Dear Everyone who follows this blog,
I'm in Germany! Also, I can read but not send email, and also my bank's computer went down the day I got here (meaning, I haven't been able to access any money through my debit card, which was the main way I had been planning to do so), so life has been... interesting.
That's why the following, seemingly personal message is being posted on a public blog. Go ahead and read it, everyone-but-Mom-who-follows-this-blog; it isn't THAT personal, and if it were me who had been reading this lead up to it, I would be dying to know what the message actually was.
I am at the youth hostel, which has the cheapest internet rates I have encountered yet (Hooray!). I had a hairy moment this morning when the guy at the desk said he could take your credit card number for the room rental itself, but he had to have five Euros, cash, for the room key deposit. Turns out, though, that there is a Western Union in the train station itself (not the one only fifteen feet away, across from the train station, but the one IN the train station) which is open on Saturdays-- hooray! Also, it turns out that this Western Union, with only one's passport and credit card, will allow one to directly purchase Euros-- no transfer fee, just what the bank would charge for doing business not with them. Who knew? (OK, now I do, and now you do too.)
With this beautiful internet access, I was able to check my bank account, and-- hooray! again!-- my long-awaited paycheck has come in. So, hopefully, I won't be using your credit card for anything else for some time.
The food issue is doubly resolved. They are having free spaghetti here, tonight; and with my newfound means of getting cash, I can go to the store and get some things to cook with tomorrow (they allow guests to cook in the communal kitchen where I have now witnessed a bottle of vegetable oil larger than anything I have ever seen in Utah. Really. I will try to post a picture as soon as I get my picture-downloading issues resolved.) Nevertheless, I will never again complain that your "lunches" will feed a person for days, because I have found out for myself, to my great benefit, that this is literally true. (For everyone else's benefit: thankfully, the price of my hotel included the price of an excellent (filling, nourishing) breakfast, so I was fed on something other than almonds, cranberries, and nature bars for one-third of the day. Woman can live by nuts and berries alone, but it isn't very interesting after the first twelve hours. I'm thankful that the interesting parts of my life have now balanced out: more interesting food, less interesting money situation.)
So. Alles Wohl. Indeed, as you had predicted, I am no longer filled with the desire to just turn around and come back to where I came from. Knowing that I have a warm, safe place to spend the night makes all the difference.
P.S. Whoever reads this first, could you please call Mom to tell her to look at it?
P.P. S. Also, please excuse any weird spelling; some of the keys on this keyboard are in different places than usual (most interestingly, there is a z where the y usuallzy is) <(Also, the shift key is smaller, with an arrow key where it usually is) and the spellchecker is not on, presumably because they have people emailing in many different languages from here.
P.P.P.S. I plan write up the whole-- no, the most interesting parts of the-- story of this interesting vacation, soon, but even at only one Euro an hour, one must be careful with one's interenet time!
P.P.P.P.S. This is absolutely the last one! To everyone who has been praying, or who has ever prayed, for my safety and well-being, a thousand blessings on your heads. Really. I am very, very thankful to you.
I have also resloved to take a more active interest in situations of homelessness. It is not right for a person who has not committed a crime to be worried about freezing to death on the same night that a person who has been convicted of one is sleeping safe, though confined, in a jail. And yes, there are completely innocent persons who are homeless, sometimes; I have been one, others I have been close to have been, and I volunteered for some months at a school in a homeless shelter. Those kids did not deserve that. Difficult problem, and one I will be looking at more over time.