Almost three weeks have passed since my last entry, which is about same amount of time I ventured to another daring activity. I tried what is probably a perennial winter activity: skiing. With seven of my other colleagues, we hit the slopes of Feldberg- the highest peak of the Black Forest.
With our semester ticket, we didn’t have to pay a single centavo for the almost two-hours of trip where we had to take two trains (rail construction somewhere in between Hinterzarten and Titisee) and bus rides. We decided to leave early to beat the crowd, and apparently the crowd thought of the same. The train was bustling with passengers armed with skis, sticks, and snowboards. On our second and final bus ride to Feldberg, we needed to wait for the second trip for the first one was full and bursting at the seams.
Most of us rented our gears. In my case, I took a pair boots, sticks, skis. I needed to ski with my jeans because the winter pants are all in the laundry. In a little while, I found myself awkwardly plodding on the snow at the base of the slopes, as if with swollen and oversized feet. Shannon, my Canadian classmate who has lived with snow and skiing all her life, gave me my first ski lessons. “Maintain your pie as a beginner” and “Lean on your leg” to make a curve were the pointers I learned that day. Later, Jana, my German classmate, tried her turn to test her patience to give me ski lessons. I got some free lessons anyway by looking at a group of first-time skiers who were taking proper lessons a few meters from my self-proclaimed territory. I wanted to put up a sign which says “ski here at your own risk!”
As with many firsts, it was a tough, even a stressful activity. I forgot the number of times I skidded, lost control and made intimate contact with the snow. After about four hours of sliding, slipping, and struggling, I could finally manage to ski without falling downslope to a distance of 25 meters- that’s a horizontal and not a vertical measurement. One day of skiing may not be enough to learn the ropes of this winter sport. I suggest taking proper ladderized lessons.
Shall I make another go at it once I get a chance? Let me see… when is the next train leaving for Feldberg?