Never-ending Paperwork

It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated this blog, so I’ll be making a few posts of my activities and thoughts that I’ve had from week to week. The main reason it’s taken me so long is that my camera hasn’t really been functioning very well, so I haven’t been able to take many of the photos I’ve wanted. With that said, I’ll start by sharing my experiences with that paperwork I’ve done here and the beginning of the German preparatory course. 

Before we started the prep course, we took a placement test to see in which group we should be: Group A with Frau Völz or Group B with Frau Färber. I thought the test was fairly simple, although I realized my vocabulary is still not very good. Afterwards, the group of exchange students took the fastest tour I’ve ever been on of the campus since no one ended up asking any questions. I’d say it’s about the same size as Mary Washington, but in more of a square than a rectangle. 

The next day, I began my prep course in Group A (the beginner course) with Jordan and a few other exchange students I had previously met over the weekend. Nora was in Group B, though I thought it made sense considering Jordan and I were at the same level before we came here and Nora was already ahead of us. Over the week, it was very simple since I had already learned what we were doing, but I was happy for the review. The course also helped me study different vocabulary that I’ve had a tendency to forget. 

That week, I bought my semester ticket, or Semesterbeitrages, which allows me to ride the public transportation in Thüringia for free. I also set up my rental and internet agreement with Frau Lindner, the head of Plauener Weg where I am living. On Thursday, Nora and I went downtown so pick up some essentials. She also helped me register as a citizen in Erfurt for the time being. I was surprised at how long we had to wait since the appointment didn’t actually take more than ten minutes, but the time went by quickly as we shared our first experiences of Erfurt. We ended up eating our first Thüringen Bratwurst, which was amazing, and eating an ice cream cone for dessert, which was also amazing. 

I concluded my week with a “Pub Crawl.” I met Jordan and my tutor Lukas at the University tram stop and went, for the second time, to Cafe Neerly where several other exchange students were.

Here’s the group of us before we walked to the Dubliner, the Irish pub. It was a karaoke night, so a few of the group wanted to participate though were afraid of trying a German song. I found karaoke fascinating since even though we are in a different country, the whole idea and feeling of it is very much the same. The night, and my weekend, ended with me, Jordan, and Lukas leaving around 1 in the morning.

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La bellezza delle cose esiste nella mente di chi le osserva

Before the stress and studying of the last few weeks of the semester set in, my friend Nitsa and I decided to take one last trip out of Sorrento to Catania, Sicilia.  We both wanted to see Sicilia and decided that while we were in Italy, it only made sense to visit.

Upon arriving in Sicilia, we found the bus to take us close to our B&B, and the driver gave us vague directions before letting us off.  While walking down the street at 10:30 p.m. looking for “a bridge” where we were to “turn left” and “ask someone else” (no, seriously, those were the bus driver’s directions), we turned into a large piazza to ask for directions.  We approached a group of fifteen-year-olds who told us we were “lontano” (far away) from the B&B.

It was Paris all over again, as we asked for directions from about fifteen Sicilians in all.  Luckily for us, thought Sicilians sense of direction and navigational skills leave something to be desired, everyone was friendly and willing to help.

Eventually, after many wrong turns, we stumbled upon two twenty-something girls, named Angela and Martina, who were kind enough to help us.  They pulled out their iPhones (because some things are exactly the same no matter where you are) and put our address into google maps.  These girls had no idea where we were going, but it was close, so they told us to come with them and we’d find it together.

After finding our B&B, we all took a picture together and traded Instagram and Facebook account names.  Throughout the rest of the weekend Angela and Martina continually “liked” our photos and commented on our statuses, asking if we were enjoying their hometown.  We were stunned and touched by how friendly and kind they were.

The Instagram that one of our new friends uploaded with the hashtags #american and #california

The Instagram that one of our new friends uploaded with the hashtags #american and #california

We went out for dinner, starving, at around 11:30 p.m. and found a restaurant that we chose solely based on the fact that the portion sizes looked large.  We went up to the door, but it was locked.  One of the employees inside opened the door and let us in, leading us to a table near the back. We ordered seafood pasta (mine with clams, Nitsa’s with shrimp and mussels) and ate the entire basket of bread they brought to us.  We topped off the evening with a plate of fried calamari.  It was only as we were leaving that we realized that the door had not been stuck; the door had been locked as they were closing for the evening, but the owner had seen we were hungry and tired and stayed open so that we could have some dinner.  Sicilians really are unbelievably kind.

