Much of the last month has been spent preparing for this trip: purchasing plane tickets, making reservations at hostels for weekend trips, and trying to practice my German (Es geht...). I took a Early German Literature course this past semester, and while I've decided that Middle High German is just not for me, I did throughly enjoy much of the material. Germany has a rich literary history informed by its numerous conflicts and political upheavals over the centuries. To stay in the mood, I've been reading up on German history: during May I managed to power through Peter Wilson's The Thirty Years' War: Europe's Tragedy, Frederick Taylors's The Berlin Wall, and even found time to reread John Le Carre's espionage masterpiece The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.
Well, time to finish packing; I'll try to sleep on the plane. My instructions from the University of Duisburg-Essen say to take a train from the airport into town and wait to be picked up at the local Starbuck's. While I'm waiting in that fine German establishment, I'll try to post again.
Bis Dann (Until Then...)