- October 27th, 2009
The train journey from Regensburg to Freiburg was largely uneventful. I had to change at Nürnburg, but I don't really remember anything about the station there. After five and a half hours, I arrived in Freiburg station; Joel and Chris were waiting for me there. As we went to get something to eat, I discovered that Chris didn't remember me. Fair enough, I guess! It was back in 2006, and I was slightly less sociable than I am now (Which isn't saying much, really). We'd met at a couple of GPA parties, at the same time as I'd met Thomas (Who I met again at the end of last year), but I guess I didn't make much of an impression back then. I tend to try to blend in at parties. When I told Chris we'd talked about Kings of Convenience, however, he remembered me. So that was good!
We sat outside a café, and Joel and I tried a local dish, Flammkuchen (literal translation 'flame-cake'); essentially a pizza with ham and onions, with sour cream instead of tomato and cheese. It was really good! We went to a nearby pub and had a beer; I managed to come across as someone who had very little knowledge of both beer and German. After that we made our way back to Chris' place, where we drank more beer and waited for a few of his friends to arrive. Corinna arrived first, followed by Florian. Corinna had lived in Guildford for a while, so she knew Joel already. Florian lived in Ireland for a while.
At around 10:30pm, after about 4 or 5 beers (Bottles, mind you!) we made our way to the pub/club, in the freezing cold. We milled around for a bit, and I had a Weissbier, which Chris informed me was made with yeast. It tasted odd, but nice enough! We moved back and forth between the pub area and the dancefloor, and spoke to a few German people. Chris, with his tongue firmly in his cheek, introduced me to a guy who'd lived in Alabama for a while. Before long, someone said the magic word (Jaegermeister), and shots went around. I had two, and a whiskey and coke, and eventually ended up on the dancefloor, dancing like some kind of twat. That didn't last long.
Suddenly it was 2am; outside the pub I remember some German guy talking to me about football (The next day, Joel and Chris told me I was visibly bored). Eventually we left, and made our way to Florian's house. I'm not sure how much I was participating in the conversation at this stage. I just remember Florian preparing several Vodka/Red Bulls, which I had one of. Corinna did the splits in his kitchen. Eventually I left with Joel and Chris, and we got back at around 4am, at which point it seemed prudent to eat cheeses and drink red wine. There was an Austrian cheese which I really enjoyed, but I've forgotten the name of it now.
I was fine the next morning; reassuring after my red-wine bender, but I was being a lot more sensible. We spent Tuesday walking around Freiburg, without much in mind. We had a really good doner kebab, had a look around Game Stop, and went to an independent record store. I was looking for German music in particular; they had a pretty small electronic section, but some fairly obscure stuff! Considering the poor exchange rate, though, it was all pretty expensive, so I only bought one CD in the end; Pillow - Flowing Seasons. Turns out it's not even German! It's on a German label, though. Also, it's really nice; ambient stuff, a bit like Helios, but with vocals.
Not long after that we went home. Florian arrived, and we played Assassin's Creed and Tomb Raider Underworld for a while, before heading back into town, this time with Chris' girlfriend Anne. There we went to a schnitzel restaurant, which was amazing. I made a point of ordering in German, which was met by applause, and the food was great. We were joined later by a friend of Florian's, whose name may or may not have been Pia. Her English was really good. Before long we left the restaurant. Joel and Chris and I went for a few more drinks, but I became really tired, so we got home at around 1am.
The next morning I had to leave fairly early; we walked to a bakery to get some croissants, and ate them with German ham and Swiss cheese. Then we walked to the station, which took about 40 minutes. Waiting for the train, I felt the same kind of thing about Chris as I'd felt after I met Thomas last year; even though I'd only really spent a couple of days with him, he felt like an old friend. Moral of the story: German people are cool. I left Freiburg at about 11am, and got home at about 8:30pm. So, it was a long journey.