Ever heard of Bielefeld, Germany? Supposedly it doesn’t exist. At least that’s how the saying goes. It’s part of a conspiracy that is a running gag amongst Germans about how no one knows where Bielefeld is or knows no one from the area. I do know one person from the area and that’s my pal Eric.
I took a two-hour train from Dorste to Bielefeld where Eric scooped me up. If you recall, I met Eric in South Africa last year at Mama Zulu’s and we became good buddies. Eric’s a hard one to get ahold of because he doesn’t use social media that often, but lo and behold, it was still possible. I would be staying with him and his family for close to a week. I asked him about the myth about the running joke of how Bielefeld doesn’t exist; something he said he hears all the time. It’s a real place. I was there! Of course now I fall into the category of people who are part of the conspiracy or were tricked into believing they were actually there. It’s a weird German joke.
Anyways, we made it to Eric’s house where I met his parents and younger sister. Eric is an exact copy of his father, except his dad is much bigger. His dad also possessed the playful qualities that his son had, which was funny to see. They told me to make myself at home and gave me Eric’s old room he had as a kid, complete with the entire collection of Ducktales books. On a side note, in Germany; Huey, Dewey, and Louie are called Tick, Trick, and Track. Crazy huh?
After settling in, Eric prepared a brai for everyone outside on the patio. In South Africa, grilling outside is called a brai, so he did it up for old times sake. During the brai, I met Eric’s friend Pierre, whom he met in South Africa after I had already left. And also Eric’s girlfriend Sophia, who I’ve heard SO much about back in Kayamandi. She’s really, really nice.
The next day, Eric, Pierre, Sophia, and I went to a castle somewhere in Bielefeld. We enjoyed a lunch we brought and hung out for a while there.
Right after, we went to the top of the castle’s tower and got a good scope of the city that certainly does exist!
Afterwards we went down into the underground part of the castle, the damp, dark areas where a knowledgable guide gave us the scoop on the history. I couldn’t understand a single word so I just stood there and pretended like I knew what was going on. I think the whole time I was thinking about sneaking off into other tunnels of the castle.
Pierre had to catch a train back to his hometown a few hours to the south of Germanny so we took him to the train station and bid him adieu! Right after that, we drove to a restaurant where they had all you can eat schnitzel! What is schnitel? It’s similar to shake-n-bake. For about 12 Euros, we were given as many schnitzels as we could eat, with a few different kinds!
After the third schnitzel, I had about a quarter of the fourth before I waved the white flag. Eric finished mine and had a total of six. It’s unusual to find someone who can eat more than I can, very unusual. I was off my game that day. Never again. We went back home completely stuffed and immobile. We were full for hours up until the next morning when we planned on going water skiing. I have never water ski’d before. I didn’t think it would be difficult to stand on two ski’s in the water but I can tell you it was. Eric said he was looking forward to laughing at me the entire day. I told him I think I will be fine. I was wrong. By the fourth attempt, I was able to stand up for maybe seven seconds before I sank into the water. And by the fourth attempt and I stopped. I was exhausted from constantly swimming from the middle of the lake back to the dock. I’ll try this again when I get back home to the Great Lakes of Michigan.
I don’t how it happened, but somehow Eric convinced me it was a good idea to go on a 22 mile hike early in the morning the next day. I said okay. What was I thinking? 22 miles? I’m on a vacation!
22 miles will bring me that much closer to Oktoberfest!