The End

08/14/2011

This is it, the end of my German adventure.

Before we go any further, I want to thank all of you who read my blog over the last year. This is not only my very last post, it is also my 60th and what started out simply as a way to keep track of the day to day stuff quickly became a way for me to not only share my adventure with you, but to save it for myself for when, years down the road, I want to look back.

I find it rather hard to believe that it’s all over and that I’m home for at least a year. I keep expecting to wake up in my bed in the StuSie and hop on a tram and go to Uni, but I know that’s not going to happen no matter how much I wish it could.

Is there a word for homesickness for somewhere that isn’t home? Freiburgweh? Maybe.

Sunday evening I took a break from packing and went over to Mari’s place to have one last dinner with some friends. They made some swedish potato and fish casserole which was pretty good. It was honestly just nice to get away from the stress of packing and clearing out my room.

Monday was a long day. The guy in charge of my flat came over at 8am to check the room and take my keys and then I headed down to the bahnhof to catch my train to Frankfurt.

I got the feeling that something was off about halfway into the trip. I noticed that the board with the destinations said Frankfurt main train station when I needed to go to the airport, but I told myself not to worry, it’d work out. Well, turns out my suspicions were correct. I got off the train in downtown Frankfurt and took the S-Bahn to the airport. I was so good on time however, that it really wasn’t anything more than a slight inconvenience.

After finally making it to the airport, I checked my bags at Icelandair and was told that my plane would be 20 minutes late but not to worry. I got through security and started to wait. I waited and waited and finally, 45 minutes before the plane was scheduled to leave a gate was announced, so I went there and waited some more. The flight was supposed to leave at 2pm, but 2pm rolled around and there wasn’t even a plane at the gate so we waited some more.

To make what felt like an insanely long story short, we didn’t leave Frankfurt until 3pm. This wouldn’t have been a problem except my layover in Iceland was only an hour, and seeing that we left an hour late, I was pretty much resigned to the fact that I’d be spending a little more time in Iceland than I had bargained for. The flight there however, was really nice. The middle seat was open and the girl sitting on the aisle was really nice so we chatted for a while. Also, it was one of the smoothest flights I’ve ever been on.

We landed in Iceland at the exact time my plane for Minneapolis was supposed to be leaving. The stewardess however announced that all planes were waiting for us, and that the passengers who were flying to Minneapolis (me) needed to disembark the plane first. What was supposed to be an hour layover was literally less than two minutes. I’ve never ran to a plane before.

The flight from Iceland was uneventful and smooth which is all I really need. Icelandair doesn’t have the best reputation, but let me tell you what, I will never say bad things about them again. I had literally two minutes in Iceland to catch my plane and despite that, all my luggage showed up on time in Minneapolis. If they can do that, the fact that they don’t feed you at all is completely forgiven.

It was a long day getting back home. Whenever I drive past the airport now, all I want to do is hop on a plane and go on an adventure.

The last couple days have been spent chilling at home and with my friends. I saw my Baubie and Zadie yesterday and am playing golf with my gramma and grampa later this afternoon. It’s nice to see family and friends again.

Just because I’m back doesn’t mean I’m all done with work. I still have two term papers to finish up and there’s still plenty of little loose ends that need tying up. I get all the stress and none of the fun of being abroad. At least the subjects of my term papers are pretty interesting.

My laptop charger broke again last night, so I ran to best buy this morning and bought a new one. That’s the last time I get something like that off ebay. I forgot that stores are open on Sundays here, I thought I would have had to wait until tomorrow to get my charger. That was a pleasant surprise.

I guess this is the end of the very last blog. I’ve had so much fun writing this and having a little weekly companion that ending it is honestly rather tough. The end of this blog is the definite end of my time abroad and I hate to say goodbye.

If I could ask you a favor, just to satisfy my curiosity I would really love to know who read my blog. Leave a comment, send me an email or let me know next time I see you if you’d like. I’d like to hear what you have to say.

After eleven months and sixty posts,

Tschüss

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The Final Countdown

08/07/2011

Tomorrow.

