Sunday, November 16, 2008

About time...

I know I've been needing to update for awhile.  The past two weekends I visited my aunt, who lives about 2 hours south by train.  I hadn't seen her in years.  It was really nice to spend those weekends with her.  I stocked up a little bit on American food (tortillas, salsa, etc. well more like Mexican).  Both times I brought back a whole suitcase worth of stuff.  I think I brought more stuff from her place than I did on my way to Germany.  She got me a down comforter, which is so amazing.  Before, I just had this crappy, not-down one that didn't keep me very warm at night. 

Last Tuesday (11/11) at 11:11 was the start of Karnival in Cologne.  My friend and I bought a costume because we heard people dressed up.  I'm glad we did.  We received so many stares (from guys), so I guess we were looking pretty cute.  It lasts until next spring; I'm not sure exactly when.


And now I'm to be planning a wedding while I'm here.  It sure is going to be interesting.  I'm so glad that my family is helping me out so much.  I really don't know what I'd do without their support.  When I get back to the states, I'm not really going to do too much.  I'll probably do a bit of volunteering.  Probably hanging out with my friends as much as I can before I leave them for Washington.

Tonight I used my raclette.  It's this grill type thing in which you put whatever you want on this tray with cheese on top and stick it in, where it melts the cheese.  It's so good.  It's usually used for parties.  I had a couple of friends over last week and we used it.  I still had vegetables and cheese and potatoes leftover from it, and I didn't want them to go bad, so I just decided to use it tonight.  I'm so stuffed.  I plan on getting one when I get back to the states, it's just that amazing.

I'm not sure what I'm doing the next couple of weeks.  I have some ideas.  I've been looking at a few internships.  Not sure exactly what I want to do, probably something dealing with finances.  I'm just going to apply to many places and hope I get an interview with at least one.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Living in Bonn

I'm so glad that the dorms here are just one person per room.  I do share the kitchen and bathroom with 4 other people.  In my hall, there are probably around 15 rooms.  I went to Ikea yesterday morning with my friend to purchase things for my room.  I bought some rugs, kitchenware, clothes drying rack (so German, I know), candles, and most importantly, trash cans!  I'm still waiting for my lights to be replaced (which haven't worked since I arrived here).  Though I do have 1 of the 3 that works.  But it is located near the sink.  Seeing as I have cabinets dividing my sink area between the rest of the room, I do not have much light that actually comes into my main area.  This is a little problematic when the sun starts to go down, as I cannot do anything that requires light.  But I did buy a desk lamp at Ikea, also, which is currently next to my bed.

My view is amazing!DSCN1519 DSCN1525

The first day of classes were yesterday.  I'm in the first semester program for agriculture.  The program consists of the following classes:  biology of plants and animals, ecology, information class about don't really know what yet, anatomy and physiology of animals, nutrition, math and statistics, and a various topics about agriculture class.  I'm very excited, especially about the anatomy class, since I've never taken it.  I probably won't go to math and statistics, seeing as I really only need 3 classes...

I don't have a student pass yet, so I've had to walk everywhere.  The student pass consists of free transportation.  Most of my classes are in this building that takes almost an hour to walk there.  It's good exercise and all, but I just don't feel like it when I have to leave by 7 to get to my first class.  I'm going to look into buying a bike.  I believe there's a bike market going on this weekend, but I don't have enough money to buy one yet.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Less than a week

I can't believe I'm going to be leaving already this Wednesday.  Last night (2 a.m.) a couple of my friends came over to watch the Alabama vs. Georgia game.  The SEC is totally overrated.  But anyways.  Pac-10 is still the best, although we are a little weak this year.  All the upsets this weekend really excited me.  I love upsets, except when it's bad for ASU. 

Tonight I made tacos for my host family.  I had not-as-spicy taco mix and salsa.  I figured the Germans couldn't handle my spicy - figured I should tone it down.  And I found tortilla chips!  The kids really liked those. 

Tomorrow we have presentations.  Blah!  I'm not looking forward to it at all.  My group is doing it on parks.  No idea what we're really going to be talking about.  Obviously parks!  But still!

