I spent the last week visiting the village of Wahtling, Germany, just outside of Hannover. It was great. I stayed with the same family that I lived with 3 years ago as an exchange student in high school. The trip didnt start off great, as my train broke down within an hour of my 6 hour journey and we were stuck on the rails for about an hour and a half. A few hours later we pulled into Frankfurt and I missed my connector so I had to spend an extra hour there hanging out. When I finally made it to Hannover, the Departure screen was out of order, so I didnt really know which gate to go to. I asked a Deutsche Bahn worker, and of course, he put me on the wrong train and I ended up in Bremen, not Celle.

Luckily Martina (the mom) and Johann came to pick me up in Bremen and bring me to their house, but I had to wait in the station for 2 hours. It was worth it, because the family was great again. Martina and Jens just got married this past summer and they have their own catering service. Luzii is now 18, and the two little boys, Samuel and Neil, are now 6 and 9. Samuel had his first day of school on Tuesday and Jens took me with them and gave me a tour of their Grundschule. On Wednesday night Johann brought me to his soccer practice which was fun since I had met all of his friends a few years ago, and we talked about a few of them coming to visit in Basel.

I figured out Germany has their regional elections coming up in Septemeber, so the whole town was covered in political signs from the CDU to die Linke to the FDP. It was really interesting to read about considering they have around 20 parties unlike our 2. They still have a socialist party, and a decently large far left party. One of the most unique cultural shifts I experienced this week was the amount of alcohol consumption. The beer was wonderful but after every meal we would take a shot of Schnapps to help was the meal down. Never had Schnapps before and I must say, it was a great add on to the meal. The food was wonderful all week and breakfast consisted of salami, cheese, great bread, butter, etc. My favorite.

The train ride back to Basel only took 5 hours and immediatly upon arrival it started pouring rain and the weather dropped and is finally cold out. I will finally be able to sleep well at night! This weekend is BaselBikeFest, and there are races and festivals all weekend right across the street from my house. http://www.bikefestival-basel.ch/

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