And The Tempo Begins to Quicken

10/08/2010

I just got back from Sarah’s birthday party. She’s French in case the number of Sarahs here is confusing. It was fun, we baked her a cake and it was nice to drink wine instead of beer. There is a wine here that is only available for three weeks out of the year because it is really new and therefore tastes just like juice. Delicious, although very sweet. Tasted rather like honey or figs or something.

I met a guy from Finland this evening. Apparently his dad subscribes to a Scandinavian newspaper that is published in our area (Mid-West) every month or so. It was really quite interesting to talk to him because even though we are from entirely different parts of the world, Minnesota shares so much with that region that he was quite easy to talk to.

Except for with my flatmate, and rather often with her too, I speak only German. With the amount of international students I am meeting, there is no guarantee that they speak English but it is fairly safe to assume that they know German. Its great to know that I can spend an entire evening carrying on a conversation with people from France, England, Spain and Finland in a language that is none of our mother tongues.

I had to drop off a form at the History Department yesterday and while I was there I picked up a couple flyers with info on lectures, readings and tours open to the public and almost all free of charge. The only one that costs anything is a tour of the different places in the city that still show traces of damage from bombings in WW2. That, I can already tell, is going to be 5€ well spent. The other ones that look quite interesting have to deal with the 70th anniversary of the deportation of Baden’s Jews to Gurs. There are some seminars in the next week or so that I cannot wait to go to.

It’s amazing because when I learn about this stuff at home, its just German history, but when I’m here it seems so much more real. Maybe because I am living here in this city and so therefore, I am so involved in its present history that I also am drawn to its past. Its fascinating, and I really cannot get enough of it. If there was ever any trace of doubt that history is what I wanted to spend my life studying, that tiny, minuscule sliver of doubt is gone. History is my passion, and I am living smack dab in the center of it.

In the Uni, there is this plaque with all the names of the students who fought and died in WW1 and then a separate plaque beneath it for the victims of the Holocaust and the NS regime in general. I mention this because I think it is important to note that though there were certainly students who died fighting in WW2, their names are nowhere to be found. The German Army, not the SS or Sonderkomandos but the regular Army, lost roughly 2.8 million soldiers, surely some of them studied at Uni Freiburg. This is just something I noticed, and it sparked my interest. It’s always the small things that say the most about big issues.

My flatmate and I have been waging a steady war on our kitchen. Yesterday, we cleaned all the cutlery, the glasses, plates and bowls. Today we cleaned the oven, floor, table(we took the ugly plaid tablecloth off) and stove top. We’re like bona fide cleaning ladies. After working up an appetite last night I made the most delicious and amazing thing ever. Potatoes, onions, spinach, summer sausage and pepper. Nom nom nom nom.

Orientation is pretty much over. For the next week or so there are occasionally little tours and such that we can go on, but the lecture orientation part is over. Thank G-d. It was really boring.

Today, part of the lecture was an introduction to student organizations. All but one of them were Christian organizations. There are no Jews here. None. Zero. It’s not even mentioned. I’m so used to being places where there are always other Jews, but it’s just not part of the conversation here. Not that I feel threatened or have noticed any anti-Semitism, its just ambivalence. Like we’re not really here. It’s definitely different.

Some of the state holidays here include All Saints day, Corpus Christi, Ascension, and I even get 5 days off in June for Pentecost. Outside of some Wikipedia searches I just made, I have no idea what any of those holidays are. Probably just more excuses to eat Chinese food and go to movies or something.

Advertisements

3 Responses to “And The Tempo Begins to Quicken”

  1. Lauren Mistelske Says:

    Sarah, I’m so glad that you’re enjoying yourself there! It sounds like you’re having a lot of fun!
    Question: Are you majoring in history? I didn’t know that!


  2. […] anyways, we went into town and wandered through a street fair that had been set up. In one of the first posts I wrote in Freiburg I mentioned that for a couple weeks in the fall you can get a special very […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: