WEELLLLL, technically I'm not home JUST YET! In fact, I'm writing this from a cafe in Paris!!! I just thought I'd check in and tell everyone how things are, since I haven't written in a pretty long time ♥
Well... Recently (I'm talking like, BEFORE Eurotour) I went on a weekend away with my choir. It was really cool we visited a castle and cool stuff like that. My voice was completely gone at the end though. I also went to the Mercedes Benz Muesem, which was really cool too. And the Stuttgart Zoo...
But now the stuff EVERYONE wants to know. EUROTOUR!!!
We started in Vienna. I really REALLY liked it there. But it bummed me out because we didn't have much free time, so I didn't have the opportunity to buy a t-shirt or anything :[ The city was hella badass though.
Umm... what else??? Prague!!!! We stayed in the MOST GHETTO HOSTEL EVERRR!!! There was like, a diseased shower (which I broke), horrible uncomfortable beds (which I also broke. With Morgan) and really bad food. The city, however, was amazingly awesome. Everyone loved it. The houses were cute, the people were nice, and yeah.
Dresden... now there's an interesting story. Basically, don't EVER try and get headache medication in the middle of East Germany without a presciption. It won't work. Advice taken? Good. But Dresden was a nice city and the churches were cool.
Weimar was lame. We saw some old dead german guy's house. It was sooo boring.
Berlin was soo cool. It has been my favorite city on Eurotour so far. Shopping in Berlin was awesome. The sites of the city were awesome. And so yeah I reallyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy liked Berlin.
Hamburg was really cool too. The city is built on a river, therefore it was super pretty and nice. We had a party with the Rotary people and I took a nice walk down to the pier. It was great.
Borkum was supposed to be an island beach thing in Holland. It turned out to be a mudpit. But it was cool and totally not romantic. I really liked it though, the whole day we had free time (it's a shame my picnick got rained out) but I FINALLY got to catch up on the sleep I had been missing ;]
Ok then came Brussels. That was awesome. I think it was my second favorite city. The Belguim chocolate was sooo good. And yeah it was amazing. I really liked it there and have a couple of stories I will write about next time.
And now here I am in Paris! It's completely amazing (although it's true it does smell funny) I was given a rose on the Eifel Tower and I saw the Mona Lisa. I walked down the Notre Dame and went shopping in the Champs Ellesey (spelling fail???). I visited the tomb of Napoleon and walked in Versailles, the setting of the French Revolutionary War. Yep. It was really cool. And you are really jealous.
Well there's a lot more to see and do here in Paris!!! Next stop, EUROPAPARK!!!!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
dear lovely blog leaders,
I would like to apologize for the lack of updates lately. I have been prettyyyy busy. But now I have once again time. So.
I would like to apologize for the lack of updates lately. I have been prettyyyy busy. But now I have once again time. So.
Happy super late Easter!!!!
For Easter this year, I went to my host grandma's house! We ate a ridiculous amount of food, and then 2 hours later, we were expected to eat a ridiculous amount of cake!!!! The whole family was there, it was a warm, beautiful day, and all in all it was very exciting!!!!
My host uncle is sooo funny. He's awesome, I want to be like him someday, I think. He walks around EVERYWHERE barefoot, even in winter. I like him.
Then my host parents were going out of town, so I stayed the week with my host grandma, since I'm not allowed to stay home alone with my host brother. At first I thought, GREATTTT my spring break will be spent with two old people. BORINGGG! But it totally wasn't!!! My two host cousins, Patrick and Tim, were also there. They are younger than me but it was still fun. We went swimming in this reallyyyy awesome schwimmbad (I don't know the word in English) which had like, 20 different pools with different attractions and tempuatures for different things, and it was so cool. There were also like, 10 different saunas and yeah I could have spent the ENTIRE day there.
Then we spent a night in this little cabin in the Black Forest, and went hiking, and I met my great host aunt that is 93 and still goes every year for 6 months to Alabama. I have a really awesome host family, basically.
