Deutschland and beyond

Living in Germany

*Shock*… using the blog-defibrillator

*Revive*

aaaaaaand we’re back! After a hiatus (if you can call an approximately four month break a hiatus) the blog’s back. I’m sure the only one who’s missed the updates is my grandma (maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised and find out otherwise). Random pictures have been inserted to hopefully keep interest despite the mundane content of this entry. The next one will be more exciting, promise.

SG Würzburg/Passau after our first game day!

Recap: Enjoyed my US Tour this past summer for five weeks in the states before coming back to Germany. Made it up to Hanover in time for the U19 women’s lacrosse world championship finals weekend (USA won, no contest) and down to Mainz to function as assistant coach at a camp before getting back into the swing of things in Wuerzburg. Now that the Fulbright was over and my subleased apartment had its old tenant back, I was both jobless and homeless in Germany. Yet somehow this did not proceed to faze me for about six weeks. Why is that? Because I have amazing friends over here who let me crash with them or, better yet, apartment-sit while they were on vacation and I had nothing to do except play and coach lacrosse and leisurely look for jobs. However, I had to come back to reality and some point and reached both of my goals before my 90 day time limit was up and I’d be kicked out of the country.

Goal #1: Get a job

This actually preceded goal #2 since I figured hey, why sign a lease and get an apartment if you don’t get a job and have to leave the country? So, I managed to apply for a visa as a self-employed English teacher who would work mostly freelance (spoiler alert: isn’t really working). But those of you who were around last year are aware of the hoops one has to jump through at the town hall to get a visa so I decided to cover all my bases: I got a tax number, applied at multiple English-teaching Institutes, and even in the end applied to the University as a “free mover” student (only possible since I’m already enrolled in a US University next year). Of course with the way things work in life either nothing happens or it happens all at once. Naturally the visa for the freelance teacher goes through and the next week I get accepted to the University. Of course.

Oktoberfest!

Now, since bureaucratically speaking, this country would never want to make things easy for me we get yet another near-tears situation involving me and the Auslaenderamt (foreign citizens office) at the town hall. Long story short, I get yelled at by a woman for about five minutes straight while trying to explain my visa situation (“Can you let me finish, please?!“) and in the end, it turns out you can study on a freelance visa and don’t need a separate student visa so I’m safe. At least until August. Phew.

I just realized I never addressed the job I actually got to get me the visa… to support myself I’m doing a combination of things: waitressing, coaching, and teaching English- mostly to students as an after-school tutor.

Goal #2: Get an apartment

This proved to be a point of major stress since Wuerzburg is a university town and there were two classes entering the university this year. Loyal readers and German-education enthusiasts will note that last year was the last G9 year, meaning the last 13th grade class graduated from high school back in February. It was also the first year the 12th grade graduated resulting in twice as many first-year students matriculating this year. No, is the answer to your question. No new apartment complexes were built in the last year so yes, there is just as much space as before for more students. Somehow, miraculously, after a frustrating search and some strange interviews, I hit the apartment jackpot. My four roommates are nice, funny, talented, friendly, and I enjoy coming home. Our apartment is in the second floor of a building which houses an office on the ground floor and another apartment underneath. It’s behind the train station right at the base of the vineyards. Perfect.

70s party... the costume rule was strictly adhered to

Before/during/after those goals were reached I’ve been playing and coaching lots of lacrosse. Our girls are playing in the South League of the German lacrosse league and while we’re currently winless, we win every game in terms of experience (hey, one of my players said it, not me. I’m not known for being the overly-cheesy-quotey type) and I’m so proud of the way they’ve played so far. I also managed to sneak a few Oktoberfest visits in there as well as a trip to London and host Thanksgiving (those last two will be separate blog posts. I know what you’re thinking- yes! More to look forward to!) So true. So until then… machs gut

 

 

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November 29, 2011 Posted by | Germany | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Debates, Stars, and Copenhagen

