Kids at Heart

12/19/2010

Normally, having a professor say only good things about a presentation you just gave is something to be proud of, a pleasant and reassuring surprise. Here however, its hard to know whether the praise you are getting is because you gave a genuinely good presentation, or if, because you’re a foreigner and a non-native speaker, they’re just saying that for someone in your position you did surprisingly well.

I gave a presentation on Monday with a German girl, and the professor had only good things to say about my half, but had some critique for hers. Also, about a month ago, I wrote an essay for this same professor, and so did another German girl. Once again, I got no negative feedback, while she did. I would like to believe that, because both these girls are in their first semester, they just havent gotten the hang of Uni expectations yet, but there’s a part of me that leans towards the fact that the professor is probably just telling me what I want to hear. No point stressing about it, but its something thats hard not to wonder about, you know?

Tuesday was what was probably our last movie Tuesday of 2010. We saw a Swedish film (dubbed in German, of course) called “Ein Mann von Welt,” which was, for lack of a better term, interesting. Weird is also another word I could use.

On Wednesday after class, my friend Danija from Latvia and I went shopping for Christmas presents. It wouldnt be so hard if I didnt feel like whatever it was that I wanted to give someone had to be distinctly German. It narrows down my options by quite a lot, you know.

I finally got a haircut Wednesday evening, which is all well and good, except my hair is shorter now than it has ever been in my entire life. The hard thing about haircuts is that since I cannot wear my glasses, I cant properly see what exactly the person is doing. To make a long story short (seriously), I asked for 3.5cm off, and got slightly more taken off in the process. I like it short, but I think I’ll like it more in like two weeks or so. It is definitely the shortest I’ve ever had it.

I spent about 20 minutes at home on Thursday… I had to stay late on campus and then came back, twenty minutes later went out for the night. Made for a fun, but pretty freaking long day.

Our traditional dinner thing continued this Friday with my friend Lucia from Italy. She made some deep fried pizza pocket-ish things, a quiche (now thats a word I had to google…) and other tasty things. Unfortunately I didnt manage to get any photos, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. We made it an early night however, because the next day (yesterday) we were going to Heidelberg.

The State (or Land) that the city of Freiburg is in is called Baden-Württemberg, and the German rail system has this deal where for 29 Euros, you and four other people can take regional trains, buses and trams anywhere in Baden-Württemberg on any day of your choice. It’s a pretty good deal.

We took a train from Heidelberg to Offenburg, from Offenburg to Karlsruhe where we had an hour wait and took a quick walk through a park, and then from Karlsruhe to Heidelberg. The whole trip, including waiting time, took roughly three hours.

Heidelberg has a beautiful castle above it that looks over the entire city. Its quite a climb getting up there, but the view is spectacular.

The best part of the castle however, had nothing at all to do with the view, the architecture or ruins, no, it was the snow. I have no idea how it started, but we all ended up covered in snow, running around this lawn area behind the castle like kids right after the first snow of the year. After something like that, there is nothing better than hot cocoa from a small cafe just down the hill.

After warming up a bit, and trying to dry our coats and gloves off as much as possible, we went back down into the city and wandered around different parts of the christmas market and came across something wonderful, an outdoor ice rink.

Pretty sure it’s been like five years since I went ice skating, but somehow, I managed to only fall over twice. The first time was entirely my fault, the second time was because my roomie and I wanted to see if we could spin around in a circle together… we couldnt. My shoulder took a nice hit on that one, It’ll be sore for the next couple days, that’s for sure.

It felt so remarkably like Christmas, with the snow and the ice and the lights and everything. It was pretty amazing. Germany really knows how to make you feel like you’re in a story book.

After a snowball fight, over an hour of ice skating and an afternoon of wandering around, by the time we got on the train to head back to Freiburg, we were pretty wiped out. In fact, it felt remarkably like we were little kids who got all wound up and then crashed immediately afterwards.

The way back was slightly less organized, because since we didnt know when we would want to come back, we couldnt plan ahead. We ended up taking a train from Heidelberg to Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe to Baden-Baden, from there to Offenburg where we had over an hour to kill so we ended up in this small restaurant eating döner kebabs, and then finally from Offenburg to Freiburg. Long day.

I’ve gotta say though, that yesterday was definitely one of the best days I’ve had in the 3.5 months that I’ve been in Freiburg. Heidelberg is a gorgeous city, and Christmastime definitely agrees with it. If you’re ever in the area around this time of year, I highly recommend it.

Well then, I think that’s pretty much it for this week. I have class until Thursday and then Winter break until the 9th of January. Let me tell you something, as much as I wish I could be going home for break like everyone else, there is nowhere I would rather be than here in Germany. In fact, I have a perfect solution, why dont you all just come over here for the next three weeks? I get to see friends and family, and you get to see Europe. Pretty much a win-win, right?

Honestly though, I found out today for sure that I will be back in the cities between April 8-22!! Yay!!

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One Response to “Kids at Heart”

  1. Mark Bennett Says:

    Sarah, I love your blog. It brings back memories of my time in Germany. About that haircut, though, we men have always known that the difference between a good haircut and a bad one is about two weeks.


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