Then I got home on Friday night, and on Sunday I visited the other half of my host family, from my mom's side. That was fun too. But my host grandpa (mom's dad) is now in the hospital, so yeah.... Pray for him, please.
Then I had school. Because I was sick, I had to write my maths test later. But I think I did pretty well. And I had to write a chemistry test. Which I totally didn't learn for. And failed. But I already took Chemistry, so it doesn't really matter for me.
Then last weekend, I went to Frühlingsfest. It's like Oktoberfest, but in Spring and in Stuttgart, and smaller (of course) It was really fun, I went on the biggest ferris wheel in all of Europe. And have I ever mentioned that I'm afraid of heights????
And Monday, the warm weather was still around!!! So I had a pinick with another exchange student, Hayley, and a couple of my school friends. It was awesome.
Yesterday I went out to the middle of nowhere, Germany, to chill with Tomas... AHAHAAAA it was seriously like, the middle of nowhere. There was a train station there, and that was like, it. But it was free for both of us to get there, because of our school cards (I have VVS, he has something else) so...
Anyways, today I'm going to stay at my friend's house in Schwäbisch Gmünd. It should be really awesome. We are going to go to a disco! And then tomorrow, it should still be a beautiful, warm (well, for Germany) spring day, so I think I'll do something outside with someone :]
I recently put pictures in facebook! Check them out, if you can!!!!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
3 weeks, 2 buses, 6 countries, 17 cities, and 46 exchange students? Sounds like a friggen GREAT TIME!!!
Life has been good lately. Well actually... I guess I'll just start from the beginning, and work my way towards the end.
Snow seems to be gone for good now, and it's warm but not warm enough for a California girl like me. It's the kind of weather that we have in the dead middle of winter. But anyways...
I don't actually even know where to begin! I am now official German Red Cross first aid certified! That's pretty exciting! And I can cook, I cooked a lovely meal for my host family just the other day! And I've taken a lot of tests. It's amazing when I think to myself that my German is now just as good as the other students, and I can now write the tests with them, just like if I were a normal student!!!
But I guess the biggest and most important thing that has happened to me recently is the Eurotour Rules weekend. This past weekend, district 1830 (my district) and district 1930 (the neighboring district) all met up together to talk about eurotour and how things are gonna go down on it. It was awesome. 46 exchange students, together, under one roof...
I can't think of anything cooler. Unfortunatly, one of us got sick and now I am not in school because I was very sick yesterday. It only lasted 24 hours, but still. Here I was, thinking I could go the WHOLEEE year without once getting sick...
No such luck :[ but it's okay, I've survived.
I have friends here and a family and a life, and I don't really want to go home anymore. At all. I can't imagine having to leave behind my life here. When I was coming to Germany, I always knew I'd be coming home, but now I don't know when I'll be coming back to Germany, and it is like a second home to me now.
I'm so excited for Eurotour. You guys have nooo idea... ahahaaa <>
Well, I have a lot to say, but due to my illness my head is rather fuzzy and therefor I don't quite know how I would like to say it all... also....
Ich sag jetzt tschüss, und hoffentlich schrieb ich ja bald wieder! Ciao
P.S. ALLES GUT ZUM GEBURTSTAG, MICHAEL!!!!!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I hate snow. It was gone for about a week, and then it just HAD to come back!!!
Anyways... This past week has been really exciting! I've been doing a bunch of stuff! The school here has been easy, lately a lot of things have been cancelled. I found 2 pairs of jeans in Stuttgart for only 9€ when I went after school with my friends. It was awesome!
So other than the usual stuff I do every week, this weekend I went to Munich with the Rotary kids!!!