Spaghetti with clams

Spaghetti with clams

The next morning, we decided to spend the day at the beach.  After a long walk down a busy highway, we bought some canoli and found a large expanse of sandy beach to lay out our towel.  We spent the entire day watching Mount Etna from the warm sand and marveling at the beautiful sea.

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Several hours and a massive sunburn later, we went out for our second dinner at an inexpensive restaurant where we ate our weight in carbs.  We briefly contemplated staying out late, but quickly decided to get enormous gelatos and watch a movie in the room.

Saturday morning we spent another day in the sunshine, this time wandering through the open markets of Sicilia.  There is a fish market that’s open everyday except for Sunday, and we were lucky enough to stumble right into the middle of it.  We laughed and took pictures with many of the people running stands selling everything from eel to bread to toasted nuts to fresh fruit to fresh squeezed orange juice.

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After we had stuffed ourselves with fresh food, we took to wandering around Sicilia.  Apparently, Sicilia has quite the affinity for open-air markets, because we stumbled on one with everything from clothing to electronics to shoes.  We headed down this side street, anticipating a block or two of fairly inexpensive stands.  We were shocked and pleased that the market extended into a labyrinth of winding side streets that never seemed to end.  We wandered for hours, lost among three euro shoes and illegally downloaded CDs.

There were several street musicians who captured my heart on the cobblestone sidewalks of Sicilia.  One particular girl had a suitcase next to her with the title of this blog post written across it.  It translates to: “The beautiful things exist in the mind of those who see them.”

Our final dinner in Sicilia was, once again, seafood pasta, and afterwards we met some kind American Marines who were stationed in Sicilia before heading out somewhere else.  We showed them where the best granita (Italian Ice) was and they kindly bought ours for us.  We thanked them for the generosity and their service and headed home for the evening.

Pasta with salmon and cream sauce

Pasta with salmon and cream sauce

Sunday’s wandering led us to many churches and cathedrals, as it was Palm Sunday, and the sound of hymns echoing from the massive structures was indescribably beautiful.  After one more canolo, we caught the bus back to the airport, where I’m writing this post.

Palms for Palm Sunday

Palms for Palm Sunday

Sicilia was a wonderful last trip during my Italy experience, and I’m so glad to have visited such a beautiful place with such friendly and warm inhabitants.  I only hope I can return someday for another glass of fresh squeezed blood orange juice.

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Lüneburg & Hamburg

On Friday I arrived in Lüneburg and Ryan showed me around the town. It is busier than Erfurt and has less public transportation. There are more cars driving around the city and it reminded me of the USA. Ryan told me that Lüneburg was one of the only cities in the area that was not bombed or completely destroyed during both world wars, so most if the buildings in the city centre are original. Most of the buildings in Lüneburg are brick, whereas most of the buildings in Erfurt are ‘typical German’ half-timbered buildings. I still think Erfurt is prettier, but it’s nice to see different regions having different styles of architecture.  I do like the fact that there are parts of Altstadt Erfurt that only pedestrians or the Straßenbahn can go.

On Saturday Ryan and I met up with his other friend Nick and the three of us took a day trip to Hamburg. It is a nice place to visit and say ‘I’ve been there’ but I wouldn’t want to live in Hamburg – it’s too busy. While in Hamburg, we went to the spring festival. It reminded me of county fairs growing up, however they did not have all-you-can-ride wristbands. You had to pay for every ride you wanted to go on, and some of them were not cheap, but some were definitely worth it. Ryan and I only went on two rides and of course the Ferris wheel. It was a neat perspective to see the city from way up in the air.

To view pictures of Lüneburg and Hamburg, visit the ‘Photos’ page.

After a pleasant, but long afternoon in Hamburg we returned to Lüneburg and just relaxed after dinner.  Sometimes it’s nice not being on a jam-packed sight-seeing schedule.

There will probably be one more post about Lüneburg before I leave – I’m planning on visiting the Lüneburger Salzmuseum tomorrow. :)

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Week of 06.04.2014

Monday was Jill’s actual 21st birthday, so we went to an Italian restaurant for dinner and the staff was so sweet! Our waiter (I think he was maybe the owner? And also Italian) brought a glass of champagne/ prosecco for everyone! Once we had ordered and eaten our food, he brought a huge piece of tiramisu for the birthday girl! It was so big that Jill ate about 1/4 of it, then let all 15 of her dinner guests try a spoonful, and there was still some left! After that he also brought out dessert for everyone else! How generous! Our dessert was similar to panna cotta, it I’m sure if it was actually that, but it still tasted delicious! I really enjoyed the bite of tiramisu; it had more caramel than coffee flavor, which was good for me, since I’m not a huge coffee drinker. I would definitely go back for coffee and dessert, or dinner again.

