Sammeln: To collect

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
Trip End Jun 12, 2010

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Flag of Germany  , Hesse,
Monday, January 11, 2010

"'Sammeln. ' Was ist das auf Englisch?"- Professor

“Um, uh, hmmmm”- various responses from the class

“You do it with stamps”- Professor

“OHHHH it means lick!!!”- me

With a very puzzled disturbed look professor corrects me, “Nein. It’s the verb meaning to collect”

And the whole class laughs….

That’s one of the best parts about my intensive language class, its fun.  We all laugh over stupid stuff all day long.  The professor is laid back, but she has a sense of humor.  I’ve also gotten a good sense of the local perception of time.  For example, class starts at 8am.  However, it is quiet normal for class not to begin until 8:10, yet class will end promptly at 1:15…which is fine.  Everyone spends free time socializing.  There’s a lot of emphasis on having lunch or dinner together, and even more on partying.  Every day (but today), I’ve met up with a group of people to cook.  This can be as affordable as 1.50 per person.  Everyone takes turns cooking and cleaning.  However, I have one friend who makes these gatherings quite expensive.  See, when we go to purchase the ingredients, everyone goes.  He likes to get more food than needed and beer and wine…and the cost just rises up.  So, after a couple of 3.50+ meals with him, I think I’ll be joining different people in the future.

I have yet to sample traditional Deutsch cuisine.  It’s just not common to go to a restaurant.  There are a couple of pizza and doener shops (doeners are gyros), and baeckeris that sell lots of breads; but that’s all I’ve seen in this tiny town so far.  However, I will come back w some great recipes from around the world.  Thanks to sharing meals with people I already have great (and simple) recipes from (Siena) Italy, Singapore and Northern India.  Most people here have never had a casserole before.  So, when it was my turn to cook, I made mom’s beef supreme.  However, it turned out bland.  The reason is because I couldn’t find cheddar cheese and the canned tomatoes I used wee not seasoned. Sigh it just wasn’t the same.

The parties here are often, intense and so much fun.  Due to lack of clubs and very few (yet expensive) pubs in the area, the parties are always at someone’s flat.

Friday, yoon had a party for his birthday.  His flat was gigantic.  Everyone parties with wine here, and there was enough at that party for everyone to have a bottle and a half.  I myself averaged a bottle and a half.  The Italian girls cooked some great food, and Yoon’s fellow Koreans made some yummy Korean appetizer.  Everyone was “happy” before 8pm.  At that time, the lights went out and it turned into a dance party.  While listening to house music I was jumping around and one of my friend’s from France was like, “Bryn, just stop jumping”.  Haha, but he was just jealous because he can’t dance at all.  The party was so much fun.  However, there’s one in every crowd.  There was a girl trying to grind on every guy there.  She also proved to be very belligerent and whiney at the party on Saturday.  She tends to be a buzz kill to the people she hangs by at the parties. I want to say she’s a very nice person when sober, but after running into her today, I can’t say that.  But, I there’s one in every crowd.  The one who has to be the center of attention.    Whatev, not my problem.

Saturday there was another party.  Some guy from texas was turning 21.  Talk about belligerent!  He and his roommates threw a great party, but they themselves were so annoying.  There were a ton of people at the party.  Even with all the windows open, it was so hot in there.  I met some more cool people too.  In general, other than like one or two people, everyone’s cool.  Everyone knows everyone else and miraculously there’s absolutely NO DRAMA! (Well not yet), and it’s fantastic.  Unlike at home, when we take everyone for face value, here, people understand differences.  Even if they don’t like the differences, they just deal with it.  I ended up leaving the Saturday party early. After a few overly strong drinks, I couldn’t stand the sight or smell of the mix of cheap liquor and wine anymore.  So, I started on my 30min walk home.

Though it was in the middle of the night, I wasn’t worried about going home by myself.  Oesterich-Winkle, and the small towns surrounding it, prides themselves in safety.   The towns’ people also pride themselves in cleanliness.  I have yet to see trash on the streets: no gum, no cigarette buds, no random wrappers…it’s so nice.  Another cool thing is that, unless at a train station, I have yet to see a dog on a leash.  Next time you run across a rambunctious dog, don’t call Caesar.  Instead, call a germany.  The dogs are very well behaved.

