Archive for May, 2010

still kickin…

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

So I have heard that a few of you are concerned because the last time I posted was right after my concussion, and I have yet to write since! haha! Im so sorry! I am still alive and kickin..quite well actually! I have spent the last few weekends around Brisbane, with limited stories to tell you. My friends and I figured we’d take it easy for a few weekends before ending the trip with a bang up in Cairns doing the rainforest and the Great barrier reef! It has been extremely relaxing, yet still fun, just exploring Brisbane and getting to know people around here.

I have returned to wakeboarding and spent 3 hours yesterday at a wakeboarding cable park! It was really fun because it is this huge man made lake that had cables running above it that pulled you around. There were a lot of  jumps and ramps for the experts but dont worry I was just focused on getting around the lake as many times as I could haha! Needless to say I am extremellyyyy sore today:)

I hope everyone is still doing well in the States… I miss everyone so much and come back in one month and 2 days! Ahh I cannot believe my time is almost over here. It is going to be soo hard to say goodbye:( Hopefully the next time I post I will have more stories to entertain you with!:)

Craziness

Friday, May 21st, 2010

So last night at approximately 6am I was walking with 2 friends in Belgrano and we came across a guy laying in the middle of the street with a hysterical girlfriend and a cop standing there. He had a gash on his forehead and was not oriented at all. He did not know his name, the date, or anything. His girlfriend was hysterical and very drunk. I got Jonny to help me talk to him just to tell him not to move his head- he kept moving it anyway.Luckily I had some napkins in my purse so I put pressure on his cut which eventually got it to stop bleeding (Don;t worry I didn’t get any blood on me).  Turns out he had been walking with his girlfriend and they had been attacked by a couple of guys and they beat him up. The cop was an idiot and did not care about the guy’s well being AT ALL. The cop dragged him over to the sidewalk by his shoulders and just kept asking him for ID which made him move to try to get it. His girlfriend just kept saying he was sick and she lived a block away so they just needed to go home. When a city ambulance finally showed up she started hysterically crying and the EMTs didn’t do anything. No SAMPLE, No what happened, No questions at all, No backboard, No nothing- at all. They just stood there, brought out a stretcher which the cop man-handled him onto loaded him up and drove away.  I know I am not all knowing or a master but they didn’t even do basic things. In this regard it reminded me off the Bomberos in Guatemala- no equipment and not much training.  Kind of terrifying when you think about it. I guess I’m glad I was there to help at least stop his bleeding but it was hard to watch them not take care of him at all when he probably at least had a concussion. Hopefully no one I care about has to call 911 while we are here…

Nice Things

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

I had something nice happen to me today. This is not to say that nice things don’t happen to me, it’s just to say that one of those nice things happened today. I ran into one of my former music radio classmates Jade. It’s been ages since I’d seen her and while we only had the briefest of conversations* she said it was really nice to have met me and gave me a hug. I haven’t gotten many hugs while I’ve been here but one of the things I missed the most during the low point that was the majority of February and March were hugs. I have a friend** at UMW who is a big hugger and while I missed getting hugs from my family I missed getting random hugs from Joe. So, in short, getting a hug from one of the only British people I’ll remember fondly was really nice.
So while I’ve been in London, and in general really, I’ve been remiss on updating you guys on the music world. This is because I’ve stopped checking NME.com like a crazy person and rely entirely on the AV Club. I don’t know if this is for the best, but it is the way it is. However I read a news item on the AV Club that I had to immediately report which reminded me that I have another news item from a couple of weeks ago that also needs to be written up here. The first item is about George Harrison and a docu about him being directed by Martin Scorsese. I have to admit that after reading two biographies on the Beatles George has become my favourite by a long shot. This is because I will always prefer the underdog and George, at least in the Beatles, was the underdog (and no, Ringo doesn’t count, he’s just sad.) So the fact that there’s going to be a documentary on him that could possible feature demo-ed songs from when he was in the Beatles makes me start salivating. In fact my reaction was “I want now.” Sadly, we have to wait until 2011. The other news items pertains to Brandon Flowers forthcoming solo album (aka the end of the Killers). I loved the Killers first album. I liked one of the tracks from their 3rd album. I hated their second album. However I really like Jenny Lewis so the idea of Brandon Flowers dueting with Jenny Lewis makes me slightly interested in hearing this solo album. As the AV Club would say, I’m cautiously optimistic.
So that’s it. I’ve got 11 days left and two music performances in a row. I also have rugby shirts to buy for myself and my Dad. Until then, don’t panic.

