Monday, September 7, 2009

Sam Explores Germany & Switzerland Pt 2

Dear Familia and Mes Amies,

Sorry my journals are long, but you're used to it right? There are probably a number of grammatical and spelling mistakes, but I just like to type it and send it. I hope you are all well and how is the weather in Canada right now?

Sat. August 29/09

I realize now that I wrote this heading in the previous email but did not actually right about it. Nina's parents own a cottage in Buren. It is absolutely beautiful and relaxing there. There is a lovely backyard and it is very cozy. I took pictures of it. I would like to find something equivalent to it in Toronto when I have money and when I'm not still travelling like a maniac!

For those of you who didn't already know why I came to Germany, it isn't because I'm going down the aisle hahaha. Today was Nina and Dave's big day! Dave the Canadian and Kris left early for the photoshoots. The rest of us were picked up by Miriam, Dave the German's sister. I woke up around 9:30amish and got dressed for the wedding although I might have time later to dress up at the dorm. Miriam picked us up and along the way, we talked about Australia as she is currently living there.

We dropped by Dave's parents place and then were driven to the castle grounds. The wedding would be taking place in a church and the reception was on the castle grounds. Nina's father works in the University and was able to arrange to have the room reserved. They were still prepping for the reception when we arrived. We left the reception area to go to the castle. Nina and Dave were taking their pictures there. They both looked so great! You will be able to see it in the pictures. Kris was also taking photos and I talked to Tobi and Diana. Soon after we headed off to the church.

Sergey and I were in the car with Dave's parents. They are very friendly and nice. When we arrived many people were outside with the bride and groom. It was very refreshing to experience a German wedding. People sat in the pews and there was a flat part behind each pew where the the wedding programs and a package of tissue were placed. There were also hooks to hang things on.

Some interesting differences were:
* the wedding party consisted only of the Bride, Groom, Maid of Honour and Best Man (or Wurst Man, as Dave said hahaha).
* the Maid of Honour and Best Man sat in the 2nd pew while the families sat in the first pews on their respective sides.
* Nina & Dave sat on a wooden bench/pew facing forward (at least, that's what I think I saw)
* there was a Catholic Priest and a Protestant Priest to do the ceremony
* the "you may now kiss the bride" was not said, but we managed to get them to kiss a few times during the reception
* after the ceremony, there was a big banner that said, "DAVID+NINA" in a big heart. After receiving congratulations from their family & friends, they cut out the heart together - each with a pair of scissors. Once the heart was cut out, Dave picked Nina up and carried her through the heart hole in the banner, like when a groom carries the bride through the doorway. It was a really nice thing to see. If I ever get married, I would like to do something like this.


We returned to the castle grounds. Sergey and I brought our things to the rooms that had been booked for us. We paid 17 euros each, which was great! We quickly dropped our stuff off and then headed to the reception. We were quite close and not even 5 minutes away. When we arrived we saw that Kris was taking the photos of the guests. Each couple would hold a gold painted heart in front of their heads like a picture frame. Later on the pictures were printed on photo paper and taped into a big black guest book for people to sign. Dave was running errands in the BMW and was loving it. Dave told me that they had scored this sweet ride, due to another customer not being satisfied with that model when they had requested another. SCORE!

The hors d'oeuvres (sp?) were quite tasty and I was always happy when the lady came by to offer them. I was quite hungry. We also had flutes of champagne and orange juice. Sergey wanted to go back to the dorm to check on his iphone which was charging. He had filmed the entire wedding and it had zapped the power. I was really amazed that he kept his arms up for so long. Anyway, Dave offered to drive us in the BMW ahahah and off we went on our joyride. I took some photos in it too!


The reception hall/room was lovely! Nina and Dave did their speeches and introduced the tables. We were at the Kensington Market table. It was the Canadian table with Sergey, Cynthia, Matt, myself, Jing, My Le, Anise and Jennifer - the latter four know Dave from work and are based in London. I got along with them very well and we had great conversation. The two fathers of the newlyweds did speeches. Nina's dad said it in German and Dave's dad translated in English. Rike, the Maid of Honor, did her speech and Dave's friends went up as well to do a song/skit.

You did read that in this section, I talk about the model right? Well it isn't the model you're thinking! Dave's friends created a model of Canada for him and it was really quite creative. I took photos of it. Dave and Nina are hoping to move to Toronto, Canada and are waiting for their papers to be processed. Dave loves Canada and even more Canadian than me! His cell phone ringer is our national anthem! His friends and family told me that he always talks about Canada and all it's great points. We are all waiting for them to join us!

The food was very impressive and very good! I took pictures of all of it, surprise surprise! I will have to ask Nina for a menu so I may properly tell you what we ate. The starters were excellent, my favourites being - the avocado-like mayonaise with shrimp, prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe and a deep fried/battered prawn. There was German wedding soup which had homemade noodles and steamed egg in a beef broth. The main course was a buffet with roast beef, chicken stuffed with sausage, noodles, mixed steam vegetables, roasted potatoes, mushrooms with something, steamed fish and rice. The desserts were mango sorbet, chocolate mouse, a raspberry dessert and I think tiramisu. The cake though, was amazing, as it had fruit caviar on top. I don't really know how to describe it, and I didn't take a picture as it was dark. I think I will dream about it as I dream about delicious food I've eaten around the world.

Ahhh the lovely Nina has just passed me the menu...
Gaumenkitzel - Amuse-guele
Klare Hochzeitssuppe - German Wedding Soup

Saltimbocca von Poularde - Spring Chicken Saltimbocca
Rinderbraten - Roast Beef
Doradenfilet auf Mediterrane Art - Mediterranean style Gilthead Fillet
Hausgemachte Nudeln - Home-made noodles
Gewurzkartoffeln - Roasted herb potatoes
Gerauchester Reis - Smoked Rice
Potpourri vom Sommergemuse - Summer Vegetable Potpourri
Funf susse verfuhrungen - five sweet temptations

Oh yes, I did go there Lady Gaga. We danced the night away in English, in German, it didn't matter what the song was. We were having a blast. Oh and one of my favourite parts was when they played Take That's "Re-light My Fire"...AHHAHA. Miriam and I sang while we danced, though she knew every lyric! They also played Take on Me so I thought of Jos and Rob singing it karaoke style. They also played The Greatest Love of All. Cynthia and I took breaks outside in between dances since we were starting to sweat. The stars were beautiful!

I also ran into Diana who told me to come over to their table to say hi. I told her I was shy and later on that night, she surprised me at our table. She said since I didn't go to their table, she came to ours. I also met Verena, who is Dave's childhood friend. She is currently living in Zurich and told me to contact her while I'm there and perhaps we can do dinner or a mountain tour together.

And so we did. We drank the night away. I was drinking white and red wine and then I think the last half hour or so, the drinks just kept coming. We were doing a few shots including an Italian drink they call "grappr" and then beers. People were getting quite happy and cheerful. That last half hour did me in. I kept giving people water and drinking some myself haha. Every time my hand was empty it was replaced by another drink.

Those of us who passed the 4am mark formed a big circle around Nina and Dave. A plate filled with tea lights was placed in the middle in the shape of a heart. We all held hands and sang the last songs which were an encore of The Greatest Love of All and New York New York and a few others. In the end, I have many good memories hahaha and thankfully Sergey waited for me and lent me his arm as we walked back to the dorms. I wasn't totally done in, but I was a bit past tipsy.

Now SuperSober,

Sam ^__^
p.s. I find that I probably should have taken many more pictures, but the ones I should have taken most of all was one with the bride AND groom as well as a big Canadian picture. Poopooo...

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