And yet another train adventure! I get to Stuttgart and we all meet up. Our supervisor counted us and realized he had one less ticket. Quickly telling Lukas (also Rotex) that he would be right back, and that he was just going to buy a ticket. Well, the train left without him. He had all of our train tickets. We were riding the train without tickets. LUCKILY, he called Lukas and we all got of the train and waited about an hour or so in Plochingen, only about 20 minutes from Stuttgart, until he got back with our tickets. Meanwhile, two other exchange students were suppoused to get on at other stops. In summary, one of them got on, not getting the call that we were not on said train, and had to pay 40€ for being a "Schwarzfahrer" or someone who rides without a ticket! We got there pretty late, and didn't get to go on our planned adventure, but it was by far a VERY interesting train ride. My friends now have a video of me falling out of a chair... and not being able to get up.... VERYYYY entertaining, if I don't say so myself xD AND I got to eat sushi! I was missing it sooo much, so I got some in the Ulm Hauptbahnhof. It wasn't NEARLYYY as good as in California, naturally, but I really was craving it, so...
So the first night, we got in too late, so all we did was get our rooms and go to bed/talk/be awesome. The next day, we woke up early. I deceided to take a shower. This was the most horrible shower I've ever been in. We stay always in Youth Hostels. This shower would start out normally. Then all the sudden it would get scalding burn-your-flesh-off hot. And stay that way for a few seconds. And then icy freeze-your-fingers-off cold. And so you'd have to adjust it. And it would be normal for about a minute and then the cycle would start all over again.
Then we did a scavenger hunt through Munich. Or should I say, we were SUPPOSED to do a scavenger hunt through Munich. We just copied the answers from another team, who got all the answers from the tourist center, and then walked through the city (through snow... lots and lots of snow. AND smart californian girl (me) just had her converse on...) and enjoyed the view and got Starbucks and were generally annoying toursits. It was awesome.
We then went to the Hofbräu Haus. It's a hella famous restaurant in Munich. I ate typically Weißwurst and a Bretzel and drank Weißbier (Alkoholfrei, of course) It was very traditional and also very cool.
Then we went and visited a concentration camp. I cannot even explain how creepy and sad and horrible it is to be there. I had this feeling the whole time. It was in between a creepy feeling, a sad feeling, and the feeling of just wanting to leave. It was a very cool thing to see, but I also believe its something you just need to see once or maybe twice in a lifetime.
And onto a lighter topic... After the concentration camp we chilled a little bit and then ate dinner. After dinner, we went to this Olympic Stadium in Munich and there is this tower where you can go up and see the ENTIRE CITY. It was soooo pretty at night with all the lights and everything. And there was this little mini Rock Museum which was very cool. I touched Elton John's mirrored piano! And we rocked out to Queen, The Beach Boys, and the Beatles while we looked at the city. It was an amazing night.
Then we went to the Hardrock Cafe Munich. It was awesomeeee, I bought a Hardrock Cafe Munich T-Shirt. Yes, that is correct, BE JEALOUS!!! And then we went back to the hostel. Where there was very much stress with the rooms. And keys. Good times, good times...
The next day, we ate breakfast and then travelled to the Deutsche Museum. It was very big, and very interesting. But we didn't have NEARLY enough time to see EVERYTHING, because it was so large. It was also like a maze, super easy to get lost in. But we (meaning Éric, Bryn, and I) saw everything that we wanted to, or at least I think we did. It was very entertaining.
And then we went home! It was a great weekend, but we got veryyyy little sleep, and let me tell you, if felt good to be back home and in my own bed again!!!
This week/weekend should also be very good! More details on that later!!!
Sven: Hallo! Ich schreib mit dir gerade auf Facebook. Wie geht's? Ich freue mich sehr auf Donnerstag! Und FREITAG!!!! ahahahaaaaaaaa xD Also..... wir sehen uns bald! viel spaß (gegen Spanisch lernen!)
THAT'S ALL FOR NOW, FOLKS!!!!!!!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I am happy that you (whoever you are) have returned yet again to read my blog!
So. I have lots to say.....
Before I went up north, I did some snow activities that I was previously too busy or too lazy to do. But when Andreas (my host father) told me that the snow might all be melted when I got home from North Germany, I deceided, why not?