Every time I stop to think, the only thing running through my head is that I’m leaving. I just teared up writing that sentence, I don’t want to leave. I have a feeling I’m going to cry while writing this blog.

I said goodbye to a lot of my friends last night, and I’m kind of heartbroken. I’m going to miss them so much.

Monday I had my last two finals, both of which I passed. The first one was for my intellectuals class and because one of the girls set off the emergency exit alarm and we had to wait around for 30 minutes until the guy with a key to shut it off could come around, the final took decidedly longer than it should have. It was also very difficult and I studied the wrong things. But I passed.

The second final was an oral exam for my class on the Germans and Czechs which was just 15 minutes of the professor asking me questions. It was easy enough, language was the only thing that really made it more difficult but despite this I still did well. The professor complemented my German at the end of it.

After I finished my oral final, Danija and I wandered around town, went to the second hand shop where I bought a dirndl (the traditional bavarian dress) and then went to the Münsterplatz for a wurst. We also played around in the Bächle. The Bächle are, if you remember, the little canals that go through the city center and the whole year I’ve been itching to walk in them. Too bad this was the one day I left my camera at home.

Wednesday was my last day of class here in Freiburg. I was supposed to have a discussion section at 8:30am, but I showed up and no one was there so I just ran errands all morning. That afternoon was my last Münster class and I found out that I got a 2 (B) on my final from last week. That made me happy. That class is probably one of the best classes I’ve taken, it was fascinating and well done.

Thursday morning I woke up early, ex-matriculated at the university, tried to get a transcript, tried to cancel my phone and after trying to find a change machine, gave all the small change I’ve collected over the last year to the Synagogue my mom and I went to for Yom Kippur services.

I walked in, told them I wanted to give Tzedakah and got a rather surprised look in return. The looks on their faces when I took the bag of change out of my backpack (probably like 10 euros in 1,2 and 5 cent coins) made it totally worth it. I’m glad I didn’t find the change machine, this was so much more satisfying. It made my day.

I wonder what they said later about the American girl who randomly gave Tzedakah. Because that’s all they know about me, that I’m American and that I’m Jewish.

Thursday was the last Karaoke night. There was a big table of us and it was a good night. Jamele and I sang Single Ladies again and killed it. It was good to go out with a bang.

Friday day all the public transportation workers were on strike and no trams were running so I stayed close to home and tried to be productive. Even though the semester is over, I still have two term papers to write.

Friday evening was the last StuSie bar party and boy, was it like no other party I’ve ever been to. It was a foam party. Basically, pretend you’re in a bubble bath without water and the bubbles are coming out of something that looks remarkably like the snow machines at Afton Alps. It was great.

There is something about being covered in foam that turns you into a little kid. Especially if you stood right underneath the foam machine, and the foam was higher than you were, it was pretty great. A bummer to have to wear glasses though, I couldn’t see hardly anything all evening but it was totally worth it.

It was definitely an experience and a good way to end the semester with a bang.

The first thing I did when I got home was jump in the shower. I’m just throwing the skirt and sandals I wore away, I don’t think they’ll ever quite be the same.

Yesterday morning I went into town to run a couple errands and do all the little things I had/wanted to do before I leave. Besides going to Müller to pick up some pens that I love and can’t find at home and I taking the old trams to and from town, I went to the Münsterplatz and got one last wurst, I went into the Münster and walked around for the last time (a morning service was going on

when I got there, which was cool to see), I went to the university and walked through the buildings in which I had classes and lastly, had one last lemon eis at portofino.

As a part of this last Sunday in Germany, I wanted to give you guys a bit of a tour of my every day life here in Freiburg, so here we go:

The Quad

KG II - A university building

Lecture Hall

UB 1 - The university Library

The Mensa - Cafeteria

KG I and III

My building is on the left

Saturday afternoon I packed up as much as I could and then that evening I met up with some friends for one last beer at Feierling. We were supposed to go see a play, but because it was in an outdoor theater and the weather was threatening to rain, the play got cancelled. It was nice to just sit around and talk over a drink one last time with my friends here.

