October 27, 2013: Uneventful Events and Mah Livah Brought to you by Poland

So this week kind of felt like just an ordinary week as opposed to the consistently interesting OH MY GAWD I’M IN EUROPE weeks I’ve been having. Not to say that this is particularly bad, it’s just a part of adjusting to the new home away from home. I’ve heard that culture shock comes in three phases: the honeymoon phase, where everything is great and wonderful. Yes even that dog shit you just stepped in because it’s by such a beautiful church and hey, it’s German dog shit anyway so yeah. Then there is the second phase is sort of the downer phase, where everything just sort of gets on your nerves, you start to settle down and things aren’t as exciting, and you are essentially homesick. This supposedly comes after about a month. Honestly, even though I feel like things are starting to quiet down, I’m not really homesick. I was a bit for about a week when I first got here, but since then I haven’t really wanted to go back. Sure, there are people that I miss, and I can’t even describe how much I miss this bundle of cute awesomeness every day, but as far as America itself goes, especially the South, I have yet to really miss it. Maybe I just have a longer honeymoon phase, or maybe I’m just jaded enough to see past it or maybe I just sort of skipped my second phase and went right on to the third phase, which is mastery. Anyway, the point being I am still pretty happy here. Also I think it helps that I have met some pretty awesome people here so far. Good company makes everything easier.

 

That aside most of my week has consisted of going to classes and not really caring about the assigned work. I know that these classes are not going to transfer and even if I wanted to take classes that would transfer, I’m pretty sure I would hit a wall pretty quickly in that process. Yeah, my university. It’s… well I can’t think of anything nice to say at the moment, so maybe I shouldn’t say anything at all so I don’t shoot myself in the foot later. But that aside, the classes themselves are either interesting, or a good review for my comps. Either way I do gain something out of it. Oh, and I get to practice my German, which really needs work especially since I speak English with so many of my international friends. And even when I speak German with them, I do somewhat feel like it’s a blind leading the blind situation. All of those years helping with the ESL I finally understand why it is so hard to talk to native speakers. It’s very intimidating, especially when they are with other native speakers and speaking in a dialect.

I also did a fair amount of acrobatics/hooping this week. I’ve been trying to learn several new tricks, but it’s a bit discouraging because they are all going so slowly. Juggling has been going equally slowly. I admittedly don’t work as much at it as I do my hooping though. I mostly do it after I’ve gotten good and frustrated with my hooping. I’ve also tried a couple of other acrobatic related things, none of which I’ve particularly excelled at, and all of which I managed to do something embarrassing within the first 2 minutes of trying them. Potato. I also managed to make my second hoop this morning. I don’t know why, but as soon as I got up I just felt like making it. And I found a website here in Germany that has all sorts of pretty hoop tape I can buy. I just have to save a bit of money for it because the price ranges from 5-10 Euros per role. Considering I am not sure how much tape a role includes, I may need several of one color.

 

So ramblings aside onto the highlight of my week (and subsequently this post): Polish Night! Where the vodka shots just keep coming. No really, we had three shots within the first 30 minutes or so of being there. They were not very big, mind you, and they were mixed with some sort of lemon juice among other things. Honestly I did not keep count of how many shots I drank, but it actually took awhile to get drunk. I guess you could say I was representin’ last night. The food was also pretty fantastic. Those girls really outdid themselves. We had homemade Pierogi, Bigos, and some sort of apple pie-esque cake, which was much more sour than apple pie tends to be in America. As someone who isn’t generally a fan of cooked apples, I have to say I really like it. I think it’s the fact that I don’t really like how sweet cooked apples tend to be so having them be somewhat sour just really made them stand out. There was also fun and games, my favorite of which was probably getting my Polish name (Ala Radwańska for those of you who were curious) and having to find someone else at the party based only on having their Polish name. There was also a Polish quiz, which I failed miserably at. But hey, I did get one question right, so that counts for something. There was also a lot of Polish music I didn’t understand, but something about San Francisco was said, and there was the chicken dance at some point as well. All in all I had a really good time with some pretty fun people. I left a bit early (at 2 and it’s only considered early because apparently the party lasted until 8 in the AM). But the good news is that I felt perfectly fine this morning.

So this Thursday is Halloween and we’ll just have to see how kind my liver is that next day.

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