Love to Self

Ah Valentine’s Day. A day where I would argue…more people think of what they don’t have, than what they do.

I woke up this morning not even thinking that it was Valentine’s Day. Signing into my afternoon dose of Facebook, I was a bombarded with photos of friends enjoying their day…basically more than I was enjoying mine. I signed off and told myself not to log in until Valentine’s Day in the States was over. Of course that ban didn’t last. We humans have some sort of lame desire at times to live vicariously through others.

I started to get thoughtful text messages from my friends in the States wishing me a happy Valentine’s Day. Most of my friends here in Be’ersheva were out of town. I was alone in my apartment, playing Candy Crush and listening to audio books while I made another bead wrap bracelet in my lap. I was feeling sorry for myself, and doing mundane tasks to keep my mind off of it as if to show myself I didn’t care.

Then it occurred to me (again) that Valentine’s Day, just like many other holidays…is just another day. But more importantly, that I can make “someone” else feel special. Actually make that plural. I am single and don’t have to focus on a significant other. Which was a great reminder that today is a day to share with everyone, not primarily one person.

Yes yes, this post is one of those “I feel sorry for myself” turned to “I am grateful for what I have” kind of ramblings. Don’t get me wrong…I can strongly say that I would like to have my other half next to me doting on me as I pour out my love upon him in gifts, words, and affection. But this is not set of cards I was dealt in this round.

So it was time to change attitude. I didn’t send out mass text messages. I wrote just a few words from my heart to some people close to me…simple and meaningful. I tidied up my bachelorette-pad-looking apartment and rearranged my room’s furniture for some variety. I let myself get pampered with a massage and a few extra chocolates. Then made an effort to pursue the company of people that I normally don’t hang out with but should…my neighbors. And though I didn’t get any learning done from my daily self-taught studies, I learned to embrace my solitude to find that…when you have love for yourself then you can see love more clearly everywhere around you.

Asia – On Route (Day 0)

February 14, 2012

We’re in Japan!…for the next 2.5 hours.

The 12 hour flight from LAX to NRT went by quickly. An instant 6 hours of passed out deep sleep, followed by 1 hour of groggily staring at a silent tv screen too lazy to put in ear buds, followed by 5 hours of reading books. Nirita Airport is nice enough even though the windows are spotted with rain and dreary clouds linger oudside. To be frank, other than the majority of Asian population and occasional Japanese announcements, I almost feel like I’m sitting in a US airport. English is everywhere.

It occurred to me when we landed that Valentine’s Day was essentially eliminated from the calendar. We departed Los Angeles early February 13th, and have found ourselves in Japan with February 14th more than half over due to the date/time change. No matter…despite traveling over 4000 miles closer to miel sheli (my honey), I still have another few thousand miles to go before I get my much needed hugs and kisses.

And something that surprised me is that Japanese people over all here look good. It’s as if they’re all photogenic, fashionable, physically fit, have perfect hair, and extra cute kids. And this is I guess my first impression of being in Asia for the first time ever (being in this airport when I was 2 years old hardly counts). My other observation is that Japanese get really dressed up for the airport. Almost everyone looks ready for a photoshoot. They make other foreign tourists look like slums.

I’m intrigued. Perhaps I’ll come back and spend more than 3 hours on this island country. Till then…onward to Vietnam!

Next Chapter: Traveling the World

Though I’ve lost track of what chapter on life I’m on right now, it’s about time to revive this blog. It was a place to learn the WordPress platform back in [checking old posts now]…April 2009. Then template into a section of a website I created one summer for kicks. And then a place to write about my travels (my last big trip being a 3 month solo hiatus backpacking across Europe in 2010). Two years, a house, and one job later, I find myself in my mid-mid-life crisis with the only remedy being a form of exploration, frustration, and learning that rolls itself into one of the greatest forms of joy I have ever experienced: traveling to places unknown. Which brings us relatively up to speed to now, today, and beyond.