I deceided that I couldn't really PLAN a snowball fight... And besides, my host brother and I had already had more than one snowball fight. And I'd already been snowboarding, so that was covered. I decieded that the only things I was missing on my list of snow-related activities a Californian girl simply can't do back home were: Sledding, Snowman, and Snowangel.
I started with the snowman. My host family laughed at me when I took my gloves and snow jacket and went into the backyard. Well, I'd never made a snowman alone before. I thought you had to roll a ball around a while and it would just get bigger. But I guess there are different kinds of snow (who would have thought?) and this wasn't good enough snow to roll. So my host father gave me a shovel and told me to go out front and make a big pile of snow. I did this. Then he told me to shovel the driveway while I was at it. Not fun. Anyways, we built a snowman who was kind of lopsided and evil-looking together. It was actually pretty fun. He is my Valentine, or was my Valentine. His name is Helmut. There is a picture of him on my facebook, under my Germany album. He is now quite a lot smaller and VERY lopsided. Because he has melted xD
Then I went sledding with Hayley, another exchange student. It was very fun. We went to this pretty big hill in Nürtingen. But I didn't have my good shoes on, and my feet got quickly wet. And there was this random BUMP in the middle of the hill. Guess who happened to go directly over it and get bumped off her sled and go flying through the air? That's right, me. It was actually slightly painful. But hilarious. All in all, a fun day. Then, on the way back, I randomly made a snow angel. Check, check and check. Snow activities.... finished!
Sunday, which was Valentine's day, I took a little adventure on the trains up to North Germany, to Augustfehn, to visit my mom's old host mom. I was meeting with Olivia, another exchange student, there, but I had to travel alone. It was terrifying, but I arrived safetly. And I learned a valueble lesson. Don't wear a Stuttgart vfB scarf on the train to Dortmund... on the same day as a Dortmund soccor game. They were all soccor fans and I'm certain they all wanted to murder the Stuttgart vfB fan (a.k.a. me)
Up North looks very different from the south. Baden-Württemberg is very hill-y (is that even a real word?) whereas here was very flat. There were canals there, which were frozen (I got to ice-skate on one of them!) Irmgard was very nice, we watched TV (that was new for me, since my host family doesn't have a TV) and went for walks and shopping and played cards. Oh, we played a LOT of cards! There are also a lot of farms up there. I learned I'm not a farm girl. Irmgard has sheep and chickens. That I could deal with. The cows, horses, and pigs on the farm next door were just loud and smelly. However, it was really cool to drink fresh milk directly from a cow (although it does taste funny) and eat farm-fresh eggs!
It was a little bit of a shame. Olivia had a nasty cold while we were up there, so we couldn't do all that much, because she was sick. The streets were also too slippery with ice, so we couldn't go very far. But it was still very fun :]
On the way home, we took a direct train from Bremen to Stuttgart. This was good because we didn't have to change at all. This was also bad, because we didn't reserve our seats. And when we got on, there were none left. We sat on the floor for half the time. But it worked out. It was very entertaining. I had officially deceided that the best place to people-watch is on trains and in train stations. It's even better than at the mall or in an airport.
Oh, and note to self: Don't fall asleep on train. You just might miss your stop. It's okay though, I just got off at the next one and took the train one stop back, which made me maybe, 15 minutes late. It wasn't a big deal.
We have warmer weather now. It's very nice, it's almost spring! The snow is starting to melt, and it's almost warm enough that I don't have to bundle up with 4 layers before I go out! I like it, it's quite nice. Honestly, I was getting really sick of Winter.
Thursday, February 25th is my half year. It's hard to believe that my foreign exchange year is already half finished! The time went by so fast, and now I really don't even want it to end! My thoughts are in German now, as are my dreams. My friends live here, as does my second family. I don't think it will be easy to leave all this behind.
Well, I will update again soon! Let's hope the good weather stays!