Most everyone will be leaving Tuesday.  I can't check in the dorms until Wednesday, so there is obviously not point in me going down there a day early.  Except I'm leaving early Wednesday morning.  That gives me Tuesday to pack and make sure I have everything.  I'm glad that I'm going to be so close to Cologne.  And I have free travel from Bonn to Cologne!  It's the university transportation.  To expand our horizons.  I am really lucky with that.  And it's only a half hour away!  And I'm finally in the process of putting up pictures!  It's been over a month...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Trips!

This past weekend I visited the Brittany Arnold.  It was so much fun.  It was so amazing getting to see her again, as well as seeing her baby (Katelynn) for the first time!  It rained all day Saturday, but that didn't keep us from walking around the town.  I finally bought an umbrella, since it will supposedly be a cold, wet winter.  The picture is of Katelynn making her crazy face


The weekend before that, I went to Paris with a few of my friends.  That was also a blast.  We saw the Chateau de Versailles, the Louvre (which is free the first Sunday of the month!), and the Eiffel Tower.  I'm bound to go back, especially since Chris wants to go.    This picture is of the gardens of the Chateau




DSCN1056  DSCN1061 DSCN1073 DSCN1160


I found out I'll be living in the dorms.  I'm excited!  I move in on October 1st.  The weather here has been so cold lately.  Right now it's about 15 degrees Celsius (and that's a tad warmer than it has been).  I know, don't be too jealous.  And then at night it gets into the single digits.  It's like it's winter in Arizona, but it's only September!

This weekend I'm not going anywhere special.  I'm hoping to watch the ASU vs. Georgia game.  We'll see what happens.  And hopefully I'll update sooner next time.  Tschüss!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Past couple weeks

I love bread. It's a good thing I do because it seems that's all I eat. I think I'm losing weight because of that and because I walk around a bit. And the fact that I really only eat breakfast and lunch. Here they usually have a large breakfast and lunch and only a small dinner. I actually like it better that way. For breakfast I usually have bread with Quark and marmalade on top of that. Quark is kind of like cream cheese but lighter, but it is more in the texture of sour cream. Then for lunch I have a sandwich and a banana and an apple. I absolutely love the rolls here. They are a little crisper on the outside. I've been craving them the past week, so I finally bought some from the bakery. It's only a Euro for 5. I'm not sure what kind of lunch meat I have, but it's probably ham. I usually go off of looks, not what it says. And last time I was cheese shopping, I found Mexican Havarti cheese! I was so excited. It's actually not too expensive. It's kind of like pepper jack. I had it back in the States.

Yesterday I finally washed my clothes! I had only run out of socks only a couple days prior, but I was about to run out of other things. I had to wash them at the laundromat. I left my clothes at home because I first needed to find the place. My host mom said it was nearby on the main street. So I took off and managed to find it and went to the store to buy detergent. I put my clothes in my bag and set off for the laundromat. I must've looked confused in there because a girl came over and asked if I needed help. She showed me, which was great. I brought my German-English book just in case. When I was folding my clothes (which they only were in the dryer for 15 minutes or so, which caused some of the things to still be a little damp), a lady came over and asked if I could help her. It was me mostly pointing and nodding. I came back and had to finish drying some of my things. When I cam back, Blue Crush was on (dubbed in German). So I watched that while I was stretching.

On Saturday I went to Aachen with 2 friends. I was wearing shorts and sandals because I needed to do laundry. Well, when we got there, it was pouring! We went to the Dom (cathedral in German), where Charlemagne was pretty important. They had a treasury and relic museum around the corner, so we ended up going to that. When we came out, the sun was shining, so we found a place to eat and walked around for a couple hours. On our way back to the Hauptbahnhof (train station), it started sprinkling again and when we were inside, it started pouring.

DSCN0633 The Dom is smaller than the one in Cologne, but inside was magnificent. Even better than the one here.

Sometime last week I went with 3 other friends to the cable car that goes over the Rhein and then to the Rhein park. It was a lot of fun. We passed over this spa place, which had many different pools that I want to check out sometime. It's a little expensive, but I'd like to do it once. They had this smaller circular pool that spun around in circles.

