Monday, September 26, 2016

Last Week in Marburg

Our last week in Marburg was very full! On Saturday, I went to Kloster Eberbach and on Sunday Carson went hiking in the Kellerwald and we had the Kochkurs in the evening. 

Before the cooking class, we had our last Durum Doener with friends.

On Monday, we had class and then in the evening, we met up with the other research Fulbrighters. The language course was only offered to thirty researchers. The other 45 already had enough language ability to get by in Germany so they had their orientation Monday through Wednesday in Marburg. They stayed at a hotel near the Elizabethkirche and had a big city tour before heading down to the restaurant where we got to meet them (and have a free dinner, which we were all about, since our free meals only happened during our orientation in August). 

There were about 85 people, so the restaurant was only open for us. We had a great buffet dinner set up in the basement area and we made our plates overflow. 

After dinner, someone suggested that we go to the Biergarten up at the Schloss (we had a delicious dinner inside this rather expensive restaurant on our second day of orientation but the outside is where you can order things not on the full menu). Word got around, and about 30 of us headed up. It had gotten chilly in the last couple of days, so our group of Americans happened to be the only group of people brave enough to sit outside.

Julianne and I debated coming up with the group because we had a big German test the next day, but we decided to go because if we were going to fail (and we were pretty sure we would), it would happen whether or not we studied. So we took this picture to emphasize our irresponsibility in "partying" (it was 9pm) instead of studying. Behind the scenes, those weren't our glasses... we grabbed someone else's empty glasses off the table to take this picture. Super wild. 

The streets of the Altstadt were deserted as we walked down. We realized we didn't have long to make the bus so four of us jogged ahead in hopes that we would... and after jogging 3/4 of a mile, we got to the stop two minutes after it left. Now we were winded and sweaty and sore and had to walk up The Hill, to add insult to injury. 

The orientation group met on the other side of the building where level one had our classes, so Jessie took a picture with their sign as we walked to meet our doom, aka take our German test. In a happy twist, the test was not nearly as bad as expected. My grade wasn't super high, but that was mostly due to the fact that my spelling in German is very bad. I'm okay with that, and to be honest my grade in the class didn't matter at all because I'm not going to a university and I'm not needing to pass a competency test in Germany because I'm a spouse, so the stakes were really low. 

That night, the orientation group came up to the Studentendorf for dinner. We had a really nice buffet and all our teachers were invited and we celebrated the end of classes (even though we still had class for some reason on Wednesday and Thursday). The Flunkyball game we'd played the week before had sounded really fun to people, so we taught some newcomers and some of our language group how to play. I watched, and it may have been more fun to observe the smack-talk and antics of the group playing. 

 On Wednesday morning we had a follow-up meeting with the Fulbright director to review our time in Marburg, offer suggestions and make comments to improve or continue what they're doing for future Fulbright groups in Marburg. During the second half of the morning, we had our last session of actual lessons (we watched a movie in German on Thursday), so I took some pictures of our building just to remember it. 

Our door is the closed one on the right (I was late to class)

We played Taboo in class.

We returned our student cards and got our deposits back at the Mensa, so for lunch a few of us went to Rewe (it's a grocery store) and got some lunch things and had a picnic by the Lahn.

Just look at the salami section. They love their sliced meats here. 

That afternoon, we didn't have culture class, but we did meet with Rebecca to give her a gift we'd all pitched in for and to take our group picture. We are missing five people here: Ivan A, Julianne, Jennie, Joan and Annelyse. We all meant to take a picture at orientation and I think that was probably going to be the last time we were all together in one place to take one, so that makes sense. Oh well.

That night, we had another little potluck thing. We were all going to be leaving on Friday, so contributions were a little random. Here's Patricia's marmelade topped with brie on bread. It was good, but the presentation (platter made from a box of Oreos) maybe left a little to be desired (it was all still eaten). We brought the Oreos and some other random things.

After we ate, we headed over to the fire pit and sat around the fire talking and then playing a card game. 

In class on Thursday, we watched a movie with Kevin Spacey called K-Pax. It's an American movie but we watched the version that's dubbed in German, with German subtitles. The first half of it was easy to follow along with because it was less dialog-centric, but the second half was difficult because the plot became more complicated and more dialog-focused. 

After class, we had lunch at a pizza place and then walked to the visitor's center for Universitat Marburg sweatshirts. On our walk back toward the bus, we had one last ice cream at Aroma. This was definitely the cult favorite ice cream place. It was the best and it was cheap (1 Euro for a cone). 

We were going to go back to the dorms to pack, but Jordyn wanted a sweatshirt once she saw ours, so we walked back with her to get one and then we went through the Altstadt on our search for a place to take visa pictures.

We packed in record time for the Bays. In about an hour and a half, we'd gotten everything packed, the room swept, and clothes set out for travel the next day. We were so proud. 

I'm glad we finished when we did, because done or not, we were going down to the Alte Brauhaus with some people for dinner. The wait for food was long, and like most burgers we've had here, they just didn't measure up to the gold standard, which is a burger made by my dad. 

We walked up to the Schloss from there though, and through the Altstadt one last time.

We sat up at the Schloss, drinking wine and eating little cookies and reminiscing over the last six and a half weeks and wondering how we all got so close in such a short time and how it also went by so quickly. Some tears were shed as we hugged and headed down the hill to the bus (we timed it correctly for the first time ever. Despite sentimentality I was NOT going to walk up the big hill one more time).

On Friday morning, we got up and ready quickly before rolling out to head to the train.

We've taken a picture in front of every place we've lived around the time we've moved, and I figured that if our cherry picker's shack we lived in for two months counted, our dorm room for seven weeks probably counted too. I mean, we did register this address with the city. 

We'd planned to walk down the hill, but our sensible friends talked us into putting our bags in their taxis with them and sharing. Julianne and I got the big taxi. We were surprised when the driver went a different way to the train than we'd ever been, but were informed that the usual way was blocked. Why? Oh, well they'd found a WWII bomb and needed to extract it to take it up to the hills and detonate it. Just a normal day, I guess (I may have mentioned this but a few weeks before, our teacher told us to expect a loud noise at noon because they were detonating a WWII bomb around that time. We never heard the noise, but she acted like it was relatively normal).

These are the bags of four people (I guarded them while everyone else went to get coffee/Lloyd's bags).

I used my semesterticket for the last time. This was such a great unexpected thing! I don't have one in Munster, and I miss it already!

We rode the train to Kassel with Julianne, Annelyse, Lloyd and Sophie. From there, Sophie and Lloyd would head to Kiel, Annelyse to Berlin, and Julianne to a small village north of Berlin. Annelyse missed getting off at the right station, so that's why she isn't in this picture (she eventually made it and was fine), but I helped Julianne get her bags to the train and we took a last see-ya-later picture together before they all headed to their new cities. Carson and I got our our train a few minutes later and were on our way.

Can't believe it's over! We loved our time in Marburg!

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