Friday, November 19, 2010

"Ships in the harbor are safe, but that's not what the ships were built for."

I have been in a really good mood lately so I figured I should put it to good use.

Before coming to Germany I was prepared for the Tokio Hotel and Rammstein type German music. Most of the guys here listen to rap music. On Wednesday they were listening to music in the hallway and the rapper said "swag". I then had to explain swag to practically my whole class. The urbandictionary.com definition of swag is "apperance ,style ,or the way he or she presents them selves
." Basically, you know those "punky" teenagers that have their pants hanging off and have that goofy walk. If you are over 40 and reading this, don't act like you don't know what I am talking about. Everyone over 40 complains about it. Unfortunately, they didn't understand so I had to demonstrate swag. It was really funny.

Wednesday was some special day at school so there were no classes. We had to learn about public speaking and presentations. It was boring but it sure beat Trigonometry and Physik "auf Deutsch". My group gave a presentation on McDonald's and no the American did not pick the topic. It lasted about 5 minutes and we aced it. The teachers gave the directions "you can pick your own topic, anything you want". I bet they regretted that one. One of the other groups did their presentations on something that is not "school appropriate". The teachers didn't care though, they just burst out laughing. The female teacher was not amused. That is until they brought out the diagrams and cut out cookies. Then she joined in the laughter. Then our main teacher made a bet with the class. He bet that we couldn't do the rest of the presentations without saying "ummm", "uhhh" or any of the other things like that. What did he bet? A round of beer in Berlin. Yeah our teacher bet us a round of beer. We won that bet though. I want to see if he actually does it but I wouldn't be surprised.

Remember in the last post when I made a list of the things I miss most. Well, I don't miss them anymore. I posted it on Tuesday and on Wednesday morning I came downstairs and found a bag of pasta. That was our lunch. Then I came home from school and my host mom and Philipp had baked about 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies. Then today we had homemade Macaroni and Cheese for lunch. The Kraft style doesn't exist here so we had to make it from scratch. It was the greatest mac and cheese I have ever had. Then for desert we had yogurt. Oh and on Wednesday I walked over to my host mom to she what she was looking up on the computer and she was looking up recipes for Cabbage and Noodles. If that wasn't enough, I got a package from my mom full of American candy. I don't miss any of those things anymore.

Also I apparently gave you guys the wrong definition of doch. It has to be used like this.

"Das Wetter is nicht schön
"

"Doch! Das Wetter ist schön"

I guess you can only use it when the original sentence has the nicht in it and the adjective has to stay the same. I also learned that Germans have their own version of "eh". They say "gell" but the people in my area don't really say it.

After school on Wednesday I went to Reutlingen with the guys from my class. I swear I spend like half of my free time in Reutlingen. They wanted to buy some new clothes. I know in the last post I talked about how expensive it is here but whoa I had no idea. We went into a Burton store and just a plan flannel shirt was 60 Euro. That's about 90 dollars. It was ridiculous. I did buy some new European clothes though. The way that people dress here is really different. They take the effort to make themselves look presentable when they go somewhere.

A list of the no-go's
  • sweatpants
  • ripped clothing
  • jeans hanging low (see above)
What they do wear.
Guys
  • Sweaters
  • Scarves
  • Nice jeans or dress pants
  • Hoodies
  • Nice jackets
  • Skater shoes
  • Spiked/"done up" (for lack of a better word) hair
Girls
  • Tight jeans
  • Dress boots that usually go to their knees.
  • A nice shirt
  • Sweater and scarf
  • Make-up
Obviously not everyone dresses so well but most of the people do. Also something that I just noticed is that my friends all wear the rosary around their necks. I am not Catholic so I don't know much about the rosary but I didn't think you were allowed to wear it. Just something interesting.

Back to the point. So we were in Reutlingen and then at 6 we decide to go home. We get on our train and it starts moving. About 5 minutes later we realized that it wasn't our train. We ended up on a train to Stuttgart. For those of you who don't know, that would be like going from Lockport to Pendleton and somehow ending up in Buffalo. We got off our platform and they went to buy McDonald's. I wasn't in the mood for Mickey Dee's because literally that was our 3rd McDonald's stop that day. There were police everywhere. So many more than usual. I asked someone why there were so many and apparently Germany raised it's terror threat level. Eventually we made it home though.

Yesterday was my host Opa's birthday so my host mom and I drove back to the Schwarzwald to visit him. He was pretty cool. He made jokes the whole time and we went to a Fasching museum. Fasching is the German carnival. Everyone wears these homemade costumes and masks. It looked really cool but I didn't have a camera with me.

Just a few new things that I stumbled upon and thought were cool. The first is NSLI-Y. It is a student exchange to countries that the US government says have "critical need languages". The countries include China, Korea (south), Turkey, India, Egypt, Tajikistan, Morocco, Jordan, Taiwan and Russia. The US government pays for the whole exchange. That is definitely an option for me. The second thing is a website called Postcrossing. You sign up and they give you addresses all across the world. You have to send a post card from your region and tell about where you live. I sent 5 postcards; one to Taiwan, one to Finland, one to Belarus, one to Russia and one to USA. That means that I will get 5 postcards from around the world.

Tonight we are going to see the new Harry Potter. That should be fun.

I usually write a blog post and then the next day think of 3 or 4 things that I wanted to add. That's kind of what this is. It is not nearly as good as the last few have been but I am in a rush.

Also there is this thing on my blog (not the flag counter) that I can check who visits my blog, what countries visit it the most, where people get my website from and how many people read each post. I checked it today and 2 things pretty much made my day. The first one was that someone stumbled upon my blog by google searching "toast brot Deutschland". I just think it is kind of funny that google searching something so random leads to my blog. The second thing was that apparently I have 9 Iraqi viewers. So thank you to my viewers in Iraq and to "toast brot person" you made my day.

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