20th of August 2016
Already at 4 o´clock I woke up. Since yesterday a stoned woman with her daughter had asked me, where the beach is, I decided to see the sunrise on the beach. I never thought that the beach would be so close to the city. After 40 minutes, I arrived right in time for the sunrise. Nobody else was there besides me.
On the way back into the city, I met a lot of drunken and unpredictable people, which made me feel very uncomfortable. When I walked through the old downtown, I recognized, that I passed houses, which were much older than the U.S., but nobody payed any attention to this.
Since all shops and museums did not open before 10 o´clock, it was a way easier to walk through the streets compared with yesterday evening. I did not have to stop behind tourist groups.
After seeing the caste the royal stable, the Tivioli (a fun park, built in an old style), the city hall, the botanical garden and another castle, I stopped in front of the almost 200 years old synagogue, which did not had been burned down by the Nazis during World War 2. After the guards asked me several questions to make sure, that I am not a terrorist, I could enter the synagogue the see the Shabbat Service.
In the USA it was a way easier. You would walk into any synagogue like into any Church, without any security check in question. But obviously it seems to be necessary to park two big police cars in front of the synagogue and hire several guards. Since we had started with around 20 people, after one hour already 200 had gathered. While women sat upstairs, men were seated downstairs. Older women who were not able to walk upstairs sat in the back. Kids could join their fathers too.
Most men were dressed with a white fine shirt and sometimes even with a tuxedo, much better than me. The synagogue has lots of golden decoration on the ceiling and a high altar with a big door, behind which the Torah is hidden.
People were constantly talking, what made me feel very nervous. It was not easy to recognize, when you were supposed to sit and to stand, since some people stand up with no obvious reason and some people were always seated. I heard several languages. English was a very dominant language. But the man in front of me was from France and also a lot of member of this congregation looked like they were from Northern Africa or Israel. After one hour, I was about leaving, but then they started to sing nice songs. After two hours I was on the verge of leaving, since there was so much more to see in this pretty city. Suddenly a hand was laying on my shoulder. It was the friendly man, which I had met at the entrance. “Still awake?” did he asked me and walked to the front row to talk to other people, before I could ask him how long the service usually takes. Everything was in Hebrew until a cute little girl read on behalf of her Bat Mitvah something in Danish. I was able to catch some phrases, but was so unsatisfied, since the sounds sounded so German to me and I was not able to understand it completely. After 3 hours the first people left the synagogue. A half hour later, the service was finished and I was invited by the French guy for wine and lunch. I did not have eaten anything since yesterday 7 o´clock. Since it was already afternoon, I felt very hungry. I was so hungry, that I went to a restaurant with a Danish buffet, where I ate much more. With a full stomach, I walked to the David house, in which a German migrant named David had started a big collection about Islamic arts. Since a tour was going to start in a little bit, I decided to wait for the tour. The tour was really interesting, but I did not waste any seconds after the tour and walked to the Design Museum, in which I could have spent probably several hours. But since I had little time, I continued to walk after half an hour through a pleasant old fortress to Copenhagen´s mermaid.
When I got there, I was surprised, how many tourists were taking pictures from themselves in front of the mermaid. I thought that concerning art, it was a pretty disappointing work. There were lots of better sculptures in Copenhagen. But somehow the city decided to make this one far outside to a tourist attraction. As soon as I saw the ferry I ran to the jetty, where already 30 people were waiting. The captain let only a father with his child inside. Then he said something like one more in Danish. Most of the Asian tourists did not understand him and were not by themselves. Hesitating, I raced my hand and the captain pointed at me.
The yellow bus, as the public ferry is named, drives through downtown and passes a lot of wonderful building.
