Folktales, Ayran, and Heidelberg

September 13

In a forest, there were two animals who were best friends, a crow and a deer. They trusted each other and did everything together. But one day…a wolf came to the forest and asked the deer to be its friend. The deer, of course, agreed to be the wolf’s friend. The crow warned their deer friend to not trust the wolf, as the wolf will deceive it and eventually eat them.

But did the deer listen? No.

As the crow foresaw, the deer was deceived, over and over. Another day, the wolf walks around the forest and comes across a hunter’s trap. It thought that it could lure the deer to the trap, and finally eat them. So the wolf went to the deer.

“I found some delicious food in the forest, follow me!” the wolf said to the deer. The deer, knowing that it was difficult to find food, trusted and followed the wolf. And there, the deer is trapped! The hunter hears a noise and comes to check on the trap, scaring the wolf away.

“Please, wolf, my friend…save me!” the deer cries out to the wolf. The wolf pretended to be afraid, for the wolf had another plan. The hunter will chop up the deer, and the wolf will steal and feast upon the deer!

Meanwhile, somewhere else in the forest, the crow wondered where its deer friend went. The crow flew around and found its friend.

“Crow! My friend! The wolf will not help, please save me! I admit I was wrong, and I should have trusted you!” the deer cries out to the crow. The crow forgave their friend and came up with a plan. The deer would have to play dead so the hunter will release it from the trap, and when the hunter was distracted, the crow will caw so the deer can run away.

The deer did as the crow told, playing dead, not even breathing nor moving a muscle. The hunter returns and was fooled by the deer. Thinking the deer was dead, the hunter released it from the trap and turned to put the trap away. The crow cawed, and the deer rushed out of there. The hunter, not wanting the deer to escape, took his sword and slashed. Instead of slashing the deer, it had slashed the wolf.

This is a Cambodian folktale I told from memory during my Myths, Folktales, and Urban Legends class. I look forward to the stories my classmates will tell each week!

Image by Keo Chanbo

September 14
    Today’s vegetarian menu at the Mensa is chicken cutlet, parsnip cream, and parsley potatoes! (Hähnchenschnitzel, Pastinaken-Rahm-Gemüse, Petersilienkartoffeln) This was a portion meal for only 3 Euros. I also met up with Alex, who was at the university in the morning for an in-person class!
September 15
Uh-oh, it looks like there is nothing to highlight for this day!

September 17

What’s for dinner today? Let’s get something to eat at Star Döner & Pizza 2! It’s just right outside the student residence buildings, and very cheap! It was clear that the owners knew who I was, a foreign girl who struggles with German, and often comes by with her friend (Carly). My friend and I were enjoying our pizza diavolo and döner before one of the owners came over with complimentary drinks called Ayran. It’s a Turkish drink made of yogurt and salt. Remember to shake well! It is better served with extra water or squeeze lemon, otherwise it tastes like a sour grape! Or very salty if you don’t remember to shake.

Ayran served in a carton. Image by Alima.

Bonus! September 19

“Why are you going so early? It’s not until 2PM.” I could hear my friend’s voice echo. Back in my home university, I tend to go to class about 30 minutes to an hour early. It’s just in case! You never know! On Sundays, the trams arrive later, so I was afraid of delays since I needed to arrive in front of Mannheim’s main station (Mannheim Hauptbahnhof or Hbf) by 2PM for the VISUM goes Heidelberg event.

Now the problem wasn’t the fact that I arrived an hour early and didn’t eat anything but an orange, it was that I didn’t know anyone. Who am I supposed to look for? Imagine seeing a confused girl standing in front of the station for an hour, taking glances once a while. That’s me. I did eventually see a group of people, one of which was wearing a VISUM shirt, and finally found who I was supposed to meet with!     Although I found the group, I felt out of place. I wasn’t as outgoing as everyone else, and I wasn’t sure how to start a conversation without being awkward. It looked like everyone had basically form their own little bubble groups, but I was motivated to befriend someone, even if I only ended up making small talks. I am glad to make two friends on a beautiful (and tiring) day, and they are from the UK!

Heidelberg Heiligenthaler Hof

The view of the Neckar on Schloss Heidelberg…so many stairs!

A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:

The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.