Tschüss! (This is a REALLY ugly color :D )
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I can promise you it will keep growing. But to start off:
CULTURAL DIFFERANCES BETWEEN THE US AND GERMANY!
1. The paper here. If it's not blank, it's graph paper (you know, just in case you want to break off from writing and design a mosiac or something!). Lined paper is impossible to find.
2. School is not simply the same thing day in and day out. Our hourplan changes every day. Some days we have school until 5 PM and some days just until noon. AND things get cancelled! Just like in college!
3. In the school here, they have hella retro blackboards. No joke. There are no whiteboards. We write with chalk on the blackboard. And have to clean it off and stuff. It's really retro.
4. Lunch here is always warm. And dinner is always cold. Normally lunch is the main big meal, and its warm and freshly made. Dinner, on the other hand, is normally just bread and cheese or lunch meat.
5. Public transportation. It's sooo much better here. Like, it actually exsists. I take the bus EVERYWHERE, and I almost had to miss school on the day of the public transportation strike. That's how influentual it is here. It makes one really independant, also. I cant go where Í want when I want.
6. You basically have to plan everything. There is no randomly calling people and saying, hey let's chill today. Plans are almost always made in advance. It really took me a long time to get used to this.
7. Everyone has pet bunnies. I don't know why, but almost nobody has cats or dogs.
8. EVERYTHING is closed on Sunday. Imagine if Safeway and the mall and the movies and EVERYTHING were closed Sundays in America. You can't, right? I know. It really tripped me out too. I didn't know what to do with myself!
9. Everyone is friendly! In America you don't talk to strangers, and the kids in the school are honestly pretty cliquey and stuck up a little bit. But here everyone is sooo nice.
10. The food's just THAT much better. Although I would KILL for a steak right now.....
11. Far away by German standards is 20 minutes with the car. Far away by American is 2-4 hours.....
12. Coins actually mean something, money-wise. I kept wondering where all my money was going. Then I looked over at the growing piles of 1 and 2 Euro (€) coins on my desk. And I realized.....
13. Tests are never multipule choice. There are no scantrons. And they are normally just 4 or 5 really long compliticated questions. So if you don't know that you're just screwed.
Okay well I should have probably written these down. And I'll definatly think of like, 12 more the MINUTE I publish this post. But whatever.
We are currently in Carnival. It's called Faschings here, and it is basically a party where everyone dresses up and witches chill on the street and make trouble and it's really awesome and fun! Look it up on the internet if you're interested!
I went to a Faschings parts, and a Guggenmusikfest. The Musikfest was super fun! I bought a cool Faschings hat! I took pictures and stuff. SOMEDAY I WILL UPLOAD THEM. That day is not today.
My class, class 10c, is currently doing a week-long internship, called BoGy. I can't do it, unfortunatly, so I'm in the 9th class fr the week. That's ok, they are pretty radical homies too, even if they are freshman by American standards, and I'm a junior.
Well next week is once again ferien and so I'm going up North with my friend Olivia (also known as my other half )
And since I probably won't update again before then....
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!!!!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
So homies. What is up with the world in California? Or where ever you are reading this from....
Okay so. Basically. Update on yours truely, me.
School started again, which means no more going into Nürtingen or Stuttgart everyday to chill out with friends. It also means Teeniekreis and DRK has once again begun (Is that correct English? My English is really starting to slowly die. And the worst part is I think that maybe, JUST MAYBE, I might just need to use it again xD ) so I get to chill with some of those homies that I didn't get the chance to see over the break.
