Monday, June 3, 2013

3/6/13

Well as I told you, I had a good story to tell.

First, about my day. I woke up and felt better than the past day. After breakfast, I was feeling almost ambitious, so I saddled up and hit the road. Actually, I just put on pants and a sweater and left with my backpack. I walked to Reve, the supermarket on the other side of the next town. I had a list with translations into German of food I needed to make Jana and her mom chicken riggies and macaroni salad. It was really hard trying to find what food is by the picture on the box. Some things I realized:


  1. Can not find brown sugar or chocolate chips. Terrible Germans. 
  2. No clue how to differentiate between raw meats
    1. of course I mean like the obvious differences are ok, like beef and chicken... but what I bought I was completely unsure of its actual contents besides probably chicken. 
  3. The dairy aisles are quite complex
  4. When asking for help... if you just point to a word on a piece of paper, you will feel stupid.
  5. I spent over an hour in a supermarket around 3/4 the size of Foodking. 
Anyways, I got all the ingredients except for the two listed but who cares. I went on and made food, which took way too long. I am not a pro at cutting vegetables, so two onions, three peppers a carrot and a stalk and a half of celery took me about an hour and fifteen minutes or so.By the time food was done, it actually was good and they all liked it (Jana's mom, sister and Jana). I was happy, even if they don't eat bread with dinner.

Jana and I made cookies because Germans also don't do those (why am I here?). it was fun but we burnt the cookies because the oven is a convection oven and blows hot air instead of just heating it. Needless to say the cookies were slightly burnt... but Jana was introduced to the age old profession of eating cookie dough. She was impressed. I was disappointed because there wasn't enough chocolate in them or any brown sugar. Also, we cut up two chocolate bars to use as chips. They cost 36 cents a piece. I don't understand.

Anyways, the story. On Friday I went to Limburg alone. Jana told me to get home, I need to take the train at the hour from platform one. So after shopping, which I got a nice rain jacket, I got on the train. I also had two ice creams because... Yea. So the train stops at Neiderbrechen, the town before mine and then it speeds past Oberbrechen. I am sitting there thinking, "hmm.. ahh." So I get off at the next stop which is Bad Camberg... 5 towns on the other side of Oberbrechen. But luckily Jana worked in Bad Camberg Friday so I could just hitch a ride home with her. The time was 16.35... Jana left at 16.00.

So with that option out, I called her and she said to get on the next train. So I walk back to the train station and watch the train I need to be on drive away. Cool. Then my phone dies. Great. So I do what had to be done... and start walking. There is a bike road that runs all the way to Limburg through each small village on the way, just like the train. After a solid 2 hours walking, I make it the 10 Kilometers/ 6.2 miles home, bags and all. I was treated with spaghetti and solid hugs because they were worried. Luckily I just figure things out sometimes. 

Ok

Thursday, May 30, 2013

30/5/13

So all of my traveling is done (for the time being).

The reason why I haven't been able to write is because I spent the last week touring northern Europe with nothing but a backpack full of things I needed. I wouldn't say I was struggling, but it was definitely and adventure. 

I left two Saturdays ago with one of Jana's mom's friends. It was very weird, but I didn't have to get a train from Oberbrechen to Cologne. I spent about 5 hours in Cologne doing what I normally do in a strange city-- walk aimlessly. Surprisingly, Cologne was a really nice place, with some of the best shopping I have found in a smaller city. I had a McFlurry, something that was a reoccurring thing throughout my week (I will get into that soon).

I took the train to Brussels and told Jen that I would meet her at around 9.15 pm. I got lost because Brussels makes no sense and my map was horrible. I made it to the hotel at around 9.35 and realized I had no way of telling anyone from school that I had arrived. So I did the most logical thing I could think of: go get wifi at McDonald's. Of course, it had non (honestly, the only McDonald's ever not to have it). I then did the second most intelligent thing I could think of: walk around the block about fifteen times. That made me feel suspicious though, so I just stood at the corner and hoped that I would run into someone from Fisher. No longer than two hours later (around 11) I ran into my professor and the look of fright, surprise, and confusion in his face is one I won't soon forget. 

The next day, I bummed along with them to the towns of Brugge and Ghent. Both of the towns were in Belgium and they honestly looked like the villages out of Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame. 

I started talking to the representative of the tour company, who I think she was only like 26-28. Her name was Merika and she was from Amsterdam. We developed a decent friendship and the Dutch are a completely different type of people than anyone I have ever met. They have such a "whatever approach" to life and she couldn't understand a lot of the rules that we have in America. 

Anyways, I left Brussels a few days later, not too disappointed though. I don't really like Brussels I have decided. The train to Amsterdam was fun though because I had to change trains in Rotterdam, which there were 0 signs in English and I have no knowledge of the Dutch language. I headed off to Amsterdam for about 50 hours or so. 

