Saturday, June 9, 2007

010607 - 030607 - Darmstadt

More photos here

This weekend finally I get to go Darmstadt to visit the host family that hosted me the last immersion: the Riad family. Like the very first day I was in Darmstadt 2 years ago, it was raining. Feelings of deja vu.... Darmstadt HBF looked so familiar suddenly :P

The mitfahr to Frankfurt am Main was 5 hours!! And from Frankfurt HBF to Darmstadt HBF was another 45 min. I thought I was so late when I reached their house, but Lukas actually stayed up to wait for me... Oh how I missed Anton. I think he recognises me. HAHA... *fantasising* He is the dog of the house if u are wondering. Then Birgit came in... The one who was like a second mother to me. Oh then I realised how I missed talking to her. Her carefree and open nature, always so welcoming, so warm. Staying with them for the next 3 days was one word: bliss. I spoke German almost totally with their friends, with them, with no qualms that you would be laughed at. One of the most accommodating and amazing people...

Unfortunately I came on the weekend, they were the busiest because there was an Egyptian exhibition that the family was heavily involved in, especially Fayek. Fayek's an Egyptian, and he was put in charge of the running of the exhibition, whose aim is to welcome Egyptian enthusiasts and local Egyptians. I was curious anyway so I helped out as a "Gastarbeiter" ('guest worker'), they called me jokingly. Viktor (eldest son) probably helped out the most at the bar counter. During the talks and such, I just sat with their friends, who saw me alone and welcomed me to their table!! So cordial :P I guess the like attracts the like, hence they are friends to the Riads.

Then I went to 2 exhibitions, one at the famed Mathildenhoehe, with the Hochzeitturm ('wedding tower'), where Birgit works at, so I got a free admission haha... But this arts exhibition is a bit morbid but extremely interesting. There was one which I enjoyed, where you get to stand in the middle of 40 speakers. It suppose to let you feel the atmosphere on stage as a conductor of a choir. Really cool when they not only simulate the choir but also the coughs and whisperings from the floor. And there was a visit to the old reservoir of Darmstadt, which is now not in use, but where there have a small bar that sells cocktails - the Tiki Tiki Bar. You have to where rubber boots and that was part of the exhibition actually!

The other exhibition is at the Botanical Gardens, where the whole Garden was filled with sculptures and artworks. I have never seen such creativity, so vibrant and lively in Singapore; there were so many enthusiasts too... Birgit bought one artpiece in the hope that somebody would pay it forward and buy some from her too the next time she sells her handicraft too... I am very sure they would; her work of crafts are so original and so nice too :P I actually thought of buying one of her works, but I din bring enough money when I saw the price...

I think the Riad Familie is probably akin to my second family here in Germany already.... They treated me like one of them... I was so touched and so happy to have gone back to visit them again. When Lukas and Birgit sent me off at the Darmstadt HBF, you know the feeling when you depart and you get the really heavy feeling.. So heavy that you feel like crying.... Well, I got pretty close to that... They keep telling me that I always have a room available in their house and always welcome to come back to them anytime. I never know when I will come back to Germany again to look them up. But they will definitely have a special space in my heart always.. They always do and will... Take care Birgit and Fayek! All the best in future endeavours Lukas (to Uni), and Viktor best of luck in Berlin :P Mach's gut und viel Glueck! Gonna so miss you all.

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