It was truly a blessing waking up at 10:30am my third morning in NYC, given that I had been sleeping only 3 hours a day since arriving. That wonderful NY bagel that was waiting for me in the fridge was finally toasted and devoured. Definitely lived up to all the crazy hype surrounding it. I do not exaggerate when I say that it legitimately took me over 30 minutes to finish my one bagel because of how chewy it was. My jaw was sore for a good while after breakfast.
And then I was shipped off to the airport! Thanked David and Joyce profusely for their generous hospitality and my luxurious NYC experience, before tackling one of the scarier tasks in life: not being socially awkward. I was a very shy kid before college, when it came to meeting complete strangers, and am still quite the introvert. This was daunting: 36 students from all over the United States, whom I share no mutual friends and no relation with at all.
But worries aside, I discovered quickly that these were some of the most open and friendly kids I had met. A group of us played card games to kill the 3.5 hours before our 4 o’ clock Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt. I was introduced to Mao: the greatest card game I had played at that time. It is absolutely frustrating if you don’t get it, hilarious if you do. Those of us new to the game were victims of embarrassment: singing requested songs in front of everyone, specific dance moves, whatever the Chairman could torture us with. Our game was interrupted by wailing fire alarms that would not go off for an entire hour. What a relief it was to begin boarding and escape the screeching alarm.
My anticipation to arrive in Germany was exhausted by the 90 minute delay before take-off; there were a ridiculous 13 planes lined up ahead of our flight. LaGuardia definitely became one of the worst airports for me at that point. Then we were off! I sat next to a sweet, elderly German couple. At this point in my life, I was abstaining from cheese (due to animal rennet) and did not want to wonderful block of Swiss served at lunch to go to waste. In my general awkwardness, I said the only thing I could to this German couple: “Wollen Sie meine Käse?” (Would you like my cheese?). And that’s all I had to say about that.
I was ecstatic when we landed in Frankfurt. So ready to get out of the claustrophobic and stiff seats of Lufthansa. Frankfurt wasn’t our end destination–Nürnberg was, and so we had about 90 minutes to explore the beautiful Frankfurt Airport. Everything was sparkling clean and new. It was glorious compared to dratty Newark/LaGuardia and dysfunctional LAX.