A Quick Lesson in Compare and Contrast

10/17/2010

Yesterday I had mincemeat cake and real English tea, you know, with milk in it. How posh. At risk of sounding ignorant and stupid, I had always assumed that mincemeat was, well, meat. Turns out its just like mixed fruit, almost like haroset.

The Germans are really casual about liquor. They served Sekt (sparkling wine) at the welcome speech last week, and then after a tour of the city the other day, we were given Kirschwasser (cherry schnapps). Have you ever been on a normal tour and then been given liquor? Only in Germany…

The tour guide spoke only in English, which was kind of a bummer, but his English was really funny. The guy could not say V. Did you know that Freiburg was founded as a Willage in a Walley?

I know I said that I wouldnt write more nerd things after last week, but I just cannot help myself. The main street of downtown Freiburg is called Kaiser-Josef Straße. Its a wide street, lined with shops on either side, has got trams running up, down and across it and the southern end is crowned by Martinstor, one of two remaining old city gates. There was a 12 year period when this street wasnt known as Kaiser-Josef Straße however, because from 1933-1945, Kaiser-Josef Straße was Adolf-Hitler Straße.

These two pictures are of the same street, the same tower but in very different times. The photo on the left was taken during the 1930’s, and the photo on the right is one I took earlier this afternoon. There are some architectural differences, as Freiburg was heavily bombed a few years after the photo on the left was taken, but it is clearly the same place. Cant get much more real than that.

Just a thought in passing: Why does the dollar freaking suck so much right now?

I’ve begun to cook a lot more. For dinner the other day, I made sauteed zucchini with garlic and shallots and angel hair pasta. Then, because I have leftovers, but not enough to make an entire meal out of, I made garlic bread. Delish.

I dont know why Friday evening was so special, but apparently it meant enough to someone here that they sponsored a rather impressive fireworks display over the lake in my backyard. Basically, I got to watch a very legitimate fireworks display from my bedroom window. It was the first time I was happy windows here dont have screens.

Fun Fact: Germany has some of the strictest privacy laws in Europe. Because of all the personal privacy infringements over the last century here in Germany (Nazi Gestapo, East German Stasi), the launching of Google’s Street View here this November is causing some fuss. The launch is going ahead as planned, but I just think it’s interesting that there is so much concern over something that to me seems like such a non issue.

One last nerdy thing. In my last blog, I mentioned the tour guide making excuses for a man named Martin Heidegger. Completely on accident, I stumbled across a free documentary about him, his philosophy and his Nazi involvement. Just something I found interesting.

Winter semester starts tomorrow and I’m somewhat stressing out about it… Wish me luck!

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2 Responses to “A Quick Lesson in Compare and Contrast”

  1. Robyn Says:

    Good luck tomorrow! I’ve been thinking about you lots today, knowing tomorrow is the big start of classes. I am sure you will do sooooo well.

    You probably won’t have as much time for writing your blog, but I look forward to hearing more of your experiences.

    And as to why does the dollar suck so much now? Because you’re there, not here!

  2. Max Schafer Says:

    I love it when you’re nerdy.


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