Wednesday, June 6, 2007
[CAUTION: Because the number of photos we took is humongous, pls click here for the website of the complete set of photos... Get ready for visual diarrhoea...]
This is probably one of the most satisfying trips I have ever been. One of those that I dun feel like going back to wherever I came from. haha...
A short Pfingsten holiday sent us from south to the north of Germany, at the Balkan Sea, where the Germany's largest island is situated for the SSAG AGM 07.
The Munich+Erlangen (though it is really the Munich contingent, Erlangen only has one poor soul :P) contingent arrived on the 25th to see a storm brewing. We thought all our hopes of a sunny beachout were dashed. The second day proved to be more than fine; it was GOOD!
Immersion people, exchange people and the more permanent students here in Germany - people who initially barely know each other - met and communed on this German island that with all its 'beachiness' and 'sunniness', ironically feels home. For once in a long while, I felt involved. Not an outsider, not a foreigner. What makes us different from the people at home, is probably our new ingredient into our 'rojak' singlish - Deutsch.
Second day proved to be the real ice-breakers. And the sun shone!! Gott sei Dank! Volleyball and frisbee were my games that day. I thought it was too short. We have to set off to Sassnitz, the second largest town in Ruegen. There was a large harbour there with lotsa tourist shops and an "algae-fied" submarine exhibit, not in use anymore. The main event was the hike to see the chalk cliffs, Wissower Klinken. Wanted to see Koenigsstuhl, supposedly the most majestic cliff, but apparently it's 8km and with the stopping and walking, we dropped the idea - no time. Anyway, the hike was when the darmstadt immersion people joined us, so with our clan further strengthened, we followed our Azman Temenggong into the woods. Along the way, it was all chatter chatter chatter of the mouths and click click click of the cameras. Nice walk indeed... Dinner wasn't that fantastic, but it's ok lahz. The price is a bit on the high end though, but judging from the "touristy" nature of the island, I guess that is not too bad already.
Third day was the cruise and it rained. Like crazy. Super crazy! And for the FIRST time in my entire life, I got seasick.... zzzz...... I saw this German girl passing a bag of puke to her already crying sister, my head started to tighten from there.... The road of no return... But going to the deck definitely helps alot. Though the cruise wasn't what we all expect, I guess we supplanted that with connecting with more people and talking more. We then had our BBQ for dinner, which I thought was the shortest BBQ ever! We din even get to finish our food; we have to let another group of people take over. Then, we played charades after the seriously-not-much-meaning AGM. It was a complete walk-over! But well, formality usually does not hold much meaning, does it? It is just.... well, formality. Charades was fun though, I thought. Until some weird parent told us to keep quiet at 9pm!! OMG! What is the world coming to! So in the end, we ended up playing volleyball until the sun set and had a nightout at a cafe nearby... The waitresses there definitely did not seem at all happy to see so many Asians. I sensed somewhat some hostility.... Haiz... But again, there were talking, and then more talking. Well, it's hard to know all 45 others in one shot, so we do it in bouts. On this very night, personally speaking, acquaintances became good friends, and good friends got better. Prost to friendship!
It is not difficult to explain the satisfaction that is derived from this trip up to Ruegen, though the experience itself would probably sum up to a thesis. To me, the people made the difference. Apart from all the other people I met at AGM like Shubei and Xizhen and Azman who is affectionately known as the Temenggong and Raymond and Siddarth etc etc, deepening the friendship with Mel, Jialin, Kat, Grace, and Ian through the 4 days was probably the best thing that happened. First day meeting them definitely did not make a difference, but the course of the trip somehow bonded us closer. The funny thing about human relationships is it's so ganz unexplainable; sometimes something somewhere somehow just clicked, due to the combination of timing, circumstances, and the people's reaction. It's totally arcane if you ask me. With people, you do not interact with just that person, but his/her history, memories and connections too, bounded by the personalities, comes the entire package. And because of this multidimensionality, I feel, human relationships are absolutely beyond the scope of analysis.
And yes Kat, dun anyhow anyhow ahz, remember I got ba2 bing3 of you with me. hehahahaha *sinister laugh*