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Written on: Tuesday September 18th, 2007

A journal entry from: Fall for Germany

So the Beethoven concert was pretty good. It was a bit boring because I never know what to do during concerts. I like to listen to classical music while reading or doing homework. Just sitting there? I usually like to watch the percussion during concerts, but they weren't doing much because it was Beethoven. A lot of the LMU kids left before the concert even started and several kids (both LMU and Furman) pregamed for it, which is pretty sad.  The person sitting next to me relocated to sit by other people, so I got Skibo (whose people sitting next to him left entirely) to sit with me.  No idea where the other Furman people were.  We were kinda spread out across the back of the concert hall.  I was incredibly thirsty there (I had a glass of wine with dinner and it dehydrated me).  I had a bottle of water, but it was in the bag I had checked and I didn't want to grab it and then pay another 1?  to put it back.  So, at the suggestion of Kelli, I went to the bathroom and used my hands as a cup (ps Germans don't drink their tap water even though it tastes perfectly good).  I ended up going back a second time because I was so thirsty and as I was leaving noticed someone else in the bathroom doing the same thing.  I started a trend.  After the concert, about 7-8 of us went out and ended up meeting some LMU kids there.  It was kinda cool for all of us to be together.  Several of them are from WA or at least CA, so it was great to have people who love the west coast in the room.  I barely had anything to drink, but one of the others I was with got extremely drunk (most people had several 1? shots, so a lot of people were drunk).  I found out later he didn't get home til about 4am.  Silly person.   He's now our official alky.  The group has kinda split into about 3 factions.  There's the girls who are mostly in sororities, 3 people that always hang out, and the rest of us.   

On Saturday I didn't do much. Hung out with my Gastfamilie, explored Beuel, went shopping for some food stuff. I finally found some Matzo bread! I've been searching for it all summer, but most places only sell it near Passover I think (Matzo bread is just flour and water, incredibly plain but I really like to snack on it for some reason). I also got a HUGE bag of plums for only a Euro in the Markt. It was the end of the day and they were closing up, so everyone was trying to get rid of their extra produce. mmmm... I love plums. I've eaten a lot of them, but I had to throw the rest out this morning because they were too far gone. At the suggestion of Baerbel, I tried to get a group together to go to Maastrict in the Netherlands (about 4ish hours away), but it didn't work out.

Sunday, I spent the morning hanging out with my host family, particularly Anna. Do you remember those markers that you blow into and it comes out looking bit like spray paint? Yeah, she definitely had some and we colored with those (I've always wanted to use those!!) and then we used some other pens that change color when you go over them with a certain pen (I actually had these when i was younger. I think they dried out). Then we gave each other the drawings. I think I'm going to have a little gallery of things Anna and I have made/colored for each other. I went outside and played with Anna and to some extent the boys. The backyard is pretty darn neat. There is a trampoline (not sure if I can jump on it because I don't know my weight in kilograms!), a tree house, a small swingset, a nice sized porch, an 8 person picnic table, and plenty of room to still run around. The freezer of the neighbors below us stopped working, so they had to get rid of all their meat. Solution? Major BBQ. It was pretty good, but soo much meat! We didn't eat it all, but we attempted to.

And Monday. Finally went to the Netherlands with Sallie, Jason, and Skibo. It was SO MUCH FUN! I made all the plans (when/where to buy tickets, what trains, what to do in Maastrict), but I definitely needed them to help me get where we were going. I had thought it'd be about 40euros a person for the tickets, but when we went to buy them, the ticket lady suggested we get a 5person pass which was about 50euros- that means only 12something euros a person! It was wonderful! A longish train ride with plenty of changing trains, but that was ok. We bonded. I taught them 4 hand cribbage. We did homework on the way back. Once in Maastrict, I had heard there was some great shopping, old buildings, cool churchs, stuff like that. When I looked online, I found out that there are caves there that are amazing and you can take tours for a small fee. So our first order of business was finding an information place to figure out exactly WHERE the caves were. It was half an hour away, so we started trucking across town (stopping for random pictures). We walked for forever and the road narrowed down to this little tiny road and we weren't sure we were on the right road. After walking forever, we realized we had passed it. So we started walking back... and then decided to take a shortcut across a field- which had a huge gully just before the Fort of St. Pieter. We found a path down, realizing that we had probably missed the last tour. We got up to a totally dark fort and found that the website I had found had lied. It wasn't open. Despite the disappointment, we agreed that the mad dash to get there was almost more fun than actually going into the caves. So we walked back to town. It was a great view from the top though.

We saw some churches in the distance, so decided to make our way over there. Lots of pictures and one of the churches allowed you to go inside and explore for 2euros. It was definitely worth it! It was a gothic church (forgot the name, if i ever knew it) and it was amazing to see all these things that I learned about in art history in person! Very cool.

Walked around some more, found a candy store, some gelato, and then the stores started closing and we decided to take an earlier train back. It took a long time to get back and we were so tired and exhausted everything became hilarious. We realized we'd been together for about 15 hours straight. It was a great day, I'm so glad my host family suggested going.

I really need to get pictures up.

Oh! I'm meeting Stacy, Scott's friend that he met in Ghana who is studying at the University of Bonn, today!

Tomorrow I'm going on an excursion to Wuppertal with my modernism class and then an unexpected play with Furman people. It wasn't planned, but we found out it was pretty good, so we're going (with no assignments!).

Um.. I'm not sure what else is going on this week, but we're leaving for an 8 day excursion this weekend.


p.s. friends: here's how the photos are going to work.  A big photo dump of everything is going to go on here on my picasa public gallery.  A selection of mostly people and spectacular photos will go on facebook (so I can tag them and most of you can check those out).  Because it takes so long to upload on this site, a smaller, much more select group of photos will go up.  Hopefully it'll be stuff I reference and the big picture of what the blog is about.  Oh, and I'll back track in a couple of days and add things like the sack of 1euro plums to go along with the blog.  Today I've uploaded stuff to facebook, picasa, and this and I want to go to bed now.  


From Scott on Sep 18th, 2007

Two things: 1. your title are always hilarious. 2. i'm so stoked that you're seeing stacy! as I was reading this, I was thinking, I wonder if Stacy and Julie will ever meet up...and then I came to the line where you are! That's great! In google, type ### lbs to kg and it will unlock the secret to the trampoline...maybe.

From Mom on Sep 19th, 2007

Your hair looks so European! I love the blog and pictures.