*In short: “Hey! When are you leaving?” “Hey, in a week and a half” “Oh, well I probably won’t see you again, but it was really nice meeting you” “Yeah, you too” “Bye” “Bye”
**Loghman, who I’ve friended on Facebook, had a really strange definition for friend that I’ve since adopted. So technically Joe isn’t a friend, he’s an acquaintance. But unlike Loghman, I make exceptions to this strange definition.

“Excerise” and Architecture

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Sometimes I go running to combat my all carb and dulce de leche diet and my habit of eating until I feel sick. Although I will say my jeans do still fit, thank goodness. Barely. Anyway, really I should call it going for a walk because I always get distracted. Last time I went for a run it ended in me walking through Chinatown, which turns out to be a pretty happening place on Sunday nights (so I couldn’t run through!). One time I even brought my camera and took pictures of Belgrano R, an English-style architecture section of the neighborhood that I love.

This is the English bookstore (there is also an English high school):

Love the varying architecture

Av. Melian

Tanning in the English Rain

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I got a sunburn. I’m known for being suspiciously pale and whenever photos are taken of me next to my Mom’s younger sister’s kids (otherwise known as my aunt’s kids) I look like a freakin’ albino (save for the dark hair.) So getting a sunburn isn’t exactly something I like getting. However, because this is just how my brain works, I immediately thought of the couplet in “I Am the Walrus” dealing with English rain:

Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun
If the sun don’t come you get a tan from standing in the English rain

Of course now said sunburn is itching like a mofo, so the damn thing isn’t nearly amusing as it was before it started itching. But how did I get a sunburn you might ask? From riding in an open top double decker bus, that’s how. So let’s talk Penzance.
After the stress of my final week of classes I decided that going to Dublin would have been too much. After canceling all of my tickets and booking a room in a lovely guest house, it was decided that I would be going to Penzance, best known for being really near Lands End and its pirates. It’s also very close to the shore and I thought, what better way to de-stress from a stressful week than by spending some time by the seaside? Well my supposition proved correct and Penzance was just what I needed. While I didn’t spend that much time in the actual town, the entire trip was not only incredibly restful but also incredibly beautiful. I visited my final Tate at St. Ives (excellent, though not as fun as Liverpool) and then took a very bumpy and amusing ride to Lands End. The roads in the part of Cornwall I was visiting narrow and aren’t really meant for more than one car. Granted there aren’t a great many people driving around the area, so the narrow roads aren’t that much of a problem. Unless you’re a great big bus and have several small cars heading your way. Then you get to do a little dance, which is highly amusing to watch from the top of said great big bus. Sure the wind whipped my eyes quite a bit and I somehow ended up with a sunburn, but I had a great time in Penzance and kind of wish I could have stayed a bit longer.
I’ve got 12 days left. It’s a bit daunting and a bit surreal at the same time. I keep telling people that it doesn’t seem that long ago I was landing in London and freezing to death in Paddington waiting to move into my home away from home. I’m looking forward to going home though (not excited about packing, never excited about packing) and seeing everyone after such a long time. Especially my woofies. Oh there were so many cute dogs in Penzance. So until next time, don’t panic.

Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I think Maura and I caught the slowest train in Germany to Heidelberg. It didn’t help that we initially went about a half an hour in the wrong direction first I suppose. And I’m not complaining- it was fun to spend a long time on a train and nice to see the surrounding area. The villages I saw driving with Karl Heinz and on that train were all very traditional- with the orange terra cotta roofs and the whole nine yards. I loved that- I thought it was one of the neatest parts about Germany- all the small little villages. We did get there eventually, safe and sound. We’d researched the first couple hostels before we left Oma’s, so we were headed to Stefi’s Nature and the City Hostel. Not a bad place to start out considering we got the double room and I had a double bed all to myself. Not exactly the authentic backpacker roughin’ it lifestyle, but I figured it was best to ease oneself into the hostile-er hostel – environment.

