Saturday, February 1, 2014

First Impressions

As some of you know and I mentioned briefly in one of my last posts, I was a bit of a mess when I left Jordan. I was a big ball of anxiety my last week there in anticipation of uprooting myself once again. I can't tell you why. I wasn't this nervous when I went to Jordan (although that would have made more sense). I worried about my luggage arriving with me and finding the hostel and securing a more permanent place to stay... I even found myself lamenting the fact that I would have to figure out trains and subways again. "But taxis are just so easy," I whined. Wait, what did I just say?? Yep, I was a mess. But this was especially difficult because I had to leave a place I really loved. Every day, every little interaction, every conversation gave me a small glimpse into the country and the complexities of the Middle East. It was fascinating and I didn't feel like I was done learning.

But alas, my visa was about to expire, I had a plane ticket, and I had to follow through with my plan to travel to Germany. But as you can imagine. I had NOTHING to worry about. Everything went incredibly smooth upon arrival. I figured out the subway system, found my hostel, and ended up at a lovely cafe for some coffee and a pastry. After two hours, I liked Europe already.

This was the first picture I took after emerging form the subway,
the quaint little square in Nuremberg.

I am finding it very refreshing to be in a smaller city. Nuremberg (population 500,000) is noticeably smaller than Amman (population 2 million), and well everything is small compared to Tokyo. Nuremberg doesn't feel crowded or chaotic at all. And I have to say that, as much as I miss Jordan, the hostel I stayed in when I first arrived in Germany was nicer than my apartment in Jordan. And the shower...utterly luxurious. Good indoor heating is also nice. Oh and no stares or catcalls from men! A definite positive! In fact, I am quite a bit more anonymous here in Germany. For the first time in about six months, I don't look foreign. Of course, this does mean people start talking to me in German, assuming I understand...

So, just like Jordan was the opposite of Japan, Germany is equally quite different from Jordan. No honking horns, no constant cigarette smoke, and instead of the prayer call echoing through the city it's the sound of church bells.

St. Lorenzkirche

St. Lorenzkirche

The view from my hostel, up on a hill.

Can't get enough of the cobblestone. This is the square in Lauf.

I love my walks along the Pegnitz River. 

I've been at this Watson Adventure for about six months now. If you're thinking that the new experiences might be dwindling, well you couldn't be more wrong. Sure, not all new experiences are as dramatic as riding in a taxi through the chaotic streets of Amman... No, this week I had a much less thrilling, but nonetheless amusing new experience that I thought I would share.

I decided to treat myself and have breakfast at cafe that I had been wanting to try. They didn't have an English menu so I wasn't sure what all I ordered, but the waitress brought me a nice selection of breads and jams and a cup of coffee. Perfect! I settled down to people watch and sip my coffee when the waitress brought me one more thing... a nice soft boiled egg in a cute little cup. At that moment, I literally chuckled out loud. An egg served like this was something I'd only see in movies in the vain of Pride and Prejudice. I had absolutely no idea how to eat such a thing! It just sat there in front of me, a new experience I was not anticipating for my morning. So, I did what any person with a data plan on their cell phone would do and I googled it. Yep, right there in the cafe I googled "how to eat a soft boiled egg." I read a few marginally helpful articles, looked at some pictures, and decided to just go for it. I lightly cracked the egg on the top with my spoon, definitely something I saw in a movie, and then just ended up peeling the shell halfway down. So far so good, but who knows if those around me were scoffing at my poor etiquette. It seemed ready to eat! So I took my spoon and scooped off the top, but I wasn't expecting the soft boiled egg to be so...soft. My spoonful of egg white slide right off my spoon onto the table and the yolk oozed down the side of the still intact part of the egg shell. Again, I couldn't help but smile to myself. I recovered from the spill and managed to eat what remained. It was delicious! But there you have it, proof that the new experiences just keep coming in all shapes and sizes. :)


  1. Hi,hannah. You know, when I read your experience of eating boiled egg, I can't help chuckle out. You are so cute.
    Because the boiled egg is also very popular in China for breakfast. The Chinese style is always hard-boiled, but in Japan or Germany is medium or soft boiled. It's the first time I heard someone eat the boiled egg like you.hehe, interesting! You know,we usually peel the shell completely with hand then eat it with hand, too(Chinesr style).
    Nuremberg is really a beautiful city from your pictures uploaded. I wonder why you chose this city for your first adventure stage. Sorry I know a little about Germany. I just have a image that Germany is as clean as Japan.

  2. i am slowly easing myself back into the chaos. the thought of arranging my visit to OLOP later this week has me stressing. whatever happens, i will NOT pay the taxi driver more than 5 freaking dinar.

  3. I should have treated and train you for that when you were here, sorry I forgot all about it. Just look on your shopping walks for the many different kinds and shapes of eggcups and spoons especially for eating such a delicious thing. By the way it`s much easier to boil hard eggs than to get the soft ones right, also different with the "age" OF AN EGG.