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October, 2000 (Email)

[Note: In mid-October, Mom and Dad travelled to Germany to see Mark for the first time in nearly a year and a half.  Several short emails were exchanged in preparation for this trip.  Rather than posting each as a separate journal entry, all correspondence related to this visit is included on this single page.  --KL]

Oktober 5

Hello from Lhasa [Tibet]. Hope plans for Germany are coming along. A friend of mine suggests the 'Romantic Road' between (maybe) Frankfurt and Stuttgart. Includes the castle the Disney castle was based on.

Can't write now because of the expense, but I'll see you in a week!!

Don't worry - I'm taking lots of pictures. I'm trying to absorb the place so I'll be able to talk about it. I don't understand most of what I'm seeing though.

I'll check mail again Sunday.
- Mark

Oktober 11

Writing from Munich! Sorry I wasn´t able to write after Tibet - it was the biggest holiday of the Nepali year and everything was closed. I´ll get a train to Frankfurt tonight and wait for you in the airport Friday morning. 

I´m going to bring all my stuff to the airport so we won´t have to go back into Frankfurt if you don´t want to. We´ll have all day to figure out what we´re doing anyway.

So far I´ve just been wandering around gawking at all the big buildings, cleanliness, white people, etc. in Munich.

Talk to you in less than two days!
- Mark

Oktober 12

I was hoping to bring a lot of stuff (some heavy) from the women's center, but my order hadn't been delivered to Kathmandu before I had to leave. I rifled through a storage place they keep in Kathmandu and found some nice 
things -- but I still think I'll mail home the things I initially ordered after my vacation. I also bought a few things in Kathmandu and Lhasa -- so save a little space or bring an extra bag so you can carry it home.

I had to pay for my plane ticket with travellers checks, so I´m basically out of them. I can still withdraw money from my credit card, and I can get a few hundred dollars that Peace Corps owes me when I get back to Nepal. But some money would be nice to have while I'm in Europe. I've spent about a months salary in the past three days!

Bring any good photos you have from the past year.

I'm just excited to see people I know. About the [rental] car, too.

I'm getting a late night train that goes straight to the Frankfurt airport, then I'm just going to put my stuff in a locker and sleep there. So maybe I'll look as rumpled as you when you get off of the plane.

Just watched a movie (Snow Falling on Cedars) in a real movie theatre. Amazing. I don't think I can say if the movie was good or not because I was enjoying the experience too much.

See you in a little while.
- Mark

Oktober 16

We arrived in Munich this afternoon and spent the evening walking through the center of town. We ended up staying at the same Youth Hostel I was staying at before mom and dad arrived.

We're writing from the same e-mail access site I wrote from before (over 500 terminals!; 200 minutes for 2 Marks!). 

We've seen the Glockenspiel and the HofBrauHaus already. Know you would have liked the atmosphere, brass band, and beer at the HofBrauHaus. Dad couldn't finish the one (standard size) mug of beer we bought.

We'll stop back here again before we leave (Thursday or Friday) -- it's close to our hotel.

Tell everyone we're doing fine and enjoying our trip.
- Mark, etc.

[OCTOBER 22: "Mom/Dad" return to America; Mark travels to Prague]

Oktober 23

After a long overnight train ride I did manage to find a hostel. I took a long nap this afternoon and will probably be back asleep right after I find somewhere to eat dinner.

My hostel is a bit outside the center of town, but I think tomorrow I can buy a weekly subway pass for only 250 Kc (40.4 Kc in one dollar).

The parts I've seen of Prague so far seem to meet my expectations -- like Germany but with more big historical buildings... and maybe a little dingier. I'll have more to say after I've really seen it.

Better go find dinner. I'll write again in the next couple days. We could even set a time to chat if you would like -- the internet is fairly cheap here.
- Mark

Oktober 30

I stayed in Prague until Saturday, then caught the Franz Kafka express back to Munich. Prague was a bit like Paris. Beautiful river, bridges, a big cathedral, lots of incredible buildings that you think must be a theatre or a museum until you realize they're just buildings. Lots of tourists. I never looked at a map or guidebook, so I don't know much about what I saw. Took a roll of photos. The price difference between Prague and Munich is amazing. They're so close and have all the same products, but expenses in Prague are only half that in Munich.

Saw O Brother Where Art Thou again in Munich (I saw it in Frankfurt right after you left) on Sunday morning because there was a free breakfast included. Then I saw Nurse Betty in the afternoon. I liked them both, but I 
liked O Brother Where Art Thou more. Tomorrow (Halloween) I'm going to a  double feature of horror films. I'll probably wander over to where the night clubs are to watch people too -- all of the clubs are advertising big Halloween parties and concerts all night. I leave the next day.

Thank Kurt for putting the Nepal photos up. [You're welcome] I wasn't sure which ones he would choose. I'll make an effort to take pictures of more everyday things when I get back.
- Mark

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