Thursday, March 3, 2011

"Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about."

There are 3 important things that I want to start this blog with. 

Number 1 (and arguably the most important) is that my host mom found Doritos. The crisis is over, we now have Doritos. If we end up finding Mountain Dew, there is a good chance that I will just stay here in Germany. The "Cool Ranch" flavor of Doritos are called "Cool American" here. That made me laugh for a little bit. 

Number 2 is the video that my friend Margaret made at the Mid-stay Camp last week. A lot of the students talk about Germany and how important the scholarship is. If you watch the part about bread carefully, you might see me.

Number 3 is that it is finally March and that means we have hit month 6 of this "Deutsches Abenteuer". 

The next topic is something I think every exchange student will attest to. Signing up to be an exchange student is basically volunteering yourself to be thrown into a plethora of awkward situations. Before I talk about all the embarrassing moments that happened this week alone, let me just say something first. Before I came to Germany, I would do something embarrassing and I would think about it and be embarrassed about it for weeks after the fact. Now that I am in Germany, and embarrassing moments come by the hundreds, I stop caring about embarrassing things about 5 minutes after they happen. I guess I just have gotten used to the fact that I make a fool out of myself on a regular basis and no one really cares. 

Now onto the comedic part of this blog post. The other day I had to go to the butcher and pick up some ground beef. The butcher is one of the 3 things that are actually in Altdorf so I decided to just take the bike. Let me just say, I have ridden a bike once in the past 6 months (more on that in a minute) and then not for a while before that. So I get on my bike, move about a foot and a half and fall flat on my face. Of course there were people watching. Everyone is like "oh my God, is he ok" but with the exception of my dignity, I was fine. You know how there is always that group of people who you aren't really friends with but you kind of know them? That group you try to act cool around? Of course, that group of people in my life were watching this fail of a bike ride. After that, I decided it would be better if I walked. 

The other time I rode a bike in Germany was the time we took a family bike ride to Metzingen. Well, I swerved into the curb, my chain came off and I went flying off of my bike. I daresay, I think I have forgotten how to ride a bike. I posted this on facebook and my friend Margaret said "this better not be true or decades worth of analogies were just ripped to shreds". Sorry to everyone who thought otherwise but it is possible to forget how to ride a bike.

The next of these embarrassing moments happened today actually. We were in NWT which is a science about energy, conservation and what not. We had to do this project about how much energy the school uses. We had to count all the lights in the school and calculate how much energy our school uses and what it costs per day. We did all the work and it came time to present. He comes to our group and says "actually, I want Michael to present it". You can all imagine what is going through my head at this moment. That was a horrible presentation. If you thought that I just had to say somethings and return to my seat, you were sadly mistaken. Then comes the questions. By questions I mean the ones that the teacher asks, I look around like an idiot trying to find an answer to and then eventually someone whispers it to me. 

The really embarrassing part of this story was when he asked me to calculate how much energy our school uses per day and what it costs. I had absolutely no idea how I was supposed to calculate this because of three reasons. The first reason is that I really didn't understand what I was supposed to do. The second was because I was so nervous for presenting this in German and the last reason is because I can't do simple math to save my life. 

Had he asked me to label all the countries of Europe on a map, I could of done it. Had he asked me to describe the history of the British Monarchy, I could of done it. Had he asked me to carry on a 20 minute conversation in German, Dutch, Spanish, Hebrew or Arabic, I could of done it. But of course, he asked me to do Algebra and I made a fool of myself.

After I mysteriously answered all of his questions right, he said "wow Mike, you must really be learning a lot in this class". I'm not sure if he actually thought I knew the answered and was genuinely amazed or if he knew that people whispered the answers and was just being sarcastic.

For those of you who are not acquainted with German holidays; next week starts Fasching/Karneval. Fasching (as we say in the south) is a mix of Halloween, Mardi Gras and Oktoberfest. Fasching is a big party that celebrates the last days of partying before Lent (the Mardi Gras part). Everyone dresses up in costumes and disguises (the Halloween part). The actually Fasching party is like another Oktoberfest. We even get all of next week off to celebrate Fasching.

The nice part about exchange is that it honestly gets better every month. I always think about how great I thought the last few months and then how they get better and better every time. There's not a concrete reason why they are better though. I just feel more and more at home and closer with the people here with each passing month. Not to mention I haven't had physics class for almost month. That probably makes a huge difference in my attitude.

I will probably blog a couple times next week. We are painting the kitchen but other than that I don't have any real plans. Tomorrow night I am going to the big Fasching party in the next town over. I am going with friends from school. I think I'm supposed to dress up but I was a procrastinator and didn't find a costume. My friends told me to go as an American and I guess I am now.

1 comment:

  1. While I was in Switzerland I saw Mountain Dew in two places: specialty shops (the international food section in Globus) or in small, very American looking, candy shops, which were in the cities (z.B. Zurich and Basel).
    Good luck!