After having packed my bags (and then having to repack them at the airport to meet the stricter weight requirements), I headed from Washington, D.C. to Düsseldorf via London-Heathrow. The journey is one I know well because before law school, I spent two years in Germany as an English teaching assistant. Excitement does not aptly describe how elated I was to be headed back to Germany, specifically the Ruhr valley, a region that became like a second home during my last visit.
The flight took no time at all and soon I landed in London-Heathrow, where I spent six hours eagerly awaiting my flight to Düsseldorf. Finally, the gate to Düsseldorf was announced and I headed over to board the plane. After a short, one-hour flight, I landed in Düsseldorf. Having travelled abroad before, I usually feel a nervous excitement when I get to my final destination. However, when I got to Düsseldorf, I felt that I was home.
As I left the airport arrival area, I was greeted by two of my good friends, Henrik Dindas and Matthias Schlagheck, with a “Welcome Home” sign and a loud cheer. From the airport, we drove to Essen, where I will be working for the next ten weeks. After a quick lunch at a local Döner (a Turkish kabob popular in Germany) shop , we reminisced and caught up. Around 7 p.m., we went to lacrosse practice, where I caught up with other friends and fought off the jetlag. After a two-hour practice, I headed back to Henrik’s apartment, where I am staying, and after catching up a little more, I fell sound asleep.
Over the weekend, I was able to catch up with more friends and old colleagues, including my mentor teacher during my English teaching assistantship, Angelika Volbers. Moreover, the weather was amazing which allowed for grilling in the Essen Stadtgarten (city garden). Thus, my first weekend back in Germany was filled with family and friends and a lot of fun.