Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tuebingen treat


It's amazing what today's technology can do, especially establishing contacts with people from the other side of the globe. Made so all the more efficient if you actually get to meet these people personally after the virtual round of introductions. This I could confirm after spending this weekend in Tuebingen, Germany, where I practically know no one, other than Omar whom I have only virtually met way back when I was still in the Philippines.

I could not remember who suggested which, but after less than one month, our plan for some students in our programme to spend a weekend in Tuebingen pushed through. Gabi and I, with our still-limited knowledge of Deutsch, braved the sophisticated German transportation system and took the trains from Freiburg to Tuebingen. The journey included almost four hours of train travel, four transits, one of which we almost missed had we not hopped on the train right away and asked someone if it was going to our destination. Right after we confirmed that we got on the right train and even before we got on our seats, the train started to roll by.

Neckar River insel

Omar and his girlfriend Billy met us at the Hauptbahnhof and we headed to her dorm which served as our abode during our stay there. We went to a Ristorante for dinner where I had the best pasta (Spaghetti Pomodoro) I have eaten so far in Germany. For the after-dinner beer, we headed to Neckarmueller Tuebinger Gasthausebrauerei, a brewery and one of many beer gardens which boast of a view of the Neckar River.

I should say I've eaten my best meals so far in this place since I left the Philippines in late July. We spent the following day walking around the compact university town, and had gelato for lunch, and a sumptuous Doener and soda for snacks. With no consensus to try a one-hour hike up to a chapel situated on a hill, we went back to the dorm and had wafers and exotic Brazilian tea.

Dinner is another story altogether. We waited for a friend of Billy's before we headed to the supermarket. We picked up some stuff we needed for dinner, not far from how we picked up three other people one our way to our dining place who were friend of a friend of a friend. We had haut cuisine of paprika stuffed with rice, salad, and some kind of tomato delicacy for dinner courtesy of the Peruvian girl who we later found out studied culinary arts. We celebrated our feast al fresco style, taking advantage of the pleasant weather. Candles lit the waning summer night, and wine was poured to loosen the vocal cords and let the converstion flow. Thirteen people and four languages (German, English, Spanish, and a spat of Portuguese) surrounded the dining table. Chile, Peru, Columbia, Uruguay, Brazil Denmark, Turkey, and of course Germany and the Philippines were represented.

Our traditional breakfast of German and Columbian fares also did not disappoint during my visit in Tuebingen. Bread, cheese, smoked chicken and salami cuts, milk, yoghurt, coffee and tea were partaken by everyone.

Tonight I had to convince myself that I am back to my usual meal of toast... immer Toast!

The building on the right was where "Goethe lived for five days," while the white placard on the upper left-hand side identifies the building as where "Goethe puked."

Tuebingen "Landschaft" (landscape)

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