I can't believe I've been in Germany six times now. I've been to Goettingen, the ancient German University City three times. Volker always brags that this university has produced the most Noble laureates.
On the left is the picture of the Goose Maiden. I've seen her three times already, but this time was special. The tradition is that you give her a kiss after you earned your doctorate. The last two times I've seen her, I didn't have a doctorate. But, now, I have a Juris Doctorate. So, I climbed the fountain. Gave her a purple flower. And kissed her on her right cheek.
It definitely had a special feeling to it. I felt like I was kissing a real human girl, and the emotions of nervousness and excitement filled me. But after I kissed her, she was still a statue. She didn't come to life. And I suppose I'm not that special to her. After all, she is the most kissed girl in the world. I just hope she remembers me, and blesses me.
I didn't do much of the touristy stuff with Volker. I've either already done it here or was just relaxing with him. I'm grateful he was able to make so much time for me during his working week.
We had breakfast twice underneath the blossoming cherry trees near the babbling creek. It really was nice to have breads and cheeses and cured meats. We caught up and talked about our lives. I ate some of the yellow cherries hanging from the trees. And we picked strawberries from his garden and had them with ice cream later. It was such a perfect summer day. I love it how the sun sets in Germany at 10:30 pm in the summer.
On one of the breakfasts, Volker's girlfriend of one week joined us. We chit chatted, as Germans do over breakfast. It reminded me of having breakfast with my mother. It's such a special time, but it seems like such a trivial moment in our lives.
Mostly, Volker and his friends and I just played card games or video games. On one occasion, we biked to the ancient Goettingen Castle. It was a hard climb since I didn't know how to use the mountain bike so well, and I didn't know which gears to switch to. The castle is at the highest hill of the city. There, we sat on top of the rock wall, like the boys of summer playing some adventurous game.
Volker bought us two biers at the cafe. Only in Germany is there beirs waiting for you at a castle on a hill. We drank the biers and talked about our lives. It's so hard to believe that I've known Volker for six years. It seems like only yesterday, we were camping in New Zealand together at a secluded beach. It seems like yesterday, that I was over celebrating Christmas with him two years ago.
The castle had a different feeling in the summer. It felt happier and joyous. When I came to see Volker in the winter, Volker's friend Nicole and Nils and I ran up to the castle. Then, the winter snowflakes touched our hot skin and melted. The ground was muddy and wet and icy, and the top of the castle was covered with snow. The castle seemed much more aggressive, cold, and menacing in the winter. I think I liked it better then.
Well, it's time to go to Bavaria now. Volker arranged a ride for me. Nils, the guy who ran with me in the snow, now lives in Munich, and he's letting me stay with him the night. Then, I'll head off into the deep forest of Bavaria to see another old friend, Tobias. I look forward to seeing the family. It's been two years since I've seen them.