Wednesday, September 22, 2010

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”

It's been a little bit since I last updated but there has been a lot going on. I haven't had a lot of time to blog. Last weekend I went with my host brother, Philipp, to a circus weekend. On Friday we went by motorcycle (and not the European moped type motorcycle) to the next town over. Friday night was a work night but it was still fun. We organized everything and sorted through a whole lot of utensils, tents, stoves, gas and all other miscellaneous items. While we were sorting the knives, one kid tried to juggle a few of them. It didn't end too well for him. He walked around with his fingers in his mouth for the rest of the night so he didn't get blood everywhere. After that everybody played some variation of ping-pong. It was about 1 in the morning when we went to bed. We slept at the circus place in the loft part of the barn. The next day was a work day also. We basically just finished up all the projects that we started on Friday. At about 1, my host brother drove me home. He had to go back and help out with a juggling convention that night. I just hung out until about 6 or so. Then my host parents and I went to Tübingen to see the convention. Tübingen is so far my favorite city here. It has old European look to it. It has the old narrow and cobblestone type roads. It also has a bunch of little shops that are fun to look in. The convention didn't start until about 8 so we just walked around Tübingen. We picked a good day to go because there was a street market going on. I don't remember the name for the specific type of market it was but it basically sold German, French and Italian things. There was French bread, German cheese and Italian salami. They also had handmade items, crepes, decorations, toys and food. I got to try a lot of the different foods. I like the breads and the salami. They had so many types of bread and meat there. After we wandered the market for a little bit we went to the convention. It was one of the coolest shows I have ever seen. There was break dancing group that had like a 12 year old in it. This kid did the best break dancing I have ever seen. The whole group was good but it was cool to see a 12 year old break dancing. The focus of the convention was juggling so there were a lot of jugglers but they all did different things. The juggling looked so difficult. I don't know how to explain it but it was really fun to watch. After the show there was a fire show thing so we stayed to watch it. There was a fire-eater/fire-breather. I don't know the word for it but I think you guys know what I'm talking about. Again that was also really cool. In between the shows I tried to learn how to juggle. I am pretty bad at it but I really want to learn so we'll see how that goes. After the show we went to McDonald's (it was like 12:30, if there is ever a moment to make you feel American its a midnight McDonald's run).

On Sunday we had an AFS meeting. It was in a town about an hour away. I went with my host parents. The meeting was meant to introduce us with the other exchangers from our "district" and so we could meet our liaison. Your liaison is someone who is around your age that has recently gone abroad with AFS. They are the person we are supposed to go if we need help or just want to talk. The meeting was kind of boring but my host mom made these delicious muffins. They are chocolate but they have a ferrerro rocher thing in the center of it. We got our schedules with all the AFS events and meetings. There is a district event every month. In October we are going swimming in a hot spring, November is cookie baking, December is the Christmas party etc. Sunday after the meeting we came home and had a barbecue. It was really good. We had sausage, pork chops and then we had bacon on a stick (amazing).

Monday was kind of a typical day. I went to language school, came home and rested and then just kind of hung out.

Yesterday I had to take the train to Nürtingen instead of Metzingen (which I don't mind because the trains here are awesome). My host dad was at the hospital getting his had looked at and I met my host mom at the train station. Then we went to get some lunch, I got a book (in English) and we just walked around the shops until it was time to pick up my host dad. Then we came home and I did some homework. At around 6 I went out with my host brother and a couple of his friends. He is going on a class trip today, tomorrow and Friday so they had to go and get the food. We drove 45 minutes to the equivalent of a super-walmart. We took two of the giant carts (each one is the equivalent of 2 regular carts in America) and we filled them up. They had to buy over 200 things of yogurt. Grocery shopping took us about 3 1/2 hours and cost around 400 Euro. The thing that I could not get over was this was a school trip and the teacher in charge gave them a grocery list which included alcohol. They had to buy beer, wine and champagne. I guess its normal here to bring alcohol. The part that got me was that the teacher made the list. Then we came home (like 9) and had dinner. We had Belgian waffles that had bacon stuffed in the middle. It wasn't like the strips of bacon we have, it was like shredded bacon. Those waffles were so good. We had them again today for lunch.

Today was another day like Monday. I didn't really do much. I tried to go for a walk but I only ended up going about a block before I quit. I have been so exhausted lately. So I was going to take a nap but I updated this instead.

This rest of this week is really what I am looking forward to. Tomorrow I am hanging out with friends after language school. Then this weekend we are going to Munich for the Oktoberfest. I am really excited for Oktoberfest. We are spending Friday and Saturday there.

My German is actually getting better. It's not great but it's not terrible. I can understand some of the things that my host family says ( a lot more than I did when I first came here) and I can respond to more things in German now.

That's all I guess. I will update again when I am home from Munich.

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