I feel like I should be in the movie Casablanca. Except replace Ingrid Bergman with me, exchange the word Paris for Sonnenalp, and Humphrey Bogart with Ummm… the hotel(?)… Okay so maybe I am stretching it here. But it seemed a good idea at the time. I don’t have a fabulous jacket like Ingrid had (though the fantastic bright red hooded jacket is a close competitor). I don’t have the dramatic shadow across the face from her suave hat, but I do have a new haircut! My hair isn’t glamorously gleaming ( it isn’t fushia either, but I’m okay with that) on a foggy night (or was it morning?)Nope…This ain’t no black and white movie and I didn’t cry when I said my final goodbyes and gave a few last hugs, but….. I will miss being here.
My favorite hug: the jolly laundry lady.
I could write a decent list of things that would have made my life in Germany a little easier… My car, Wifi in my room, road signs that I can understand, Wendy’s Frostys… All these things I have missed but I’ve been able to live happily without. It is my family, my boyfriend, my friends: Their faces, their laughter, and their personalities that I can’t get over Facebook or email. They are what I fall asleep thinking about and praying for. They are the home that was missing in the Alps and what I can’t wait to come back to. What will I miss when I leave here? That wonderful cheese shop in Sonthofen, the feeling of conquering The Hill of Steepness without wheezing, going from my apartment to work with sound of cow bells and a view of the Alps, the walks in the woods and towns, the good coffee, the käse spaetzle, the cheese cake, the wurst, the mustard, the honey, the bread, leber käse, Kaser’s Schmar … he he… notice a pattern of food ;) But here again, most of all: I am really going to miss the people. The chefs who gave me work to do and pushed me to practice and get better, the trainees who chopped mirepoix next to me, the dishwashers who made me smile, the jolly laundry lady who warbled when she spoke English, and all local Germans I’ve come to enjoy nodding my head at and saying “ halo!”
Ten weeks ago today I was on a train headed this way, tired, sore and nervous. I was greeted with a smiling chef. That was such a wide-eyed kind of day and I felt so terribly lonely. But now ten weeks later I have come to love this place.
I don’t know if I’ll be back… Only God knows the plans of my future, but I have so enjoyed being here… and as eager as I am to be home again, there is some bitter with the sweetness of leaving this small world of Sonnenalp. I’ve learned a lot, slept little, and eaten much. I came here because I love to cook and I am leaving it loving it all the more. The more I learn the more I realize how little I know. The more I learn the more value I see in the mundane and exciting projects… even the hours of peeling peas. I have loved and sometimes even hated the kitchen…. I’m sure you all have noticed ;) But I must say I really needed to come here and experience all of this. It was so much better than any school project I have ever worked on. I’m leaving more confident in what I know and I knowing that I have potential if I put in the time and practice.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my “Mirepoix in the Alps.” I didn’t expect to enjoy writing it as much as I did. Congratulations on hanging in there when I got all wordy and long winded. I tried to look on the brighter side of things and throw in some humor too… though I know it wasn’t always like that (sorry!), but you know what?... This helped. It helped me a lot to really think about what I did in my time here and consider more carefully what I needed to take from it. This trip was worth every good and bad bit of it :) And now I have the blog and pictures to remind me... It is going to be weird not to write about my days anymore… Hope fully I won’t start to narrate my day to everyone I see when I get back. Good grief, when I get back! It’s going to be soooooo weird to understand everyone around me. So weird but so good.
So this is it. In a few minutes I will join my parents and finally start a much needed vacation… Vacation :) :) :) How exciting. Haven’t really had one of those in a while! Munich, Fϋsson, Prague, the German and Czech country sides, visiting family I have never met before. Two weeks of exploring. Knowing my parents we will be exploring historical landmarks and food. My dad is in search of the perfectly roasted pork knuckle. My mom who loves her research will be reciting historical factoids and picking out the stinkiest cheese. I am game for anything, but mainly, would love to see a castle and eat käse spaetzle everyday till I leave. I’ve got some work to do…
I’ve never started, and obviously never ended a blog. Don’t quite know how I should do it… Rip it off like a Band-Aid or close with a vision of me walking off into the Bavarian sunset. Noooooo, I prefer to end it like a note to a friend, since that is what this has been like.
It’s been lovely writing. Thanks for reading. With that said:
See you, well… some of you, soon.
PS: Three months in the Alps and NO SNOW! Bah humbug!
PPS: It just means I’ve got to come back :)