Day 264 (Germany): Heidelberg (good times with good friends)
After the 2 hour sleep last night, I slept like a stone. For more than 10 hours. I was out like a light, never heard Michi leave and come back again. It was much needed though too. But it was a strange feeling waking up here in the town that I had lived in for over three years. But it was time to head out soon enough as I was going to meet a great number of people over the course of the day.
First off, brunch with Nicola in Heidelberg’s “Extrablatt” (I understand there are now two of these, but we opted for the established one), a reminder of good long brunches on Sunday mornings. Yum stuff and tons of Nutella to boot. This time it went extremely well with croissants. Had a blast of a time not only with Nicola over brunch, but also with Dominic, a fellow YFU alumnus (so is Nicola). See below for a picture of Nicola and no, this is not Dominic, but we took the picture while strolling down Heidelberg’s main street.
This was followed by lunch with Ramin and Jakob, former colleagues of mine at the Max Planck Institute here in Heidelberg. If nothing else told me that life here was expensive (this may be a question of perspective I admit and mine will soon adjust I am sure), but consider this: simply for taking the bus from the center of Heidelberg to get to one of the university’s campuses cost me more than many a day in China (the ticket for the bus was a hefty 2,10 EUR) cycling my way through three meals and plenty of drinks, sometimes including sleeping quarters. But back to lunch. It was simply great hanging out with people I hadn’t seen for a while and sharing stories over breakfast and lunch. Also imagine me being fully stuffed at the end of this day as well as I was pretty much eating non-stop.
And it was far from over. It just so happened that the Max Planck Institute held its Christmas celebration today and I was invited to join the fun …
Another great round of talking to people I hadn’t had the chance to meet for a long, long time. And for inducing stares of disbelief in my presence. That was fun too. Walking back to Michi’s place (I needed to catch up on sleep badly and turned in earlier than usual), I passed the Neckar with a view of the castle and parts of the old city. Strange reminder of things past. But at the same time a reminder of things to come. And very much looking forward to it.