When I got off at the Royal Library, a very fancy and modern building), I saw a sign, which said next ferry in 38 minutes. On one hand I felt very bad for the other people, who had waited longer than me. On the other hand, I felt lucky, because, I did not had so much time to wait for the next ferry, without being sure, that the captain would take me in his boat. The third time today I passed a market hall, where now thousands of people were celebrating the Pride Parade with crazy costumes and a huge loud concert. I had never seen such a wild pride parade like this. People were in a good mood, kissing each other and dancing. Unfortunately, I had to leave after a couple of minutes to go back to the hotel to get my luggage.
Although, Copenhagen´s public transport had made to me the impression of one of the best organized public transports, the trains to my hotel and to the airport were one hour late.
A train driver recommended me another connection. A lot of other tourist also knew about this connection and squeezed themselves into the train. Since I had a little bit time pressure and know, that the train will be late and was not sure, if there still would be space for me and my three big backs. I decide to take a taxi for the few kilometers to the airport. Another Italian guy was also in a hurry and we agreed on sharing a taxi. In the vehicle I figured out, that he is the organizer of one of the biggest circus festivals. When I told him, that I just worked in a circus, he asked me, if I would like to see his festival or even perform on it. He gave me his business card, we wished each other a save trip and walked to our terminals.
Since I could not find the baggage drop of for the economy class, I walked to the business class baggage drop off. After a few minutes all business class passengers were gone and the friendly women on the desk, said I could come to her. Actually I had planned to visit another famous modern building close to the airport after I had dropped off my bags. But the women of SAS told me, that lots of passengers had missed their flights yesterday, due to long lines on the security check. I decide, that it is not worth to risk it and walked to the security check lines. A women employed by the airport, waved me without any question to the business class security call, since only little people were waiting in line, compared to the big line on the other side.
As it is common in modern airports you have to walk through lots of stores before you arrive on your gate. One store had some whisky samples. I did not have any whiskey since one year and figured out it was literally worth a shot.
Since the timetable did not told me to which gate I had to go, I waited standing 30 minutes until it told me, that my flight was 15 minutes late. After this, it still did not tell me the gate, I asked the guy at the airport information. He told me, that they will tell me in one hour, how many minutes my flight will be late. Disappointed by arriving late at home, I decided to sit down on the stairs and enjoy the free wifi.
Finally my gate was visible. Furthermore, after half an hour it was already boarding time. The plane was so small, that it was not accessible from the gate over a bridge and that I could not stand straight in it.
The captain announced hesitating with lots of breaks: “Due to some… technical problems… we had to change our plane… Before we leave… we have to refuel the plane. The tank car…is on… the way. Please do not use your seat belts while we are refuling the plane.“
After another hour we took off. 23:39 the plane touched the runway of Stuttgart Airport. As soon as we landed my excitement was beyond limit. I could not wait much longer to see my parents again. My baggage arrived very fast. The only problem was, that the euro coin, did not really fit into the slot of the luggage trolley. I asked a worker in English, if he could help me. His English did not seem to be in the best shape. Then I recognized, that I could have also asked in German. A few minutes after midnight, I finally met my parents again.
We walked to our car, which still looked the same, but the airport looked different and more modern. After arriving at home, I started to cook Maultaschen with onions, a dish which I did not have eaten since over one year. After telling stories from the last year, I fell very tired into my old bed.
The first day, I felt like a stranger in this former country. New buildings had changed the cites. When I took the train, I was not sure, if the people had changed and I did not recognize them or if I had changed and they did not recognize me. Finally, I bumped into 15 people of my school on one day. It is very nice to see old faces and friend. About the question, “how was the last year in the USA”, I barely find an answer to describe all wonderful experiences. I do not really know, what to tell at first place.
Exactly one year ago, I started to my trip to America.
Now it is time to say thank you.
I really appreciate, what my host families and Circus Harmony and Circus Harmony did for me. This is something, what is unique and should not be taken for granted. Moreover, a big thank to my family, my sponsors, IJGD (International Youth Services) and the German government.
Thank you all!
Without your valuable work, this wonderful year would not have been possible for me.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog.
Please feel free to ask me questions.