The day has finally come. On 11 June 2016, I arrived in Germany for an 8-day business and training. Germany itself is a country of clean and green where inhabitants are well-disciplined and self-served, I noticed as my eyes were opened to the ways not mine. If they say in one minute, it has to be it because they walk the talk! They ate huge portion and not fond of sharing. They live the simplest but enjoy the benefits of an advanced economy.
In Germany, I was a traveller, not a tourist. A friend once told me that “being a traveller” means living the other territory’s lifestyle without compromise to your convictions while “being a tourist” means merely visiting and seeing exciting new places. So here’s to give you a recap of my unforgettable exposures in different cities within.
MAINZ. We made our way to the heart this small city and took a moment with some iconic places that made me tell of its amazingly rich and visible history. Among these were St. Peter’s Church, Hans Klenk Fountain, Christchurch, the Elector’s Palace, Davidius Victor Arc, Ministry of Justice and of course the ever famous river Rhein which is the longest in Europe connecting Switzerland, Germany and France. Learning about how the ancient civilization used it as their main point of transportation made me appreciate more the hands of the living God for in Him there is always way possible.
BIS BALD. We treated ourselves with an afternoon snack at Las Salinas Beach and enjoyed a refreshing view of the other side of Rhein river. But mind you, this place gave us a bit of heart attack when two big guys, in shirts that says “security”, come right in front of us only to tell us that we are carrying forbidden drinks – sodas! That incident taught me that there is no real excuse of ignorance of the rules. And that it is no one else’s responsibility to know but mine for I have always been given the choice.
FRANKFURT. Our feet brought us to Frankfurt, Germany’s biggest city. We paid a visit to the old market square, the gothic Frankfurter Dom and The Love Lock Bridge that gave us a panoramic view of the city. Padlocks were locked in the bridge to symbolize unbreakable love. This reminded me that if we only put our trust and hope in the Lord, there is really such a thing as indestructible.
WORRSTADT. For 5 straight days in the office in this lush countryside where the international finance meetings and trainings were held, I was able to easily establish friendships, connections and relationships with unique individuals from USA, Germany, Singapore, Japan, South Africa, India, Greece, Spain, Italy and the rest of the world. Apart from the additional knowledge and know-how, it made me recognize the fact that we can only understand people not of our background if we interact with them hand in hand, face to face. Working with them through emails and phone calls is never enough to qualify as working international.
RUDESHEIM. The company arranged a shuttle tour and surprised us with a visit to the well-known Niedelward Monument, the largest in Europe located at the top of the mountain in the middle of river Rhein, showcasing history. I had a valid point pondered in here: I only have to enjoy how my past made me better, not bitter!
DUSSELDORF. One of the perks of a company arranged tour was to be able to walk along alleys and houses of this old town. Houses were built like castles. I couldn’t help but think how great it was for the Germans to preserve their olden times. Whilst the guide was talking, I noticed that the Germans were all-ears, listening respectfully and attentively. At the back of my mind, this is worth imitating in order to reduce miscommunication and the habit of gossiping false information.
BAVARIA. The company arranged a sumptuous dinner at Johannisburg Palace which made a good memory for all of us to remember. It was full of laughs as nobody understood what they were ordering for. English menus were provided but are still very German so all in our table ended up ordering the same. This place was also famous for its winery but I was glad they offered non-alcoholic wines too!
Germany taught me well and I cannot forget this wonderful experience. Receiving a “top-of-the-line” sincere compliment from a VIP is such an incredible blessing to a nobody and flawed individual like me. Weapons may have been formed against me but the God whom I am serving is capable of turning every evil for my good. So what more can I do? I guess I just have to let go of myself and let God. I just have to be grateful that He brought me to Germany where I met people of cultures I am not.
(“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11)
P.S. I will surely see you again Germany, with my husband Francis and my immediate family.