DSCN0295The cable car thing

DSCN0315 The Rhein Park. Hard to see but there's a playground there that we played on. Sehr toll!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Yesterday, I went on a little adventure.  I needed to go on a walk to think over things.  I wanted to find the horse track.  I got out my map, but the map I had stopped halfway at the racetrack.


The bottom circle is where I live and the circle above that is just the U-Bahn entrance that's closest to me.  The green space above that is apparently a park and then above that is the horse track.  So I followed the street that put me to the right of the racetrack.  All I saw was a fence with many trees inside.  In the distance I thought I could see some sort of track.  I went all along it on that side, but I could not find any information.  I just saw horse posters.

By now I was off my map, but I didn't want to head back yet.  I found this random path that I decided to take. 


It was very peaceful, very nice.  I followed that for a while when I came upon a fork in the rode.  The same path continued straight, but, to the left of me, I saw this:


There were cars randomly parked out here!  I figured some sort of civilization was around.  I went that way and I found tennis courts and a track!

DSCN0253 DSCN0254

But I think you have to be part of the club to play on the courts.  I continued a little further where I found this odd building:


I continued to walk and went down an actual rode and ended up seeing these as well as what looked like an entrance into the horse track:

DSCN0258 DSCN0260

I then left that place in search of the train stop just after mine, which I ended up finding very quickly.  I took that to mine, which I hopped on the 13 (it was above ground) just to ride it and see different things.  I rode that to the very end, where everyone got off but me...


And here's the map of the rail services in Cologne:DSCN0268

And lastly, where I live compared to where the school is.  It's about 2 miles away.  You can also compare it with above in comparison with the whole city.


I just need to take one train, and it drops me off at the bottom left circle.  From there, it is just a short walk away.  For the past several months, there has been construction on the railways, so until this week, I had to  get off at the bottom right circle and walk 10 minutes (a little past the other circle).  Now that construction is all done, it is faster for me to get to school in the mornings!  It definitely helps that I can take either the 12 or 15, and they basically come every 3 minutes. 

Friday, August 8, 2008

First days in Germany!

Germany has been a blast so far. Yesterday was probably the first time I didn’t do anything after school. I had to take a nap (was so exhausted). The day before the weather was so warm, so we went swimming in the lake after language school. There were so many people! I also had my first Kölsch a couple of days ago. It was not bad. I cannot stand even taking a sip of beer in the states (don’t even like to smell it). But I can actually stand beer here, at least so far. I just wanted to have one beer while I was in Germany.

So back to the very beginning. Lufthansa went on strike, so our flight was canceled. Most of us were put on a flight that night, which was first to London. Then, my flight was directly to Köln (Cologne). Before, it was a direct flight to Frankfurt, then we would take a bus to Köln. The next group didn’t actually leave D.C. until Sunday. At first I didn’t care which group I was in, but now, I’m glad I went to Köln early. I’ve just been exploring with friends every day (except today). It was my friend’s birthday and I was going to go out with them to dinner, but I woke up too late from my nap. We’re going out to a club or something tomorrow night to celebrate all the August birthdays. I’ll post pictures on Facebook soon when I fill up a whole album. I’ve already put up one album.

My host family lives 3 train stops away from the school. I take the U-Bahn, which is the underground one. There is also the S-Bahn, which is the one that is above ground. My host parents have 3 boys (6, 3, and 9 months). They are very energetic. Almost every morning I eat breakfast with them, which consists of bread and my choice of topping (cheese, meat, jam, quark…). It seems all I eat is bread. I actually don’t mind it. I bought packages of rolls here for my dinners, and they are really good. I still need to get a Dönner here, which is like a Euro (Turkish). And I need to go grocery shopping again. I always seem to pick up some kind of candy. The gummy candies here are so amazing!

Monday, July 21, 2008

For Angela

Well, the whole reason I got this was for my sister, Angela. She wanted me to have something to write about my adventures while I'm in Germany for the year. I don't actually arrive until August 1st.