Okay so a lot has been happening in the past few weeks including the Fulbright seminar in Berlin, a weekend trip to Copenhagen afterwards, and lots more around Wuerzburg. I’m going to save the Berlin seminar for a separate entry since I want to do it justice. So I’ll work backwards and start with stuff that’s been going on around here then go onto the Copenhagen trip. School’s been going really really well lately. I kind of fell into a funk in February where I was a little bored with my schedule, wasn’t really feeling challenged, and was wondering if staying for a second year was a realistic option. But since I’ve gotten used to my new schedule for this semester, it’s been great. The kids are so talkative and I’ve had some really great conversations in my classes, especially with the 11th and 12th grades. They’ve watched An Inconvenient Truth in class and we had a great discussion about global warming (right up my alley), and in practicing for the oral exam at the end of the year, the students have shown themselves competent in current events knowledge ranging from Gutenberg’s resignation due to plagiarism to the earthquake in Japan and debating about nuclear energy. Also on that topic, at least for the past two Monday’s there have been rallies in town protesting the use of nuclear energy in Germany. Chancellor Merkel did temporarily suspend activity at a few plants after the earthquake in Japan, but people speculate it’s only for political reasons (especially since the greens just took power in Baden-Wuerttenburg, traditionally a conservative stronghold). But the debate on nuclear energy hasn’t been pushed to the back burner yet here, and people are adamant about reducing the amount used since the waste poses such strong potential danger. It’s been interesting to witness the reactions, especially since I get the feeling people are more directly politically involved here than back home.

Lacrosse has had its ups and downs. We’re in the semester break right now (school doesn’t start back up again until May 1st. Crazy, I know) so attendance has been low at practice. But in the past week we’ve gotten a few more new players, so it’s nice that I can devote my time and energy to them at practice instead of worrying about running practice and teaching the game. Our team is looking into ordering jerseys (!!) and I’m still trying to organize practice games. I actually get to play this weekend which I’m so excited about! I have a friend who plays for Kaiserslautern, and they won’t have enough players this weekend so she asked if I could play with them. (Since I’m not officially registered with a team, it’s not a problem for me to get a player pass through her team). We have two games in Karlsruhe on Sunday against Karlsruhe and Munich II, my former team! I’ll be heading out to Erlangen on Saturday to watch the men’s team play so hopefully I’ll have lots of good news to report after!

Last weekend we had an international film festival here in town, and my Canadian friend and I went to see an Italian film (with English subtitles) about four guys who travel across their small island by foot to reach and perform in a music festival. It was pretty entertaining. Afterwards we went to Hettstadt, a nearby town, for an astronomy viewing night. My friend is doing her PhD in Astrophysics, so there was no shortage of knowledgeable scientists on hand to explain the constellations, planets, etc.

Pretty much what Saturn looked like through the big telescope

There was one HUGE telescope and about 3 large ones (all bigger than any I’ve ever looked through). We could see the moon up close, craters and all, and saturn with its rings! I loved the astronomy unit back in the 6th grade- 6th grade science was the best, what with that, anatomy, ecology, a frog dissection, and we were still young enough to watch Bill Nye in class. Awesome.

Me and Nadiya at Nyhaven

The weather here has been amazing, bordering on summer, which was a really really nice change from Copenhagen. I dumbly didn’t realize just how far north it is, and it was definitely still winter when we were there (last weekend in March). Nadiya and I headed up there from Berlin after the seminar and spent Thursday-Sunday in Copenhagen. I liked it, but if I ever go back it’ll have to be in the summer months. I just got the feeling that there’s a lot more to do/the city’s more enjoyable in warmer weather. But we still made the best of our time there. We ate a lot of traditional Danish open-faced sandwiches, though I didn’t go so far as to have any with raw fish on them. We went to the Royal Palace and watched the changing of the guard, walked along Nyhaven (the part along the canal with all the colored houses) and took a boat tour of the city. We also visited quite a few museums but I’ve got to admit I really enjoyed all of the exhibits. My favorite were probably the motion of light exhibit, the best photographs of 2010, and the Picasso exhibit out at the Louisiana Museum. It was unbelievable and had so many of Picasso’s famous works, as well as information about his life.

Our last night there, Denmark was playing Norway in a qualification match for the European Cup in 2012 (this is soccer we’re talking about here) so we asked at our hostel where a good place would be to watch it and found ourselves in a small, crowded smoky pub where we were the only tourists. It was awesome. The Danes speak English better than probably 70% of Americans (it’s unreal) so we had no problems communicating and quickly made friends at our neighboring table.

