Deja vu on the way to Konstanz – July 15

The work day was every bit the disaster I thought it would be so I packed my things and caught a train to Zurich. It would take me about an hour and a half out of my way, but there was important work to be finished.

I got off the train and decided to find a toilet before going too far. What I found was probably the oddest toilet I’ve ever seen. Unisex with this odd raised seat you have to fight with to lower. Someone was getting awfully creative with the design on this one. And of course, it was a mess.

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I was pleased to find the office was a short walk from the train station. I was even more pleased to find storage lockers by the reception desk where I could leave my luggage as I finished up work. I took a seat in the break room and enjoyed the sweet network connectivity while listening to a group of guys who were watching a football match. Of course I couldn’t understand what they were saying but I enjoyed what I imagined to be some good natured ribbing, plenty of laughter.

Ate a quick snack as I finished up my work. Sent a message to my next host with an estimated arrival and headed to the train station.

The day was moving like clockwork until an announcement was made that gave me a horrible flashback to being stranded in Spain. “All passengers will need to get off the train at the next station and get on the bus”. Dammit! At least this time the announcement was made in English so I knew what was happening. I followed the herd and pushed my way on to an overflowing bug. This is great fun! We wound through the countryside. Since I’m not at all familiar with the area I had no idea of what kind of delay this was causing. I turned on the phone and message my host with an update.

At the train station we piled off the bus and onto a train. Turns out there hadn’t been too much of a delay. While I had missed the intended train another was there when we arrived.

I was on my way to Konstanz, Germany. Back in April I had hosted a couple young Germany girls, Laura and Leonie, via couchsurfing. Laura and her family insisted I come stay with them if Konstanz was on my itinerary. I took them up on their gracious offer. Laura’s mom (Hilda) had offered to pick me up and suggested a station that was closer to their home.

I stepped off the train and was essentially standing in a field. It felt pretty remote and the fact Hilda wasn’t there worried me just a little. Worst case scenario I get on another train and go back to Konstanz. I got a message that she was on her way which was a relief.

Hilda greeted me with a giant smile and a big hug. It was like being greeted by an old friend. Another of her daughters attends school nearby so she took me on a quick tour of the campus as we looked to see if she was still there with her classmates. No luck finding her so we went home. Laura had graciously given up her room for me to sleep in. They showed me around the house and taught me the important things like how to make coffee and do my laundry.

Hilda ran off to the store while I got settled in a bit and checked to see if connectivity was going to be an issue. I was pleased to find I was connecting fine!

She returned and called me down to the kitchen where I found her making coffee to go with several different little cake selections. By then Laura had returned home so we had a nice visit and snack. They decided to take me down to the lake where we stopped for ice cream and had a good time watching a trio of older gentlemen trying to wrangle a boat and trailer into the water using a tiny little boat ramp. Clearly they’ve done this quite a bit and there was no cause for concern, but I was sure things were going to go terribly wrong.

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I returned to my work while she ran some errands. She had invited me to join her at a BBQ her sporting club was hosting later in the evening.

The time came for the BBQ so I helped carry things to the car and we took the short drive to the club where we were greeted by glasses of champagne and men firing up the grill. Unfortunately for me not many of the attendees spoke English but Hilda did a fantastic job of making me feel like I was part of the conversation, frequently translating for and to me.

She dropped me back at home so I could continue my work day and she returned to the party. It had been a fairly hot day but the evening was cooling off very nicely. Should make for a great night sleep.

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