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December 22nd, 2006 Aug. 9th, 2007 @ 05:37 pm
I haven't posted any pictures this week because nothing much has really been going on. Monday night was kinda weird. After class, which was out at 8, my friend Henna asked if we(Jessica and I) were doing anything that night. We didn't have any plans, but I had gotten a text message from an american girl, who is in my film class, asking me if I wanted to get a drink that night. Henna decided to come along and we met the american girl and her english friend in front of Starbucks at 9.30pm. We then went to an Irish Pub, which had really overpriced drinks and I got an Guiness, which is rare to find in German bars which usually only serve German beer. The bar was okay, but it was mostly full of american army people. There was a group of musicians at the table next to us who played some cool music all night with guitars and a bagpipe. I suggested to the English girl that we go somewhere else, because she was only concerned with getting Irish Whisky and I knew a place a few blocks away that had good whisky for about half the price they were charging at the Irish Pub. As we left I noticed that a middled-aged(probably about 45 years old) German man was coming with us. I figured that the Englisch Girl had invited him along. I found out at the next bar though that he had followed us and the girls wanted to get rid of him. That was easier said than done. At the next bar he bought us all about 3 rounds of drinks; after the first round we would have felt bad if we had told him to get lost. He was generally pretty nice, but toward the end of the night he kept insisting that he wanted to walk the english girl home since they were headed in the same direction. She felt very uncomfortable with this and asked me to get rid of him. I decided that we would all go to my house, which was only 2 blocks away, and tell him that he couldn't come in. I tried to tell him this before we left the bar, but he followed us to my door and it was there that I made if very clear that he couldn't come in. After leaving him at the door we ran up the stairs to my room and "hid" for about an hour. We sat around and listened to music and watched some TV and at about 3am the girls finally left. I escorted them to the door and looked around outside, just in case the guy was crazy enough to be waiting for them. All in all it was a pretty weird night.

Tonight I went out again for about 2 hours with Jessica, Jessica's boyfriend Ely, who is visiting her from Oregon, and the american girl. Most of the bars were full because it is the first night of Winter Break, so we ended up at a place none of us had been to before. They were playing really terrible 70's Funk music, but at about 10.30pm they brought out a buffet, which turned out to be completely free! For only 2.50 euro I got a beer and dinner. We didn't stay long though since the american girl is flying home for xmas in the morning and I wanted to get some rest before I head to Tuebingen in the morning.

I am attaching some pictures that I took while we were hiding out in my room on monday night. The girl hiding her face is Henna from Finland. She told me that Finnish people are shy and don't like their picture taken; which is mostly true, as I had learned in my Skandinavian class last year. But, here is a link to her website which does have a few pictures of her face:


December 17th, 2006 Aug. 9th, 2007 @ 05:34 pm
My friend Cayleigh is visiting this weekend and we went to a town called Speyer and to a small Aquarium called SeaLife in that town. It was cool, but definately not work the 9.50 euro that is cost. It only took us about 45 minutes to walk through it and we went slow. Next time we go to Speyer I think we will check out the Airplane Museum and IMAX theater.

December 12th, 2006 Aug. 9th, 2007 @ 05:33 pm
I am going to a little german town calling Hayingen http://www.hayingen.de/hayingen/index.php for xmas. My friend Steffi lives there and I will be spending xmas with her and her family. Then on the 28th I will hop on an airplane and fly to rome and spend 2 nights, then a train to venice and 2 nights there and then a train to milan and 2 nights there and then back home on the 3rd. I just bought my plane tickets which come out to a total of only 65 euro! The hotels are a bit more expensive, but I am going with a friend from my exchange program so we are splitting the cost and it won't be too much. We orignally planned on going to somewhere near the equator so that we could spend the holidays lounging on the beach in warm weather, but we were too late in booking our trip and all of the cheap hotels were full already

December 11th, 2006 Aug. 9th, 2007 @ 05:32 pm
On Saturday I went to France. Well, sort of. I was in France, but my friend Steffi with whom I travelled said that the town we were in used to belong to Germany so it isn't really France. The Germans are a bit bitter about losing a bunch of their cities. Everyone there spoke french though and there was a lot of French Food at the Resaurants. I had an Eclair and Flammkuechen(French Pizza) and I bought some French Bread at the Grocery Store. I saw Escargot on the menu as well, but Steffi is a vegetarian so I didn't order any. The town was really pretty and I took a lot of pictures.

On Sunday I went to Bad Wimpfen because my Grammer teacher said that they have a very nice old fashioned Weinnachtsmarkt(Chrismas Market). Before arriving we expected it to be small and fairly boring, but when we arrived in Bad Wimpfen everyone got off the train; apparently it is a very popular place! The town was very pretty and mostly original and very medieval looking. The Turm(tower) in the center dates back to 1200, although it has been added onto and part of it burned in 1984, but was rebuilt and very cool. The market was also fun, but there were a bit too many people and it took a long time to get from once place to another. The City was built on a hill, so all of the streets were up and down hills and twisted and turned around a lot of corners. It so weird how every city in Germany has a Weinnachtsmarkt, no matter how big or small. The population of Bad Wimpfen is only 6939, but it was so packed. I am told that even towns with less than 1000 people have small christmas markets. I'm starting to get tired of the Weinnachtsmarkt here in Heidelberg though, because it takes so long to walk down the street because of the crowd.

