Adventure, Travel

The Elephant: Saying Goodbye

So Summer Holidays have begun! And on the first day of summer holidays, which was the June 22, the monthly Bremen exchange student gathering known as the Elephant, was on. Thankfully, I had a special Schüler Ferien Ticket which allowed me to travel the whole Lower Saxony area throughout the 6-week long Summer holiday for a very reasonable price.

So I set out to Bremen at 10 o’clock in the morning. (I had to leave pretty early cause it takes me about 3 hours to travel all the way to Bremen) But I made it to Bremen and I met up with Lautaro, my buddy from Peru. Sadly, he wasn’t going to the Elephant this time but we still had time to chat for about an hour before he left the station.

I had a few hours to kill after that so I went to wander around the city. I literally had no idea where I was going so I got lost a couple of times. As I walked around, I got to see many different parts of the area around the city center, the more touristy side as well as the quieter sides of the city. It was a really good time as I was able to find the Altstadt, which literally translates into the old city. The buildings there were big, beautifully decorated and it was so lively. Here are some of the picture I took:

After wandering around for about 2 hours, I got a text from my Taiwanese friend, Lily that she had arrived. So I met up with her and we set out to the park where the party was going to be held. It was pretty early, so not many people were there. Plus, there were some pretty serious storms going on so trains from Hamburg were canceled and some from Hannover as well so some people couldn’t make it.

Why the title? Because like all things, every student’s exchange program will eventually come to an end. And as for the students from Rotary, it was their time. Most of the students were leaving early July so it was their last elephant. The Rotarians were also in charge of the Elephant so them leaving will have a big impact on the Elephant as a whole. So Lily was one of the Rotarians, so it was her last Elephant. It’s kind of sad considering the group of Taiwanese girls was one of my first genuine group of close friends and I was pretty sad that they had to leave. But I’m hoping to be able to meet most of them one last time before they leave.

Back to the story, so the night went on pretty slow because of the lack of people. I didn’t see many people that I knew as most of my friends were busy that night so I was pretty worried that it wasn’t going to be too good of a night. But thankfully my Thai friend Kanoon came and we hung out for most of the night. At one point in the night, we were getting a little bit hungry so we went over to McDonald’s to grab some food. Which includes a few girls that I knew from my Bremen Orientation Camp as well as Jade, shown in the picture above, which I met at a previous Elephant.

We were just chilling and talking when suddenly we started writing our names on each other’s arms in out mother tongue. It was pretty cool considering how we’re from totally different cultures yet we are able to integrate and have so much fun together. Honestly, that was one of the best moments of the night.

Snapchat-2093783932
My name in Spanish & Thai

We went back to the park after that as we were finished with our food. I chilled with a group of friends when Kanoon decided to bring me to meet new people. I wasn’t keen at first but in the end, I thought okay, why not. That’s when I met Raphaelle, from Canada. She was super friendly and she was really nice. She was super interested in Asian culture and we also talked about our future plans like studies and it was an amazing conversation. But sadly, the conversation was cut short as I had to leave for home. But we exchanged contacts and I hope that we would be able to talk again sometime soon.

All in all, what I thought was not going to be the best of nights turned out to be one of the most meaningful nights I’ve had so far. All thanks to those that I’ve conversed with and that have been the joy that I looked forward to every month, the Elephant party. Usually, I wouldn’t be so supportive of such social gatherings but I really recommend anything who’s thinking of going on an exchange to take a chance, talk to people and open up even if you don’t usually do, you’ll be able to find interesting and memorable experiences when you do.

tl;dr:
not so great start of a night turned to be one heck of a night. But sadly had to say goodbye to some of my closest friends.

I would like to experience my greatest gratitude to those that I’ve met at the Elephant party. Even though we may not be able to meet again sometime soon, I thank all of you because you’ve made a great impact in my exchange program so far. I really hope that you guys have a safe flight back home and also that maybe one day we’ll see each other again.

Tschüss,
Jie.

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