View from Heidelberg Castle Heidelberg Castle from the outside

Heidelberg’s is a small city in the west of Germany. Its main tourist-y features include a student prison, a neat old market place, an old university and a really, really cool castle. We spent a good few hours just walking around the castle and grounds. We had this tour guide that looked like Mary Poppins, which I found highly entertaining an informative, because without her I would never have known that Heidelberg Castle is home to the world’s largest barrel, which used to store wine, but now lays empty. Heidelberg was also where Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn. I remembered all of the important parts of course, for the benefits of all my readers…and all my friends and family, but, I suppose they are one in the same…

Downtown historic Heidelberg

We had a lovely German dinner on the old market place and had McFlurrys for desert, which start the trend that we would eat at a McDonald’s in every country we visited. I don’t really eat at McDonalds in the US, so I really don’t know why it was that this became such an important highlight to me, but nonetheless, we stuck to our guns and persevered. I think German McDonald’s will remain my favorite… but that could be because someone tried to pickpocket me in Rome, which caused Italy to lose out on the title- but that’s a story for another day. Maura and I had plans to spend the evening playing cards, but were interrupted from doing so by field geologists from Australia who wanted to go out for the evening. Heidelberg on Easter Monday is a pretty tame place, so we just sat and talked. One was Canadian and one was actually Australian and they were going traveling for the year. They made for pretty interesting conversation- it’s sort of strange atmosphere, the whole hostel thing, where you meet people knowing that you will never see them again. We left early the next morning, said farewell to the geologists at breakfast and hopped back on the train. The hills were alive with the Sound of Music and beckoning us to Salzburg, Austria!

The sun sets on the Germany!

The Hohe-wart Haus: Ihr Ausflugslokal mitten im Spessart

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Hohe wart Haus : Ihr Ausflugslokal mitten im Spessart

(Our local excursion in the middle of the Spessart [woods])

My mom and me outside of the Hohewart-haus

Now, my whole life, I’ve been hearing about the Hohewart Haus. The Hohewart Haus is my mom’s ‘adopted’ family’s restaurant in the middle of the woods. Ok, that is an exaggeration, I have not been hearing about it my whole life, but my parents do speak of it on a fairly regular basis. At any rate, I was excited to go. When we got back to Oberbessenbach with Rosi and Richard, it was decided that that was our destination. Even Oma came with us, which was a very big deal. Oh, and she may be in her upper 80’s, but even Oma had one of the home brewed Hohewart Haus beers. The restaurant is a Gasthaus, which is sort of a tavern, restaurant, and lodging rolled into one. It’s owned by Herbert, the third and final of Oma’s children and he gave Maura and me the official tour, with Richard serving as translator. By the end of the European trip, Maura and I estimate that we’ve been to about 5 or 6 breweries. Although I should have the beer-making process memorized at this point, I can’t quite remember how it goes. I can, however, remember Herbert/Richard’s translated description of the chemical process- “The yeast eats the sugar and shits the alcohol”. Yep, yep- I’d say I learned quite a bit in Germany. In addition to beer, which I gazed/sipped upon with a completely new perspective after Herbert’s chemistry lesson, there was delicious, gastronomically twisting heavy, homemade, authentic German food. I recommend fasting for a day or two before attempting consumption. People will go on long walks through the woods to get the Hohewart Haus (Spessart woods, to be specific)- and I think I’ve discovered why. You need some serious exercise after attempting one of those meals.

Hohewart Haus all decorated for Easter festivities!

Other uniqueness of the German dining atmosphere at the Hohewart Haus? Well, for one there is a tree growing in the middle of the restaurant. For another, it is perfectly acceptable to bring your dog along to dine with you. That and everyone seemed to know each other. The waitress was like a member of the family, and the grandkids (9 and 11) helped to shuttle dishes from the kitchen to the table. However heavy the food, I loved the German dining atmosphere. It just seemed so communal and relaxed. I wish I could convey it a little better, but I suppose there are limits to the sensational experiences I can express through my furious laptop-key pounding.

Herbert, the Gasthaus owner and grandson Manuel searching for Easter eggs!

Easter Sunday followed in much of the same fashion as the previous night. Of course, my mother couldn’t let tradition slip and Maura and I still got Easter baskets. I suppose beer steins aren’t exactly the typical Easter chocolate vessels, but somehow Maura and I survived. It’s just too bad I’m only 19 and those beer steins will just have to collect dust for another year and a half… We drove back out to the Hohewart Haus and there was an Easter egg hunt for Herbert’s grandchildren. Grandpa (Opa) sent them on a rather entertaining 10 minute hunt on the wrong side of the road, which the bystanders/photographers (Maura and myself) found rather entertaining. Don’t worry, the kids got their chocolate eventually. The restaurant was packed for Easter Sunday – apparently the Easter walk through the woods to the midday meal is a big deal. Maura and I played with the youngest grandchildren and I attempted to talk to the slightly older ones in my very limited German. Luckily the little ones couldn’t speak much more German than Maura or I (meaning that they couldn’t really speak at all), so that worked out very well. We ate another massive German meal and said goodbye to everyone, then Karl Heinz took us on driving tour #2.