More xmas info Aug. 9th, 2007 @ 05:30 pm
I found some better pictures. Also, for the Dutch, he comes from Spain on a boat with the horses and everything, and it's on TV.


Other entries
» December 7th, 2006
Our class time today was mostly devoted to talking about Nikolaus since today was Nikolaus day. All of the Germans put their shoes out last night and when they woke up this morning there were treats in them. Mine were empty :( Anyway, everyone in class told their Nikolaus traditions. The Poles and the White-Russians(Belarus) said that Nikolaus lives in Finland, but the Finnish girl said that it isn't true. The Spanish girls said that they celebrate Nikolaus, but only because they are Basque and that the rest of Spain doesn't celebrate. The Italian guy said that it's the 3 wise men and a Witch that bring presents. Also, if you're bad many of them bring Coal, but some say that Nikolaus just kicks your a few times but still gives you presents. Our teacher kept refering to Santa Claus as the "Coca Cola Weinnachtsmann". She says that he was invented by coke and that is why he wears red, but Wikipedia says different. The German wikipedia says that the reason he wears red is due to Coca-cola, but the american one says differently. We read the German one in class. Here are a couple links, notice the 6-8 black men behind Sinter Klaas, or Sint-Niklaas, in the Dutch picture:


» December 5th, 2006
I went to the Weinnachtsmarkt for dinner tonight. I got a Thuringer Sausage, some gross Egg Nog, and some donut type thing. I also took lots of pictures, which are up on my flickr:

» December 5th, 2006
Where I'm living now the people speak Badish, but most of my German friends are Swabian. Tuebingen, the town I was in before, is in Swabia. I was talking to a friend of mine about the different accents and she said when she was little she went swimming in Baden-Baden or someplace where they speak Badish and the kids there called her a Spaetzlefresser(Spaetzle Eater) and other names. She told me that when she was younger she just thought that some people talked funny, she didn't know they were supposed to hate each other. I think it's not quite so bad now, but there is still name calling going on. The difference in the language is so big that it is basically unintelligible to a lot of germans. Here is what wikipedia says about it:

Swabians have in former times been the target of many jokes and stories where they are depicted as excessively stingy, overly serious, prudish, or as simpletons, for instance in "The Seven Swabians" (Die sieben Schwaben ) published in Kinder- und Hausmärchen by the Brothers Grimm. Similar jokes are often made by the French toward Belgians, Australians toward New Zealanders, or Canadians toward Newfoundlanders. However, this has ceased to a large extent, while Swabians are nowadays said to be frugal, clever, entrepreneurial and hard-working. In a widely respected publicity campaign on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Baden-Württemberg, the economically most successful state in modern Germany, the Swabians famously replied to the former jokes with: "We are capable of doing anything except for speaking High German" (Wir können alles - außer Hochdeutsch).

Many Swabian surnames end with the suffixes -le, -el, -ehl, and -lin. Examples would be: Schäuble, Egeler and Gmelin. The popular surname Schwab is derived from this area, meaning literally "Swabian".

In Switzerland, "Sauschwab" is a derogatory term for Germans, derived from the Swabian War of 1499. In the Serbian language, Polish language and Bulgarian language "Shvab" is a semi-abusive term for any German, not just one from Swabia. In parts of the former Yugoslavia ( i.e. Slavonija in Croatia, and Vojvodina in Serbia), the term Swab (locally Švab) is somewhat applied to all German peoples who dwelled in those regions until shortly after World War II, and many of their descendants; it is even occasionally used as a slang term to refer to all Germans as well as Austrians and Swiss German speaking people.

and here is more on the language:

» November 27th, 2006
There isn't much to do on Sundays, especially toward the end of the month when I can't afford to leave town, and especially when they are doing construction on the tracks anyway. But, I didn't want to sit at home doing schoolwork all day again and I remembered seeing a flyer last week for an Edgar Alan Poe reading up at the castle. I wasn't sure where it was at the castle or exactly when, so I went early and walked around until I found the meeting point. I was over an hour early so I had to wait in the cold for a long time. It wasn't too bad though because my friend Jessica came with me as well. We spent most of the time walking around the castle in the dark. It's amazing how many areas they let you go to at night. At 10 til 8 people came out and took our money for the event, and then 10 minutes later a man came out with a lantern and a top hat and he walked around making jokes and then led us all into the castle courtyard and then in a door to a large room. It was very dark inside and only lit by a few candles. After a few minutes in the large room he led us up some stairs to a smaller room and then more stairs to another small room with about 40 chairs. The atmosphere of just sitting in the castle in the candlelight was much better than the actual reading, which was in German although Poe is an american writer. I was able to follow along with a couple of the stories, but after awhile I just got tired and zoned out. Every once in awhile a girl would walk around the room dressed in a neat costume, or doors would slam in other rooms, or we would hear screaming coming from somewhere else. During the intermission they gave everyone a glass of Amontillado, which is a kind of Spanish Sherry that was in the title of one of the storys that were read. The evening ended at about 11pm and we walked home. By that time I was freezing since there is no heat in the castle. I forgot to bring my camera, otherwise I would have taken some pictures. Maybe next time.
» November 23rd, 2006
In france they leave Carrots out for the Donkeys instead of cookies and milk for Santa. He has donkeys instead of Reindeer.
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