Amsterdam was amazing. I spent the day walking around exploring, waiting until my friends from Fisher arrived. I had dinner with them, where I spent most of it talking to Merika about Amsterdam and the Dutch in general. She offered to take me on a bike tour because the group was doing it and everyone in Amsterdam has bikes. No jokes, it is like there is the same number of bikes as there is people. 

It did rain though. A lot

I felt bad during the bike tour though because I sat on the back of her bike. I was basically dead weight but she was a pro bike rider. Oh, I had a beer in Brussels though that was voted the best beer in the world. It is called Delirium (you can click that). I wanted to get some in London because I liked the logo (an elephant) but it cost 9 quid for a pint. I got it for 3.20 Euro for a half liter (almost a pint) so I was happy with that. 

Anyways, for an example of the Dutch school of though, I asked her if helmets are required for bike riders. She was dumbfounded by the question and said that a law requiring people to wear helmets would be useless in the Netherlands. She said the Dutch do not want to be told what to do and if a law is passed and it doesn't make sense to them, they just won't follow that law. A solid response. 

I took an overnight train the following day to Copenhagen. It was a decent ride but I couldn't sleep at all. Copenhagen is beautiful.

See.
In Copenhagen, I just walked around. I honestly walked so much, that the last few days, I was dragging. I would set out to walk and then four or five hours later I would get a coffee or a pastry and walk another three hours or so. In my hostel I did make some friends one night though. They were from America, but a lot of fun. They asked if I wanted to go on a pub crawl with them, and I said sure. So we figured out a way to the pub where it started and the bartender told us that there was no pub crawl here... ever. So we went across the street and found that they also have never heard of a "viking pub crawl." So we decided just to make up our own.

It doesn't get dark in Copenhagen in the summer until late. So the sun went down and it was dark at around 11.30. We went to 5 different bars and it was quite a lot of fun. The Danish people are also extremely nice and friendly. All northern Europeans are (aka, people from Amsterdam). We started walking home at 3.00 in the morning, and the sun was coming up. It was such a weird thing. 
Also, the money makes no sense there. I paid 22 Kroners for a McFlurry and 50 for a sandwich. My room cost 315, which was only $50. No clue. Why I mentioned McFlurries was because I ate about 7 of them during my time there (not to mention about 5 other ice creams because it is absolutely delicious here). The reason for this is that they have different flavors in every country you go to. In London, they had Cadbury chocolate and chocolate caramel. In France and Germany, they had Kit Kat, along with Oreo in Germany... but the Oreo they put in Oreos and chocolate syrup. In Belguim, they had a thing called Smarties (not like the ones in America)... which I am not sure what they are but they were ok. Amsterdam had Snickers (again with extra chocolate syrup) and Copenhagen had Twix. 
Copenhagen

Now I am spending the next two weeks here in Germany and I will be home on the 10th of June late. I am excited to come home and see everyone and to tell and hear stories! Also, I applied for graduation today, so that is also something I figured I should tell you guys about haha. 


Oh yea... there is also a type of chip here flavored American Cream. I have never had American
cream before and it tasted like nothing we have in America. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

19/5/13

So last night Jana brought me to a club with some of her friends and we met some others there. I must have made a good impression because for some reason they asked to hang out again. It was fun but the way you ordered drinks was very strange. You buy a card for 10 euros from one place and then go to the bar to get the drink, where they just cross off a certain number of squares. I was surprised that no one in the whole club knew the song ******* in Paris by Jay-Z and Kanye West but whatever. 

This morning we had a great breakfast again because that is all we do in the morning and I love it. I had to go to köln to take the train to Brussels. Luckily, Jana's mom had a friend over who lives there, so I just rode with her back at noon. She dropped me off and I wandered around from about 1 until 6. I am writing this on the train. 



Köln was fun though. The shopping is amazing, even though I bought nothing. A little pricey but there were stores on stores on stores. I sat in a park for about and hour and around 5 I sat on a wall by the river with about 300 other people. There are no open container laws in Germany and everyone was just sitting drinking beer and talking. It was quite nice.

My usual self opened my bottle of water with bubbles and, being it was on my backpack for about two hours, and it sprayed all over the place, including myself. It was a right scene and these two girls next to me laughed, as did I. 

Of course, I can't forget that I found a festival in köln because Germany.


Now a few nights in Brussels should be fun and I will try to write tomorrow to tell all about it cheers. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

7/5/13

Another German day finished. Today, I woke up early (6.45) to go with Jana to school. For the first two hours, she had religion class, and I sat there contemplating all the hard questions in life. After that came banking, where the teacher was very relaxed, so I got to talk to Jana and some of the other students a little more. It was nice not staring into the wall for two hours. The teacher was younger, so when I tried to talk to her, her face got all red and it was quite funny. Finally, her last class was English. There, basically the professor asked me questions and I answered them. A few of the other students did as well, but the professor led the discussion. Some of the questions included "do the parties in college look like they do in the movies?" and "what is the best part about being in Germany?" That part was a lot of fun, but I didn't like all the attention on me.

Then Jana and I went to Limburg. We found a place to park and walked around. The flowers were beautiful here, so that was quite nice to see. Then we had some currywurst and to top it all off... ICE CREAM! Really, German ice cream is that good.

On the way home, I fell asleep hard, which is normal because I was in a car. We took a break once we got home; Jana slept and I looked outside. Jana's mom and I went to Aldi's when Jana showered. It was fun being with her because I get to act so confused and she can practice her English. I act confused though because normally I am quite confused. I still don't know all German... only little bits and pieces.

At 8.00, we left with some of Jana's friends back to Limburg to get some drinks. One of her friends was studying English and Sports, so we had plenty to talk about. We got home at about 10.45, to end up where I am sitting now. I wanted to shave tonight.... but I realized I did not pack my shaving cream because it was too heavy. Therefore, no shaving. I was honestly quite disappointed in that, but what can you do?

I am off to Lourdes tomorrow and I will be back in Germany on 14/5. I should write before that, but if I don't that is why.

Monday, May 6, 2013

6/5/13

Another wonderful day in Germany. I realized that I struggle to actually sit down and relax, but I think with practice, I could master it.

I woke up at 8.15 to an empty house. After putting some clothes in the laundry, I slowly meandered up the stairs to the kitchen, where I dined on bread, meat, cheese, and jelly with chocolate milk for breakfast. I ate that while watching music videos because in Germany, they still show them on the television. It was quite nice.

I felt like I was wasting the day just sitting there, so I got up and hopped on Jana's elliptical. I ran as far as my battery would last, which was only 15 minutes worth of exercise, or 3.25 kilometres. Once my phone died, I felt no longer a need to run, so I went, did some push-ups and sat down to watch the sky. That only lasted for about 15 minutes, where then I went and found a book to read. I read about 100 pages before the doorbell rang. I went and answered to find a post man delivering a package. He started speaking and I answered in my politest, "I don't speak German." I signed for the package and away he went.

When Jana came home, we had soup and salad for lunch, then talked for a while. We scooted down to the store to get some water, then headed back to study. She studied and I worked on my trip to Lourdes which starts Wednesday.

At 6.30, Elena came and we went to a birthday party for their dad's brother. It was a fun party and the food was excellent. I got to eat german potato salad. It was good and it had bacon in it! Everyone was shy but after a while, they warmed up and we had a good time. But now it is time for sleep! Goodnight!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

5/5/13

Ok I am back to blogging as regularly as I can.

So, I am in Germany, in case anyone was unsure. I am back in Oberbrechen, with Jana and her mom. I arrived here around 2.00 this morning because after we got to Germany, we of course had to stop and see friends. After a short night of sleeping, I got what I came for: German Breakfast!

After a half of a small fresh baked bread loaf that was still steaming as I tore out the inside of it, I sipped on some grape juice. To finish the other half, I had two different slices of mystery meat. The first seemed like a... I have no idea. One was more red than the other. They were delicious. I complemented the meat and bread with a small hunk of brie cheese. Jana and I split a second loaf, which I added copious amounts of jelly to. I coated everything in my stomach with a glass of fizzy water, and away we went.

We went off to Limburg to go to a flee market/market/garage sale. It was over three roads, people selling stuff not uncommon to that they sell at the Madison County Fair. We walked around that for about and hour and a half. I ended up getting something though! I found a glass vial with a cork for my adventure to Lourdes this week. I will use it to collect the holy water from there. I will have to test to make sure it withstands being filled with liquid, but as for right now, I am set.

Once we got home, I got to eat a slice of apple cake. I love cake. I have learned that I have an incredible sweet tooth and should really check myself on that. Later, because for now I can eat cake and it is delicious and I see no reason to turn down German cake, so don't judge.

Tamara showed up sometime, and we headed to Vogelpark, which was a bird sanctuary. Here is the address if you wish to see - http://www.weltvogelpark.de/ It was a lot of fun because Jana and Tamara are fun, and I got to feed birds like a parrot and a cockatoo our of my hand. We headed home around 4, and at 5.30 we ate dinner. It was a typical German meal (I miss saying English, to be fair) of schnitzel! I mean make me want to stay forever, get fat and have a heart attack. But it was so incredibly delicious I hadn't a care in the world. After writing to mom, Jana and I watched most of a movie, but we had to cut it short because she has school... or work in the morning. For a first day in Germany, not too shabby!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

1/5/13

Hi guys, I know I have been really bad about my blog lately but I have been swamped with work, travel, school, and getting to see as much of London as I can before I leave. I head to Germany Saturday, so I should be able to go back to every day writing then. In the mean time, I will post this video which my friends made talking about London. They really hit the nail on the head when they mentioned it is rainy. Ok

Sorry I cannot embed the video, but just click the link and watch it. It is quite good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WarTbQkZoNM