I just got done cleaning the flat with Sarah and my room hasn’t looked this bare since the day I moved in in September. The floor is vacuumed and mopped and all that’s left is to wipe down my desk and nightstand. My two suitcases are packed and pretty much ready to go.

I’m allowed two 50lb suitcases and, since my scale is broken, I’m not exactly sure how much they weigh. My scale, even when there’s nothing on it still says that something weighs 3kg, which means that since I’m allowed 23kg per suitcase, technically that means that according to my scale I can have 26kg. However, since I’m so afraid of having an overweight suitcase, I’m really afraid to put anything more in the suitcase that’s already 23kg. We shall see.

The guy in charge of my building is coming around tomorrow at 8am to check the room and take away my keys and then I go to the train station where my train leaves at around 9am. I’ll be back in Minnesota by dinnertime.

I cannot believe that this is the end. Eleven months, almost to the day (Sept 11th – Aug 8th) and it’s pretty much over. I remember sitting at home in MN in September thinking that August was so far away and I was so afraid that I would hate being here and that I wouldn’t make any friends and that I’d have a miserable time. Instead, it has been the best year of my life.

As much as I’m dreading leaving tomorrow, and as much as I love Europe and Germany and Freiburg, it will be nice to see my family and friends again. In many ways, it’s all very bittersweet. I’ll write one last blog next Sunday to wrap everything up and then this is over.

I’ll leave you guys with what is probably the very last picture with some of my friends here in Freiburg.

After 11 months here in Freiburg Germany, there are a lot of things that I’m going to miss so I thought I’d put together a neat little list as a mid-week blog post. I’ll have a regular blog for you on Sunday, like normal

I’m going to miss:

Eating Bratwursts on the Münsterplatz and making a mess with the Senf and onions.

Danija needing Fanta to function

Carrying bags full of bottles back to the store to get my Pfand back

Being mistaken for a European (Either German, French or Spanish)

German German German

Knowing what to say but not how to say it

Having the Seepark in my backyard

Lemon Eis at Portofino

Taking the last tram into town on Friday and Saturday nights

Radlers

Paprika flavored potato chips

Lemon flavored pop

Having to decide between Pennymarkt and Edeka and always choosing Edeka because it’s half a block closer. Unless I need diet coke, and then it’s always Pennymarkt

Knowing that I am surrounded by the kind of history I want to spend my entire life studying.

Linie 1, richtung Landwasser, Haltestelle Am Bischofskreuz

StuSie

Hoarding food sent to me from home

Being made fun of for how I say Minnesota (Minnesohhda) by non-native English speakers

Trains

Skyping with the family

Augustinerplatz, Münsterplatz, Rathausplatz

Finding old WW2 memorabilia at the Flohmarkt

the Uni

KG I, II, III, IV and Breisacher Tor

Knocking on the table at the end of each lecture

Spending hours at Europa cafe reading and drinking tea

Printing all my reading for the week on Wednesday morning because I know I wont have to wait for a computer. I wont miss having class 8:30-10 though

My super comfy bed and awkwardly lumpy pillow

The Mensa… maybe

Bratwurst, Bockwurst, Currywurst

History

Having friends from all over the world

Filmabends, Karaoke and Party machen

Writing a weekly blog

Editing other people’s English papers

Having broken window shades that only roll up  3/4 of the way

Forgetting to only roll up my window shades 3/4 of the way and having to stand on the window sill to fix it

My friends. Seriously

Cheap German chocolate

Bertoldsbrunnen

Never being carded for alcohol

Weihnachtsmärkte and Glühwein

Feierling Beer

Traveling through Europe

The best year of my entire life (so far)

A Series of Lasts

07/31/2011

This week’s blog is coming to you, not from my room in the StuSie, but rather from the Uni library because, if you haven’t heard already, my laptop charger has been broken since last Tuesday and the replacement I ordered off ebay hasn’t come yet.

