Have It Your Way

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!

BK Fries...an American delicacy that I've truly missed (ahem, not).

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…


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