(I’ve added a few more pictures from my camera than normal into this post! Click on them to make them bigger if you want to see them in more detail.)
The stress levels have been up this week. From trying to cook mince, tatties and veg with only two pans, paying the extortionate sum of 3 euros for a small packet of pine nuts, accidently crossing the road on a red man (illegal in this country) to rollerblading on some dangerously slippy leaves – it has not been easy. So we visited Thalkirche Tierpark (Zoo). This zoo was seriously cool – from the clever design of the enclosures making you feel like there was nothing between you and a lion to the funky beer gardens. I decided to enter the bat cave – big mistake. There were bats everywhere, flying in your face and everything, it was carnage. I made a quick exit.
When I got home I watched the news and learned that the first Ebola patient had died in Leipzig. I had just visited Wolfsburg the week before to visit the Autostadt (very cool place) and we had driven past Leipzig. At this point I was already applying the hand sanitizer and worrying when I decided to google ‘Ebola’. Huge mistake. Turns out a major carrier of the disease is bats. Obviously I immediately started to feel ill. I have been assured that I should be OK, however I couldn’t help but move seats on the UBahn today when a man was sneezing near me.
I decided to ditch the daily pilgrimage to the bakery for a pretzel (and yes they have actual pretzel vending machines here – mind blown) and chose instead to eat some fruit and veg. The courgettes are especially fresh here. Time to boost up the immune system I think.
Oh and I also entered a maths lecture by accident this morning and had to endure the walk of shame right from the back to make a swift exit after 10 minutes. I sit at the back not because I am a badman, but because I do not want anyone to be able to read my jumbled half-English half-German notes and therefore have my cover blown as the year-abroad kid.
However, there is nothing quite like the arrival of a 4 day weekend (Fridays and Mondays off) to cheer a stressed-out student up. That and the discovery that all the fitness classes run by the council are completely free if you’re under 21 – how amazing is that? I do need to firstly overcome my lazy ‘Innerer Schweinhund’ (inner pig dog – yet another untranslatable but beautiful German phrase) before lacing up my running shoes. Maybe I’m just suffering from the ‘wow this is new, everything is better’ year abroad student mindset but right now I really think the Germans have things sussed a little bit better than we do.