I didn’t realize how much I depended on my laptop until I didn’t have it anymore. The timing of this is both good and bad: good because it’s finals time here and this forces me to spend all the time I would have normally taken watching tv shows on “breaks” from studying, studying. However, it is decidedly bad timing because the last thing I need is more things to stress about during finals time. Also, because of decidedly non-finals related family things, this week was a bad time not to have access to skype. I feel somewhat bad about that, actually.

I should probably mention before we go any further, that there will be no photos this week, and for the first time this is not because I forgot to take pictures, but rather because I can’t upload photos on my computer until I get my charger. Sorry about that.

Tuesday was a long day. I went to the government office at 9:30am (for me, that’s extremely early) because my visa expired this last Thursday and I needed to get a special form to get through German customs next week. While I was there, I also unregistered my apartment. After that, I went back to campus and studied until 5pm, with only a break for lunch and a 1.5 hour class.

Wednesday I had my first final. It was for my class about the Freiburger Münster and I feel pretty alright about it. I mean, there were a couple things I wasn’t quite sure about, but I’m confident that I passed.

Mareike, the girl we met up with in Cologne was visiting some friends in Freiburg so we met up with her for lunch at Ligere. I got my wonderful eggroll salad again. I seriously love that salad.

Wednesday night, Yi Qing came over and we made hamburgers and went for a walk around the Seepark. It was a perfect evening to spend outside.

Thursday, besides picking up a paper from a professor, I literally spent the entire day studying for my Friday final. Thursday evening 11 of us met up for Yi Qing’s going away dinner. I was told a long time ago by one of my teachers to take a mental picture at big gatherings of friends and/or family because who knows when you may see them next. That’s the big thing about leaving next week; yes I’m bummed to be leaving Germany, but even more, it’s the fact that I’ll be leaving my friends that’s hard.

Thursday afternoon I met up with Danija. 30 minutes later, she had a tattoo. Unfortunaly I wasn’t allowed to watch, but it turned out nice. Don’t worry though, I would personally never think about getting a tattoo; piercings I’m alright with though.

Friday morning I had my final for my class on the UK under Margaret Thatcher and I feel pretty good about it.

I met up with Yi Qing after class at the Hauptbahnhof to see her off. We barely managed with her luggage between the two of us, I have no idea how she managed that on her own.

That made me think: 8 days from today, it’s going to be me standing on that platform waiting for the train to take me to the airport. Can anyone tell me where the last 11 months have gone?

Friday evening I met up with some friends for dinner. We decided that it’d be fun to dress up nice and go to a real restaurant. I have some really lovely pictures of us, but unfortunately I cannot show you yet. They’ll get up on Facebook eventually though.

Yesterday and today are and have been devoted entirely to studying for my last two finals tomorrow (Monday). It just so happens that they are also the two hardest ones as well. The first one is for my class about the Intellectuals and the second one is an oral exam about the Germans and Czechs in the first half of the 20th century. Wish me luck.

That’s about it for my second to last week here in Germany. This next week is going to be devoted to wrapping up as much as possible and enjoying the end of finals. But I’ll tell you all about it next week. And this time there will be photos.

Oh, and by the way, I might have a special surprise Blog on Wednesday, so check back then.

P.S. Since I’m writing this on a German keyboard where the Y and Z keys are switched, I tried my best to fix any typos, but if there is a random z at the end of a word that I somehow didn’t catch, that’s why.

Finals Time

07/24/2011

I’m in finals mode.

That’s right, we’re back in finals time.  I can hardly believe that this semester is almost over. It’s weirding me out.

As much as it is a bummer having it be in the low to mid 60’s every single day, it makes sitting inside and doing homework and studying much easier. Maybe it’s the fact that it permanently feels like September so my mind assumes I should be in school.

Alright, moving on to last week.

Sunday evening was the final game of the Womens world soccer cup and so a couple of us went to a bar and watched the US lose to Japan. It was a really good game, but the US team just couldn’t do it. They had so many chances to shoot goals and they messed them up. It ended up 2-2 in overtime, and had to be decided in sudden death. It was exciting.