As you may already know, I recently dropped what I was doing and left my wonderful roommates and beloved beta fish in the Bay Area. I’m currently in Orange County to spend some time at home preparing for my next “big trip”, playing with the dog, and basking in warm, sunny, non-humid weather. I kissed my love one last goodbye as he boarded a plane to the other side of the world to go home, and also crafted the perfect Valentine’s Day gift to myself to leave home. First stop: stepping off a plane in Vietnam…on Valentine’s Day! And I guess at that point, taking a much needed shower after a 20 hour flight. I’ve been afraid to go there for the last decade, because my reaction to mosquito bites scare me more than the world running out of ice cream. I don’t speak Vietnamese and am sure that the happy California cow hormones have made me taller than the average Asian…a sure sign that I’ll have “tourist” stamped all over my forehead.

So, let’s note down my only plans so far. One-way ticket for me to Vietnam…check. Round trip ticket for my mom, who will be my travel buddy for 2 weeks and thank goodness also a translator…check. Visa approval letters…check. Plans to go to Israel and how to get there…well we have some road blocks with the airlines to work around. And that’s about all the logistics I have ironed out. When will I be back? I’m pulling a Kevin DelRosso, but if you need some scrap of an answer well I promise to be back in the States for Burning Man.

I know it won’t be all flowers and butterflies (I’d get bored after a few hours)…so this will be my place to document my trip in all it’s colors and gradients. The journey starts on Monday. Enjoy.

Snow Plow

I was looking for some change in life, and guess life decided to hand me some sugar and spice. Here we go…

“Snowboarding! You should come!!!” I’m wishy washy with some decisions, which included this one. Not because I don’t want to go snowboarding. More of because it’s far, it’s relatively last minute (on my part), and because my cousin had warned me about a storm about to pass through the area.

As it is on a late Friday evening of March 18th, after a few beers to go along with a band…dinner with some friends, and a bit more convincing that the weather is doable…I head over to Livermore at midnight for a 5:30am departure to Kirkwood the next day.

The drive up was pretty decent. The snowy landscape was beautiful and serene. And we had our snacks, cool gadgets, and good conversation for a fun road trip to the slopes. We waited at a road closed gate for about an hour and a half while hearing the occasional *boom* in the distance of avalanche control. Walked around amongst the falling snowflake and kicked ice formations off the bottom of my car. Then the line of cars started to move and we drove on into Kirkwood.

Tip1: Get your passes online beforehand. OR get them somewhere else beforehand. Anywhere…REI, Costco, SnowBomb, or even Kirkwood Online if you have something like a student discount. The discount will always be minuscule if you wait to get it at the Ski Lodge.

It was time to head to…the Bunny Slopes!!! It was the first time Maui had ever been on the slopes and it was time strap his feet to a snowboard and send him down a mountain. I also much needed to practice my transitions between heel-side and toe-side. After a few runs with Maui, we decided he should graduate to The Express. I found it to be one of my favorite lifts, but it was a pretty short run. Time for lunch, a few more runs down the mountain, a lot more speed, and a lot more falls.

Tip 2: If you’re wondering if you should wear a helmet or not…wear a helmet. They look cool anyway. And when you’re going down your last run of the day rather fast and rather carelessly, hit a patch of snow and fling yourself down the mountain backwards…your head will hurt less slammed against the ground when you’re wearing a helmet. You’ll be conscious when the little kid behind you does an amazing emergency stop to ask “Wow are you okay?!”

2011.03.19 Kirkwood Snowboarding

It was cold, but with the fresh snow…it was soooo good! There were also these huge gusts of wind that blew sideways across the trails. You could see it coming like a sandstorm in the distance. Then the person 10 feet in front of you would proceed to disappear into a whiteout of shrill nothingness and you hoped you were still on the trail down the hill for the next 5 seconds until the gust blew on past. Before we knew it, it was time to leave for the day. What a cold, but awesome day. We headed out, this time the rest of the group turning right to South Lake Tahoe, and myself turning left to go back home to the bay area. I had a lot of things I needed to get done at home and work I needed to check up on.

The roads started off clear. Then turned to ice. Then turned to white. It seemed to go on forever. Cars were passing me. I was a nervous driver in the snow. At a point, I crested over a hill to see a snow plow truck coming up on the other side. In slight surprise, I hit the brakes. And despite my raging speed of 20 mph, I slid down the other side of the hill. Looking on with despair, I was headed right towards a parked car on the side of the road. Two guys were looking at me. One jumped back out of the way as my car slid into the back of their SUV. Shock.

Turns out their car had been stuck in the embankment, as mine would have been had there not been a car there. The snow plow truck went on and then turned around agreeing to help the two guys pull their car out of the snow embankment. He got out of his plow truck at this time to run over to me and ask if I was okay. Nice guy. I can hardly even remember him doing that…I just know that he did. A sheriff drove by and said “I’ll be back” in a melodramatic way. Thank goodness he never came back. The SUV was pulled out of the embankment. And as it turned out, my car was still drivable despite the radiator being smashed into the rest of my car along with my right headlight and hood. I drove my car down the road to a turnoff.

So, long story short…I hit two guys. My brain goes into blank mode. I must’ve looked like a mess, especially with my matted hair and half of my face red from wind chill. And the guys came over to make sure I was okay. They told me to stay in the car to stay warm. And then they offered to follow me to somewhere safe. AND…”without sounding creepy” because they both have families, they offered their cabin if I couldn’t make it home. The upped the offer saying they’d even make me dinner. I was laughing. These guys were so funny. They said to stop at a certain gas station, so I kept stopping at all the gas stations along the way only to find that it wasn’t the one they were talking about lol. With my chains on I was going 25-30 mph and it was taking forever to get there. When the roads got clear both guys jumped out at a stop to take the chains off for me. I thought to myself…”they must think I’m like a princess or something.” When stopped at one of the stations this other car whipped up to park right behind me and jumped out of their fancy rental car asking if they needed to put on chains to proceed. We said yes. They pulled out the chains and asked what to do with them. We just kind of looked at them like…oh boy these guys haven’t even seen chains before and they’re about to start driving into a snow storm. Then we found out they were heading to Reno. They were far off the beaten path lol.

We reached the gas station. I called AAA and made a judgement call to leave my car in the lot and head a mile up the road to their cabin. It was a cute little place on 5 acres of land, decorated with a Norwegian charm. I called the insurance company and by the end of my call was laughing on the phone with Jay in Texas while these two white guys were making me Chinese food. Oh the irony haha. But man was the food good. Beers, tequila, stories, and two movies later it was time for bed, where I even had my own room. They kept saying that I was so nice, but they were the ones doing me a huge favor and helping me out in a time of need. By the end of it, they said that I better not regret hitting them. Especially since it already happened, I’ll take things as they come. Seemingly a lot of good experiences came out of it all as well. When I woke up in the morning and looked out the window, all I could see was snowfall out the window. It was so peaceful, so serene, and yet in my head was a silent scream because it only meant getting out of the mountains might not happen as easily as I planned. Today I was lucky.

2011.03.20 Kirkwood Snowboarding

Soon enough, I was on my way in a tow truck, sad to say goodbye to my new friends, and heading down the Sierra Nevada mountains with my car in tow. The driver Mike had worked 16 days straight that week. They needed all the help they could get with the snow storm coming in. The radio was going off like crazy with people stuck and in accidents. Earlier that week forecasts had said a storm would brow on Friday and Saturday. Not it had been extended with even worse conditions through til Tuesday. At a meeting point, my car was transfered from a tow-behind to a flat bed tow truck, which would take me the rest of the way home. My new driver was named Pat, who was originally from Stockton/Tracy and had traveled the country driving rigs to transport loads from one place to the next. He had almost been hijacked once in New Jersey…this didn’t surprise me lol. Everyone was so great. Even though I was stressed, everything was taken car of smoothly.

2011.03.20 Kirkwood Snowboarding

As it is, I am now car-less for who knows how long. The car was drivable, but also in no condition to be driven. If I am lucky, the car will not be claimed as totaled. It’s been by my side since I was 16. I will do without a car for as long as I can until needing a rental. For some reason (though I say this with mixed feelings and a lot of what ifs), this doesn’t feel like a really bad experience.

Fireproof

“And don’t just follow your heart, man; ’cause your heart can be deceived. But you gotta lead your heart.”

Workday

Today marks the first day of a new chapter in my life. I have a wonderful career perspective and find myself blessed that I have the opportunity in a job I’m really excited about in integrations consulting, at a company that I really admire, located in beautiful California. And I have a salary. :) The work sounds challenging and I’m pretty excited about learning more about the art of communication in the technical field. As well as mastering that art of dealing with clients with unrealistic expectations.

My first day of work entailed a lot of training…c’est normal. As well as attending a training conference that just happened to fall on the same first days of work. Consultants and partners flew in from all around the country for this. But I think the best part is that I like everyone I will potentially be working with. Workday hires a lot of well-rounded people and when you’re working with the same people day after day, it’s important that you can get along with and work with your colleagues…and at this point I’ve met a lot of people…our recruiter made sure of that. My first day also marked the official hire of 550 employees lol. I wasn’t the 550th, but I sat in the same room as him haha.

2010.06.23 Workday

However, not everything in my life is new and fresh quite yet. I’m still going through reverse culture shock coming home from Europe after 3 months and 7 days. I miss my friends there and the lifestyle I’d grown accustomed to appreciate more than American lifestyle…like J-walking lol. Or just the way the average European value time and relationships more than the average American. There are many pros and cons of both. I allowed myself to fall in love with something I had to leave, so coming home was tough.

Then I had a week of madness with my cousin’s graduation from UCLA, my brother’s high school graduation, my birthday, and moving up from SoCal to NorCal with no place to live. I’m still looking for a place to live lol. But I’m not worried about it. Worrying wouldn’t do me any good. If I worried about anything, it would be about not getting all the sleep I desire…and I do love my sleep lol.

The issue came down to location. I’d narrowed it down to Newark, San Francisco, and Pleasanton. Newark is 30 minutes away from every city I’d want to visit and I’d be living with a good friend in a nice place…but Newark itself has nothing. San Franciso has everything you’d ever want to do outside of work…but it’s an hour commute to work each way each day and cold weather. Pleasanton is close to work, a nice town, with good weather and a community I’d like to get plugged into…but it’s far away from the other cities in the bay and it’s a quiet suburb town. There are of course other factors as well as the type of place which would mold the lifestyle I end up living…and I can’t seem to decide what kind of lifestyle I want lol…I think I just want what allows me the most freedom to live.

Whatever the case may be, I enjoy my time up here with my family and friends and still have much to do to keep me busy. My aunt cooks the best food you can imagine. It’s better than any restaurant hands down. It also seems that a lot of my friends made the move to San Francisco during the time I was away in Europe. And I’m totally living out of my car. I have papers to sort though and requests to take care of…but they’re still in the bottom of my trunk. Still roughing it like in Europe, except I guess I have more baggage to drive around lol.

2010.06.23 Workday

Europe Trip 2010 – Waking up for Normandie (Day 55)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I woke up randomly at 5am this morning and I thought about going downstairs to see if the noises I could hear were the guys hanging out downstairs, or perhaps I could go up on the roof to catch a Parisian sunrise. But I was too lazy to get up on the roof, and realized that even if they were hanging out downstairs, I was too lazy to stay and hang out. I woke up next when my alarm went off at 7:30am. There was no toilet paper in the bathroom so I had to make due the best I could and wait until later to go to the bathroom. I packed up some loose items and took my time eating breakfast before heading out at 8:20am. I was at the train station by 8:45am and waited until 9:40am for Anne to arrive and then boarded the train at 10am. As usual, train rides are the best time to reflect and write about my experiences. As well as stare out the window at European countryside beauty. Today I am going to Normandie.

Easter Sunday in Innsbruck, Austria (Day 31)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Innsbruck Highlights:

  • Easter Sunday Service (in German) at St. Jakob
  • Train from Innsbruck to Geneva, Switzerland

I can now say that I saw a Catholic Easter Sunday Service in all German. It was a beautiful cathedral. The choir’s songs filled every crack with a beautiful symphony. I didn’t understand a single word.

2010.04.04 Innsbruck, Austria

I went to pack up the rest of my stuff and said goodbye to my hostel room at Nepomuk’s. I’m reminded of a child’s room almost, but it was very nice and comfortable. I definitely recommend it, other than not having internet available. I also took with me a travel guide book off the shelf that someone had left previously. It seemed like it had potential to be very useful.

2010.04.04 Innsbruck, Austria

Then it was off walking with everything on my back the few blocks to the train station. There is a small shop next to the station where you can make phone calls for relatively cheap prices. I called home but got answering machines. I tried calling my contacts in Geneva, but I could not figure out how to dial the number correctly. The guy behind the counter looked bored. He just told me he couldn’t help me even in all my frustration. I think it is their policy so that I don’t accidentally call Antarctica and blame them for it. I didn’t figure it out until much later than when dialing the international code in most countries, that you take off the leading zero. As it is, I left the shop a few euros lighter and was not able to contact Geneva.

I got on my train and watched Zurich go by along the way. My friend Colin from Venice who had gone straight to Zurich had told me recently that it was snowing there and I had enough of snow and cold at this point. I was trying to stay calm on the train. I had no contact. No place to stay. No map. No phone. And realized when I got to Geneva that my euros wouldn’t work here. They still use Swiss Francs.

I found pay phones and after a lot of contemplating decided that this was enough of an emergency that whatever fees I might incur would be worth it. I put in a credit card and called my cousin in Geneva. I got a response this time…once again with a language barrier as they only spoke French and Vietnamese. From what I could gather though, they had not received any of my emails and did not know that I was in town. With the language barrier it was very difficult to get across the message that I was here. We hung up and I called America. Then I was instructed by my mom to wait by the phone until someone called it back, while she translated my English to Vietnamese and told them they could speak to me slowly in French. There are ups and downs of every journey. At this point it should have been okay, but I was already trying to hold back tears.

I got a call on the phone eventually. I was guarding my phone stall with all my stuff just leaning against the wall. I was hungry and wanted to get food but was nervous about the phone ringing while I was gone and I would have to pick up all my stuff and carry it on my back and in my arms. It was dark. I was tired. When I picked up, the person on the other end sounded very friendly and with lots of energy and enthusiasm that I had to laugh. In broken English I got across “Don’t worry”, “We’ll be there soon”, “Station is small I find you no problem”. And though I was lost, they showed up and found me no problem. Then I was in a car with a family and driving the scenic route through the city by night and back at a nice clean home where dinner was made and I could shower and unpack and sleep in a bed in a private room (the son Timothy offered up his room… probably not by choice lol but he was so nice and sweet I hardly think he minded). And so I had time to finally sit back and marvel that I was in Geneva, Switzerland…alive. And that I was only halfway through my trip.

Europe Trip 2010 – Stuck in Innsbruck (Day 30)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Innsbruck Highlights:

  • Swarovski Crystalwelten
  • Cable Car up Mountain to SNOW
  • Missed train to Zurich
  • Decided to stay in Innsbruck one more night at Nepomuk’s
  • Sightseeing Bus tour around Innsbruck (last bus)
  • Meeting new roommates at hostel from Ireland/London
  • Watching King Pin with new Roommates
  • Mausefalle Discotheque

So thinking I could cram a full itinerary into a half day and then just leave Innsbruck wasn’t as easy as I imagined lol. But it all turned out well in the end. As a girl, I had to go see the sparkly Swarovski Crystalwelten haha. Actually I’m not even that much into jewelry, but since I’ve seen Swarovski worldwide, why not go visit it in the place it started? Indeed it was a beautiful place and very peaceful. Probably helped that it wasn’t too crowded, especially at the first drop-off of the day.

2010.04.03 Innsbruck, Austria

I saw some pretty cool exhibitions here that famous artists had incorporated Swarovski crystals into. Such creative minds. Then it was time to race back to the bus (else wait another 2 hours for the next one) back to Innsbruck to catch a cable car ride up to the mountains for a view of the city.

2010.04.03 Innsbruck, Austria

The first half of the ride up consisted of people with mountain bikes.

2010.04.03 Innsbruck, Austria

The second half of the trip up consisted of people with all their ski/snowboard gear.

2010.04.03 Innsbruck, Austria

It was an amazing ride. And on the way down I made a decision to stop to have some gorgonzola pasta, which ended up taking way too long to make and thus I missed my train to Zurich. To be honest, I think I stopped for the delicious pasta because I knew that even if I ran down the mountain, I would probably still miss my train to Zurich, Switzerland. So might as well not stress out too much about it and enjoy some pasta while figuring out a plan B. Lucky for me, with Easter the next day, Nepomuk’s had one more bed available, so I moved rooms once again to book another night.

My new roommates were a bunch of Irish guys in town to visit their local friend and go skiing…and a woman who was a little older than me but very strange. She was very nice, but very strange. She was visiting her mom here in Innsbruck, but her mom’s place was too small for her to stay there. The Irish guys were a riot. One was very conversational with me, named Declan, apparently a very popular name in Ireland? I love hanging out with Irish guys because they are always proper, and talk to you like they want to be your friend. They’re looking for drinking buddies and good stories, not girls to hook up with. Or so it seems haha. They were all really cool. And that night the five of them stayed in to watch King Pin all snuggled together on the couch. I joined them in another chair after my shower. But I wish I had a picture of them it was just so…cute. LOL.

After the movie, I decided to do something with my last night in Innsbruck and check out this “amazing nightlife” everyone keeps talking about. So far, the bars have always seemed pretty low key. I looked up a recommendation of someone I had spoken to earlier that day…Mausefalle Discotheque. I walked alone for quite a while trying to find this place. Turned around came back to look it up again. Found out I was just on the wrong side of the building, and sucked up the long walk and went back again. It was pretty worth it. My review is to go there with friends lol since it’s kind of hard to make new friends there I think. Probably especially if you’re tall and Asian. However, the dancing was fun and it was quite a party compared to the quiet historic downtown bars. This kind of party is more of what you might find in the US, but since it’s 18 and over or something like that, the crowd can be pretty young. And some of the bars don’t serve cocktails. It was weird. I don’t know how to really explain it, but sure I’d go again.

Europe Trip 2010 – Figuring out Innsbruck (Day 29)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Innsbruck Highlights:

  • Innsbruck Wireless (maybe 5,90 euro for 3 hours total is not too bad, but Mc Donalds has free wi-fi instead)
  • Innsbruck Card – Free access to all museums, one round trip on each cable car, and access to public transportation
  • Hofgarten – Grab a beer and some snacks and relax here
  • Congress – Go see a concert/show

I walked with Farmer Jon to the information office today to figure out things to do. Renting a car to sight-see was too expensive. So while Farmer Jon went off to find another hostel for the night (I guess I got the last bed at Nepomuk’s since I booked two nights), I went off looking for internet at Mc Donalds…but I couldn’t seem to get online. So instead I walked around Old Town, then over to Swarovski which seemed popular (only to find that of course it’s popular since Innsbruck is one of it’s hot selling spots), and then back to the information booth where I purchased 3 hours of their Innsbruck Wireless and sat at the information office hot-spot for the next two hours catching up on all the things I needed to do online. Kind of a waste of the day, but I really needed to plan where I was going to be in the next few days and I felt so internet deprived so far.

2010.04.02 Innsbruck, Austria

I checked back into Nepomuk’s (had to check out and back in again because I was moving to the last bed in a different 4-bed room) then walked back to the information booth to purchase a 25 euro 24-hour Innsbruck card for the next day. If you’re in Innsbruck, I recommend getting the Innsbruck Card if you want to sight-see and take pretty much any public transportation. Then I just walked. I sent off some post cards from the Post Office (dear goodness post card stamps are much more expensive here at 1,40 euro a pop vs. 0,85 euro in Italia). Then walked into a market, bought some fruits and chocolate and a beer, and headed out to the famous Hofgarten to relax and drink my beer, realizing when I got there that I didn’t have a bottle opener. What would Steffen do? Lol. I can’t do what most of the guys I knew could do, so I cheated and loosened a side of the cap with my keys, then popped it off on a nearby rock. Voila.

2010.04.02 Innsbruck, Austria

One beer and a lot of pictures later, I walked back towards Old Town to find a lot of people walking into the Congress building. Now I had thought that the Congress was a meeting place for politicians or something…but nope I was wrong. I walked in to see what was going on, and ended up purchasing a ticket for 19 euro to a Passion concert portrayed through the orchestra music of Bach. There was a kind lady there who I had spoken to asking what was going on, and she told me all about it…Beatrice I found out her name later. If she hadn’t spoken to me, I probably wouldn’t have gone in to see the show…especially being dressed in my jeans and wind jacket while everyone else was dressed elegantly with evening coats. The beer had made me tired, but the music from the instruments was such a sweet sound, and the voices of the choir, though in German, sounded like angels. I’m not sure if I’d ever heard an orchestra play so beautifully before, but God surely blessed this group with musical talent that you could taste, smell, and see.

2010.04.02 Innsbruck, Austria

When the concert was over and I trotted down the stairway, Beatrice stopped me and asked how I liked the show. We chatted for a while and she introduced me to her sister (both of them were probably over 6 feet tall lol), and then to her sister’s son, Sebastian, who was headed to Zurich University later this year to study environment sciences and do something like create the next new everlasting battery or power source.

Walking back to the hostel amongst the crowd of walking people, I stopped to look around at the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof) when some man and what I supposed was his son came up to me and spoke to me in German. This language barrier thing really sucks. I was just getting used to Italian, and now hearing all this German was really blunt to me. When he found I spoke English, he spoke to me in English asking if I was lost, where I was going, all that stuff in whatever charming English he had. I just made up something and asked where free wi-fi was, and he said Mc Donalds and took my arm in his and led me down to Mc Donalds with his son snickering behind. I already knew that Mc Donalds was only a few meters away and we were in a well populated area with my important items all secured away so I played along…confused as to why he was talking to me because he was clearly too old and his son was clearly too young to have any association with me. But thankfully they left me at Mc Donalds and continued on their way. It was then that I found out that I could connect to the internet but had to open a browser on my phone to accept the usage agreement before using my phone apps…DUH! So yea, next time go to Mc Donalds instead of purchasing Innsbruck Wireless.

I went back to the hostel, took a shower and put on fresh clothes to go walking around to see what this nightlife everyone talks about was really like on a Friday night. I only walked around for a short while since the show ended at 11pm and I didn’t get out until 1am to walk around. Innsbruck is quite beautiful at night, especially the river. No new friends tonight…I didn’t have anyone to go out with and I didn’t really feel like small talking with random people in the bars nor did I really feel like drinking, so I went back to the hostel and was in bed by 3am. My roommates still weren’t back yet.