Friday, May 13, 2011

Oh Life, How I love You

Sorry it's been so long since I've last written! I guess I've been pretty busy what with one thing and another. And for almost the entire part (even more than for the most part, get it? get it?) really happy.

The week school began again we also got a visitor: the first exchange student, from Bosnia, who lived with my guest family the year that the older sister was doing her exchange year in France. It was interesting to meet her and to see her with 'my' guest family, but after a while it was a bit tiring. I've realized (not only because of this) how much I hate being told by other people how I am. I'm not quite sure how to react to statements like, 'You're so quiet!' or, 'You're just like my cousin.' Maybe I am quiet. Today. Or maybe I am like your cousin, but I really don't know her so how could I say?! And a bigger part of me wants to scream, 'Oh yeah? You don't know how I am!' and I suddenly would do anything to be different from the cousin, even though I'm sure she's a wonderful person.

My bike had a case of the flat tire for over a week, and my guest father ended up helping me patch the tube (? in German it's called the Schlauch) because I tried twice without success to buy one with the right size valve. During the in between time however, I used my host mother's cranky bicycle and discovered many a nice place, including a pretty little man made lake a 20 minute bike ride from my house with a beach divided into the must-be-'clothed' half and the must-not-be-clothed half. This is called FKK, Frei Korper Kondukt. I respect the people who are brave enough to chill on that side of the beach, but let me say. I've never seen so many naked old men in my life. The swimming there is really nice though, and I'm hoping to be able to replace jogging (boring) with biking and swimming (fun!).

Today I biked to school for the first time, meeting up with friends at around the halfway point. It takes exactly as long as the time I need to use public transportation, and is oh-so-much-more refreshing and good for my and the environment's health. I'm excited. And I'm excited for this weekend, starting in just a couple hours. But I'm not going to write about that now. Instead, I invite you to read further and discover the real reason for this Friday evening blog update...

My dear reader: I don't know if you are one hundred percent aware of the bicycle-mania which has been gripping me, but ever since my guest father bought me my bike, I have become increasingly obsessed with them. Well, perhaps the words 'mania' and 'obsession' are a bit strong... we could leave at 'very highly interested'.

But I'm not very highly interested in any old bikes-- what I want is what is known in German as a Rennrad and what in America goes by Road Bike. Not a flashy new blue, red and white racing bike or anything, but rather something a little milder and a whole lot cooler. Every time someone zooms by on one of those things I stare after them until they're out of sight or until I walk into something. Even if the rider is old, fat and ugly I still drool over his bike. (I say 'his' not out of sexism, but because of the sad fact that it seems to be ninety-nine percent men who ride such road bikes).

In any case, I was going to wait until after this weekend to post, but something so important happened this afternoon that it couldn't wait. What happened, you ask? I'll tell you: I fell in love. Twice, in fact, but the first time was last weekend, with a medical student in an old black and white photo from the '70s, printed ten feet tall on the wall of the university metro station. (Upon hearing this news, my mother said to me on the telephone, "you realize that this man is at least my age, right?" "Yes..!" I replied defensively.

But today was different-- for one thing, the boy was real, and most definitely younger than my mother. For another thing, he was riding an amazing bike. Unfortunately, he went by at about a hundred miles an hour so I didn't have the chance to observe him as closely as I might (ahem, definitely) would have done otherwise. I mean, everyone can go fast on a road bike, but what makes this boy so especially extraordinary is that he was literally booking it through the most pedestrian-clotted area in Frankfurt at a speed faster than I would go at on a wide empty road with god himself controlling the handlebars.

However, what few light waves of his image did have time to reach me informed me of his attractive stature, extreme good looks, and the fact that I want to marry him, steal his skills, and ride away on his bike.