I can sum up the next couple days quite easily because all I did was go to class, study, do homework and get lunch with other people. I’m definitely in finals mode.

The thing about the history department here, is that unlike at home where you get told what to expect from the test at the end almost from the very beginning, they don’t tell you here until the week beforehand. It was stressing me out.

Now that I know what kind of shape my finals will be taking and roughly what kind of information I need to know, I’m a lot less worried than before. I can do this.

I have a final this Wednesday, one on Friday and then two next Monday.

It’s rather obnoxious though, because the final on Friday is during the discussion section and since we still have a class period afterward, we have 60 pages of reading to do on top of studying. I mean, really? Pretty sure that’s not going to happen.

Thursday evening, like always, we went to Karaoke and this time, we actually sang a German song! We sang Westerland by Die Ärzte and a (very drunk) middle-aged woman dancing was so excited to hear the song that she broke a handful of bottles all over the dance floor.

Friday evening was very chill, I went over to my friend’s place and we watched a couple episodes of a tv show and then called it a night. I’m not the only one in finals mode.

The weather here has been ridiculous. It rains every day, and Friday it would rain really hard, clear up for 20 minutes and then rain again. The rainbow was a nice touch though.

Yesterday I tried really hard to study. I got rather a lot done considering the fact that Skype was being more of a distraction that usual. That’s okay though, because all in all I did a pretty good job of getting stuff done, it just took twice as long as it should have.

I met up with Yi Qing for dinner last night and had my Eggroll salad again. I seriously love that salad. Whoever decided to put mini eggrolls and salad together on the same plate was brilliant. I’d like to shake their hand.

After dinner we met up with some friends for a beer at Feierling. Normally when we go out for a drink I get a Radler, Feierling is the only exception. It’s really, seriously good.

Afterward we went to Uni Cafe, and because it was so chilly and rainy, we all ended up getting coffee or tea. I went home at about midnight because I have so much to do today, but I’m pretty sure they went on to some club. I just wasn’t in the mood to party.

Sorry my room is such a mess

Yesterday morning I made a trip to the post office to do something that only finalizes the fact that I’m going home in two weeks from tomorrow: I shipped a box home. For some reason, shipping to the States is a whole lot cheaper than shipping from there. For 9kg (roughly 20lbs), it cost 45 Euros which, in the scheme of things, really isn’t all that bad.

I got it there, no problem but not gonna lie, my shoulders are a bit sore this morning from carrying it.

I don’t know why my blogs have been getting so much shorter, but I honestly don’t have much more to say! Everything is winding down here, both at the University and my time abroad.

The thing is not that I don’t want to go home – I miss my family and friends – but I just don’t want to leave. I keep telling myself that I’m only going back to the states for now but I have a feeling that I’m going to end up doing my masters in America. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing history programs in the States, but I would love to be able to study European history in Europe.

I come home to a month of break in August, but it won’t be much of a break at all seeing as I have two 15 page papers to write, the GRE to study for and grad schools to research.

Sorry the title is so bad this week, I really couldn’t bother with thinking up anything better.

Finals start in a week an a half.

Let’s skip ahead to Wednesday this week, because honestly, the only thing I did on Monday or Tuesday that didn’t involve going to class or doing homework was going swimming in the Seepark Monday evening.

Wednesday was probably the easiest day of classes ever. Normally Wednesdays are rather rough simply because I have an awfully boring discussion section from 8:30-10 in the morning. This week however, we went to the library for a lesson on how to use their online databanks for research. Not only had I already done this same thing last semester, but the databanks they use here are the same ones we use at the UofM (although the U has access to far more). I somehow managed to get the only computer in the room that the instructor couldn’t see the screen of, and did my own thing for an hour and a half. It was lovely.

That afternoon we had class in the Münster. Basically, we just sat in the church and looked at stained glass windows for almost two hours. Even though it wasn’t the most exciting way to spend an afternoon, it’s rather cool to hear presentations about a building inside that building. It definitely makes it all easier to comprehend.

