It is really hard to make friends as an adult. Really. It means trying tons of new things, being uncomfortable and putting oneself really out there. However, on Sunday I decided to put on my big girl pants and go on a day trip with 11 strangers. It was awesome. I am not really sure why I was so scared. As it turned out, everyone did not hate me because I am American, there were lots of interesting people in attendance and the city (which I would not have a chance to visit on my own) was BEAUTIFUL.
We first met at Alexanderplatz where we bought tickets as a group. Each of us only had to pay $12.33€ roundtrip. What a deal. The German public transportation system is really great. We hopped on the train at 8:40 and travelled to Cottbus where we switched trains and continued our journey to Görlitz – a beautiful city bordering the Polish border. It is different from many East German cities in that the buildings are quite colorful and architecturally detailed (in contrast to grey, plain DDR style). I am not sure, but this may have to do with the Persian influence in the 16th century.
Apparently, the Budapest Hotel was filmed in this city. I did not see the film, but was expecting to see a big fancy building that was immaculately cared for. Unfortunately, that was not the case. It seems as if the building was simply gutted after production and left there to decay. Sad.
We walked around the Altstadt for awhile where most people bought an ice cream and then visited the largest church in Görlitz. It was very pretty.
We then walked over the bridge to Poland where we had a nice lunch. I ordered Polish dumplings filled with meat and a white cabbage salad. Most people ordered pierogies. I had never seen them deep-fried before. I imagine that their preparation is based on the region, not unlike the American hot dog (i.e. red hots, franks, Hoffman’s, etc.). This is okay with me because I loooooove me some pierogies. Not to mention the fact that lunch with a beer and a shot of fancy “Bison Grass” vodka only costed 7€. I love travelling to East European countries!
I find it fascinating how in many countries in Europe animals are allowed in restaurants, actually all over. It is definitely not allowed in the US. According to one of the women on the trip, it is the same in the UK. Still, it is nice to see some furry friends every now and then!
After lunch, we walked around the Polish side of the city and it was nicer than the German side.
We visited a Kulturhaus which had some nice windows and a few cool statues.
I could have personally laid in the sun on the river for the whole day as the weather was so nice, but it was nice to see these other things, too. For me, the best part was being able to take a picture with two countries in it at the same time.
So, it might be hard making friends, but it is really helping me to develop a better sense of self and to try new things and it is actually pretty amazing to meet all of these interesting people from different places. In fact, my last experience was so great that I am planning to become an organizer of these day trips. This means means lots of fun and new exciting adventures. I can’t wait!