Uh what a crazy day. The first distraction was helping a friend moving. It wasn’t a hell of a lot of furniture… but it had to be moved down from the fourth floor and included everyone’s favourite item, the washing machine. As it was quite warm even at ten in the morning, that ended up being more exhausting than expected, but we got a second breakfast afterwards.
Then, after returning home, my brother called and reminded me that my parents are returning from Australia early in the morning and that he’ll be with them on Sunday. As nothing was going on in Göttingen – as usual – I decided to quickly drive to Bremen and pick them up at the airport as a surprise. My parents will like that and it’ll keep them from calling and telling me to come over in the following weeks. And it’s also an opportunity to get use the term ticket we get with out university card a little.
That ticket means we are charged about €50 per term and can use all the slow trains in Lower Saxony. That sounds better than it actually is as Göttingen is in the south east corner of the state which essentially means everybody who wants to go to the south, east or west cannot use the ticket. But luckily Bremen is in the north, so I can use it – for visiting the family at least. The other caveat, of course, is the speed. No glitzy high-speed trains taking me to Bremen in under two hours… but the slow ones needing twice as long and giving me a half hour break in Hannover for changing trains. I used the half hour break to have a coffee. There isn’t much else to do, really, at the railway station, at midnight. In fact I thought it was quite cool. Lots of people were walking, sitting and drinking around there. Travellers waiting for their connections, people coming from the theatre and stopping by for a quick beer, tough looking Italian guys who ordered huge ice creams. While Hannover’s railway station is miles from being attractive, it did feel refreshingly alive.
But taking the last possible train at ten meant that wasn’t too bad. Not too hot and not too crowded. Some peaceful time with the iPod and a paper. This week they had an interesting bit on hypochondria. I am a borderline hypochondriac, which is one of the main reasons why I couldn’t possibly be a doctor or watch ‘health’ television during dinner time. Knowing what can be wrong will usually make me have it. Nonetheless the different articles were quite interesting. Telling you that it’s perfectly normal to have the odd itch somewhere. And that it’s usually not a life-threatening heart problem or something. Still, it seems that Germans tend to imagine diseases and that doctors here aren’t too good at handling that as a good doctor is supposed to find a proper disease…
There was also an article on Stanisłav Lem and what he’s up to these days. While I’ve always found the classification of his work as ‘science fiction’ insulting, he’s given up on that genre by now anyway. And an article on health insurance in Germany. You can be without insurance here… which I didn’t even consider possible not too long ago… but unfortunately it has happened to a friend of mine recently.
After reading I wanted to quickly answer some e-mails… but no hope. While I can usually get it to run, the Powerbook is so fucked up now that it keeps crashing. Particularly when it is being moved or shaken – say when you’re on a train. So that was out and it was just me listening to Mando Diao on the iPod… which isn’t bad either.
When I arrived in Bremen, it was raining heavily. Joy! It’s twenty to two at night in the middle of summer, the next bus will be there at half past two, taking a cab would feel wrong (I’ve never done that) and it’s a fifteen minute walk… which I took. Apart from being soaked by the rain, it wasn’t too bad though. Still warm enough to not be uncomfortable.
Now I’m at my parents’ house, getting some fresh air into the rooms and hoping to sleep soon, so I have a chance to wake up early to be at the airport in time without crashing the car on the way there. As I don’t know my parents’ WEP passphrase, I can’t get my Powerbook on the network to find out whether their flight will be on time using the flight tracker Dashboard widget… so I’ll just be checking teletext or some website, I guess.