This past week felt incredibly long. Even though I went to bed at a reasonable time, I was still really tired the next day! I think the bed has something to do with it sometimes I wake up with a stiff back. (Oh how I miss my full size bed at home…)

Today we finished our Vorbereitungskurs and now we have a week free to do as we please. Since it was the last day, we had a final test, and it was easier than i thought it would be– either I know more Deutsch than I thought i did, or it was just sehr einfach! Since the test didn’t take the entire class time, what did we do after? We had a twice-as-long break in the middle of class, and then we sang songs that we had learned throughout the past three weeks. Said songs included: Bruder Jakob, Heinrich und Liese (not sure if that’s the actual name), Die Wanze, and one other that I don’t even know what it was called. After all that singing, we still got out of class 30 minutes early. This was an added bonus for me, because I now had more time fo make lunch and pack last minute items for my trip.

Friday, 14:30 – At this very moment, I am journaling from a train bound for Göttingen. From there I will catch another train to Lüneburg because I am going to spend a few days with Ryan, one of my friends from high school who is also studying abroad at the moment. He is finishing up his year abroad, whereas I’m only here for a semester, but I’m not complaining! I will return to Erfurt on Tuesday night, and will be signing up for sport classes on Wednesday and German classes on Thursday. At the moment I am not planning on going anywhere else for Easter, but that could change..

16:05 – As I stand on the platform in Göttingen, it is a bit chilly standing out here, and I think it might actually be snowing. Most of the days I’ve been here over the past three weeks it has been cold. I understand that it is still early spring here, but when at 08:45 its a beautiful spring morning, and then dark skies and raining by 09:30, I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT! Most days its a scenic town against a whitewashed sky. Somedays I just wish it was sunny blue skies.

While on the train to Lüneburg we passed another train, but this was no ordinary train. It was hauling a large number of Audi cars! I am so used to seeing cars transported by trucks in the USA that it never occurred to me that they could be transported by train! I would’ve taken a picture of it, but I didn’t have enough time :(

I made it to Lüneburg just fine. Ryan has a really nice apartment! I’m really jealous of him! It’s about 3x the size of my apartment in Erfurt. And what else do I find in Lüneburg? Sunny blue skies – just what I was wishing for.  :)

For Photos around Lüneburg, check out the “Photos” page.

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The Thirteenth Week

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First week without any classes! After I finished my last paper and assignments, I caught up on sleep and explored more of Cork. I went to a new part of town and found an adorable café and walked up to this creepy building.

You can see this building from my apartment and I was always curious what it was, and one of the Irish students told me it was an old insane asylum which seemed too much like a TV horror movie, but I googled it and apparently that’s what it was. I walked up with one of the ladies (on a bright, sunny afternoon; I’m not taking any chances) and it looks like they’ve been converted into apartments. I don’t think I could ever live in something like that if I had the choice but maybe I’m just overthinking it. It’s nice to keep finding new spots in Cork. Once I find a handful of shops and restaurants I like going to I tend to keep going there instead of continuing to explore. I’ve been trying to find one new place, shop, café, etc per week to keep myself from getting too routine here.

Coursework
My folklore class had a paper assigned which I spent most of the beginning of the week finishing, Sunday to Tuesday just holed up in my apartment trying to focus. Running back and forth between the library and my room researching obscure details and printing off articles to read and rough drafts to edit. Not a particularly cheery subject, old Irish funeral customs, but fascinating nonetheless. I have some articles to study for my last final in May but as of now I’ve mostly completed my work and can relax.

Newgrange and the Hill of Tara
Firstly I want to say this was a long day. I was awake for twenty hours straight and only had about five hours of sleep the night before, so a lot of the day was spent trying to doze on the bus and being unreasonably hungry. Despite that, this was the coolest thing I’ve seen in Ireland thus far and probably for the rest of the trip. These two sites are quite the hidden gem and it’s shocking so many people (including myself until I got to Ireland) don’t know about them.

The Hill of Tara is where it is said the High Kings of Ireland lived. It’s literally a big hill and all these mounds of grass forming these mini hills on top. Many of them have collapsed, so the ridges look like rings.

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This one was where they kept the urns (below) .

