Reiter's Ramble

Thoughts on a Train

As I dive deeper into Germany, the depth of the beauty increases as well. I did not bring extra batteries for my camera because I thought the TSA wouldn’t allow them. So my main digital camera is nixed for the moment, but I am getting pictures of the countryside on my phone. It is better than nothing, but when I arrive in Munich, that will be one of my first priorities. Pictures are not optional.

For the first time today, I encountered a German who was overweight. Admittedly, I was a bit surprised. But what delighted me even more was that it took me two cities and five days to happen across someone like that. And it wasn’t morbidly obese, just more so than the norm. Germans stay so fit because they walk everywhere. Yesterday, I watched a sixty-some year old woman run flat out to catch a tram. When she missed it, there was no sign of fatigue– In heeled boots, no less.

Even with the overcast weather and the bit of snow I saw coming out of Dresden, this is still absolutely beautiful country. I have been riding for a few hours now and I still catch myself looking out the windows every few moments. It also helps that the train is quiet too. No conversations are happening.

It is funny that it is overcast. In my dreams, I realized that when it was overcast in them, the particular dream had something to do with how my life was progressing. It signaled changes, and so on. The clouds out here, now, look a lot like that. With the forest, the cool weather and finally the snow, it almost felt like the land was saying, “Welcome home.”

Now I know that probably sounds a bit dumb. I know some will chuckle at it. But for as many people that do, I expect that there will be just as many that understand me to some degree. Let’s face it. A ton of my ancestry is out here, and moreso further north. To my knowledge, I am the first in many, many generations to trace my bloodline’s old stomping grounds. And that feels awesome.

Someone at work told me that this trip would spur me into taking more trips, or even move out of the country. I always knew that was the case, but I didn’t know to what extent. Now, I am beginning to feel that. I understand it with every kilometer and mile that I log. The people that I interact with get along with me almost seamlessly. Sorry America, but you’re losing out on this battle.

And then, a more important factor comes to mind. What of my friends? What of my family? I would be leaving so many of them behind. It isn’t like the first time when I moved out of my hometown, and only spaced myself by two hours.

(Oh my god there’s snow on the ground!!)

I would be leaving everything behind and starting completely fresh. To my knowledge, the company I work for currently wouldn’t be taking to the idea of me working for them this far from home. So it would be a new everything. That would be a very difficult thing to do. But…

Then I look at this forest floor, the Germans around me. Even with how straightforward everything is, I could not simply put the idea aside. It seems now that the greatest test is not in coming out here. Rather, it is in deciding where to go afterward.

Perhaps, for now, I will just visit often.

Later, on a new train…

My confidence in my German has gone up just a bit. I spoke with an elderly gentleman from Berlin in proper folk deutsch. Though my German is horrible, it seems worthy to note that we talked about politics in the US. We talked about how Obama is seemingly dancing with Sarkozy. I feel somewhat accomplished.

I also believe that I am right next to the autobahn. And I am on a high speed train. We are going smoothly about 100 mph. At least, it feels that way. Going through the tunnels is a bit painful, as the air pressure changes in sharp increments. But once out of the tunnel, it goes back to normal.

Almost to Munich now. Here is hoping to finding a good hostel.

5 thoughts on “Thoughts on a Train

  1. wow!! i can picture it all in my mind… it just sounds so beautiful! i am glad you love it as much as we all knew you would. excited to see pictures!! dont forget if you happen to go thrw frankfurt get extra pics for me please. love you!!

  2. I understand the feeling – I felt the same when I first set foot in England.

    We spoke about this once, about a year ago. I remember sitting on your bed whilst you sat in the chair, and you were talking about getting your passport. I believe I said something about once you were there, we’d never get part of you back, and that you would leave a piece of you there, until you left the states permanently to get it back.

    Part of you is there. Part of you will stay there when you come home. It is who you are. Those of us in the states will miss you when and if you eventually try it out, but Reiter, as I know I’ve said before… the people who love you will know that you don’t leave to hurt us, but to make yourself whole. We will love you no matter where in the world you live.

    ~Paige

  3. I found that Europeans historically have a different sense of going from point A to point B. Not just continental trains but inner city and inter city transit was built instead of the state encouraging personal conveyance. This isnt to say German’s don’t own cars, but they use them for different reasons than just to go to work. Unless that person needs to haul a load (supermarket, store shopping etc) there are other faster ways to get to work. Just like in Japan these are not cheesy AMTRAK trains either but high speed, high use train systems. I love your journals :)

  4. I understand where you’re coming from completely. When I went to England I was just overwhelm by the beauty of it and you know I can’t wait to go back. I’m enjoying hearing about your thoughts and experiences during your trip!!!

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