On leaving Germany and moving to Costa Rica, and then to Ecuador

Comments, compliments... no complaints, with the exception of mosquitoes, but that's biodiversity for you! :)

Friday, February 2, 2007

The presentation :) and the ride back to Leipzig

Before the presentation, Thursday night at dinner I told my colleagues that a big part of my presentation would be about my Table of Contents for the thesis...why I don't understand is why everyone promptly ordered a coffee to go...some even two :)

Ok, so I presented...got a lot of feedback...now I have to start writing! :) (the reasons I will be doing this in Costa Rica will be on another post).

After the presentation (around 11 pm) I managed to successfully disappear and SLEEP for seven whole hours! (although I knew that people were meeting at the bar for some drinks...but with all the forgotten-cable stress, lack of sleep in the previous nights, etc, etc. etc, I decided it would be a lot better if I just slept). Of course some people made a few remarks at breakfast about my disappearing act the night before...nice of them to notice :) Here is Lars telling us we're taking too long at the breakfast table.

I don't know if I even mentioned this but I have been attending these ski seminars for the last three years without knowing how to ski :) Until this year, there had been enough non-skiers to make it interesting and fun...this year none of my non-skiing partners were attending...so, for the first day it was ok (since I had to work on the presentation, anyway), but for the next day I was already planning to visit the nearby towns by myself, when Evelyn announced that she had taken so many falls the day before, she'd take it easy for a day. Lucky me, since she and her boyfriend have a car...we went to visit a nice castle and a nearby town (I will check the pictures later to see if any of them deserves posting).

Once we got back, I spent the rest of the afternoon in a very cosy sitting room in front of a fire with Nicola's computer, since I was so stressed with the upcoming train ride (stressed because I had no idea how I'd make it to the train station in the middle of the snow or where it was...plus I always get a little stressed when I travel) I decided not to do anything else.

Around 6:00 pm or so the other seminar participants arrived. LOTS of familiar faces...great to see them...at some point I realized it would probably be the last time I'd ever see many of them. I even had a sad moment :(

Then we had dinner...I was a little calmer because the AMAZING staff from the Schillingshof Hotel in Bad Kohlgrub offered to drive me to the station...so all I had to do was have dinner, say my goodbyes and get in the van.

Since I had no train ticket (as my decision to leave early was a spontaneous one) I decided to be at the station half an hour earlier than departure time so I could buy a ticket and a reservation for the night train (including the "extremely" comfortable easy chair where I was planning to spend the night)...once I got to the tiny station, I realized that I'd hurried for nothing...there was only one person at the station: the one in charge of switching the tracks for the trains...but nobody I could buy a ticket from...there was a machine where I could buy tickets, but only for the region...not to Leipzig...So I just got a ticket to Munich (about an hour and a half away) and hoped that I'd have enough time once I got there to get the ticket and reservation...if not, I'd buy them on the train...

The station in Munich is just what I'm used to (big city main station)...so it was very uncomplicated to buy the necessary tickets. I found my train and my reserved easy chair without problems, and started reading and listening to music...everything was fine until we reached Nuremberg around midnight...apparently Nuremberg had beat Munich in some football game, and, although the game had been over for a few hours, there were still people celebrating on the platforms drinking beer, singing loudly...everything fans do when their teams win. What I wasn't counting on was that some of these fans were planning to go to Leipzig. What's worse: on the easy chairs adjacent to mine...YUCK! Between the smell of alcohol and their NON-STOP chatter I thought I'd scream...no, I didn't because I must have fallen asleep out of desperation...well, I did sleep until the ticket lady came by and told them they had to pay 119 euros each because they had no ticket or reservation...(how happy do you think I was I got my tickets at the station...for 45 euros?) In any case, these people complained, yelled at the poor woman (I was really hoping she'd kick them out, but she didn't), but in the end, they paid for their tickets...By the time they were done yelling and screaming I think my nose had gotten used to the smell of alcohol and THEY had gotten so tired, so silence reigned until we reached Leipzig around 5 am.

I was SO happy to get home! Since I was supposed to turn in the key for this apartment on the 31st, and the only reason there's still furniture in here is because the guys who took over the apartment took over the furniture as well, I had a bed and sheets (but no comforter, which, I think, accounts for the fact that I slept just a couple of hours and started writing on this very long post...it's pretty cold without a comforter in Leipzig!).

So the plan for today is go downtown and pick up contact lenses (that should have arrived two weeks ago, and didn't...yes, this happens in Germany, too)...maybe get a decent outfit that I can wear for my first appointment at the university SEVEN hours after I've arrived in Costa Rica (I hope I'll be awake after 29 hours of travelling) and get everyting organized so I won't be so stressed on Monday before I leave (I know, that's wishful thinking, given my life history, but I can dream)...

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