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The fairy tree
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The royal rock. If you touch the rock and it roars, you are royalty
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For a bit of a history lesson, Newgrange is 1,000 years older than the pyramids of Gisa or Stonehenge. So let that sink in for a second, because everything my public education has taught me is that no significant structure is older than those two things. It did need reconstructing and was lost for a few centuries which could be the reason it’s less commonly known. The tour guide explained the outer walls have been reconstructed and most of the outer stones were taken from all over Ireland, while the rock piled inside was found locally.

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In any case Newgrange is fantastic, and the best bit of trivia is that the people who built it had structured it so that on the winter solstice (December 21st) the sun would shine through the upper window and flow straight through the tiny tunnel, illuminating the cross shape chamber within.

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The Twelfth Week

Social
Some of my friend’s family came from the States to visit and took a few of us out to a really lovely dinner at this cool restaurant in the city center. Everyone was so nice and friendly. Everyone is leaving for spring break later in the week but I’ll be here in Cork mostly until my family gets here and then the four of us will be traveling around Ireland.

Coursework

Finals!
First thing Monday morning I had my European marketing and management class final which (I think) went well. I haven’t gotten any grades back yet so I’m still a bit iffy on how this scale translates to my home university’s scale. Also I finished my part of a group project, for the European marketing and management class, about Metalman Brewery.

Tuesday afternoon I had my last Irish Folklore class, and my professor sang us about four songs in Gaelic. He was incredible; he didn’t warm up or even use a tuner. He taught us the chorus of another song while he sang the verses. Such a cool way to end my favorite class. There is no final for that course, just

Tuesday night I had my Irish history final which was less great than my first exam, but I still think I did alright. I also had a paper for this class which I think I did better on, so that will help.

I did course registration this week, which was initially quite terrifying because I’m so far away and can’t barge in on offices in a panic if it goes wrong. Options are pretty limited when your school is an ocean away. Of course, there was a problem with one of the classes I needed, so I emailed my business major adviser and the international office back at my home university and they managed to sort it all out and get me in the class with the professor I wanted. With the limited/never working internet I didn’t find out until the next day, which furthered the panic, but it all worked out fine. I am so appreciative of the help from UMW professors and the international office which made the process much less stressful than it would have been if I didn’t have people helping me when I ran into issues.

Family Visit
My Uncle came and saw me Sunday with a couple of his colleagues, they’re in Dublin for about a week but came down to Cork to see me. Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me that since I was Sunday the city was sort of dead and the English Market, which they all wanted to see, was closed. We had fun anyway, walking through the city center and we got fish and chips at the rugby pub I ate at on my first night in Cork. It was a good visit, and my awesome grandmother and great aunt sent him with two sweaters for me which I love.


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In Lisbon

Starbucks.  11:40 a.m.  Orly International Airport, Paris, France.

Haley runs in, a giddy grin on her face as she stops and searches the packed coffee shop for me.  I can see her mouthing the word “blonde, blonde, blonde…”  I’m about to call her name when she spots me and yells in my general direction:
“DOYOUWANTTOGOTOLISBON?”

“Sure!” I respond.  I scramble to pack up my laptop, but Haley’s already gone, sprinting across the airport like a madwoman.  Everyone around her is staring as she disappears into the mass of travelers.  Barely a minute passes before Morgan sprints in, the same crazy smile spread across her face, and spots me, yelling: “I need our passports!”

OHMYGOODNESS WE'RE GOING TO LISBON!
OHMYGOODNESS WE’RE GOING TO LISBON!

I pull the passports from my bag and run after her as she sprints out of Starbucks.  I’m barely keeping up with her, as she runs ahead of me, her brunette curls whipping around behind her.  We’re both laughing hysterically, dragging suitcases, and attracting far too much attention to ourselves.  I skid to a stop behind Haley as Morgan joins her at a small ticket counter.  She thrusts the passports into the hands of the woman across the counter, and we all look at one another, still giggling.

“Okay, you’re all set.  Here are your boarding passes.  Make sure you check in at least an hour and a half early.  Enjoy your flight,” says the woman behind the counter.

“Have you ever had someone do this?” Morgan says, her eyes bright, “You know, just buy the first ticket out?”

“Yes, actually,” responds the woman.  Morgan’s face falls a bit.  ”But usually they’re not as excited as you three.”  And with that, we glance at one another and burst into another fit of uncontrollable giggles.

About to to get on a plane to Lisbon!
About to to get on a plane to Lisbon!

In what seems like no time at all, we’re boarding a plane to Lisbon–a place none of us has any background knowledge of–and after what feels like a very short plane ride, we’re stepping off the plane in Lisbon.

