Saturday, 1 March 2014

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet!

So, I’ve officially come to the end of my German placement, and have bid (Bidden? Bidded? Bade???) a teary farewell to the land of sauerkraut and schnitzel, to embark on my three-day drive to Biarritz in south-west France.

Now, anyone who knows me at all well will know how terrible I am at goodbyes, and therefore what a generally traumatic experience these past couple of weeks have been. I hesitate to employ the cliché ‘emotional rollercoaster’, but let’s just say my emotional levels have been experiencing a metaphorical Alton Towers.

I barely had time to draw breath in between all the goodbyes to different people, which ranged from the slightly-anticlimatic to the full-on therapy-inducing tear-fest. Not only that, the past couple of weeks have been filled with ‘final’ things. The final time at Vapiano’s (how I’ll miss you!), final time seeing most of the other assistants (how I’ll miss you even more!), final trip to Bielefeld, final coffee in Beat Café, final cycle up that dreaded hill… I fear that my over-sentimentality may have gone into overdrive, however, as I found myself sighing wistfully over my last bus ride, my last piece of post, my last trip to Netto and my last time seeing that ear-ringed ticket collector on the Bielefeld train. Possibly a little excessive…
Leaving night - I know we don't look that sad, but I can assure you we're dying inside.
One thing I will genuinely miss a huge amount is my town itself. I remember vividly when I first read the name Lemgo, being thoroughly non-plussed by the totally unknown-ness of this tiny town. Couldn’t I be in some buzzing, big city like Cologne or Düsseldorf, rather than a place whose name inspires only confusion, even among Germans?

But my scepticism didn’t last for long. The minute I arrived, I fell completely in love with the place. And there’s nothing like knowing you only have a short time left to make you appreciate somewhere all the more. Last weekend I had a visit from some friends (the lovely Hannah and Hywel), and we spent most of the time taking in the quaint gabled houses, cobbled streets and abundant greenery that makes Lemgo such a lovely place to live. 
It didn’t hurt that we experienced glorious sunshine the whole two days. (I even managed to get a bit sunburnt… In FEBRUARY!) It’s safe to say that I’m very sad to leave.

So, thus concludeth my time in Lovely Lemgo. Following the final ‘final’ goodbyes to my school (so sad), my host family (so so sad) and my brilliant Lemgo-buddy Carly (so so so sad), at last I was ready to depart.

That brings me to here, a budget hotel on the industrial outskirts of Tours (wherever that is), on the second full-day of driving down to Biarritz. Very soon (woe is me) I will have to start all over again, with a new city, a new job, new people and (horror of horrors) a new language. Although, thank goodness, I now have a job and accommodation to go to (which was not the case 3 weeks ago)! Time to grit my teeth and get on with it I think. How bad can the south of France be anyway…?

Auf wiedersehen, Lemmy! Wir sehen uns bestimmt wieder <3 

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