I'm thinking it would be really interesting for all you if I started to keep a list about what is different in Germany and the USA. I think that will be my next blog post. Why do I bring this up, you might be wondering? Well, Monday night I was at my friend's house for dinner. And his family asked me what was different. We started to make a list and it was funny and interesting. Some of the things I learned that are different, I never thought about before. Sorry I hope that made sense. Like I said, my English is deteriorating. So I'm going to write them ALL down, and trust me, there are a LOT! And then I'll post 'em here xD
"The problem is, and this sounds really obvious, is that when you go to a foreign country, you are a long way from home. What I mean is, you're a long way away from your friends and family. You're forced to fit in with everyone else. You don't have the comfort of knowing that later on, at the dinner table or the usual meeting spot, you can tell everyone 'And then she poured coffee in my cornflakes!' and get some sympathy." This quote pretty much sums up what I'm sure every exchange student feels. It was written by an exchange student from England to France. This also helps explain why Rotary Youth Exchange Students stick together. Because we DO get sympathy from one another.
Well, I don't really have much to post here.... I started to write a newspaper article for my local newspaper here in Germany. I hope my grammatics in German aren't TOOO bad xD If I get it finished and put in the paper, tell me if you want a copy!
School class tests are ganging up on us poor innocent children now! We had 3 this week, and we have 4 next week! The insanityyyyy!!! Ahahaha just kidding it isn't so bad for me since my grades don't count. But it does mean that my friends are all busy studying!
And snow.... OH MY GOD the amount of snow.... It's really ridiculous. We have 2 feet of snow on the ground. I made a snowman. Unfortunatly my friend decided it would be hilarious to decapitate poor Mr. Snowman. He's now headless.....
And the boys in my class think it's HILARIOUSLY funny to through snowballs at one another. Sometimes hitting the girls in the process (I don't know if it's and accident or not...) At first it was annoying, but now I find it mildly entertaining.....
Well, that's all for now! I'LL BE BACK.... WITH WEAPONS!!!!
Friday, January 8, 2010
So! Happy 2010! I'll say it has started out QUITE well for me! I spent my Silverster (New Year's Eve) with 2 other exchange students, Olivia and Hayley. We had sooo much fun! Then on the 2nd it was Hayley's birthday! So we had a little party! It was really awesome and fun and everything!
Thennnnnnnnnn........ on the 4th, we left for Austria, for the Alps! It was sooo pretty up there! The snow covered all the mountains and the trees, and it was just like it looks in all the pictures and films! You'd really have to see it, its AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really thought I should skip through the snow singing about how the hills are alive with the sound of music! Somehow I managed to refrain myself, though...
So we stayed in this tiny little cabin with a bunch of other people! It was crazy, there were around 30 of us in a tiny little cabin! It was awesome though! I quickly gained a following of little children; 7 of them, in fact. They all thought it was just the coolest thing that I was from California. They all wanted to learn English and hear about what my life in America is like. AND whoever said the best way to learn a langauge is to hang out with little kids... was completely correct. I learned sooo much German in these 5 days, just from listening and talking with them.
I decided on the second day, Tuesday, that I was going to take a snowboarding lesson for 2 days. Kai, my host brother, and I signed up for a course, and rented out snowboards, shoes, and helmets. Then, at 9:30, we started to learn. It was sooo awesome! I'm not half bad! The first day, we learned to stand up, stop, and fall down correctly. It's not so difficult, I got the hang of it pretty quickly. Except I did spend a LOT of time on my butt the first day.
The next day, we learned to turn, and how to really SNOWBOARD. It was awesome! I had a small problem with stopping though. Let's just say I ran into a tree once. Only once! But by the end of the second hill, my teacher told me that I could graduate from the bunny hill to something a little bit bigger....
The third day Kai bailed out on me. We didn't have any course more, and Kai had fallen a couple times and hurt himself, so he said he didn't want to snowboard anymore. Leaving me on my own. I decided to take my teacher's advice and try something bigger. I did great! Someone asked how long I'd been boarding for. They were SOOOOooooOOOOO surprised when I told them 2 and half days!
The fourth day, that would be Friday, or today, we were going home. But I wanted to do a little more snowboarding so I got up REALLY early (6:15) and went from 7 until 10. My entire body is now sore. It's funny... I didn't notice the pain while snowboarding, only afterwards!
Alright, well, I'll update again soon! Hope you all had a great beginning to a new decade!