All smiles (In Lisbon).
All smiles (In Lisbon).

Now I’m not totally sure whether it’s the excitement or the adrenaline or the spontaneity or if maybe we’re just sleep deprived, but suddenly everything about Portugal is hilarious.  We make the decision to add “In Lisbon” to the end of every sentence we utter.  We find this hilarious.  The rest of Lisbon is less than thrilled.

Silly, funny, happy times (In Lisbon).
Silly, funny, happy times (In Lisbon).

We find a bus (in Lisbon) and take blurry cell phone pictures out the window on the way to our hostel (in Lisbon).  Morgan points out that there’s a church (in Lisbon) and also some cool houses (in Lisbon).  After a half hour we reach our drop-off point (in Lisbon) and proceed to wander the streets for a bit (in Lisbon).  After getting lost for a few highly amusing moments, we manage to find our hostel (in Lisbon).  Luckily, the hostel owners are wonderful, the hostel is clean and beautiful, and one of the employees makes us sangria and sausage (in Lisbon).

Sangria at the hostel (In Lisbon).
Sangria at the hostel (In Lisbon).

We spend the evening booking our flight home.  We quickly discover that flying from Lisbon to Naples is not really an option, so we begin to search other ways of getting home with stopovers in other cities.  Morgan finds a flight from Paris to Naples that’s only 60 euro.  But are we really going to go back to Paris just to fly home?

Yes, yes we are, because there’s a flight to Orly tomorrow night and then we can take the flight from Charles De Gaulle Tuesday morning at 6 a.m.  That leaves us with about eight hours in the airport.  Are we really going to sleep in the airport?

Yes, yes we are, because we’re young and broke and stupid and who doesn’t want to say that they slept in the Paris airport when they were twenty?

After being responsible and booking our flights home, we headed out for the evening, and went to an outdoor bar.  Unfortunately, the owners were quite rude, but we got some dessert and walked around Lisbon a bit.  After about six hours in Lisbon, we finally realized that Lisbon is in a different time zone.  Who knew?  With that knowledge, we head back to the hostel for a good night’s sleep before our one and only day in Lisbon the next morning.

The next morning is rainy and dreary as we drink our coffee and plan our day.  We decide to catch the tram that runs through Lisbon and go see the castle that we spotted the night before.  We stuff ourselves full of bread and jam and then walk around the streets trying to find the tram.  After a good fifteen minutes of wandering around the main square in the rain, we find the stop and hop on the tram.

Displeased with the rain (In Lisbon).
Displeased with the rain (In Lisbon).

The woman at our hostel told us that it was a half hour tram ride to the castle.  She lied.  Apparently, it only takes about ten minutes, but lucky for us we are in Lisbon, not Paris, which is severely directionally challenged, and the tram driver calls out “Didn’t you girls want to go to the castle?”

We thank him profusely, and head up the street to the castle.  Despite the rain, despite the cold, despite the fact that my boots are broken so I’m wearing sandals, despite all this, the view of Lisbon from above is unbelievable.  We take far more selfies than is socially acceptable, because, after all, we’re IN LISBON.  We duck out of the rain into a museum and wander around until the rain lets up a bit, and then proceed to the castle.

The beautiful old castle (In Lisbon).
The beautiful old castle (In Lisbon).
On top of a castle (In Lisbon)!
On top of a castle (In Lisbon)!

 

This castle is unlike the cathedrals we’ve seen in Italy or Paris or Madrid or Barcelona.  It’s a true castle, stone with parapets and giant gates, and we wander around it in the rain, simultaneously joyous and miserable.  After we decide we can’t take the cold any longer, we pop into a cafe for some lunch.  Meanwhile, the sky clears, the sun comes out, and Lisbon becomes even more beautiful.

We walk around in the sunshine and buy some gelato, enjoying the sun and sea and the feeling of freedom.  Before long, we head back to our hostel to pack up and head out.  We literally spent less than 24 hours in the actual city of Lisbon, but nonetheless, we all fell in love.  Not only is it a beautiful, amazing city, but it holds for us special meaning. It was the place we went when we decided to be crazy, to be wild, to be twenty and happy and free.  It means independence and irresponsibility, joy and escape.  Lisbon will always be for us something more that just Lisbon.  Lisbon is everything we’ve ever wanted, we just never knew it.

A beautiful view (In Lisbon).
A beautiful view (In Lisbon).

