Friday, March 26, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Most of this week consisted of getting important things done (like getting a cell phone and a train card) and sightseeing with Anorie. Guess which one I'm going to tell you about!
Because hearing about how you have to go to the eye doctor to get contact solution is boring! All told, Anorie and I took day trips to Mainz, Wiesbaden, and Frankfurt. What did we do there? For those of you who know Anorie, the answer is miraculously not shopping!
We drank classy hot chocolates,
looked at ridiculous churches,
saw windows designed by Chagall,
also a volcano (actually another egg-water fountain. Mm.),
and the world's largest cuckoo clock.
Mostly, though, we (I) just marveled at the mutant trees that grew in all three of these cities!On the home front, I got a tour of the new bike shop, packed to the brim with two-wheelers of every imaginable sort. They even had one of those sick 1800s-style big-wheel-in-fronters (not pictured)!
I also went out in Mainz with Vivi and a friend of hers, the first in what turned out to be a trend of drinking with former babysitters. Hi Mom!
Imagine that sort of thing, everywhere. For an entire house. Guys, it was really great. And after the tour we were forcefully invited for Kaffee und Kuchen with some other sort of relatives. It was wonderful, of course. I think I've eaten more cake in these two weeks than I did in all of 2009. Improvement!
Next time: actually in Bamberg! Latvians and grown-up duties! Stay tuned!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
One of my favorite parts of visiting new countries is the first ride through the city, where first impressions and snap judgements can be made. First thought: grunge! Seriously, I was expecting something much neater, probably because I'm used to the preternatural cleanliness of Germany. But anyone who's heard me talk about Taiwan (or anyone who's seen my room) knows, I am all about slightly grimy places. My excitement was building.
Second impression, which lasted until I got back on the plane? Hilarious! Seriously, and I say this with the utmost respect, I found everything about the section of London I was in funny, from the absurdly well-dressed people to the pigeons. This could, of course, be due to my slightly twitchy brand of tired, but I maintain that any country that has a candy called "Giant Buttons" is at the very least worth a chuckle. Giant Buttons!
Drifter! Seriously, as long as you say any of these candy names in a British accent, I'm almost guaranteed to laugh every time.
So I mostly just walked around from Oxford Circus to Marble Arch, taking in the red busses and black cabs and looking (so I thought) just as touristy as can be, but apparently I fit right in because not only was I asked for directions, I was solicited by a red cross volunteer and given a rose by a French guy walking down the street. No time for a proper pub lunch (sorry, mom) so I stopped into Boots and bought what sounded the Britishest to me:
It was yummy, I ate it on the train back to Heathrow, where I apparently looked just as German as can be because I was asked twice by legitimate Germans questions about the upcoming flight. Little do all these people know that such a helpful-looking girl can be so overwhelmingly oblivious to all important things! They'll learn...
Anyway, another uneventful flight, except for a holding pattern that lasted about an hour and a really pretty sunset from the plane. Vivi was there to pick me up holding a giant sign and a bouquet, it was really great to talk to her and my German wasn't half bad! We came home to Anorie and Rudi's house and ate Gebackener Camembert (of course!) and talked until I was ready to fall over. I'll let this picture I took on the way back to Heathrow speak for how I was feeling:
ugh pretend this is right side up, i'm not dealing with it
And that's really all I have to say about that! I'll update with exciting stories about getting an adaptor (!) and a phone card (!!) soon!!! So stay at the edge of your respective seats.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Anyway, I'll let the sweet strains of really bad American music play me out over on this side of the ocean. Hilariously, while I have heard a dance-pop version of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and Milow's "Ayo Technology", I have yet to hear a German song after hours of radio listening.
That's all for now, but watch this space for London stories soon!