of it. I walked to another part of town where there’s a tower, and climbed the tower as well, and the view was lovely. It was nice to have a full day to myself. I feel like I’ve had someone around me basically 24/7 since I got to Prague, so it was good to have some “me” time to let things get quiet again.
I think that’s about all I can say for now. Thus far Germany has been downright relaxing compared to Prague, and it’s been really fun hanging out with Heather. Usually when she visits Wisconsin I see her in bits and pieces while she runs around around trying to do all the things and see all the people. It’s nice to just do what we want without all that chaos – and who knows if it will ever happen again!
Things are good here, guys. I hope they’re good by you too.
Love from… Cadolzburg, Germany!