A plane ride and a 115 euro cab ride, we were in the Charles de Gaulle airport, watching Frozen on an iPad, curled up together on plastic chairs. We ate cookie dough out of a just-add-water package, laughed about things we’ll never remember, and solidified a bond that we can’t really explain.  Taking off from Paris at 6 a.m., I watched the sunrise turn the clouds bright pink as Morgan and Haley slept beside me.  I looked out across the sky and realized that I didn’t recognize myself anymore; but I really like the girl that I saw staring back at me in the tiny airplane window. Her hair was greasy and unwashed, her shirt smelled from twelve days of travel.  Her eyes were shadowed from sleepless nights and endless adventures.  Her nails were ragged and her nail polish was chipped.  Her smile was tired, but she looked happy.  Really, truly, completely happy.  I don’t know if I know how to be that girl yet, but I know that I have to try.

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Weimar

Although this post was not originally published on 5.4.2014, these events happened the weekend of 5-6.4.2014, so I am changing the publishing date to then. –N 13.4.2014

Today a handful of us took a trip to Weimar. Since we are students, we get free transportation in all of the state of Thuringia. It was about a 15 minute train ride and only two stops away! Although Weimar is known for the Weimar Republic and authors Goethe and Schiller, it is a VERY small city. There was not a lot to do there. We got currywurst for lunch (and FYI the Döner Bistro in Leesburg was pretty close) and then we walked around, took a picture with Goethe and Schiller’s statues, walked around the Goethe Garten, and walked around the city centre. It was only an afternoon trip and we were back in Erfurt for dinner. I will post a gallery of Weimar pics, so you can view all of the photos here.

This was two of the American exchange students’ 21st birthday weekend. There was a small get together of exchange students on Friday night and then tonight, we had the weekly reservation at the Dubliner so we went back for karaoke night. Someone from our table sang ‘Bitte gibt mir nur ein Wort’ and I was so excited that I could sing the chorus without looking at the lyrics on the TV screen! (Thank you Frau Vogelbach for all those German music videos in class!) -5.4.2014

 

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“The Bosnia List” by Kenan Trebincevic

‘The Bosnia List,’ by Kenan Trebincevic and Susan Shapiro

reviewed by Janine Di Giovanni in the NYT, April 4, 2014

What does a child remember about war?

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The Eleventh Week (St Patrick’s Day!)

So this is quite late, seeing as St Patrick’s Day was officially last month now…whoops.

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Cheese fondue night (again) at my apartment! This has become my new favorite thing to do with guests. That might be partly due to the fact it gives me an excuse to each a pot of hot cheese though. But it’s actually quite simple to make, I don’t know where the Melting Pot comes off charging so much, and it’s an excuse for everyone to get together.

Coursework
Finals are next week (eek!) and I have a history paper due this week. I think I prefer having a word requirement to a page requirement. There are less ways to make it seem like it’s longer than it really is, you either have the word count or you don’t.

Course registration is next week as well. I have to pick out my courses for the fall of my senior year. I am not particularly looking forward to senior year…I’m still struggling to figure out university half the time and a year from now I’ll be thrown into something entirely different. Mostly I’m just trying to stay in the moment and worry less about what’s happening a year from now and focus on being in this incredible city.

St Patrick’s Day in Cork
The day started with brunch at one of the ladies’ apartments. There were about 15 of us I think, and everyone brought different dishes to share. From there we headed into the city center to try and find a spot for the parade. We showed up much too late to get any spot, and the only thing I really saw was the woman walking on stilts. Some brilliant parent brought a ladder for their kid to stand on, so that kid had the best view even if he was half my height. The street festival from the weekend was still going on, so a few of us went to get lunch since stood around unable to see the parade for an hour anyway. I got a sausage roll that, I kid you not, was a foot long. Such great food there, I wish the city always had it. Fun fact, in Europe (and I’m told Australia) they call cotton candy “fairy floss” which is adorable.
At this point the sugar rush from all the fairy floss had left us sleepy and it was only midafternoon. Deciding it would be good to take a break and eat dinner at our own apartments, we agreed to reconvene later in the evening. Nap time! After our nap and dinner, we all met back up again refreshed and ready to take on the night. We decided to try out a few different places and spent a fair amount of time moving from place to place and finding out way through parts of the city I had never encountered before. One of the ladies and I ended up eating terribly awful pizza at my place after everyone else went home and watching a movie, which was the perfect end to the evening.

Unfortunately I only took this one picture, and waiting for other pictures of the group to surface on facebook. But here are the Ladies

st pattys brunch


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