October 13, 2013: Over the River and Through the Woods

So this was the last week before classes start here. I have signed up for five, which is a light load for Germany: Introduction to Germanic Linguistics (which should be fairly easy), Syntax of Present Day German, German as a Foreign Language, Applied Linguistics, and Morphology and Word Formation of German. I may also sit in on a Literature class just because I know that literature will be on my comps, but then again that would make my Wednesdays really long. I am also going to take another German language course so I can hopefully pass the Goethe Institute test I need to take to prove my proficiency in German. If that class doesn’t fall on a Monday or Friday, I will have four day weekends. Be jealous.

That aside, this week has been pretty fun but only somewhat eventful. On Monday I went and hooped in the park, but this time the much more populated Schlosspark. I sort of hid where there weren’t many people because I get kind of self conscious when people are watching me, which makes me mess up more. Anyway, I noticed this guy on a unicycle riding past and he slowly started to slow down. I was somewhat panicked when he actually approached me, and me being the awkward person that I am, I turned my back and tried to pretend he wasn’t there. Alas, I dropped the hoop and that’s when he stated his true intentions. He wanted to tell me about an acrobatics club in town! Pretty neat, but he told me in English, and sadly his English wasn’t terribly good, so I really wasn’t sure when they met. That is until Tuesday, when a friend of mine invited me to go learn how to juggle there. They had all sorts of fun things there to try, but since I’m not very coordinated, I stuck to either the hoops (which were too small so next time I will have to bring my own) and juggling. By the time we left, I was able to somewhat juggle three bean bags for about 5-10 seconds. But it was fun and I definitely plan on going back.

Wednesday was probably the highlight of my week, even though it got off to a bit of a rough start. I woke up fairly early and tried to catch my bus to Frankfurt. While I got there in plenty of time, I misread where the bus was supposed to pick me up, so by the time I figured it out, it had already left without me… So, I ended up buying a train ticket, which was kind of expensive, but it was better than not going at all. So I ended up getting to Frankfurt about an hour later than I had planned. Luckily my friend Verena, who lives there, was free all day and so it didn’t really matter. Then she showed me around the city for a bit and we ended up walking to a cafe, where we had coffee and I had a sandwich. (I was dumb and didn’t pack a lunch for the train). Actually, I had a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, but it really isn’t as good as they are in America. It was too sweet and there wasn’t enough of a pumpkin flavor. But, it was still tasty.

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After that it started to rain, so we headed back to her apartment for a bit. After some debate, she showed me her university, which actually has a campus. Interestingly enough it used to be owned by a company (I forgot the name and am too lazy to look it up) that made the gas used during the Holocaust. Despite their less than wonderful past, the buildings and campus were really nice. It has such a calm atmosphere even though it is in the middle of such a big city. She also showed me the old campus, which they were phasing out slowly in favor of the newer campus. It had a certain charm to it, even though it looked a bit run down and many of the walls were covered in graffiti. After that we went to a Mexican restaurant, which luckily served actual salsa instead of marinara sauce. It was also happy hour, so we got some cocktails to boot. Overall it was a pretty expensive dinner, but it was fun and it tasted good. It was definitely nice to catch up with Verena, especially since I didn’t see much of her her final semester due to comps.

So the next morning I got up super early to catch my bus, which left at 7:45. So sadly I really didn’t get to see much of Frankfurt, but this time I did catch my bus at least. After I got back I was pretty lazy and I think I even ended up taking a nap at some point. Then I decided to meet up with some friends and go to the bar in the basement of the dorm. Well, I decided it would be a good idea to pregame a bit, so I drank two beers (1 liter) before heading down. My original plan was to just have those two beers. Not the case. My two friends each bought a round (which I felt bad not having enough cash on me to return the favor), so for those keeping count, that’s 2 liters of beer at this point, or a bottle of coke at the grocery store. It didn’t stop there. Then we started talking to the bartender, who was from Poland and had apparently gone to America. He was pretty nice, especially since he gave use two rounds of shots. Still not entirely sure what they were, but they were tasty.

So it was about 2 when we left that bar and went to another place next to my friends’ dorms. I forget the name, but it was a total sausage fest in there. Anyway, we talked to several people there and were having a pretty good time, that is until the drunk Indian guy started harassing me and then one of my friends. I played it off and sort of got out of the situation. She, however, was not so lucky. Long story short, we were almost in the middle of a fight because this guy didn’t want to leave her alone. That’s about the time we decided to leave. It was also pretty late by then, so it sort of worked out.

Because I was out for so long, Friday was a complete wash. I laid in bed most of the day and watched German TV and talked to people online. It wasn’t until 8 that I left my dorm to go over to a friend’s place and watch the Producers, which is an excellent film. I think everyone enjoyed it, even though we watched it in English without subtitles.  We also spent most of the film hoping no Germans would walk in… Then yesterday I ended up going to a friends dorm to cook them some good ol’ Cajun food (red beans n’ rice) and then bake some cookies. The red beans n’ rice turned out nice, and was not too spicy for everyone, even though I had to douse mine in hot sauce, heh. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. I also tried some random Polish things my friend had on hand, my favorite of which was probably the rose jam. The cookies, however, were somewhat more problematic. I could not for the life of me find some ingredients, so I had to wing it. The weirdest thing I couldn’t find was chocolate chips, so I cut up some Ritter Sports instead. They tasted fine, but they were really thin and kept breaking, so we more or less had cookie bits by the end of the day. But it was fun and hopefully I will get to cook with people more often.

As for today, I’ve mostly been kind of a grump. Not really sure why, maybe some built up stress? I don’t know. I went to the park for a bit to hoop, but really only managed to throw it around and at one point I hit myself in both the mouth and the nose with it. I really thought I was bleeding, it hurt that much, but I wasn’t. And with that, I gave up. Then a bit later I met with some friends and we rode our bikes on some walking trails that went through the woods. They actually go on for awhile back there. It was nice and relaxing, and we eventually stopped at a bakery to get some coffee and some food and have a bit of a rest. After that we went back and rode through the woods some more, this time providing everyone who passed us with entertainment as we were singing both English and Polish songs at the top of our lungs. Good fun. Now I am back at my dorm, procrastinating. I really need to start on my reading list for my comps again, but I just don’t want to. Sigh, stupid UA and your stupid reading list. I know, first world problems.

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