Home, sweet home.

Well, my home away from home at least. We got back tonight…late. Lisa says she thinks it was closer to 11, I don’t think it was that late, but I didn’t actually check so I don’t know. We didn’t actually get into Munich proper last night, the hotel was in Feldkirchen, and we went to this awesome restaurant and we all tried a beer. Adeline and Dad were the only one’s who didn’t have the ‘House Beer’. The restaurant was also a brewery. It was the Fliegerbräu, I was pleasantly surprised with my cold half litre, as I was expecting – what I’ve been led to believe was – the customary warm German beer. I finished it no problem, it was quite good. I think I might be developing a taste for beer… Dad and I had the Viennese Schnitzel with potatoes. Adeline had sausages  (all dishes came with potatoes) and the other 4 had some version of Ox meat. I ordered a soft pretzel as well and once it came the others wanted one too. Our waiter was only able to bring us 3 instead of 5 because they’re made fresh and that was all they had left at the time. We were all so full! I was more than a bit tipsy, but it didn’t last very long. Also, yesterday was the hottest day we’ve had since my family got here. I think it got up to 24º at one point – it was definitely humid, especially in the restaurant.

Thursday (I forgot to mention this then) Adeline, Greg, and the boys went to Martingy – I think I have the spelling right (it sounds like martini) – a town about 30 minutes from Verbier. I’m not positive on that because I didn’t go! They went to the Saint Bernard Dog museum and Bastien got a little stuffed Saint Bernard toy. Last night, after supper and as we were walking into the hotel, I asked Bastien what the name was for his dog and he told me the dog was a Saint Bernard, etc, etc. I asked again what was his name, not what kind of dog he was. You know, my panda is a panda, but his name is Freddy. Bastien replied like this; ‘But Holly, I already explained it all to you’. With intense earnestness and a touch of annoyance at my – what appeared to him as – unnecessary question. Adeline tried to explain what I was getting at and I thought we could call him St. Bernie. I don’t think the name will stick, but it was a shot.

Now, I wasn’t lazy last night. There was internet, but you had to pay. I don’t know where I read that internet was included at one of the hotels, because I was wrong both times. Wrong, but prepared.

Tonight, again, Bastien offered to share something with me. This time it was strawberry flavoured milk that he had at home before bed. He actually asked me two different times if I wanted to try some. I politely declined. But, as per usual, it was quite adorable. After getting him in his pj’s, I asked him who he wanted to read him his story, and he said me! So, we sat on his bed (not an easy thing to do as there is the top bunk to deal with) and read a short little story. Apart from being a little hyper while trying to get him ready for bed, he was great during the story and went to bed after that with no problems.

Lisa and I had a good chat after that…maybe a little too good because it’s almost 2am here, gah! I can’t believe it. This post took me a lot longer than planned. Actually, the post itself is a lot longer than planned. But at least now today is finished and I don’t have to remember to write about it tomorrow.

Today the weather was fitting to our activity. It was overcast and chilly at first, but then it warmed up slightly. It was overcast and threatening rain the entire day. We went to the city of Dachau, to visit the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. We did the self guided tour with audio guides. We found out that this was the first concentration camp of its kind and became a model for all the others under the Nazi regime. We learned a lot. One of the facts that I picked up was that the camp was built to hold 6,000 prisoners, but by the time the camp was liberated by the American’s in 1945 there were around 32,000 people living in unthinkable conditions. It’s a little hard to separate some of the facts because there were so many (and I don’t want to give false information), but if you’re interested in learning more about it you can visit the Memorial Site website. While it doesn’t give all the information, it gives an overview. There were a few things we didn’t get to see in detail, but it’s hard with two little kids and the knowledge that you have a long drive ahead of you. Also, after a while it can get to be a bit much and you need a little break. I tend to sort of detach myself from things like this…I don’t know if this is a good thing or not. It means that I don’t get as effected as some people, but it also means I don’t get as effected as some people. And yes, that repetition was on purpose. Logically, I know what happened, and I know it was absolutely horrible and inhumane, but I separate myself emotionally so I don’t feel all that pain. It seems that when I know something is fictional (ie. a movie) I have no problems opening up to the characters and what they’re going through. When it’s real history though… I think because I know that not only was it real, it’s still real, there are still people for whom it was all a horrible, living nightmare. That kind of realization and emotional turmoil is harder to ‘shut off’. I do not wish to diminish any of this at all what so ever by my lack of reaction. I do not wish to depreciate the sacrifices and suffering thousands upon thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish people went through during this time. This is, I guess, just my coping mechanism, one I’ve never really thought about much. I’ve often wondered why I don’t have similar reactions as others, or why I’m more effected by books and movies than I seem to be by real history. This is the first time I’ve actually analysed this part of myself and I’m laying it all bare for you to see. It makes me feel less hard-hearted and cold when I think of it in this way. And it’s usually easier to gloss over the hard stuff with the excuse you don’t want to depress anyone or just make them sad. Sometimes though, it’s necessary to be reminded of these types of events so we remember how fortunate most of us are to still retain our human rights and dignity.

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