Also, we got to go into the part of the Altar that is normally corded off from visitors which I thought was pretty neat. I may still feel very lost in churches, but this class is definitely helping me to begin to understand it all.

Can you see why that was the easiest day of class ever? Love it.

That night I met up with Jamele and Danija in town and then we headed over to the bar Tacheles to watch the US vs. France women’s soccer game. The women’s soccer world cup is going on right now in Germany and Wednesday was the Semi-final game. I’d never watched a full game of soccer (or football as I’ve come to call it like the rest of the world, writing ‘soccer’ looks weird to me right now) and it was really quite exciting. I’m glad we beat the French (3-1).

Tonight is the final game against Japan and we’re going to go watch it somewhere and cheer for the US. I’m pretty sure our friend Asumi from Japan is coming with too, which should be fun.

Thursday was Karaoke again and it was so busy that we only had time for one song which was too bad because we were going to sing “Baby got back” as our second. Next week.

Friday, like everyone else in the world, we went to see Harry Potter. It’s funny though, because though the film opened in the States at midnight on Friday, the theater here has been screening it in German since Tuesday. I’m not quite sure how that works.

We saw it in English (though they accidentally played the first five minutes of the German film before realizing their mistake and switching it) and it was AMAZING. I laughed, I almost cried a couple times and I left the film feeling like I had just watched my entire childhood come to an end.

As melodramatic as that may sound, it’s rather true. I have been looking forward to reading and watching new Harry Potter books and films ever since my mom read me the first chapter when I was 9. I didn’t want to read the book, but she read the first chapter out loud and then, already hooked, I took the book and finished it on my own. I’ve grown up with Harry Potter – the books were always published in a way so that I was always the same age as Harry in the books (book 7 was published in 2007 so both Harry and I were 17). And even though the books are far better than the films, it was very bitter sweet knowing that I was going to see the last film. On one hand, I finally got to see how they interpreted the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort, and yet it was the end of the series. That’s it, done.

For all my expectations though, I was not disappointed.

Yesterday was a good day too. I did homework for a couple hours, went over to Jamele’s where she tried to faux-hawk my hair and then went to a concert. I use the word “tried” very deliberately because for all the time (and product) that we put into my hair, it just didn’t work out. I came home and almost immediately stuck my head in the sink.

I found something out yesterday while Jamele and Danija were doing my hair: I have a gray hair. That’s right folks, my first gray hair at 20. I always knew that I was going to have the salt & pepper look when I got older (which I honestly rather like the idea of), but the fact that I have a gray hair at 20 surprised me. It makes me feel old.

For the last three weeks or so, Freiburg has been playing host to the music festival ZMF. We had bought our tickets while we were in England in March when July had seemed so far away. I remember thinking that when we go to the concert, my time here would be winding down.

The set up of ZMF is rather German. Unlike in the States where you buy your food and/or beer and then walk around, they had countless rows of benches lined up in front of the places selling beer. It was nice to have a beer in that kind of summer festival atmosphere, it’s really a shame that I won’t be able to have one at the State Fair this year though.

After hanging out for a bit, it was time for the concert. The band we saw is called the Baseballs. They’re a German band, but what they do is rather fun. Instead of writing and performing their own songs, they take songs by Lady Gaga, Rihanna and others and then sing them in a rockabilly style. 

Though they weren’t the greatest live show ever, it was fun to go to a concert again. I feel like I go to one concert a year, and it’s always in the summer.

I don’t have much else fun to tell you guys about. Like I said at the beginning of the blog, my first final is a week from this Wednesday and I’m starting to get properly stressed out. It doesn’t help that they hardly even give you the slightest hint as to what will be on the final until just a week beforehand.

I have three more weeks here in Germany, and they’re gonna be some of the most stressful weeks I’ve had my entire time abroad.

I’m glad this week is over though, it was the first week since I’ve been here where it seemed to drag on forever. Looking back at it however, it was pretty alright.

Do you want to know where I’ll be one month from right now? Asleep in my bed in Minnesota. Can you believe I’ve been abroad for 10 months already? I don’t want to leave Europe.

