Well it’s about 2 a.m. in Germany, and I’m warm and cozy in a hotel in Heidelberg awaiting the next day’s adventures. After a long and torturous train ride from Gare de l’Est, which involved several technical difficulties and being held up by a train crash (I think that’s what I heard), I finally arrived in Heidelberg…only to find out that thanks to all the delays, my hostel of choice was now closed. Luckily, Heidelberg is but a small town, and I had seen an Ibis hotel on our way in, so after checking the building several times to make sure there wasn’t another secret entrance, I headed to the hotel and hesitantly checked in for then night. I am now 69 Euro poorer – 75 if you include the 6 I spent on internet access – but there was really no other option, seeing as there are about 2 hostels total in Heidelberg, a few outside the city, and considering the time of night I wasn’t about to go venturing off to find one.
What I enjoyed most upon arrival was the snow. The snow in Germany falls differently than in France: it is soft and gentle, cold but refreshing and light, and it falls steadily but without the intensity of a Parisian snowstorm. Walking through it you feel like you are in a living snowglobe – it just falls and falls and dusts the ground, creating a soft and peaceful blanket that looks like it is keeping the city warm. It is exactly how I pictured Germany at this time of the year.
But every cloud does have its silver lining, and boy is this one good. I have been living in a nice apartment at the cost of living in the most abominable room ever. I sleep less than a foot away from someone who won’t say more than five words to me, on a mattress, on the floor, with absolutely no room to put anything. This hotel room, the cheapest available, is clean, bright, and has TWO BEDS. TWO. I literally took half of my thing and chucked them onto the second bed in celebration of having a second bed to chuck them onto. There is a little desk where I plugged in my laptop and settled down to finish my paper, and an impeccable and modern bathroom with a heavenly shower. After dating a German for several months last year, I knew that I would like it here, but this is just overwhelmingly satisfying. A room of my own…finally!
The downside: never, ever, ever in my entire life have I eaten fast food twice in one day. NEVER. It is against my moral and nutritional code. However, after class today I had to dash to catch my train, and on the way grabbed McDonald’s to eat on the ride. McDonald’s in France is not quite as condemned as in the States: it’s completely fine to eat there if it’s convenient. Surprisingly, it’s actually not bad here. I treat myself to it once every week and a half or so, usually after a late night out with friends or when I’m on the go and am craving a bit of home. This was the case today, as I headed off alone to Deutschland in desperate need of something quick and cheap. However, I had been planning on being in Heidelberg in time for a late dinner, and was looking forward to some weinerschnitzel and beer, which had been recommended to me by my ex. Not the case. Arriving at 11:20 p.m. meant it was fast food time again. This time, I opted for Burger King, which doesn’t exist in Paris and was like a little (big) slice of the States as I sat in my hotel letting the enjoyable solitude sink in. I suppose I can forgive myself for the gastronomic sin I’ve just committed, but I’m sure everyone’s done it at some point or another!
I have yet to decide what I feel like doing tomorrow, but I think I’d like to check in to my hostel and then head to the schloss (castle). It is honestly just so nice to be alone that a) I don’t want to go to sleep so I can continue to enjoy this clean, quiet room and b) I don’t really care what I do tomorrow. I guess I’ll just have to go get lost…