Finito. One year down. 365 days to the dot (wasn’t actually allowed to stay any longer, I was told when I unsuccessfully attempted to move my morning flight to the afternoon.)
The last couple of days of the exchange were spent in Munich with Dani. Dani and I met in 2011 in Berlin and have managed to see each other at least once a year (except 2014) since which is pretty impressive! I was fortunate in getting to visit her a few times last year, one of which was when she met me at the airport when I first arrived. It seemed almost too fitting that she’d be there when I left, too. I really enjoyed spending time with her in Munich – going around the city centre, seeing her uni, going out for dinner with her friends and also seeing much Charles and Ray Eames/Braun/Dieter Rams stuff at a really cool museum. (Where she wheeled me around in a wheelchair – the sign of a true friend.)
We also saw The Revenant one night which was an all to uncanny representation of how I looked hobbling around Munich on crutches – particularly when getting off the bus driven by a not so observant driver and having the doors close on me. A very laughable image though which the crutches and my arms on one side, my body on the other.
I’m super thankful for Dani and her generosity. It would have been impossible to be cared for by a more stylish, friendly and caring girl. Here’s to 2016 Down Under 😀
As much as it was sad to leave my mate, the edge was taken off by the fact that it was a limo driven by British Gordon that picked me up to take me to the airport. I was fortunate in that due to my leg, the insurance had upgraded me to business which also includes a pick up service. Brilliant. On arrival, I was thrown into a wheelchair and taken to the lounge before being taken to the boarding gate. There I was given a new boarding pass and the news that I’d been upgraded to first class, by chance.
Furthermore, I was the only one in first which meant that Filipe, hired to cook for those in the cabin, was only cooking for me and so therefore had a bit too much spare time on his hands deciding to bake up Madeleine biscuits/cakes.
The ride back was lovely but the arrival was even better being met at the airport by family with signs in tow. I’ve loved seeing them again and a year away has made me appreciate how good they are. (On a side note: a shame that Bean doesn’t recognise me.) That night, Beth and Ellie came over too and we sat around chatting til late despite the fact they’re both full time working now – what!!
Throughout the past couple of days in Sydney I’ve had a fair amount of hospital appointments, seen a fair amount of fantastic people (including the lovely Isabella who brought over brunch on Saturday and Miki who joined for brunch on Sunday) and also sweltered under the Australian heat. This is not helped by the fact that I am immobile and also the victim of a nasty flu. It’s great to be back in Sydney, though, I’d forgotten how beautiful it is.
I don’t by any means want to forget those back in Europe, however, and am indescribably thankful for how cared and loved I felt over there.
Thank you to the first semester of exchange students. To the Moose family in particular. I loved living with you guys in Moosmahdstr. 44, having dinner together every night downstairs, treating Mr Johns like he was one of the crew every Thursday and Saturday and BBQing in the river every day we weren’t there.
Thank you to the second semester of exchange students. Rowdy and somewhat messy but a lot of fun, you made the transition from one exchange semester to the next nowhere near as difficult as I had imagined it to be.
Thank you to those at Zeughaus and Saegenvier and for the opportunity you gave me to work alongside you for 15 weeks.
Thank you to the local students at the FHV for including me, making me feel welcome, toning down the dialect in my presence and for being creatively inspiring.
Thank you to those at FEG for being so reliable and loyal and always keeping an eye out for me.
Thank you to the Dowsons for being family on the other side of the world. Whether that be Barcelona in Summer or London in Winter, my times with you ensured that I couldn’t feel the slightest bit homesick. Thank you for my yearly dose of board games.
Thank you to the girls at Eisengasse – Camille, Isabelle. I’ve loved getting to know you and spending time with you brunching and eating bagels.
Thank you to the girls at Egeten. I absolutely loved living with you, hanging out each night, cooking together, eating sweet potato and pistachios. Your generosity particularly in the last couple of weeks has made me realise how valuable you are. Going to miss laughing around the table in a mix of Arabic, German, Dialect, English. Also going to miss Lulu burning my eyes out with her cooking.
Thank you to Maddy. Highly grateful for the countless meals, hikes, expeditions, cycles and hours spent together. How thankful I am for your faith and your loyalty as a friend. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to have been the only Maddie from Sydney in Austria. I’ll miss getting confused for you about 80% of the time.
Thank you to the Aussies back in Sydney. You’ve made coming back so easy. The friendships I have here haven’t changed at all and I’m looking forward to enjoying Sydney’s brunch culture with the lot of you in the coming weeks.
Thank you Austria. You have fantastic landscapes, baked goods and people. Your train systems are indescribably good and your cycle lifestyle will be greatly missed. Thank you for giving me one of the best years of my life and I look forward to when we will see each other again. Servuuuus dear friend, ich freue mich auf ein Wiedersehen.
Coming into Syd
Friday night Thai with Beth and Mum and Dad
Love that Aussies do waterproof casts
First Class Desserts
Balloon from Ellie
Brunch with Isabella
Friday night picnic
Unpacking going well
Museum with Dani
The best of hosts