My first night I just stayed in a hostel, way to tired to do anything and if I were in a hostel, I would have a bed for sure, and be able to do nothing and not feel bad about it!
The next day, Monday, I checked out the city center and the Christmas Market. Then it just got way too cold and I found a bookstore and read the first couple pages of a couple books. I want to read, but just have not had time! Was tempted to purchase a book, but instead went for the German/English phrase book. Which I thought could be very helpful. I would love to learn German! So, this will make it a little easier for me to understand a bit more what people are teaching me. Oh German, so difficult to read and pronounce!
That afternoon, I headed to my couch surfer’s place. Pretty easy to get to by tram. Found it, haha, was not really expecting what I walked into! It reminded me of the warehouses in Brooklyn that have been renovated into apartments. It was neat looking tho, lots of decorations on the walls of what originally looked to have been a Victorian style old house or office with incredibly high ceilings. The guy who I had been in contact w/on CS wasn’t home, but his roommates were very welcoming! They ended up having an empty room I could have all to myself, with a mattress! So, that was great, we sat in the kitchen for a bit and chatted, then I needed a nap. They also had told me that for dinner, we were going to an alternative communal dining place. Sounds good to me!
Oh, man! It was awesome, well, we biked there! It was absolutely freezing and there was packed snow on the sidewalks. A bit of a challenge, but they loaned me a mountain bike which made it a little easier. The place we came to eat at, was another renovated, communal living space. Dinner was 1.50 Euro, and a beer was .60E !! So cheap!! And they gave you huge portions of what they had made! Apparently these dinners happen every week at this place, but there are numerous places like it that do them on other nights. If you wanted, you could eat at one of these dinners every night of the week! Amazing! I loved it, we ran into some other friends of theirs, really cool people.
The guys at the apartment I was staying at were Txa(Spanish), Alish (from Uzbekistan) , Ruey (German), and another one I did not remember his name. These guys were awesome, very friendly and helpful. It was interesting that once they knew I only spoke English, that was all they spoke the whole time, even among themselves.
|At the communal dinner apartment|
At the dinner I met one of their friend’s Claudia, she was really cool, also on Couchsurfers, we all hung out and ate dinner, then they projected a movie onto the wall, a documentary on the hard core punk rock movement in the late ‘70s-80s !! Haha, was all in English and it was great. It’s amazing how much you appreciate your language when you are submerged in another. After that, we all hung out at the bar part of the apartment until later in the night, when we attempted to get three people home on two bikes. …not a good combination. We took a shortcut through the park, where there was a fresh layer of snow and then the guys started tackeling one another, I thought I would be able to exclude myself from this, but by the end as we left the park, all three of us were covered in snow. Back to the apartment, and bed.
Finally was able to sleep! Got up around 2pm then Txa and a friend were going to go to a X-mas market and asked if I would like to join, of course! We biked to this Kabab/Doner place, ate and then met up with his friends at the market. Cool stuff there, a little different than the traditional markets I’ve been through. After that we biked to his friend’s place and had gluhwien. Then we were going to this free music thing in a very industrial part of the city.. Plagwitz. We biked forever. In the snow. Cold at first, but then you start working hard and warm up, these kids bike everywhere, in all weather, bc the tram tickets are so expensive. 2 Euro for an hour use.
|On the way to the music place we made a detour to an abandoned factory, where, according to Txa, there was a sled, that sled was in 2ft. of water-we did not end up bringing it w/us!|
|The really cool African music group (horrible picture!)|
Well, the music venue was pretty awesome, the neighborhood looked kinda slummy, but in a cute winter way, and we got to the place, pretty much a small warehouse, you walked in through the heavy wooden barn-like doors into a medium sized room, with a bar, pool table and huge furnace, and of course band on one side. It was SWEET! The first group played jazzy sounding African music, and the next was a jazz jam band, anyone was welcome to sing or play. Pretty cool, and the music was free, drinks were cheap, and lots of really nice people. I feel like I’m meeting a million people per minute. It’s hard to remember some names, but, no matter, good conversations are prevalent. And I also wonder, will I ever see these people again? I don’t know, Leipzig has been fun, as everyone has told me, it’s like the ‘little sister to Berlin’. I am VERY excited for Berlin. Leaving tomorrow at 5pm.
Tonight going to meet up w/ a friend I met in NYC who is from Leipzig.