What a strange and beautiful week.

Oma and I spent two hours together on Monday. I asked her questions until she finally asked if I wanted to see pictures.
“Yes, I really want to see pictures.”
“Yes, really.”
She stared at me for a long time in silence. I wrote in my journal that her eyes searched deep into my soul. It was as if she looked for hidden lies or if I really cared about the questions I asked and the pictures I wanted to see. Finally she smiled really big and stood up to get the albums. We spent hours looking through them until Josa called me from upstairs. Oma gave me a picture of her. She is wearing a dress and standing next to the North Sea.

The sun was beautiful on Tuesday. At five o’clock the sun was making silhouettes with trees and windmills. I was at Mira’s (my regional caretaker’s) house in Aachen. “Take off your socks and shoes,” she said, “and roll up your pants. Once the hot water is ready, we can put our feet in the tub.” I smiled when she told me this. We had been outside in the freezing cold. Mira and I spent an hour sitting at the side of the tub with our feet under hot water. I watched my toes wrinkle and didn’t worry about covering my feet. On most days, I would have hidden my feet so Mira wouldn’t see them. I hate my feet. But today, it didn’t matter. I asked Mira what she did every day, and why she was so busy. I asked her what she liked to read and what pleasure she got (that I can’t seem to find) out of cooking. Finally, we made dinner and sat on her big bed to eat. At nine, she took me home.

In November, I made a “Do Not Click!” folder on my computer desktop. It holds pictures that were so wonderful at the time they were taken, but now make me sad. On Wednesday, I thought it would be okay to look at them. I looked through ten of the five hundred photos until I couldn’t take it anymore. I slammed the computer and covered my ears with a pillow. “Helf mir!” I said out loud. I wrote an unsent letter in my journal, read a couple pages of my Beethoven book, then fell asleep.

It had not yet snowed here on Thursday. Exchange students had Facebook status’ saying this year was their first winter with snow. On Thursday, I was sitting on my bed moping about the fact that this year might be my first winter without snow. I looked at the time. 4:10 p.m. A bus would be leaving my dorf in 20 minutes. I wrote on Lissa’s Facebook wall and asked if she could meet me in Aachen, where it had already started to snow. I called and texted her a million times, but she didn’t answer. 4:20. It didn’t matter if she didn’t call back. I needed to get out of the house. I walked to the bus stop and rode to Aldenhoven. Right when I got off the bus, Lissa called me. “I just got your text saying I should call you ASAP. What’s up?”
“Can you meet me at the Aachen bushof in an hour?”
“Voll geil! See you then.” Lissa and I spoke in German together. We visited the Aachen Weihnachtsmarkt, shopped for my brother, and ate Nutella Crepes. I stayed with Lissa until eight o’clock, then took the bus back to Aldenhoven. Happy and spontaneous day.

Okay. Boom. Friday. Fabio picked me up at 4:00 to go with him to a disco. We met up with Philip and Andree, then took the Disco bus to Himmerich. I was expecting the place to be a dump. Ohh no. Each room is totally decked out. All of the walls are painted different colors, the lights are fun, and the tables are clean. Everyone was dancing. This rocks. I’m going to have so much fun. Fabio, Philip, and Andree remind me of my guy friends back home. Really chill. I knew it’d be fun.

Well. I kind of forgot about the alcohol factor. Fabio and Andree drank and drank. Philip also drank, but not as much as the others. “Anne, aren’t you going to drink?!!!” Fabio yelled.
“No thanks.”
“Why not?!!”
“I’m just going to grab a Cola.”
“Okay!!” Gulp gulp gulp. Soon, Fabio was drunk. The more drunk he became, the more English he started speaking. Which was… pretty hilarious. “Anne!”
“Yeah, Fabio?”
“You, uh, soooo pitty” The word “pretty” made spit fly out of his mouth onto my cheek, but I kept laughing.
“Thank you!” He smiled at me and started to laugh.
“Yeah, Fabio?”
“You uh sooo cool! I like you, sooooo much. You uh such a nice gull. En you so hot, Anne. So pitty. And, so, cool!”
Fabio told me to stay where I was (with our group) while he went to get another beer. I sat at the table right when another guy came up to me. He was tall, fat, blonde, and had glasses. He was my age.
“Yes! I speak English!” I yelled back at him.
“Yeah, I know. It’s… so… cool!”
I started laughing again.
“Yes, you are funny!”
“Yes, I think that you are cool!”

Mistake. Right then, he put his big fat arm around me and his other hand on my knee.

“Hey hey hey, no no no,” I said while yanking his arm off my shoulder.
“Yes, I think you are cool.”
Ope. Mistake again. “OKAY!” his arm was back on my shoulder.
“Nein, Ich mag das nicht! Bitte, lass mich in ruhe.” (No, I don’t like that. Please leave me alone.)
Surprisingly, he left.

The rest of the night, Fabio and I would dance for two minutes, then he’d stop and give me a big hug. “Awwww. Anne, you uh duh bestest gull! I am soo happy dat we are heya for my birssday.” Then he’d “Mmmmmmuah!” kiss my cheek. He was pathetic, but funny. “Anne, you smell sooo good. Anne, you uh sooo hot,” he kept saying. “You uh duh bestest gull in duh …. World!” We danced and danced until Fabio stopped dancing and gave me that look. That “I’m about to lean in and kiss you” look. He started leaning in. I turned my head away. “Anne, bitte. Bitte bitte. Küss mich.” I walked off and went into a quieter room where I started dialing a number. I wanted to talk to someone so badly. I put the phone up to my ear and heard it ring once, then realized I was overreacting and hung up the phone. I went back to Fabio and the group and started to dance more. Fabio didn’t try kissing me after that. He was jumping up and down and smoking a cigarette. At 12:15, we took the disco bus back to Jülich. Fabio and the others got off at a stop before mine. He kissed me on the cheek and left.

This picture weirds me out because it doesn’t even look like Fabio. And in this picture, he looks so chill, but really he was jumping up and down and telling the photographer how hot I was.

Kaboom! That was my week. Horribly long. Bis später.


  1. It’s hard to believe you know a guy named Fabio. What is it about drinking?

  2. “I can’t believe it’s not butter.” –Fabio

  3. Wow… sounds interesting. Very different parties from Utah that’s for sure.

  4. Hahahahaha.

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