Just under two weeks ago I got on a plane to Europe to attend the International Sailing Summit and METS. For this reason I have a couple of blogs to write as too much happened to squeeze it all into one!
To get over the jet lag I was lucky enough to spend a few days with some friends of mine Marlene and Marty. I am lucky to have such good friends on the other side of the world.
When I arrived in Frankfurt I was greeted by Marlene and their eldest Thom who had recently been to Australia with Marty. I am pretty sure Thom just wanted to be there to see what goodies I had brought with me hahahaha! When he was in Australia and heard I was coming to Europe for work in November he asked me to make sure I was there in time for his 7th birthday! Now that was an experience! A 7th birthday in Germany was great fun even if I could not understand what the boys were saying I could certainly see the fun they were having.
I found myself helping some of the boys with their crafts, it didn’t matter that I could not speak to Thom’s friends who didn’t speak English. It is something I would like to do but find it hard, learn another language. I have done a course but without people to speak to on a regular basis it is tough. I certainly pick up a few words each time I visit.
The first day I got there I had no time to think about jet lag. I had time for a shower to wake up in the mid afternoon to head to a Lantern lighting ceremony! It is a tradition to celebrate St Martin’s Day. There is no better way to get over jet lag than to walk the streets with the local children and their parents singing songs in the cold night air. My friends youngest two Jake and Emilia are in Kindergarten so were taking part in all the activities! I was so impressed with the locals on the route who set up candles in their windows or came outside to join in.
My time in Frankfurt was all about spending time with friends. Dinners, birthdays and celebrations. With a family dinner to celebrate Thom’s Birthday with his extended family, his birthday party with his friends and more happening it was a great few days! If only I got to see them all more often! The three kids are growing up so fast.
It is also interesting to see the difference in German schooling to Australia. Earlier starts and shorter days but they seem to be more education focused in the earlier years hence the shorter days. Fairly different to Australia. Each morning the local kids would walk past and Thom would be waiting outside ready to join his friends on the walk to school! Another big difference to where I grew up.
Marlene did spoil me with the food and one lunch was very special. She knows I have a love for cheese and it is pretty good stuff in Europe. Some flavoured Brie type cheese heated in the oven to dip fresh vegies in! YUM!
It is nice to be able to visit my friends every couple of years due to work. I am very lucky to be able to stay with them and have time catching up. It wasn’t for long and heading to Amsterdam I knew I had a massive few days ahead. Thanks to Marty, Marlene and their family for the hospitality and catch up! Next up will be the International Sailing Summit in Amsterdam.