They take changing of the guards pretty seriously

We played some strange dice game after the game was over (if you watch Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s the dice game they play in the second movie where Will tries to win the key from Davy Jones), and after we all moved on to a bar to celebrate one of the guys birthdays. I made it to the train station the next morning in time for my train and promptly fell asleep (as I do on any means of transportation) only to be woken up about 3 hours later by some woman telling me to go upstairs. Our train was stopped in what looked like a lit-up tunnel and there was almost no one left on the train. Groggily, I grabbed my bags and followed the last few passengers up these stairs only to find out that we’re on a boat. Our train had driven straight onto a ferry which was now carrying us across to Germany. What?!? I was pretty confused/astounded for the first five minutes, but eventually got used to it. When the boat landed in Germany, the train was already lined up with the tracks and simply drove off the boat and on to Hamburg.

I’ve got the next two weeks off for Easter (yippee!) so I’ll be updating a little bit more regularly (although there probably won’t be too much to update on). Bis dann!

April 15, 2011 Posted by | Germany, Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pre-Christmas (by Mom)

This is the last of the family updates, and it’s out of order. Sorry. Chronologically, this one should come first but then the rest all fall into place. It’s been nice and easy having ‘guest bloggers’; now I’ll have to go back to actually writing and updating. Anyway, here’s mom’s take on our few days before Christmas:

Whew!  I wasn’t quite sure if we were going to make it to Germany for Christmas this year.  But on the day we flew out, they had just re-opened the Frankfurt airport, so I knew all was well.

Maura and I had an uneventful flight after that.  We caught our connection in Amsterdam, although I wish our layover had been longer- I would have loved to have done some shopping at that airport.   We landed in Frankfurt, connected with Tim and Cala, but  looked frantically for our luggage for 2 hours. Fortunately, those scanning baggage claim tickets saved us and Maura would be able to see Germany (she packed her daily contacts in her checked suitcase)  Off to the train to Wurzburg to see Colleen!!

We found our way to the hotel, settled in and Colleen came over after her lacrosse practice.  We headed off to a quaint pub/restaurant for dinner, where I took her suggestion and had currywurst, and the rest dined on schnitzel (veal,) and pasta and toasted  the holidays with their great beers. Off to slumber early as it was a long day.

Wednesday we had planned to attend an authentic Christkindl (Weihnachts) market and we definitely weren’t disappointed.  The weather was perfect, cold and a little snow to add to the atmosphere, just like Chicago. We walked around the market, enjoyed some Gluhwein, Cala found a place for chocolate crepes, and did some souvenouir shopping for friends back home. Colleen’s friend Jessie was arriving that day, so she went to meet her at the train station while we continued shopping. Our plan was to meet at 3:00pm at the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, Würzburg’s Residenz.

 

This is one of the most important Castles in Europe (so they say about all of them, don’t they?). Built in 1720-1744 based on the design by Balthasar Neuman  with help from L.von Hildebrandt and M.von Welsh of Mainz. Not destroyed in 1945 were the magnificent staircase with its self-supporting vault and the brilliant ceiling painting by the Venetian artist G.B Tiepolo. Also known for its ornate stucco ornamentation by A. Bossi. This is also the site where they were filming the 3 Musketeers with Orlando Bloom, Colleen does claim a sighting of him during the production (not claim, it really happened. And I ran into him and his wife Miranda Kerr at our outdoor market. My only celeb sighting but pretty awesome).

On our way back to the hotel, we opted to stop for coffee/hot chocolate at a cute little place. We warmed up, then headed back out into the cold, back to our hotel.  We asked at the desk for dinner recommendations and they suggested a great Italian restaurant within walking distance.( No wonder the people are thin, they do walk a lot, but their one bad vice is smoking!) Everyone was able to find something on the menu that tempted their tastebuds, as well as dad,  though he wouldn’t quite splurge for a 50 Euro bottle of red wine, which led us to out last stop for the evening, a very nice Rathskellar. We did indulge in a very nice red (can’t quite remember the name) but the bottle was intriguing (note from Colleen: I’ll look for a picture but all of the wine bottles here in Franken are shaped differently than normal ones- see here if you’re really curious).  The shape reminded me of a fatter Hershey syrup container, short and fuller in the middle, but the wine was delicious, the conversation was constant and the company was priceless!  Back to the hotel to get ready for Christmas.

(for real continuity, you can refer back to Cala’s blog from here, if you’re desparate). I’ll add in pictures when I can; unfortunately the wi-fi on my laptop isn’t working but once I move (Feb 1st!) it’ll all get settled. Some brief updates other than the move:

– currently working on my mid-term report for Fulbright. It’s due by the end of the month (whoops)

– successfully applied to grad schools and am waiting to hear back

– teaching is going well. We dont start our new semester until the end of February so I’m on the same schedule until then.

