Thursday, September 01, 2005

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu

Note: I typed this last night, but before I got the chance to hit "post," Jess's computer went all "me so craaaaaazyyyyyy" and refused to connect to the internet. So, here it is, a day late and a dollar short...

I'm sitting at Jessica's house after my last day at work. I feel like I should be sad, but it's not quite set in yet... it's very much "damn, I have to work tomorrow," when actually, not so much.

I had my farewell party last night - it was attended by exactly half of my remaining Wittenberg friends: Jess and Thorsten. I cooked some typical American food for them - fajitas! And homemade salsa, and chocolate cake. If I can toot my own horn (*toot toot*), it was very delicious. It was a really great time; we had four hours of some intense conversation, punctuated by some quality humor (Thorsten - the nicest guy either of us know in Wittenberg, and probably one of the nicest people EVER - saying "tits and ass," them making fun of me because I think that sliced bell peppers look like sea horses, etc.).

One of the most interesting discussion points was marriage and how the culture of marriage differs in Germany and in the States. For example, it is not uncommon here for couples to simply date for years on end. It is generally a wholly committed relationship, and there may or may not be children involved, but it's not weird if a couple is together for a decade (or more) without tying the knot. However, in the States, it is most unusual if a couple is together for more than three or four years and no wedding bells are ringing in the (albeit possibly distant) future. We decided that Americans get married so young / so quickly because we as a culture are so uptight about sex. Any comments from the peanut gallery?

Then today was my farewell from work. I took in the rest of my chocolate cake and shared it with the women in my office - they all wanted the recipe - and got some lovely parting gifts: a book (maybe a novel?) about Katharina von Bora, a nice card, and some absolutely beautiful flowers that will be bestown (? is that a word? I've forgotten my Eeeenglish skillz!) upon Jess once I leave. Damn you, customs! I'm popping back into the office on Friday, though, to say a final goodbye to everyone. My hands were full as I was leaving and I couldn't hug anyone, heh heh.

But I think the highlight of my day was an invite to the weekend house of one of my former coworkers. She asked me over for coffee and then for dinner. Needless to say, I ate way too much and I'm writing this entry with a bit of a beer/schnapps buzz! I'm quite fortunate that I got to actually make some friends in my office - it could have been an awful year if I was excluded.

I think I'm still too immersed in my experience to be able to look back and pick out some specific memories. There are entirely too many things I gotta get done before I can actually leave before I can start reflecting, too. You know, close my bank account, de-register from the city, get back my 100 Euro deposit, etc. I need time to a) get home and b) digest my year before I can pop out some great 30-second elevator stories and lessons. So, in case I don't make back to my blog before I go, wish me safe travels on Sunday and then tune into No More Adventures in Deutschland to catch the next part of my journey through life!

Addendum on Thursday: I talked to Sven last night and we were discussing the possibility of the United States changing the Constitution to allow foreign-born citizens (i.e. the Guvernator) to become President. I was all "no way, José," but he (Sven, not José) was pretty insistent. Insistent to the point that we've made a bet: if, in the next ten years, the uncomprehensible becomes comprehensible and Ahnold can run for President, I have to pay to fly Sven to the States. If my faith in the Consitution is true and no such change is made, I get a free trip to visit him, wherever he is. So count down the days til September 1, 2015, cuz I'll have my bags all packed and ready to go ;)


Anonymous said...

Safe travels!! You may lose your bet, ten years may be cutting it. If it was a longer bet I think you would have a greater chance of losing. There was a lot of discussion about changing the limitation of nationality for presidential candidates in the future during the last election by both Republicans and Democrats.-C

Anonymous said...

Hey, just want to wish you very safe travels. I'll be thinking of you as you make your re-entry :) If it counts for anything I still haven't begun to grasp the full scope of this past yaer, I can simply look back and go I had a wonderufl tiems it's hard to reflect on it as I start to miss it too much....sigh....~Pamela

Nicole said...

I'm a little sad that your Adventures in Deutschland is coming to end... Ever since I've discovered this blog it's been really fun reading about everything you get up to and your life in Germany in general. :-) I hope you continue your blog entries though and keep us updated! :-)

But in the meantime, travel safely and take care. I hope you have a wonderful time when you get back home. :-)

Anonymous said...

Heto I'm sure gonna miss you online all afternoon - safe travels!!!! But at least it will be easier to see you on holidays!

Jen. . .

BTW - I was pondering the marriage thing, and I believe we Ameri - cans have more involved in marriage than Germans. One big one being healthcare. In Germany it is a state institution, so there is no concern, but at home we so often have to marry to make sure we have healthcare rights, hospital rights, will rights, blah blah blah enter legal jargon.

Anonymous said...

Heather will win!! I hope.