Bielefeld, Germany

Day 29

I didn't sleep well last night, and I when I finally woke up, it was a rainy day in Frankfurt. I packed up all my things then ate breakfast with my roommate. We said our goodbyes, and she left for German class while I stayed back and finished packing. Then I checked out and went to the train station. I was on a train for a little over three hours, traveling from Frankfurt to Bielefeld.

At the Bielefeld train station, Doreen (my second cousin) greeted me holding a small sign that said "Welcome Max." It was nice to see Doreen again. We then proceeded to go to the Ikea in Bielefeld. I had never been to an Ikea before, so it was an interesting experience.

When we finally got to Doreen's house, I was greeted by Mathilda, Dietmar, Annegret, and Jens. We ate a little bit as we caught up, and then we went out for a walk. Mathilda eventually warmed up to me and spoke more and more. She speaks incredibly well for her age. After the walk, we played on Mathilda's playground before dinner. Following dinner, Dietmar let me drive his car to go pick up a TV with Jens and Doreen. And finally, we ended the day playing qwirkle, a board game, and Annegret and I played three rounds of Mühle. Oh how I have missed that game.


Day 30

Today was a great family day. After breakfast we rode bikes to go pick strawberries. When we came back we ate a typical German summer lunch, rice with milk, sugar, and apple sauce. Then we made a cake out of the strawberries we picked, took a nap, then ate the cake after we awoke. Next, We drove to a Kindergarten party at the school Doreen wants Matihlda to go to. The Kindergarten was rather interesting because there were no plastic toys or metal play grounds. Everything was natural and outdoorsy.

After the party we went to a lake and ate dinner, after playing on a really cool playground. For dinner I had a delicious French pizza and bratwurst. When we got home from dinner, Annegret, Jens and I left to climb a mountain. The walk ended up lasting two hours, but the scenery was absolutely worth it. When we got back home, I talked with dad on the phone, then played more games with the family. Tonight ended with another late Mühle battle between Annegret and me. I won twice, then she beat me on the last round. So that's five wins for Max, one for Annegret.


Day 31

It was a rainy day in Germany today. Annegret and Dietmar left shortly after breakfast because they work tomorrow. Mathilda was sad they left, but we will see them soon. After lunch we skyped the family! Then I caught up on the computer while everyone slept. Once everyone was up, we went to the university for a final exam showing. At this showing we saw the finished art work and art projects of students. In one exhibit, a student had printed out a quote from a famous person, but spaced out all the letters and put different words in different fonts. Because of this, when you read it, you got a sense of the dictation it was spoken with. It was pretty cool.

After the exhibit, we went out for some delicious ice cream at the best place in town. Then we went back to Doreen's house an picked up four large pizzas, which were actually rather small. Once Mathilda was in bed, Doreen, Jens and I played the Qwirkle and Mühle. Jens finally beat Doreen at Qwirkle, and Doreen only beat me once at Mühle out of the four times we played. (I only lost the first time because I needed to learn her strategy). Then we went to bed.


Day 32 

Today I went to the University in Bielefeld with Doreen. I walked around the "campus," or rather, area around the main building that is so big it reminds me of a airport. It wasn't my cup of tea for a school, but I had a good time. At 4:00pm we left to go pick up Mathilda and go into downtown Bielefeld. We walked around, went to a book store, and found a restaurant. By the end of our venture, Mathilda was exhausted, so we went home and put her to bed. After two games of Qwirkle, Doreen, Jens, and I stayed up talking about political issues and cultural differences between Germany and the US.


Day 33

I got to sleep in and workout this morning before I showered and ate breakfast. Then I rode a bicycle into downtown Bielefeld and went shopping. On my back to Doreen's, I bought a wrap and scone for lunch. I worked out after lunch and showered again before Doreen and Mathilda got home. Then we went to a natural swimming pool, and luckily, the rain cleared out when we got there. Then we came home and ate a special dinner: avacado dip, humus dip, and tomatoes with cheese. Afterwords, we played some games and went to bed.