– We’re working on getting a few scrimmages/practice games scheduled for lacrosse which would be awesome

– I have no idea where I can watch the NFC championship tonight (it doesn’t start until 9pm here.. uh oh). But  GO BEARS!

January 23, 2011 Posted by | Germany | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas (by Cala)

Well Loyal Readers (who am I kidding, it’s pretty much just my family anyways….) I realize these posts will be out of order and while that may bother no one else besides me, apologies anyways. But way to go Cal for being the only one on top of your game. Here goes (oh and of course I can’t refrain from making comments so mine are in italics)

Hello everybody! First, I’d like to thank my director, and all the cast and – oh. It’s just a blog. Never mind! But really, big thanks to Mom and Dad for providing the necessary funds for this fantastic Euro-trip! I’m supposed to write about Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, since I know the most about Christmas, clearly. Let’s see… Christmas Eve is the BIG DAY in Germany, whereas the 25th is the big day in the States. So pretty much everything is closed on the 24th and 25th because everyone in Germany celebrates Christmas (sorry, no Chinese and movie theaters around). So we had to find our own ways to entertain ourselves.

snowy view from the Residenz

We woke up on Christmas Eve to a white winter wonderland! It was a lovely little flurry, so we decided to trek up to The Fortress of Würzburg (not sure if that is the official title, but you get the idea) (Festung Marienburg). The Fortress is over the river and through the park and up a grand hill, prime location for the upper hand on attacks – however, a bit tricky for tourists to get to. So we bundled up and headed out, through the now – heavier snow, over the bridge, through the park and started up when Colleen says, “Oh I thought we would take the scenic route up, and we can take the stairs through the park back down.” Of course, my mom is thrilled that there is a scenic route, so we instead start walking up steep, slippery, icy hills up the backside of the fortress. I, being ill-equipped in the winter hiking footwear department (as well as athletic department), required a bit of assistance up the hill, but we made it in good time. The fortress was initially home to the royalty of Germany (?) and the Prince Bishop of Würzburg until the Winter Palace (aka the Residence) was built in the 1700s, at which point they moved there (also a very chilly place, not many torches or ovens. Here I should mention Cala’s body fat is probably around 2%. On a good day) Anyway, the real highlight of the trip was the view of Würzburg from the top of the hill. Despite the heavy snow, it was a fantastic view of the city on the river. We walked by the keep, the horse pool (no joke) and around the entire fortress before heading back down for some lunch.

We stopped in a little café, one of the only places still open, and grabbed a bite to eat. After some delicious hot chocolate we headed back to the hotel for some relaxation time before dinner.

Girls on the bridge

Colleen managed to get reservations at one of the only restaurants open on Christmas Eve – and a Mexican restaurant at that! The food was delicious, as well as the margaritas, Maura’s favorite part. After dinner we went to 10:30pm mass at St. Killian’s Cathedral. It was, of course, a bit chilly inside due to the fact that it is huge and made of stone, but there were a lot of candles, and pretty soon with everyone huddled in the pews (it was packed!) it warmed up a bit. We didn’t understand any of the mass, despite Colleen’s best efforts to translate while whispering for all of us, but there was one part we understood: the songs. They had the lyrics printed on our pamphlets, so we got to try our best at German pronunciation while singing Silent Night, Greensleeves, Away in a Manger, and Hark the Herald Angels Sing. I would give us a B- on pronunciation, but an A for effort!
We returned to the hotel for our last bit of tradition – our Christmas Eve gift exchange. For those of you who don’t know, it is an O’Connor tradition that the three girls all get to open one gift each on Christmas Eve, and that gift is always matching pajamas! Although now that we are older, they more coordinated than matching. So we opened our pajamas – even Jessie! And hit the sack, with hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be at the Novotel room 220.

