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Can I just give you a quick run-down of my day today?  No, the last 24 hours.  Just a quick one, okay?  Okay, here goes (in bullet form it looks more impressive):

* Last night I chased a huge thunderstorm across southeast Germany, nearly running into the end of a road, encountering a 30-minute detour due to road closure, and trying to check into the wrong hotel before finally reaching my destination for the night.

*At breakfast this morning, I made use of my fancy new German word, “koffeinfrei” which means caffeine-free.  Unfortunately, either I said it wrong or the guy just couldn’t imagine someone wanting to drink coffee in the morning without the actual jolt that it brings.  Or maybe he thought I was asking “Is the coffee free?”  Jitters and anxiety for about eight hours.

* The tourist center was closed; the park information center had no resources in English; the Zwiesel information center had no resources in English and denied any knowledge of walking paths around Zwiesel, even though my Lonely Planet chapter indicated this was the place to get that exact information.

* I forgot contact lens solution but remembered my contact lenses.  In my eyes.

* The restaurant I chose for lunch had gluten in every single menu item.  I realized this after ordering a drink.  When I asked for simple sausage and sauerkraut, the owner made a face and said “Blagh!  This is Bavarian restaurant!”

* After lunch, I returned to my car to find a parking ticket on the windshield.

* After hitting a couple of galleries and shops along the Glasstrasse, I realized that…glass doesn’t really interest or excite me.  In the least.

* The starting point of the hiking trail to Lusen Peak denied being the starting point of any such trail, even though the Lonely Planet said it was here.

* I was completely underdressed for the hike to the Lusen Peak, anyway.

* On the 1.5 hour trail I did find on the mountain, only one animal joined me the entire time: a sweet old dog that was being walked.

* At the Freilichtmuseum, I enjoyed what I saw, but they had no signs or literature in English so most of the time I didn’t really know what I was looking at.

* I reluctantly decided to hit the town of Bodenmais “real quick” on my way back to the pension, just so I could see it.  My GPS took me completely past the town.  I gave up and headed for the barn.

* The barn (pension), when I reached it, averaged about 61 degrees from room to room.

* For dinner I tried desparately to avoid eating another plate of sausage, sauerkraut and potatoes.  I tried a Thai restaurant – nope, full up for the night.  I tried an Italian restaurant – nope, they only served pizza and pasta.  I gave in and had…wait for it…sausage, sauerkraut and potatoes.

Now, why on earth am I recalling this day?  Honestly, this is not a complaint or a rant at all.  I feel there’s actually a really important lesson here for me.  You see, last weekend a person who knows such things told me that it’s part of who I am to feel frustrated and stuck when I initiate action, try to make things happen.  When I sit back in receptivity, and accept invitations, all flows well for me.  This makes so much sense (as did many other things this person told me – I kinda fell outta my seat talking to her) that I have been observing myself intently on this point all week.  I have been watching what happens when I do sit back and wait, and when I get antsy and try to make things happen.  Observing myself make calls to the hotels in the forest…and not receiving any calls back.  Calling again…and again…and finally reaching someone.  I didn’t really know what I was going to do once I got here, and nothing I read about really excited me in my guts – in fact, I kind of kept thinking about just staying home, but for some reason I put this pressure on myself to “make” the trip work.  Well, apparently the Universe decided that since I was ignoring subtle cues, it would have to bitchslap me a little bit before I would pay attention.  Well buddy, I am paying attention now!  I’m going to go to sleep as quickly as possible, be much more specific about my coffee in the morning, and head back to my homebase here – which is where my guts really wanted to be all weekend.  Oy!

Epilogue:  Now that that’s done, I’ll share with you some cool things that did happen this weekend.

* The thunderstorm was actually pretty awesome.

* At lunch, the guy ended up being kind of funny in a grouchy-old-man kind of way.  He asked where I was from, and then called me “The Californian” for the rest of lunch.  His staff giggled every time he said it.  When I asked him how he made the amazing popcorn crust on the roast pork (see picture above), he took me into the kitchen and showed me the special oven they use!

* At dinner, I was waited on by a very nice woman who listened closely, made sure there was no gluten in the dish I ordered, and treated me warmly and with respect.  The table across from me giggled every five minutes for the whole time I was there – it was really cute and contagious.

* The fact that so few people here speak English meant that I had the opportunity to take more risks and see what I really could say in German, when I had to.  It always surprises me what I can communicate in this language.  (Apparently, I have not mastered “decaffeinated” but tomorrow is another day!)

* The forest was quite lovely at moments, especially when I found the sweet pond backed up against the trees.  And the beautiful mushrooms!  See the quartet of them above.

* I laughed all day long, at the sheer absurdity of everything that happened.

Lesson?  Sit back.  Relax.  I don’t have to make anything happen.  I only have to answer the call when it comes.  Wuuuuuuuuuush….