I arrived in Offenburg on the 2nd of March 2014, a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon…
Before my first visit to the well known ‘Sunny region’ of Germany I spent almost a week in Munich visiting my relatives before I set off on my first longest journey away from home. On that glorious Sunday afternoon I remember feeling a strong sense of overwhelmingness, knowing that a vast majority of changes would occur during my stay here. In saying that, I felt most comfortable with the fact that I was here in Germany, a land where half of my ancestors live and sustain a healthy family tree. My first impressions of this small wonderful town were quite satisfying; I almost immediately became accustomed to the heavy surrounding of culture and independent lifestyle, something which I would easily embrace in the near future.
I came to realise that I felt completely safe walking around Offenburg, especially once I met a few others who are also living near. My first week in Offenburg brought upon new festivities, a whole new way of celebration. It was certainly a unique new experience to witness and observe the German traditions during this time of the year. One particular carnival is „Kappeobend“, which takes place throughout the city streets. The name Kappe-Obend indicates to where something funny on your head, this proved to be a very fun and exciting period as many residents of Offenburg made it very worth while to show off their extravagant costumes and masks. Not to mention the bread/sausage throwing by the ‘witches’ from the top floor of a few buildings. The idea seems legitimate, although if you’re not aware you could get hit in the head with a fat sausage, quite amusing for some, and possibly painful for others I would say. Nonetheless, the atmosphere created by the passion and excitement from the crowd displayed great joyfulness.
The conclusion of the carnival caught me with a little surprise, the spectacular burning of the witches in the heart of the town. A great display by the community and a cheerful time for everyone, it certainly sent a warm welcome to the new comers including myself. Having chosen the Student residence as my temporary new home I gladly realised how convenient it was to get around. The university, Hochschule Offenburg is literally around the corner, a three minute walk to be precise. I noticed a great attraction which lies in the routes of this town, the beautiful Gifiz Lake which is partially situated directly across the bridge from the university. Being able to make friends quickly here, we wasted no time in organising several barbecues by the Gifiz, the magnificent weather along with great companions made Offenburg and its surroundings a very relaxing and enjoying place to be. A wonderful element about living in this small town is that many social events take place, so it really gives people the opportunity to grow as a person and to partake in new experiences with others who also share the same mindset.
Being a huge sport fanatic, especially in the world of football, I simply love the fact that Offenburg has so many football fields to play on. It’s also a very exciting period as the World Cup is very near! I’m definitely looking forward to the alluring atmosphere this town has to offer during this spectacular time. So far, it’s been a real pleasure to withhold a citizenship in this part of the world, beyond doubt a surreal experience for myself.
I’ve met wonderful people from around the world who I have also shared and experienced a new territory with, Offenburg.