Fortress in the snow

Christmas Day! Since we were told ahead of time that literally every single shop and café would be closed on Christmas Day, we prepared for total laziness. Colleen and I had gone to the grocery store the day before and bought bread, cheese, sausage, chips, fruit – pretty much anything non-perishable that did not require cooking. We feasted all day! We actually ate breakfast in the hotel lobby, and German breakfasts are a little different than the American buffets. Of course there was toast, jam, cereal, eggs, sausage, the usual – but there was also little packets of Nutella for spreading (Maura’s favorite) and an assortment of cheeses, meats, and fish to put on your bread (Dad’s favorite). Of course they had coffee (Mom’s favorite) and the best part – the served black olives with breakfast! My favorite!
Basically we spent the entire day in bed. Literally. The rooms were a bit small, so we didn’t have a lot of room to sit so we all just sat/laid on the bed all day, playing cards, watching movies. We got Mom and Dad hooked on Modern Family – great show, for those of you who don’t watch it. We played Phase 10, watched Love Actually, ate lots of cheese and sausage and M&Ms, and oh I remember CALA WON WIZARD!!!! For pretty much the first time in a long time. I’m awesome. We exchanged the few gifts we had brought from home, and Jessie had brought us presents from Egypt! She gave her adopted sisters exquisite silver necklaces (mine’s the prettiest) and for her adoptive parents a beautiful hand-crafted leather bound book for all of our photos, with “O’Connor Christmas 2010” on the cover. We loved having Jessie be an O’Connor for Christmas!

Overall, Christmas celebrations in Germany were wonderful. We got to spend time with our fantastic family, eat good food, and did I mention that I won in Wizard?

January 10, 2011 Posted by | Germany | , , , | 4 Comments

Holidays in Hamburg

I swear the closer we get to Christmas, the more slowly time moves. I can’t believe I was in Hamburg only last weekend! After school on Thursday, I booked it to the train station as quickly as possible to make sure I made it up to Hamburg in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Brendan, an American Fulbrighter from BC, graciously offered to play host to me for the weekend, ensuring I wouldn’t be spending such an important American holiday alone. I made it up with plenty of time to spare, and joined the group of four American Fulbrighters in Hamburg and one American Fulbrighter visiting from Berlin. Our group grew to a size of 8, including a French Fulbrighter as well as a German who wandered into the kitchen claiming that ‘it smelled good and he was just curious to see what was going on’. (of course you can’t turn anyone away at Thanksgiving…)

Fulbrighters and our Thanksgiving meal!

What may be most impressive is the fact that the group of boys cooked the entire meal! We had a turkey that I think was about 4kg (so 9lbs), mashed potatoes, carrots in brown sugar, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and to top it all off, a pumpkin cheesecake complete with a walnut maple glaze. This whole time, mind you, we two girls sat at the table, chatted and drank wine- a welcome change of pace! The meal turned out really well; everything tasted wonderful. We even all ended up going around the table and saying what we were thankful for- it started off as half-joking but we all had a lot to appreciate- that much was clear by the end.

Oh I should also mention that Germany has perfect timing in welcoming the winter season. Thanksgiving day was the first day it snowed over here, and it’s snowed at least every 2 days since. Granted, we don’t have a huge accumulation of snow but it definitely helps get you in the Christmas spirit. That being said, the next day Brendan and I went out and enjoyed Hamburg in the snow. Hamburg is different from any German city I’ve visited for a number of reasons:

It’s actually the second largest city in Germany with about 2 million people. (Berlin is first with I think 3 mil and Munich comes in 3rd with a little over 1 mil). Hamburg is a huge shipping port and there was no shortage of boats/barges/cruise ships out on the water. Due to its proximity to a major body of water, seafood is abundant. That translated to fish sandwiches for breakfast, something I wasn’t totally on board with at first but ended up being pretty good (I still prefer the southern German breakfast of bread and butter/jam/nutella/cheese/meat). So we walked around the harbor for a while and then took a ferry ride so I could see a little bit more of the city. Stopped in St. Michael’s Church (because every good self-respecting German city has at least one must-see church), walked through town some more before finally ending up at the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market).

at the Weihnachtsmarkt

Almost every German city has a Weihnachtsmarkt, with the one in Nuremburg being the largest and most famous. They tend to open the weekend before the first Sunday of advent and stay open until the 23rd or Christmas Eve.

The stalls at the Weihnachtsmarkt sell anything from socks to cooking utensils to the more traditional ornaments and candles. We spent a good amount of time just walking around, taking everything in before warming up with some Glühwein. There really is no American equivalent for Glühwein, though the Brits call it “mulled wine”. It’s basically warm wine with spices. This was the first Weihnachtsmarkt where I saw white wine Glühwein (though it turns out they also have it here in Würzburg). You have to pay a 2.50 Euro deposit for your mug, but that’s because each city, or sometimes even stall, has unique mugs which they use to serve the Glühwein in. (obviously I thought 2.50 was a good price for the mug and took mine with me).

