My 2021 trip to Germany - Part 13 - The Last Day and Flying Home

5개월 전

Hello everyone! I arrived back in the US about a week ago, but did not summarize the last day of my trip or my trek home. So I am writing this article to do that. We also made several recordings in Germany which I will be posting in the near future. Let's discuss the last day!

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Day 13

The Last Day and Flying Home

Waking Up for Church

I had finished the article the night before, and therefore slept until 8am last Sunday. We were playing in the church service at 10am. I had breakfast with Hinrich's brother. We had Musli, and we discussed what he planned to do with the rest of his summer.

Around 9:15am, we left for the church. It was raining so we took the car. We got there around 9:30am. We had to set the keyboard up, and first tried to carry it up the spiral staircase to where the organ is (and where musicians usually go). We quickly decided that carrying the keyboard around that staircase was a recipe for disaster. So we just set it up on the main floor of the church. We ran through the pieces we intended to play, and made some last minute changes. It felt good to be playing in a church service again. The week prior had been the first time in a long time that I hadn't had to play in a service, and it felt weird.

The service began at 10am, and of all of my experiences in Germany. The hardest place to understand what was going on was that church service. The only things I recognized were the Lord's prayer and the apostle's creed. I whispered them in English. In regards to the rest of the service, I literally had no idea what they were saying. During the sermon, I thought the pastor was talking about the passage where Jesus calms a storm with His hand, but afterward I learned from Hinrich that that wasn't even close. I had thought it was that passage because I recognized that she was talking about a storm and rain, but Hinrich said she was announcing that an outdoor event was being cancelled due to the storm. During the service, I heard this beautiful piece of music. I hope to find an English version to bring to my church:

Going to a Soccer Game

After the church service, Hinrich's club was having a soccer game. So we decided to go to watch (Hinrich was needed for the game). Hinrich's friend and his little brother came to go with us, and we all drove our bikes there. Overall, the game was very interesting to watch. After 90 minutes, neither team had scored, and therefore the game was a draw. I was a little surprised by that, but I guess not all sports are as action packed as football.

I talked to Hinrich's friend's little brother about what he studies in school, and asked about his English class. English class, even at his age, is entirely in English. I asked what books they've read because I assumed they would have read some of the classic books, but Hinrich told me they don't start reading those until later. His friend's little brother told me they have a textbook, and that they had recently learned about homecoming. At first I didn't understand what he meant. It didn't click to me that you could "learn" about homecoming because I thought that was something that all schools have (as in a dance each year). When I realized what he meant, I asked him to describe homecoming to me, and he said he didn't remember enough to confidently do it. I learned that in Germany they only have one dance, and it is for your very last year of school. I'm not going to lie, I'm really glad we had school dances before the formal date dances (like prom). I think it helped to take the pressure off at the date dances. Though I shouldn't really talk because I played chess for most of my senior homecoming. The only reason I danced for a few minutes was because my friend agreed to read a book I'd recommended if I did.

Going to the Gym

I then went to the gym, and did a shoulder and core workout.

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Playing Games and Music

When we got home from the game, Hinrich, me, and his brother played the game bluff again. I lost several times and won once. After we played that game for a while, we decided to have some fun and read through some music together. Since Hinrich's brother plays violin, we googled "easy string trios" and found a document of several string trios by Adolphe Blanc. I was actually very surprised at how well we did. The piano part was pretty readable, and I finally learned why there are so many repeats in classical pieces: so that when you are sight reading, you get a second chance. There were a few times where I absolutely flubbed something the first time through, and got it the second. The universal rule is just keep going no matter what. I really wish I lived right next door so we could do that more! I hope I get an opportunity to play chamber music again someday. That was my first time, and I can definitely see why my teacher chose to specialize in it for his career. I did once see an ad for a chamber music group in the area for anyone of any level. The ad said they will pair you with an ensemble of a similar level. Perhaps I will look into that someday.

While I didn't record anything we played, here's one of the videos Hinrich and I made. It's the 14th song in the Song Cycle called "Die Post". There are English subtitles available:

Dinner

For dinner, we got the Turkish kebab again. It was quite good! It is a shame that we don't have that kind of food in America. I will miss it! Hinrich's brother was kind enough to pay for our dinners. While we ate, we discussed what's going on in the world, and the European Union.

