Friday, April 30, 2010

I Like Bike

This is my new BFF (Best Friend For a few months, at least). Features include an eye-catching '90s color scheme, howevermany gears, a bell, a basket (!!!) and, above all, a need for speed. I feel unfettered; my aimless walks have evolved pokemon-style to aimless rides, meaning I can cover at least 3 times as much ground with only 2 times the danger of being hit by a bus! Seriously though, I'm so pumped about finally getting some wheels.

The past week has consisted mainly of continuing my settling-in process. Classes are going well, weather's been great, been eating lots of pastries. Going to Berlin next week! That's all the news that's fit to print right now.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

By the way

If you wanted to read about my visit to Groningen and see pictures that are better than the ones I took, go here:

I've only had one class so far (Chinese) and it promises to be ridiculously easy! Tomorrow is a Master's course on International Aspects of HRM. Exciting stuff in Susiland!

Now to go lay down for a bit before yoga tonight.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Yes, so it's been about a month since the last time I updated. That's why I wrote two posts last time! Even stevens, I reckon.
Rather than try to cram three weeks worth of fun into a single post, this is dedicated to my daily life in Bamberg, pre-classes. Since the actual school part of what I could have sworn was going to be the best summer vacation ever starts tomorrow, I think it's an appropriate sendoff. Goodbye, days of hours spent only sitting in the park and playing cards in the sunshine! Farewell, staying up way past any sane person's bedtime for literally no reason at all! Adieu, not having to lift a pen for anything except signing receipts and sending postcards!
Actually, with the exception of the third, those things will most definitely continue. What I'm trying to say here is that my life in Bamberg is going exceptionally well.

To begin: this is my house. My apartment is the third giant window up, but don't get any ideas about panoramic views from the kitchen table: that monster is property of one Franciska, our third roommate who was supposed to come today but is, as of 11:31 pm, MIA. She is a real German though, so here's hoping she will be everything that a giant window like that deserves: patient with her foreigner roommates and able to cook fine German cuisine with only a stovetop and a sink. We do have an oven in a kitchen we share with the rest of the 3rd floor, though, and it's become a sort of weekend tradition for a group of us to get together and cook. So far we've had Latvian dumplings, Australian French toast, and Latvian potato/wurst/etc salad. Next week I'm cooking asparagus! Better than it sounds! Our hall of residence also boasts a roof terrace, a reading room, tv room, a cafeteria (that I got two free passes for on my birthday), and many party rooms. SPACIOUS.

Back to the subject of roommates! While Franny (I will not actually call her this) is doing her best Amelia Earhart impression, Marija has been around since day one. She's Latvian, same age as me, and a really great roommate. Seriously, she even does my dishes when I leave them in the sink. This is groundbreaking stuff. I've already learned the simplest Russian card game she knows (you may have seen this coming but, it's really complicated) and how to count to five in Latvian. I think this semester is going to be all right.

And here we have proof that I'm actually here to study! Getting this plastic card was a feat that required massive strokes of luck and a fair amount of jogging. Note, if you will, the patented "I can't believe I'm paying 10 Euros for a passport picture" grimace on my face! This card gets me on the bus for free, which makes it one of my most valuable possessions, given that the average chance of rain in Germany is around 80%. Riding a bike in slightly uncomfortable conditions? What do I look like, Lewis and Clark? You'll find my modern butt planted firmly in a bus seat at the first sign of drizzle.

Just for fun, here's some stuff I can see if I walk for 5 minutes. Exhibit A: the monstrous brewery that not only makes my walk to the train station bread and formaldehyde-scented but also looks like an evil factory! It looks pretty nice in this picture, but add in some grey clouds and belching smoke and it might as well be from the industrial revolution. Exhibit B is just some fields, but if you know me at all you know that I love fields. Adore them. And now I can step outside the door and BAM! Field! Many a walk has been taken this past week, and many an abandoned building has been mentally noted.

These are some of the people I hang out with (Marija is photographer here) on a trip we took to Würzburg yesterday. Danish, Finnish, Latvian, ME, Australian (x2), Italian, and American (someday I'll make a German friend...). We speak almost exclusively German together, which has definitely made me more comfortable with daily usage. The trip to Würzburg was incredible, involving watching first-year med students lay near-naked on a bridge, eating at a place called McDöner's, and laying out on a grassy ledge overlooking the city and eating crackers with nutella. Even I am getting bored of hearing about how great my life is, so here's a few pictures of the trip to wrap this up.

Cool, right? Anyway, classes start tomorrow and I need to be cheerful and perky to live up to my American stereotype, so that's all for now. Wish me luck!