And really strange they are.

I’m returning to the States early tomorrow morning. It’s going to be insane really, with my luggage. My room is nearly bare, just my bed-stuff will be put out in the morning, because I kind of need to sleep on the bed still. It’s freakishly sterile looking, after my photos, posters, statues and trinkets have adorned the shelves all year. And I dunno…it’s weird to be going home. I’m panicking already.

Panic comes because I’m slightly people/crowd-phobic (there must be a real name for this). Which means trains, airports and the like are a nightmare. Too many people. And just the stress of having all my luggage for the first time in 11 months again is enough to frighten me a bit. Hopefully I’ll be splitting a taxi with one of the other kids from my program who is going to be traveling tomorrow morning as well. I have 2 suitcases – yes, I’m crazy – and my carry-on. It is going to be a rough day of travel for me. And add in the people and having to deal with dozens of them all day, I’m nervous. Plus – there’s just the whole “oh crap” thought process of actually having to go home again.

I’ve settled in Freiburg, I love it here. So going home is stressful on multiple fronts. But, this week has been unusual for me. Had a friend visit, that went well. She’s very nice, and we had an excellent time. I’m going to miss hanging out with this girl, since she’s in Germany for quite a while, and I’m going home and stuck there for at least a year, perhaps longer, depending on how things work out for me after graduation. So at least I had 4 good days with a friend before the stress of figuring out how to finish packing and all that stuff started up.

But then today was perhaps the oddest. I’ve been more confident the last 2 weeks. I’m going home, but I’m me and totally different. It’s awesome, after a manner. I’m far happier with myself than when I left, and I’m a lot healthier and just more, well me is the only way to describe it really. So I’ve been in an excellent mood. Today though, I went to sell back my clarinet. I was hoping to bring it home, but there’s just no way for me to do that. Not enough room and it’s just too bulky for me to manage. So I had to go and sell it back.

The guy in the store was wonderfully helpful, friendly too. And cute – which is definitely important for my story. So we were talking while I was filling out the paperwork, and he’d asked where I was going home to, so I said roundabouts Seattle (that’s close enough and it’s the only city in Washington most Europeans know anyway). Turns out he has a friend in Seattle, one who actually “learned to love the rain”. Which of course just had me laughing. In case you aren’t from around Seattle/don’t know it too well – it doesn’t rain nearly as much as the national media says it does. For example, Houston & Chicago get more annual rainfall in amount than Seattle. Difference is, Seattle it’s overcast and our rain is spread out over a longer period of time. But, we were just chatting about Germany and such, and music. Turns out though, cute store employee would have, if I weren’t going home tomorrow, asked me out on a date. And, he said that when I come back to Germany I should stop on by. Of course, I’m sure that part is all just nice flirting and he didn’t mean it.

But still – major confidence boost. I’m not the person anyone looks twice at. I’ve always been background person, not really noticed or anything. And pretty much out of the blue this guy says that I’m attractive and he was interested. That’s definitely a huge confidence dose there. And of course, I would get embarrassed and flustered about it. So I think I probably went bright red. I don’t even care if he was just playing nice and flirting for the hell of it. Definitely made my day. So he made me promise that next time I’m in Freiburg I’ll stop in. Don’t know when that will be, but hey, might as well. The store sells awesome music instruments, so next time I’m in Germany, I probably will at least pop in to check it out.

So, between awesome times with friends and then a cute German guy flirting with me – this week has been excellent. Just very strange in the second half of my last 7 days here in Germany. I don’t get flirted with, I don’t get attention like that at all. So it knocked me back and shocked me. But, I’d say a pretty good end to my year in Freiburg.

And now I’m off to try and sleep, or at least pretend to sleep. Early mornings do not agree with me. But, I don’t want to miss my flight.

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