But enough with that depressing train of thought, I have a whole new week to tell you guys about.

Monday, as I’m sure you all remember, was the 4th of July and even though it was still just a very normal day here in Germany, we had a little 4th of July party of our own. We all met up at Jamele’s place that evening and introduced all our European friends to some of the wonderfully American foods that I always just assumed everyone ate. Things like celery and peanut butter (unfortunately no raisins though) and Kool-aid.

My grandparents had sent me a little package with some patriotic tootsie pops and Kool-aid which I brought to our little party. It was rather funny to see some people’s faces after telling them that Kool-aid is simply sugar and water and artificial blue coloring.

The celery and peanut butter also got more than its fair share of skeptical looks, but even my friend Valentin who, if something is not from France, almost automatically dismisses it, thought it was pretty alright. Success.

We tried really hard to find some kind of fireworks to play with, but we couldn’t even find sparklers which was rather sad. The Fourth of July without fireworks is weird. At least my friend was able to find an American flag at the dollar store.

On Thursday I had time to kill before meeting up with a friend for lunch so I wandered over to Münsterplatz and saw that they had put up a huge sign in the entryway to the Münster welcoming the Pope. Apparently he’s coming for a visit in September, and they’re already really excited.

The Protestant/Catholic divide is still very much a reality here in Europe and Freiburg is, and has always been a hub of Catholicism.

Thursday evening we went to Karaoke after getting a small dinner at a cafe on the bank of the Dreisam river. The last couple weeks karaoke has been rather dead, but there were a lot of people this week and when Mari, Yi Qing and I sang Mamma Mia by Abba, people loved it. We absolutely killed it.

Friday evening my friend came over and we made Latkes. I had brought back a box of Manischewitz Latke mix and despite the fact that I’ve never had Latkes from a mix before, they were actually really good. In fact, just because Latkes are such a pain to make from scratch, I think I’ll stick with this mix from here on.

Not only did they turn out delicious, but they confused the hell out of me because my mind immediately assumed that since I was making Latkes, I should be lighting the Menorah and maybe, if I was lucky, I’d be getting a small present as well. My mind was about six months off, ah well.

Yesterday evening I met up with some friends at Augustinerplatz to chill and have a couple drinks. The Germans (and apparently other European cultures as well) do this thing where, as part of the bachelor party, they go around trying to sell drinks and snacks and making the groom-to-be do stupid things. There are always multiple groups on Friday and Saturday nights, and last night, it included a guy dressed in Lederhosen and a huge hat being forced to sing some Luxembourgish song to all of us sitting there. It was quite funny.

It was a really nice night, and despite the fact that it was supposed to rain, it was almost completely clear. It was nice to just chill outside for a couple hours and the atmosphere at Augustinerplatz is always really great. Its just a bunch of students hanging out with their friends drinking a couple beers. Love it.

Well that’s about it for this week. Since I only have a month left, not only am I trying to do as much as I can with my friends, but I’m also going to have to start really studying for finals and working on term papers. My first final is in two weeks and then 3 more the week after. I have two essays due next week and two 15 page term papers that I’ve only begun to research.

Things are about to get a whole lot more stressful.

As much as I love the German language and hearing it everyday and speaking it and all that, I’m rather looking forward to having all my classes in English again.

I’m doing one of my term papers on Theodore Herzl and the relationship between Zionsim and the Dreyfus Affair and so I read his book Der Judenstaat (in English: The Jewish State) yesterday. It was really fascinating to read the original outline of what would, in 50 years, become the State of Israel.

Did you know that the main reason I wanted to learn German was so that I could read texts from the Nazi era in their original German? This also means that because Herzl was Austrian, I get to read his texts in the original as well. The thought that I’m reading the exact words that various men of history wrote is fascinating to me. It seems so much more real than reading a translation, although there’s nothing wrong with that either.

I’m going to be so sad when I have to go back to the States in a month. I just got to think of it as only going back  for now, because I will live in Europe again. I have to.