And then there was summer.
After a year of essays, assignments, homework, IA’s, written tasks finally: Freedom! Such a great feeling, a bit like in the beginning of UWC were it felt like everything is possible (so poetic 😉 ). Not that I didn’t enjoy my time at UWC, but the feeling of being allowed to sleep in and not having yet another deadline right in front of you (at least for some time). Though, with great freedom comes great responsibility (didn’t somebody said that at some point), which is why I made a great ‘What-to-do-in-summer’ list which obviously didn’t work out. There was so much stuff which I said I would do over the year, like writing a blog 😉 , meeting loads of people, get a job, travel the world and clean my room. Basic stuff you know. But nothing felt really pressing as I had three month, right!?
Probably a good time to touch on this point now. Before UWC I thought it was great to have three months of summer, but latest by the beginning of summer I noticed what a shit idea this was (at least for me who has there family nearby and who’s ticket doesn’t cost a thousand bucks to go back home). Three months. This was such a contrast to the nine months of suffering in the IB. I mean I understand why the college does that (college costs, not wanting to make students uncomfortably with not being able to go home over vacation), but I simply get totally out of academic mode in that time.
This was great for the start though. After Gerardo (my roomie) had visited me for four days I went again to Calais with two friends from campus. We volunteered and camped there for four days and it was again a blast. This time I also did anthropological research for the most bad ass essay there is in my IB life: the Extended Essay (4,000 Words). For all who don’t know anthropology too well, this means that I basically interviewed a bunch of volunteers and made notes on the behavior of people and structure in the warehouse (the place where we volunteered). It was as said above a quite great time, and I feel like I bonded a lot more with the people there than last time as I really tried to step out of my comfort zone to get into touch with the volunteers a bit better. Also, we had a lot of fun at the beach where we successfully climbed an old 2nd World War bunker (le Fort Lapin) and had a really great time wandering and dancing through the low-tide sea.
Also, I had my first experience in hitchhiking there and back, which was great as we were quite lucky and met a bunch of really nice people, including an English-German grandmother who was super amazing and took us right in front of our camping spot. I think I’m going to do this a lot more often now, sadly this often only works if you don’t have time pressure which is mostly never the case for me.
After Calais Gerardo (who had spent his time in Norway in between) came over for a last few days, which we spent on the countryside, until he left for real. It was again quite sad, especially as I’d started to realize a bit by then what it means to not know whether you are going to see a person again, at least within the next 10 years or so (Gerardo is a second year, so it was his last year on campus). Though I’m a bit jealous as he’s going to spent his next years in Florida 😉 !!
June was quite packed for me. This is why four days after Gerardo left, I was travelling again as well. To be fair, this was also a bit too much for me, hosting, and travelling and not having even a week to chill in between especially after such a year at UWC, but I was going to have a lot of chill time later in summer. I will plan next summer better ^^ . Anyways, this time I was starting the biggest journey of the summer: Travelling to Egypt to visit my Roomie Mario. When I booked the tickets I was first annoyed, because it said that I’d have 16 hours of waiting time, until I realized that I was having 16h in Istanbul which I could use to meet a friend from campus who’s living there! Ege (the guy 🙂 ) and me had (at least from my perspective) a really great time in Istanbul, and I quite enjoyed seeing it a bit more through the eyes of a local and check out better places through this. If I were just a normal tourist I guess it would have been a bit boring. Istanbul is a really great town, so beautiful and I wonder whether I could live there one day. Another good thing about the journey was that I was breaking my “fast” as a vegetarian for the first time in 2,5 years as Mario told me that it would be near to impossible to be a Veggie in Egypt which is why I also broke my fast in Istanbul so that I could enjoy some Turkish Sea Food (I never tasted that before). Actually, I think I judged it too hard in the first place because while writing this I have the taste again in my mouth and I’d really like to have one now 😛 . Though, to be fair, I’m also a bit hungry now!
Next up: Egypt! After lying on the freaking floor at Atatürk Airport, I almost instantly fell asleep on the flight to Cairo. After arriving there I was a bit nervous as the Egyptian Consulate in Hamburg had told me that I might not get into the country, but (without trying to enforce any stereotypes, just retelling the situation) after they saw my visa money at the airport I had no problem, also thanks to the help of a German-Egyptian. Mario and his father picked me up there and what can I say, everything was different. After having been in Calais so close before, and then also Hamburg now this was really something different. I was totally not ready for Egypt mode yet, but the coming 1,5 weeks were amazing. As Mario’s friend Bebo would describe it, I became fully “Egyptianized” (after having gone through some daily challenges 😀 ). Nearly everybody I met was so welcoming and friendly to me, especially Mario’s family and I feel like we kind of understood each other even though my Arabic is no better than knowing a few insults. I especially enjoyed comparing lifestyles in Egypt and Germany with Mario, and I learned a hell lot about the society, politics, religion and sustainability. Mario was a more than perfect host, he tried and managed to make everything perfect for me and I bet it must have been really stressful for him, so if you every come to Egypt and are in the lucky position of being friends with the most amazing guy imaginable, you should visit him ❤ . Probably my favorite moment of all was when (no exaggeration) about a 1000 Egyptians tried to get into one subway trolley, and when it arrived they were all clapping their hands and screaming happily, also whilst pressing themselves in. We were all laughing (well, what was possible when you’re squished in a way that you never imagined you could be in).
I really noticed that travelling further abroad than another European city (at least for me), helps me a lot in understanding myself, the world and to widen my bubble. On the other hand, it’s often a lot more expensive…
Well, than most of travelling month was over. I have to say, June was probably the best part of summer, and there were so many memories that would take up books to describe, which I’m all really happy of. It meant a lot to me after one year of being in Freiburg, as I feel like travelling changed a lot for me, first of all because I travel a lot more alone or with friends rather than my family (I mean I did it a lot as well before, but somehow I feel now a lot more independent). It’s just different if you travel to Istanbul and learn about the problems and advantages of life there whilst you know that a guy from your History class lives there.
Well, enough of pseudo-philosophical bullshit.
Hope you have had a nice day and loads of those to follow!