My weekend went swimmingly (oh, puns are wonderful), and I have been enjoying myself the last few days.
When school ended on Friday, it was a relief. I normally find school here to be okay, but a break is always warmly welcomed. Last period was French class, and while everyone waited in the hallway outside of the classroom for the teacher to come, I talked with a few classmates. Honestly, those ten or so minutes, and the following class, made my day.
And once French was done, school was out - the beginning of Frühjahrsferien (Early Years Vacation, when directly translated, which is like March Break, but lasts two school weeks)!
Saturday, I did not know what I wanted to do, but eventually realized that I wanted to go swimming at the public pool in a nearby town - but I didn't want to go alone (even though going alone is also fun - I did that in what I think was the beginning of January. I wrote and put up a post about it, I know that). So I asked a friend of mine from my German Learning class (who, since I forgot to ask if I could publish his name here, I'll call by the first letter of his name, 'Y') to come along with me. Unfortunately he couldn't go then, but we decided that we'd go the next day. Later on that day, around 7 p.m., my host sister (Lisa) and I were talking, and realized that we had both wanted to go to the pool that day - and decided "Why not?" and went. We had fun, and spent the evening swimming and talking. We accidentally missed our bus for when we wanted to go home, by what must have been a minute. But we figured that we could take the train, no big deal, right? So we quickly went to the train platform to wait for the train - and saw it was already there! But just as we reached the train, it pulled off into the distance, leaving us behind and waiting ten minutes for the next train! Since we suddenly had ten minutes to waste, we went into the main "street" for the train/bus station, and got ourselves some drinks, then caught the train back home.
The only thing about the swimming pool place, is that there are four pools, three indoor pools and one outdoor. Whenever I go, I always end up going in an illogical order, being really cold at the end. This is because of the four pools, three are heated and one is not. The outdoor pool is heated, but at this time of year is still the coldest pool of them all, and there is a non-heated indoor pool, with practice diving boards, and a deep end for good swimmers. In addition there are two heated indoor pools, one with a waterfall and a bit of a circling current, and another that is just a shallow rectangle, intended for those learning to swim, but open for everyone to use. Logically, you should go through the pools in the order as listed, since alone none of the pools are actually cold, only when you switch from a warmer pool to a colder one. And normally with things like this I like to try and follow logic, but for some reason in a swimming pool scenario I guess I am just too excited to swim to actually think about the process, so I inevitably end up really cold at one point or another (because you have to go to all of the pools, right?). Oh well, I always enjoy myself nonetheless.
Anyways, Sunday morning I got up and headed to church, deciding to go to Elim Gemeinde (church) in Mundsburg (I think that's how it is spelt), Hamburg for the service, instead of the church that's just down the street from me, since I really enjoy the music at Elim, and I find it a bit easier to understand the sermon in Elim (the pastors voice is in a sound level and tone that, with my hearing as it is, I find easier to comprehend than the one near me). I accidentally went 45 minutes too early, though, because I thought that the service started at 11:00 am, and came what I thought was 15 minutes early, when the service actually starts at 11:30. So to spend some time I decide to go for a walk and explore the area. On Sundays in Germany, no stores are open, but the occasional cafe and restaurant is. So I found a mall, which was void of any people, and walked through it to the other side, where I found a cafe, and bought a hot chocolate to drink on the way back to the church.
After church, I came home, and started reading through the (unfinished) first draft of my book I started back in November for NaNoWriMo. When November was finished, I had 'won' the contest, and knew I was going to be really busy the next day. So I gave myself one day off, and I guess it must have been a really long day, because I have not written for it since (whoops). Not because of a lack of interest, but because of a lack of time to do so/forgetting to do so when I did have time.
But now I am reading through what I have already written, so that I can see how I have been doing so far, and can pick up more easily where I left off. I am lucky that I am still very excited about it, and I have even been thinking up a few changes over the last few months that I can apply to the story, or a few details to add, to hopefully better and enrich it. It is said that you should write the story that you want to read, and I can certainly sat that this is what I have been wanting to read for the last while.
Anyways, after a bit of reading through that, I settled the plans with Y, and we met up in the Bahnhof (train station) where the swimming pool is, and headed there. I'd only really intended to swim for an hour or two, but we accidentally ended up spending three or four hours there, doing different swimming races against one another, or diving, or so on. or just talking. It was a great time! I also saw, and had a quick conversation with, a lifeguard who had once lived in Canada that I had met my first time at the swimming pool in January - which was also nice.
Afterwards, Y and I went back to the train station to see if we could find a restaurant to grab a bite at before parting ways and heading home. I absently mentioned that I had not eaten a hamburger since coming to Germany, and then Y insisted that we go to McDonalds for burgers.
We had fun there as well, just hanging out. At one point, Y's mom (who is in Afghanistan ) sent him a check in text, and it was actually really cool because he told her that we were hanging out, and Y's mom sent me a hello. Then Y taught me enough Persian that I could introduce myself in a video to his mother, which we sent ("I am Jason").
His mom's reaction was really cool - she seemed so happy to meet me, and sent a really long reply in Persian, which Y told me was saying things along the lines of "Hi, Jason, nice to meet you! I'm Y's mom! I am so glad that you are hanging out with him! How are you? I am doing well...." it continued on - it was really in depth! But it was so cool, and she seemed so nice, and I don't know why, but it made for a lot of fun!
After we finished eating, it was fairly late, so we said goodbye and headed home.
I haven't told many people yet, and maybe this is only a short interest, but after learning that bit of Persian (momentarily - honestly, I have already forgotten it) I want to learn more Persian. It is such a beautiful language, and I have been looking into the history behind it which is also really cool. It is an interesting language as well, and I have read that it lends itself well to poetry and writing. Like I said, maybe it is only a short interest of mine - but I hope not, because Persian is really interesting.
And yesterday not much happened. But I must say, that Germans are a really nice bunch. My host mom gave me a 20 euro bill and asked me to go to the store and buy as many pizzas as I could, to last our (big) family for the next while. I tried to balance out "as many pizzas as possible" with "as many interesting/yummy flavours" as possible, and ended up with 10 pizzas at the checkout. I was kind of embarrassed about it (being one teenager buying 10 pizzas at once seems a little more than excessive, when you don't know that I'm buying it for me and all of my host siblings, and not just for myself to have a bingefest on later). But I was able to joke around with the cashier about it, and when I couldn't fit all of the pizzas into the bag I brought with me, the lady was really nice about it and we talked a little further while I had to buy a plastic bag from her.
And today is uneventful. I thought I would go on a hop on hop off tour of Hamburg today, but I got confused by the ticket buying process and suddenly did not feel like doing so, so I will wait until the weekend and maybe see if my host parents/host family would like to go with me.
Two pieces of exciting news: I got invited to a get together with Y and a few other friends from my German Learning class this weekend! And I also got surprised by my host parents with the news that the whole family is going to a rented house in Denmark for Easter Weekend! I am very excited for both of those!
I love March Break/Frühjahrsferien. (I wonder why?)
Hopefully all is well with you guys! And I will hopefully talk to you soon!