When I started working for this Firma I could not have imagined even in my wildest dreams that I would get to go on an all-expenses-paid trip to Germany innerhalb 3 months since I joined. But as things developed, so did a new project. Then September arrived, and I was flying to Stuttgart.
It was the first time I was traveling out of (Incredible) India, my first time on an international flight. Naturally, I had ideas of the grandeur that awaited me, and I wasn’t let down. The recently built Flughafen at Mumbai had me awestruck; it was beautiful! There was just so much to see! And because I had cleared the security and immigration checks a good 3.5 hours before my flight, I had more than enough time to wander and shop at the duty-free. I was like a kid in a Süßwarenladen. I went verrückt.
10 hours later, I landed at Stuttgart after a hurried change of flight at Zürich. After the warm and quite humid weather in India, Stuttgart was like a blast from a freezer, even though the temperature hovered around a good 13 degrees C. The air was crisp, clean and cold-all of which I loved. The journey from Stuttgart to Schwäbisch Hall was beautiful; the road was lined on both sides alternately by trees and rolling plains. Herbst was making his presence felt; the green, red, yellow, purple and orange leaves were already turning the landscape into nature’s Fall-Autumn Collection 2014.
On reaching Schwäbisch Hall (a small town with just 40,000 odd inhabitants), I met one of the sweetest, nicest and liveliest people I have had the good fortune of knowing. Frau Benzinger made herself a place in my heart at “Hallo! Let’s get you settled in your apartment!” The said apartment, in less than an hour, had already become “home” (Here, I should probably mention that I’m shit scared of the dark and of living alone in a house. But this new little apartment was so cozy and comfortable, that I had absolutely no Angst here).
A sturdy apple tree stood right outside my front door, sagging with the weight of hundreds of apples.
Frau B had planted flowering bushes all around the house and they were having a gala time blooming in the ‘summer’. The tail-less house Katze, Mimi, and me had an instant bonding; she now regularly waits for me to come back from work. Our deal is, I scratch her neck and she does not scratch my hand. Honestly, she’s the only cat I have ever liked!
This past week in Schwäbisch Hall was a whirlwind of new experiences. I went to the nearby castle, hiked up the hill and climbed the tower at Einkorn (what a beautiful view I had from up there!).
I drank Quitte Champagne, tried my hand at cooking (and FAILED – I even burnt my toast!), tasted (and liked!) duck, beef, pork, Currywurst, went crazy in Hussels (and ended up with a big bowl of candy that I can’t seem to finish no matter how much I eat), went to a Biergarten, went cycling and got lost, guzzled bottles of Apfelsaft, made new friends and learnt how to save money ( 😛 ). The one thing I miss about India though, is the water – just plain old tap-water (without Kohlensäure) that I don’t have to lug home from the Supermarkt. Almost everyone here drinks bottled water, either sparkling or still.
Jetzt, the future plans include spending the saved money on some retail therapy, going to Brussels on the weekend and going to Oktoberfest if possible. I wonder how I’ll look in a dirndl.
What a week!
(And, ja, the German words my blog is peppered with, is the result of this brief stay in Deutschland.)