We spent the rest of the afternoon in the same manner (Glühwein, walking around Hamburg, back to the Weihnachtsmarkt) before going out that night with other American, French, and Spanish Fulbrighters. That was one thing I was really jealous about, that there’s such a contingent of Fulbrighters/international students in Hamburg. Then again, it is a much larger city, but still.

Hamburg town hall and Weihnachtsmarkt

This week back in Würzburg was actually pretty busy too. It snowed here as well, we had our usual lacrosse practices three times this week (two of which are outside. yes in the snow and negative-celsius-degree weather), our Weihnachtsmarkt is open, I signed my subletter-lease for my apartment AND successfully celebrated my 23rd birthday! A group of girls from the lacrosse team joined me in celebrating which included Glühwein, beer, champagne at midnight on the bridge over the Main river, and dancing away until the late hours of the night/early hours of the morning. Very successful overall.

December 5, 2010 Posted by | Germany | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bamberg: A vision of pre-war Germany

I’ve finally figured out my plans for Thanksgiving- I’ll be going up north to Hamburg to celebrate with another Fulbrighter and some other Americans! I’m heading out right after my classes tomorrow to make it just in time for dinner. It’ll be really nice to be with other Americans, especially since I know everyone back home is getting together with their families and friends.Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, since it’s one of the few that isn’t so commercially based (even if the day right after it is), and more focused on appreciation and everyone being together.

After our lacrosse “team night” on Thursday, we struggled through practice Friday, and I went out with the two British teaching assistants in my town Friday night. Saturday, however, I wanted to do something a little bit different. There’s a Fulbrighter, who I met at orientation, currently living/teaching in Bamberg, a town about an hour east of Würzburg. I’ve been thinking about heading over there for a while, and all of the Germans I’ve told this to have emphatically recommended it.

Altes Rathaus (former town hall)

Würzburg was about 90% was destroyed in WWII just weeks before they surrendered to American forces. Würzburg was actually more completely destroyed than Dresden- for those of you who have seen the pictures, that’s hard to imagine. Bamberg, on the other hand, wasn’t touched at all due to a nearby artillery factory. So, many Germans idealize Bamberg since they feel it represents a typical German town pre-World War II. The whole town is actually a UNESCO world heritage site, which I think is pretty cool.

'little Venice'

Once I get in to the train station, my fellow Fulbrighter meets me there and we just walk around town for most of the day. The Altes Rathaus is beautiful, complete with paintings on the side. We also visited the Old Palace, the cathedral (of course), stopped at the lookout point, and walked along the river. Apparently Bamberg is known as Germany’s ‘little Venice’ and it wasn’t hard to see why with all of the houses and boats along the river.

Of course no visit to a German town is complete without sampling the local beer. I’m told that Bamberg itself has about 9 breweries and the area around it about 40 or so. Bamberg is best known for its Rauchbier, or smoked beer. It’s a dark beer and they dry the malt over open flames (hence the smoke flavor). If you’re more interested in the brewing procedures click here. As far as taste goes, the best way I can describe it is that it’s like drinking beer and bacon together, in one drink. I know that sounds crazy, but that’s all I’ve got. I enjoyed it, but it’s definitely not a beer you drink quickly or have five of in a night (at least not for me). Also, the tavern we went to have drinks at is 1. also a brewery and 2. one of the more famous ones in Bamberg (see picture below). It’s called the Schlankeria, just in case anyone’s planning on making a trip.

Bamberg was a really nice town to visit and I’m glad I got the opportunity to go. This week has gone pretty well so far. I had a ‘trial lesson’ yesterday at the language school in town because I’ve decided to… start taking French lessons. Yes, you read that right. I figured there’s a better chance of learning it here, in a closer vicinity to France, than at home. And why French you ask? I figure with public health it will be useful (Haiti, West Africa), and I enjoy learning languages. My language tutor looked like a scholarly Thierry Henry (hey, I’m not complaining). But the lessons really help my German as well since I’m learning French in the context of German (talk about confusing). Henry doesn’t speak any English so I’m forced to resort to German/French. We’ll see how it goes!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

November 24, 2010 Posted by | Germany | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments