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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cottages, Cathedrals, and Cannabis: Welcome to Osnabrück, Cologne, and Amsterdam!

Hallo meine lieben Leser, due to some feedback I got from you all, I will revert to my usual lively style of writing about my adventures, and boy, have there been some! Big thanks to all the people who commented on the blog, whether by directly commenting, or FB messages, or face-to-face - all is appreciated! So, let's get down to the doing...

Wilkommen in Osnabrück

I have a dear German friend who came to visit me briefly before attending a workshop. He also was enthusiastic to show me his hometown; this is how I found myself straight after class on the three hour train ride to Osnabrück. With every half-hour that passed, I could see the surroundings becoming greener and greener, until there came a point where I could see the even the highest trees being drowned in the proliferating fields of corn.

Arriving at the station, I was then lead around the town by my friend, who was the perfect tour guide. Chattering excitedly, pink-cheeked, and highly enthusiastic, he completely broke any remenant German stereotype I had. Together, we marched round, trying to fit in everything in just a day - the best part was sitting in a quirky little jazz 'n 'blues cafe called Mojo's, relaxing with some Fairtrade coffee and organic chocolate pear tart...bliss!

Everywhere I looked, I saw cobbled streets and red-tiled roofs; they captured my heart with their quaint charm. There was artwork on every corner, and wooden benches and signs and little trees dotting the streets. There, and also when I visited his typically German home in Bad Essen - I was enchanted by the white-washed cottages, and the dim yellow light cast a mysterious glow over everything, giving me the feeling that I had walked into a fairytale.

I could easily picture Hansel and Gretel in their gingerbread house here, especially as we walked past the edge of a nearby forest. In the dark, the tall trees looked spooky and menacing, yet a shiver of fear and pleasure ran up my back as I inhaled the dank green smell of the earth, listened to the shrill sound of crickets chirping as though they were the maddened inmates of a loony bin.

Hello, KÖLN!

The day after, I was picked up by another German friend, aka Priest Boy (as he was known on his Erasmus studies in Malta xD) and together we sped along the Autobahn, making the 2hr trip to the infamous city of Cologne.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a tall, cuddly-looking (yet still distinguished) young German gentleman, who agreed to take us around his beloved city. Friendly, and possessing a stark wit, he was great company, taking us around to see the magnificent view of the Hohenzollern bridge, and of course the cathedral.

Towering over the city, there it stood, dark and foreboding (kind of like it was photoshopped from Nosferatu) - the intimidating Cologne cathedral! As we approached, I shivered at the terrifying beauty of its geometric design and gigantic spires, as though the Titans themselves had fashioned spears out of silvery-grey molten basalt and pointed them at the heavens, if only to mock the gods that if they were not allowed into heaven, they themselves would create one here on Earth.

And boy oh boy, did they succeed. Especially when I walked inside. I was dumbfounded by the gloriously coloured, intricately-patterned stained glass, the perfectly formed statues, the ribbed vaults and pointed arches, and most of all - the light.
As the sun began to set, orange gold rays of sun sneaked through the little portals of tinted glass and danced along the marble floors; imagine a broken rainbow spilling itself over the ground, and its insides are still squirming around for dear life, like fish out of water.

And last but not least...

5pm. Riding in the rain in a car.
Two Lithuanians.
A bigass bottle of Sangria.
A professional camera.
And - the Girl from the Rock.

I had a feeling that this was going to be an eventful weekend ;-)

A live gig. Great music. Random dancing. Beer. So much smoke in the bar, you could've gotten high from passive smoking. The air is so thick with the smell of pot it made you dizzy.

A cabin in the woods. Two beds. One sleeping bag. Leftover wine. Freaking cold.

Cow statues stuck on a celing. Free cheese. Bicyles everywhere.

Sex shops. Shisha shops. Coffeeshops.

Open-air market. Mushrooms. Bread, Indian stuff. More cheese.

A tiny room filled with blacklights. An ancient woman with straggly white hair talking about electrons. Works of art in fluorescent colours glowing everywhere, hanging from the ceiling, draped over the floor. A little glowing Buddha sits happily in a corner.

Overpriced vegetarian pizza. Relationship problems. Listening. Good coffee.

A Lithuanian slamming a bass. A Fender Telecaster. Maltese fingers are on the strings, and my voice is in the air. Random jamming session until Dutch Dreadlocks guy comes over and tells us we need to buy something. We leave.

Brief lesson on how to tell the difference from cafes and coffeshops. In the meantime, a search for space cake.

Unsatisfied customers. Overpriced dessert with next to no stuff in it. We shrug it off, just planning to have a quick coffee and go back to Germany.

Random dancing. Enlarged pupils. Everything is funny. Everyone seems horny. Or is that just me??!?

Lying on a bridge under indigo skies. The river seems to be on fire as the lamplights reflect over the waters. Next thing I'm in a car.

Warmth. Something cuddly. I bury my nose in this thing and snuggle it more.

I wake up in my bed. It is 9pm. On Sunday.


  1. I feel like being home again!

    "Chattering excitedly, pink-cheeked, and highly enthusiastic, he completely broke any remenant German stereotype I had."

    Please tell me more about the German stereotype you had. What have you been expected? Some calm, white skinny and boring guy? Or a monosyllabicly talking, big blond, blue eyed and distant man?

  2. Love this blog! Awesome! Keep up the good work! Love the Amsterdam part most! Would definitely come back to read more! Please keep us posted!