Last Of Germany And A World Trip

A shower, coffee and soup is all I needed before hitching out of Belgium towards Germany, towards the end of Europe, the end of a world trip, really. It was a strange hitchhike though, many wrong turns and confusion, but I made it all the same.

First was a guy in a van, the language barrier too much to communicate a thing. I was left in Antwerpen, wandering for miles trying to get oriented, mistakenly turning down a ride from someone I thought was going in the wrong direction. Off and on light rain highlighted my general confusion.

A guy in a van picked me up who was sort of silent at first. We stopped by his house where he had pet owls, rare and beautiful. I couldn’t help but think of the greatest movie of all time, Dumb & Dumber, and what a shame it would be if someone picked off his owls with a champagne cork. He got me a sandwich and a coke which I chowed down on as I waited for the next ride.

I was then picked up by a guy who was from Holland, but had an amazing Irish accented twist to his speech, this kept me smiling despite the madness of him thinking he knew where he was going in order to help me out, but not knowing, me not knowing, just getting turned around and eventually let out to figure it out for myself, he’d done his part.

That’s where a guy with dutch weed came into play, as high as he was and helped me become, he got me back on track and everything seemed lovely. A banker in a suit gave me a short ride next, then finally the last ride came, a Dusseldorf native who spoke perfect English and got me just blocks away from my host’s house in the city.

My host’s name was Kristen and she was amazing. She’d seen on my profile that I loved beer and had actually gone out and gotten some great beer and had it chilled, ready to go. She cooked up a big meal and we talked into the night, going to the market briefly, then talking more along with her neighbor Mike.

The next day would be my last full day in Europe. We had breakfast and Kristen went to work, I headed over to Mike’s place and talked technology. He’d worked in the field of spectrum, cell, radio and otherwise. He excitedly drew up diagrams and explained such things in detail to me. We then hopped on some bikes and he toured me around the city, past landmarks, neighborhoods and along the water.

We paused for a bit drinking some alt beers, the city’s trademark beer, then headed back to their apartment building. I went out on my own afterward for one last currywurst hit. I’d amazingly been flipping through my book earlier in the day when a twenty euro bill popped out of the pages, I was flush.

Kristen came back and a Chinese girl joined us. She made up some banana pancakes, we did some shots, then it was out into the city. Mainly we hit up breweries and other beer spots, it was a great way to close things out, finally walking back to her place.

Kristen went to work early after a goodbye, then Mike walked me to the metro train that lead to the airport. The ticket machine was jammed, so I hopped on the train without a worry and sipped my second to last beer.

Once at the airport, I checked in, then went through security, scratching my bushy beard and laughing as security glanced back and forth between me and my sixteen year old photograph on my passport. Another laugh as my harmonica caught attention in the xray machine as I’d grown accustomed to. Then I burned the remainder of my twenty Euros - headphones for the flight, one last meal, and one last alt beer.

My around-the-world trip was coming full circle, from New Zealand to Australia to Southeast Asia to Europe and back to my home country again. My friend (that may as well be my brother) was getting married in just a day or two, I’d be back in time, then I’d be blasting off into America again, all the time in the world to stop and no desire to, I’m a creature of movement. Every moment is an opportunity, show me something new, set something on fire.