One of the major advantages of living in Strasbourg is the ability to pop over to Germany with great ease! As such, I have had a few German adventures to add to my French ones.
For some unknown reason, the other week I ended up in the German theme park, Europa Park. I say ‘unknown reason’, because I hate and fear roller-coasters. So why I chose to spend my Saturday queuing for what I saw as certain death, I don’t know. That said I actually really enjoyed myself! Compared to the terrifying experience of moving abroad, being hauled around at high speeds really isn’t so bad (although I refuse to call Erasmus, ‘an emotional rollercoaster’, because I’m not a reality show cliché and it was never a particularly enlightening phrase to begin with). Also, we started with the highest roller coaster in Europe, so everything after that was relatively okay. I say this, but I did still spend the day reminding myself that we were in Germany and therefore everything was efficient and safe.
Europa Park, as the name suggests, is based around European countries. The ‘English’ section (represented by the Union Jack flag, which was more than controversial with the Scottish member of the group) had a mock-Globe theatre and a pub. Apparently we’re not as exciting as Iceland, which got the biggest roller-coaster. In fact, England was entirely lacking in anything fast or interesting. Perhaps this is punishment for our reluctance to join the Eurozone?
Missing the British nightlife (so far we have failed to find anywhere particularly exciting in Strasbourg) we decided to venture to Germany to go clubbing. Someone had been reliably informed that it was better than Strasbourg and I suppose it is fairly logical to go there if we wanted something more Anglo-Saxon. Usefully, a club in Kehl (just over the border), organises a free bus to ship the Strasbourgeois students to Germany for the evening. The club itself was fairly standard, although the DJ had the annoying habit of incoherently shouting at us over the music. It was also unusual to be given free tequila; distributed by a man with a bottle of the stuff, pouring it directly into your mouth.
Before we got the bus back at four in the morning, we ventured to McDonald’s. Still slightly worse for wear, I pondered exactly how I had come to be sat with a Happy Meal in Germany at three-thirty in the morning. It still mystifies me as to why I chose to buy a Happy Meal, when McDonald’s generally makes me feel ill at the best of times and certainly isn’t going to do me any good after liberal amounts of vodka and Jaegermeister.
As we returned on the bus a French boy tried the disastrous chat-up line on one of my friends, ‘all English girls are sluts’. This brought out a bizarre mix of feminism and patriotism in myself, in the form of a franglais rant. It’s certainly true that you learn a lot about yourself when you come up against another culture!
We finally made it home at five in the morning, after taking the first tram of the day. For any Edinburgh readers, you will understand my continuing joy at being able to use trams, rather than just staring at one mockingly placed on the main street despite the fact the city has neither the will nor money to implement the scheme.
Fortunately, as I am learning German this year, I can say that all of the above was educational and therefore a perfectly good use of both time and money!