This evening brought me exquisite joy. There were very many things that made it particularly wonderful. I hadn't realized that Fate was so good at multitasking. I originally wrote this blog four or so hours ago, but the even got even better so I decided to change the whole post instead of posting again. To start my evening, I called my best friend on the off chance that she would be available, have her phone with her, and not screen the unknown number. I was in the deepest of luck. Most of my communication with all you that I love has been written either electronically or handwritten. This is an extremely efficient way of keeping up with the people you love, but unfortunately intonation and even some measure of personality gets lost in the transition to stale paper. Getting to hear her voice made me laugh like I haven't laughed much since I got here. While I was talking to her Over the Rhine was playing on my speakers and out the window was one of the most stunning sunsets I have yet beheld here in Germany. After a wonderful half hour of talking with her, I went downtown to retrieve my bicycle which I had left there a couple of days ago and decided to risk it and ride it back. You see, I don't yet have lights on my bike and that is illegal after dark, and apparently they fine you a nice little wad if they catch you, but I yet again eluded the authorities and arrived home ticketless. At home I packed myself a thermos of hot chocolate, an apple, bundled up, scoured the house for a flashlight (I found two), and headed down my tree lined path to find a clearing from which to watch the stars. After some minimal rambling I landed in a little courtyard near the soccer fields and laid down with some good music and and open eyes. I sat there for about an hour and a half. Quiet, gentle, freezing cold, I burned my tongue on the chocolate and lay there thinking about the fact that really Germany isn't too bad, that these are the moments in life that make it all seem like someone else's romanticized adventure, and that it had been far too long since I had watched the stars.