Monday, February 27, 2006

Adventures in germany .. Part 1

It has been really so long since I have written a blog entry! Yes here in Germany and surviving finally. So where do I begin?

8 weeks back…. 29th of December, I left India, my homeland. My mom, brother and cousin were at the airport and I bid them farewell.. Part of me was filled in fear..and the other part was filled with excitement.. So many qns filled my mind and I knew not whom to turn to for ans. I dint know a single soul in Germany! I weighed my baggage and it was 2 Kg over the limit (that was 2 Kg of rice that my mom gave me thinking that there would be no rice in the alien west).. I looked pleadingly into the eyes of the officer and he said.. “ Ok,ok.. not next time though”..

After a super long journey, first of this sort in my life.. I landed here in Germany on thirtieth of December. After checking out, I stepped out of the airport .. The first feelings of extreme fear.. first whoosh of extremely cold air.. is etched in my mind till today. I had the adderess written in my pink notebook..the notebook presented to me by Shiela and Ray on my 21st birthday.. It said,
13, Im Grossen Garten
I just kept staring at it and wondered what on earth it meant and exactly where on hell or heavens this place could be. How was I going to get there. I was given some directions by some far away relative who stayed down South and I had no idea what that meant either except that it involved me taking some two busses.. I was left alone with 32 Kgs of Baggage..How was I going to travel by bus on my own?? Man! I had never felt more forsaken than that in my life.

Ok, then I decided, I should take a cab. And looked around for one. And there was none in sight! Where were those black cars with yellow tops or blue comfort cars.. ?? “Oops..this is not Singapore babes.. Taxis around the world don’t look the same for goodness sake.. What are u thinking? Ok…so problem no. 1 is I don’t know how to get home. Problem no. 2.. I dint know how taxis looked like??!!” ..God! I walked up to this woman who was nearest to me and I asked her in a trembling voice.. (coz of cold).. hmm “Wo ist Taxi?” .. in broken german it meant..Where is taxi.. She pointed in some general direction. When I walked in that direction I saw several white Benz cars and collected that these could be taxis.

Finally got on to the taxi and showed the driver my add.. Then I saw an instrument I had never before seen ! The navigator. I was so awed by that in the beginning..U just gotta enter ur destination and it tells u when to turn right and left till u reached! When I reached my home, my mouth fell open. Here was one of the most beautiful structures I had ever seen! It had a chimney and I looked like the chocolate cake house in the Hansel and Gratel story!

There was snow everywhere and I had never seen anything more beautiful or angelic in my life.. An old lady(whom I now call Oma – meaning grandma in German) opened the door when she saw me and was extremely hospitable.. Atleast 3 times my age she was a whole lot stronger than me and carried my baggage with 3 times less difficulty than me down the staircase. She showed me my part of the house which was in the cellar.,,i.e the basement. Oma’s daughter came along and she could speak English. She offered to take me around in her car to show me the places around.

Well, that night I had horrible diarrhoea.. and I wanted to run away from Germany. My place in the basement was haunted for sure.. All I heard was silence.. There were no signs of cars or people anywhere on the road..and it was dark at four o clock. I looked at my watch every one min and noticed just how slowly time passed. How were six months going to pass? Impossible!!!!

The next morning, I left my home and got down at the last stop of the only bus from my home. It was called Schloss and after walking around a bit I landed at luisen platz. I was so overwhelmed because there were too many busses and trams on the road at the same time and I just dint know where to stand!! I went into the famous Luisen Centre. After wandering around a bit I found the telephone and made a call to Brindha.. someone I got to know thru my far away relative. She was the only contact I had. I was totally lost and needed to run into some English speaking soul who understood my position. I called her and told her I wanted to get to her place immly! I had no idea where Stuttgart was(where she stayed).. I thought Stuttgart was some place like City hall from Serangoon North.. And to my shock when I went to the counter, I realised it was 2hrs away !!! I got a train ticket and rushed to her place. That was the start of a slightly better life for me as I got medicines for my diarrhoea, got a phone line and got some real good Indian food…

………To be continued…………