Couldn’t tell you where we went, but we passed through this massive vineyard, saw some cool regenbogen (rainbows) and quite a lot more over the course of the three hours. I think I’ve seen quite a lot of Germany with all this driving…

3 hour tour of the Deustche countryside

The next morning, we drove to Frankfurt with my Mom and hopped on a train to the first destination on our own travels- Heidelberg!

Monday…

Monday, May 17th, 2010

It was a very busy Monday morning! My professor thought it would be perfectly acceptable to assign us a three page single-spaced paper on a book none of us had actually read. Over the weekend. Seriously that’s like 2,400 words. No way. I don’t even know 1,000 words Spanish.

Although perhaps fortunately because it was in Spanish (I can’t believe I actually am saying that) I feel I had some leeway with my less than insightful commentary. I stayed up really late and was unable to function the rest of the day.

And I just realized I forgot to drop off my laundry and don’t have clean clothes to wear tomorrow.

The exciting news is I just bought my ticket for the Argentina vs. Canada fútbol game!

Eau de Cologne

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Next up was Cologne, Germany. After an hour or two spent trying to figure out the rail system (for the record, it was Good Friday – the timetables get all switched around, a secret unbeknownst even to many of the employees, apparently, in particular, all of the employees we attempted to ask). So we got to the Bahnhof, (German for train station) in Cologne slightly behind schedule. We were supposed to meet my Mom’s friend Rosi. One little problem- I’ve never met Rosi and had no clue what she looked like. Cologne’s a pretty big city, too, so the chances of us meeting up by chance in the massive train station seemed pretty slim. After a minor panic attack, I finally figured out how to call her and she designated a meeting point, to which Maura and I stayed glued to for a half an hour until this small little German woman called out, “Lindsay?” and I turned around to have said small German woman throw her arms around me. These Germans, I tell you, were just the nicest people!

Die Dom in Cologne!

With Rosi, we got the express tour of Cologne. I can’t tell you half of what Rosi told us because she moved at light speed and I had to practically jog to catch up with her. She showed us the Dom, the famous cathedral; the Rathaus where JFK spoke years ago;  told us about Karneval, the massive Lenten celebration that the city is famous for; and took us up a huge tower with a panoramic view of the city. Cologne was different from all the other cities we visited- alright, all of the cities we visited were different, but I’m trying to make a point, so go with it- anyway, it was different in its since of pride. The people have such passion and loyalty for the place they live- there is a Kolsch beer and a special Kolsch way of drinking it, and so much Cologne paraphernalia it blew my mind. The city was still, to me, incredibly overwhelming and I don’t think I would ever consider living there, but it was fascinating to visit. Oh and the street culture- all the performers and musicians and artists, was more prolific than I have seen in any other city. It seemed that everywhere you turned, there was someone dressed up in costume, or recreating the work of a Renaissance artist in chalk, or playing an instrument. Such a lively atmosphere! That, in combination with the Rosi Schute express tour, wore me out, so I was rather grateful when we got to head back to her house for dinner!

Street performers

  

It was there that I met Richard, her husband. Three things to know about Richard: 1) He likes his motorcycles- a lot. He has two. 2) He likes red wine- a lot. He has a ‘hobby room’ in his basement, which is a temperature regulated cellar that is solely responsible for housing red wines from around the world. 3) He won Rosi’s heart by his ability to eat a brotchen (a hard, fist sized breakfast roll) in one bit. Unfortunately, he did not perform this talent for Maura and me, but, nonetheless, I still believe the legend. We also met her daughters, Lisa and Maria, and Maria’s boyfriend, Daniel. They all speak incredibly good English, thank goodness, and we talked for hours. I think to say that was the funnest night in Germany would be both grammatically incorrect, and would undervalue the rest of my time spent in Germany, but it was definitely up there on my list of favorites.

The next morning, after a breakfast of brotchen and MilchKaffee (in which we all ate our brotchen in multiple bites), Rosi and Richard drove back to Oma’s with us for the Easter Saturday and Sunday celebrations.

Bungee Jump video

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Here is the video of Winston and I bungee jumping back in the fall of 2009.  It was during our October 1st holiday, where we also went to the zoo and fed chickens to lions on the same day.  If you want to read more about this, check out an earlier post titled “David Has an Eventful Day.”

Winston and David bungee jump