22 May, 2017

Erlangen part I - On the edge of winter

Funny how the season can completely change ones perception of a place. 
Funny, too, how it seems that some people expect "volunteer" to mean not only "for free", but even "at one's own expense". 
Dear patient/s, why are you looking for a translator when it's clear to you from the start that you're not ready to value my work at least in an extent that would cover my train ticket? 
I'm ready to share my skills and knowledge and spend 2 weeks of my free time in hospital with you, but what I'm not ready to do is ending up in the minus before I even leave home.
Because as far as I know, I'm making the trip for you, not vice versa. 
Because that's about the only expense you're going to have for the entire two weeks. 
And actually, all I ask is for you to stick by the given rules and cover my traveling expenses. No more, no less. 

Despite what seemed to be a rather harsh start, after my September adventure in Erlangen, I was happy to go back to the lovely town in February. Equipped with warm winter clothing, I'd go from almost spring in Slovenia to deep Austrian winter...
... And after an overnight stop at my sister in Salzburg...
... It was time for a white and blue Bavarian fairytale.
Shortly after my arrival in the Franconian town, I decided to stretch my legs on the familiar paths above the city while the sun was still shining. Little did I know it would be the only sunshine I'd see for days.
Anyone home?
Even though I can't deny the city center looks charming in grey, it was the cold that made me think twice on whether I'd really have to go outside.
One exception remained to be Erlangen's Botalical garden. With a snow layer covering its outside vegetation, a feeding site for birds turned out to be a vivid bird observation place for until I could no longer feel my fingers.
And while my hospital workplace ended up being a place of negative thoughts and whining...
... The garden became a welcome hiding place to me. 
Erlangen as such offered some distraction, too, and from the colourful shop windows spring slowly began to spread across the city.
The snowdrops are out :)

~ to be continued ~

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