Saturday, August 28, 2010

Muenchen! Ich bin hier!

I've arrived! I had an uneventful flight to Zurich, everything worked out quite well. I spent most of it sleeping with ear plugs in or listening to music. The flight landed at 8:40 and I cleared baggage, customs, and immigration by 9:00. The oddest thing about this was the "Nature noises" soundtrack playing in the tram car to the baggage claim area. What the heck Switzerland? I then picked up a train ticket to Munich that would leave at 10:50 and waited.

Unfortunately, I misplaced my ticket between the ticket booth and the Starbucks where I set up shop, which, if you're wondering, are approximately 10 yards apart. This I didn't realize until about 15 minutes before my flight left, so I scurried around the train station looking at every single place I went. I finally found it behind the counter at Starbucks (the guy who served me had put them in a drawer and his colleagues didn't look there when I asked if they saw them). I then rushed down to platform 1 just in time to see the train for Winterthur pull away (I'm not even exaggerating).

SO, I then went back to the ticket booth and bought another ticket, which was actually 11CHF or 5-ish Euros cheaper AND it was direct. So I waited a few more hours and then hopped on the train. It was also fairly uneventful despite my awkwardly huge suitcase (57 lbs (to my parent: sorry for the luggage charge)). The most remarkable thing was that the countryside looked like the quintessential Swiss and German countrysides that you always hear about.

The forests were dark, deep, and dense, with fog touching the tops of the trees and occasional wisps mingling in the lower branches. The meadows and farmlands were green, well kept and I saw quite a few livestock, including thousands of cows and a pack of baby goats (with mama and a herder). The shingles on the house were red and quite a few of them had ivy growing all over. Especially at the farm houses, I often thought "How old are these buildings? What are their stories?"

And now, at 9:30 PM (Munich time), I'm sitting in my hostel room with my 4 roommates, all of us on our computers. There's banging and shouts outside as only youth can produce. I would say I've had a good day, barring the small issue of finding the public restrooms at the train station and the snags I talked about earlier. Heck, I don't even feel all that tired.

Pictures will happen soon. I didn't take any in transit because I didn't want to be "That Tourist" and I also didn't want to misplace my camera or have it stolen. Ciao!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Contact Info

Well, it's winding down-- I'm all packed and in the process of saying goodbyes. I'll be printing out my boarding pass soon, too. I would love to hear from you while I'm away and there is a ridiculous amount of ways for you to contact me.

Phone: Don't do that.
Facebook: well, that's probably how you found this thing in the first place.
Skype: my skype name is crawleen90
Comment: I have comments open for everybody to use
Colleen Hayes
c/o Frau Irmard Volz
Brunhildenstr. 29a
85579 Neubiberg

Seriously, send me letters and post cards/talk to me/contact me. If you'd like to receive things from me then I shall need your contact information as well. Leave a comment, send me a message, post it some where.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Counting the time in quarter tones

Okay, so I leave in 2 days for Deutschland. It's still not quite real, but I suppose I'll deal with that when I get there and realize it isn't all just an elaborate movie set/hoax/dream circa Inception.

I'm still in the process of stuffing my suitcase and even with the Hayes family's fantastic ability to pack light and tight, I still have to make sure that I'm not over-indulging in clothing. I've bopped over to various stores and picked up loose ends like toiletry kits, ear plugs, alarm clocks, etc. Its a lot like packing for college, only instead of thinking "okay, what else could I possibly need" it's "okay, what could I possibly leave."

So now, I suppose, it's time to start making my goodbyes and getting pumped for the journey (not really like I'm not bouncing on the balls of my feet already). I should also definitely return the Lego Harry Potter game to Blockbuster, that isn't something to forget about. The next two days will surely be full of scrambling, with a few moments to slow down and savor.

I suppose I will talk to you again from the other side of the Atlantic. Auf wiedersehen!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Well, hey there!

At that moment...I knew what it means to be at home in the world. It is to experience a complete consonance between one's own body and the body of the earth. Between self and other. It little matters whether the other is a landscape, a loved one, a house, or an action. Things just flow. There seems to be no resistance between oneself and the world. The relationship is all.

This is probably my favorite quote from At Home in the World by Michael Jackson (no, not the dead pop star). I read this book in my Freshman Year Experience class, which took its name from At Home in the World. Through this class, 9 of my fellow classmates, myself, and our professor Eva explored what the concept of Home meant to us and to other people throughout the world. It was pretty awesome.

The band Hope for AGoldenSummer has a pretty good idea of what home is as well. Home is the place where they catch you when you fall. And we all fall. Their website.

I had a much longer post here before but I decided that I could sum it up in these few words. Over the past 20 years I have made homes in many places, the two most poignant being Berkeley Heights, NJ and the surrounding areas, where I've lived for 16 years and Guilford College, which I have attended for 2. There are other places that share parts of my heart, but these two are the places where "things just flow." They and the people in them mean the world and more to me.

And here I go, setting off to with the hope of finding yet another home, far far away, even though at this point I'm pretty sure that two is quite a lot already. At  6:35 PM EST on Friday, August 27th, 2010 (barring any delays) I'll be getting on a plane that will take me to Zurich, Switzerland and then I will hop on a train to Munich, Germany, where I will be living and learning for a semester.

What? Crazy! Splendid! Wow!

So, it will be nice to have you, from whichever home or family you hale, along with me on my journey. It will be crazy, it will be strange, it will be scary, but I'm mostly excited. Thanks for coming along and sharing this with me.