Hallo again! Classes today have paled in comparison to the beauty of Saltzburg yesterday! I’ll wade through the hundreds of photos my friends and I took and post that hopefully by Wednesday.
Friday afternoon we had classes off, so Maureen and I took off via bike to Braunau, not entirely sure on an exact route. We ended up on a on a mud trail so close to the river, we were actually riding through it in some areas! At one point, an older gentlemen on a bike came up behind me, speaking German at rapid-fire speeds. His spiel ended with a point in the direction we were headed and the word, “Braunau”. I responded “Ya” (it’s one of the few words I know!). He said “danke” and headed quickly ahead. When I caught up to Maureen, I realized what I’d done. “I think I just gave that poor man directions!” Sure enough, we later saw him again, rolling around looking quite confused.
Despite Maureen’s concerns and doubts that we were even headed in the right direction, we eventually did come into town! Even more impressively, I managed to find a bank and get some currency exchanged inside.
Our next battle proved much more difficult. Early on, we stumbled across this bathroom. It appeared to be an elevator, but upon further instruction, you must pay an absurd price to simply open the door and pee! Our bladders were fine during the taking of this picture, so we decided to go to the grocery store and hope for a bathroom there. Upon arrival, our bladders were full of urine and the grocery store was empty of bathrooms. An obscure sign with “WC” pointed in one general direction outside the store, so we toured every store in that strip. In the Euro store, after confused utterings of “bathroom” back and forth with the clerk, she led us to the plungers and toilet scrubbers- the “bathroom” section. Fourty-five minutes later, we found the Toilette, a dirty, toilet-paperless stall. But hey, our bladders were happy!
The weekend (besides Sunday) seemed surprisingly empty on our schedules and I began to worry about boredom. Friday evening we went to vespers and listened to a program we didn’t understand. Afterwards, we drank tea in the Mensa and had many a laugh with new friends. Saturday, we went to church, listened to a (LONG) service we didn’t understand, and then ate lunch and had some laughs with friends.
The food was photogenic as well.
Someone suggested a walk to a river. Little did I know, I’d get to walk on the water!
Maureen and I surrendered our sunglasses to some of the guys, so they could sit on this bench oh-so-nonchalantly.
And… we took a group photo. (Maureen was having bug issues) When we got back to campus, we sat around talking and laughing some more. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that I had a new revelation this weekend. Sometimes life isn’t about the “things” you do, or how much craziness can fit into a day. Often, the most beautiful moments are those spent meeting people and discovering their beauty. A simple laugh can span large enough to gap any language barrier.
Laugher is, after all, the very best medicine. 🙂