Discussing Schubert

When we got home, we talked about Schubert for a while, and then went to bed. I packed my things for the flight to come, and went to sleep.

Waking up for the flight

We had to wake up super early for the plane ride home. I woke up around 5:45am to shower and finish packing. We left for the airport around 6:30am and got there at 7:30am. I had a bit of a heart attack when I got to the counter, and the woman asked me for my PCR covid test (I'd gotten an antigen test), but she corrected herself, and I passed.

Something hard about the German airport is that people just assumed I spoke German, and would tell me things in German. I did my best to figure out what they meant because I didn't want to set myself apart by being the only guy who needs English. I made it most of the way until they told me I had to switch my mask. I just told them I didn't speak German, and they told me in English.

When I got through security, I tried to start working on this article, but the internet was really slow, and so instead I just watched YouTube videos I'd downloaded. I had downloaded more videos about artificial intelligence, data analysis, and python. My hope is to upgrade and improve our curation bot this fall.

I had to fly from Hanover to Frankfurt, and in Frankfurt bought a hotdog. The woman informed me the bun had dairy, and just gave me the hotdog. It was really weird walking around eating a hotdog without a bun, but hey it was surprisingly one of the better hotdogs I've ever had. I had gone to the Frankfurt airport on my last trip to Germany in 2019, and we had discovered a huge room with a beautiful grand piano, and murals to the great composers. One of my biggest regrets is that I was too nervous to play the piano last time. So I walked around looking for the room, but unfortunately did not find it. Instead, I waited at the gate for the plane to come.

There was a group of exchanged students coming to America, and they were very interesting. They were singing music I presume from their culture, and it was different than anything I had ever heard. They didn't seem to care about singing in public, or even expressing themselves. When we were standing in line for the plane, I was trying to read their shirt to read where they are from, and one girl looked straight at me and said "they look at us like we are some kind of creatures." It was at that point that I stopped trying to read their shirts. I feel bad if I offended them, but there's nothing that can be done now.

On the plane ride home, I met a very friendly man from Austria. He travels a lot for his work, and he told me everywhere he had ever traveled. I managed to find a video of it here:

He had been to 32 of the 50 United States in addition to a ton of countries. He and I talked a lot. Otherwise, I also watched 3 movies on the flight: Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, and Walk the Line.

We arrived in Washington DC, and I went to a bar in the airport to order a hamburger. It was super expensive, and only mediocre in terms of Hamburgers, but it was nice to be back in a culture where I understand what's going on around me.

From Washington DC, I flew to Philadelphia.

Home

The Philadelphia airport was mobbed. It was the most hectic place I went throughout the whole trip. Apparently there had been some kind of delay, and a lot of people where landing. There were tons of cars, and everyone was being pretty impatient. I managed to find my parents, and we went home. I then gave my mom what I had made at the pottery place in Germany. I hope to someday soon make a brown owl for pepper:

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Conclusion

This trip was a true blessing! I'm very grateful to Hinrich and his family for giving me the opportunity to learn so much, and make so many memories. I had an amazing time, and very much enjoyed German culture and seeing parts of Northern Germany! I also want to say thank you to everyone here on Steem who supported these articles logging my trip! This platform was a huge blessing for describing the trip to my friends and family back home, and I'm glad that people also enjoyed reading about it here on Steem. Next week I start college, and I hope to make some articles from there! Thanks again everyone! Have an awesome day!

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I have read all of your post about the journey in Germany. It was a great enjoyable time for you. Best wishes for you next time.

The fact that both teams did not score a single goal in 90 minutes of play can be taken as both tough teams, it is very casual that eating a hotdog while walking on Frankfurt streets. I have never been to Germany, but after reading your post, would like to visit at least once in my life.

You are lucky that you have such an amazing trip in a beautiful country, Germany. I have also learned more about Germany from your post.

Thanks for sharing your lovely activity with us bro,

The images with post made more beautiful your activity,

#affable

#india

Few days ago, I came across your profile.
Your posts are amazing
You really had fun at Germany
Much respect

They were singing music I presume from their culture, and it was different than anything I had ever heard.

Wow you have enjoyed the wonderful event, this reminds me of my college days when we performing music on the train journey

wooow...like your post.AMAZZING!!!