Sunday, February 21, 2010

Why hello there!

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

Deutschland ist einfach hamma!

I can promise you it will keep growing. But to start off:


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....