Seeing a dog is a daily occurrence.  Seeing a cat, on the other hand, never happens, with the exception of today. There was a cat sitting outside the pharmacy that looked almost exactly like Leo!  I couldn’t help myself, I had to pet him.  He was so cuddly.  He even acted like Leo.  Just as my friends walked by he crawled up in my lap.  My friends were like “OMG, you have a cat. That’s awesome!”  Of course, he’s not my cat.  He was fixed and very prosperous.  My theory is that he is a house cat, accidently got out of the house, and was sitting outside of the pharmacy hoping that his owners would return soon.  I didn’t want to leave him, but I continued on my way.

There is one thing about this town I find rather unique.  Every day, I have to walk past a cemetery.  Every day there are different people in the cemetery.  EVERY DAY.  These people really take time to honor the deceased.  You don’t see that much in the states.

Sunday, I couldn’t stand it anymore.  Despite the bitter cold, I went for a run.  It felt soooo god.  You see, there isn’t really a gym here.  All the walking is considered exercise enough.  But, I couldn’t take it.  The run felt great, and it allowed me to see the neighboring town, Hattenhiem. 

I love Germany, but it hasn’t been all die Schmetterlingen(butterflies) and rainbows.  I had some issues registering with the local authorities and opening a bank account.  These troubles aren’t due to lack of proper documents, inefficiencies, or lack of proper manner on my part.  They are due to all the bureaucracy in this town.   Their time tables are also not beneficial.  For example, the bank is only open 8am-12pm  6 days a week.  And almost every employee will leave a meeting with a foreigner to work with a local.  They are also very rude.  When attempting to open my bank account (which is still “processing”), the bank teller called me a “stupid girl”, despite following procedure…asshole!!!  Yea I will not have access to my money for at least another two weeks.  This is very frustrating.

I also had a girl from Thailand tell me that I don’t speak English correctly.  “Your R’s aren’t right.  Stop rolling your R’s”.  I wanted to tell her, “Even the states have different dialects.  English isn’t even your first language.  I’m not all over you when your s, t and l’s don’t sound right.  Even if you were from the states, I’d tell you to F*** off for a comment like that”…but I restrained myself. Once again, this is a drama free zone, and I want it to stay that way…so I’ll just complain about it in the blog lol. Sigh… Ha,and then later that day, someone from Paris said “I love your American accent.  It’s very sexy”…take that!!! chic from Thailand.

Tomorrow is my last day of intensive language classes.  Starting Wednesday, there are 3 days of campus orientation (including an excursion to Frankfurt.  Which I cannot attend.  Thanks Volksbank for keeping my money from me…assholes).  Tomorrow and Saturday, I plan on taking a free bus to the town of Wiesbaden to look around.  I’m so excited for that.  Also, one of these days I’ll get around to taking pictures...hopefully it’ll be this week.  Tomorrow I am going with the Italian girls, and Saturday with the guys.  I’m excited J  Also, next week is Jessica’s birthday and we’re going to either Mainz or Wiesbaden to celebrate.  Her parents are going to drive so we don’t have to pay for the bus.  German karaoke…haha can’t wait.
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Bernat on

Of course you'd start a fight with a chick from Thailand. You're like a big drama-filled cow lol. :)

Leigh Harris on

Dang, you gotta watch your liver, they sure know how to party!

So, I must say, I was a bit bummed today. I had two classes, and I was looking around for people that I knew, hoping that you'd pop in, only to remember that you're in the beer capital of the world. I hope you're having fun, and I give you major kudos for restraining yourself with that Thai girl, I'm pretty sure I would have dished out some things that would have been far from politically correct. :p Hasta pronto!

Carol McDonald on

Great blog, Brynna! Looking forward to reading more. Hope that problem w/the bank gets handled faster than two weeks!

Mama Janice on

great to hear from you-- how wonderful you are there and all is well , with the exception of your $$$$- find some cute fellow to lend you some. Take care of yourself and have fun. mwa

Rea on

Loved the pics glad to see you are making friends. Be careful with the party crowds. Cant wait for more pics.

Leigh Harris on

So, I decided that kids there must have to learn their alphabet like champs. Your street name=wayyyyyyy too long + wayyyyyyy too many letters :p

chris d on

looks like ur having great time thanks 4 updating me n whats going on hope ur having great time, sounds like it

Mama Janice Sugar Daddy on

Too cool, have a great time!!

Veronica on

I am so glad to hear you are having a great time! Sounds like a lot of crazy fun times!! I cannot believe someone who isn't even American was trying to tell you how to pronounce things right! That crazy girl! haha have fun Bryn!

Josh on

Sounds like a great time Bryn! I'm jealous! I didnt no germany was such a party place. lol

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