The Germans have some weird habits, and after 10 months here I still can’t figure some of them out. Yes, it’s summer. And it’s quite hot. And there’s no air conditioning anywhere. But I, and the majority of the population of Germany still leave the house completely dressed, meaning shirt and pants of some sort. But there is a select group of somewhat overweight German men of ALL ages who do not feel compelled to wear a shirt in public. Now, I’ll grant that this is acceptable in certain circumstances, such as: near the beach, while engaged in sport, maybe when you have a body worth showing off. But the rest of us are just as tired of the hot weather and we manage to stay clothed; why are these men excused? I know that most German citizens feel the same way that I do because you see people giving underclothed men nasty looks all the time, particularly on subway trains when they’re forced to share personal space. I guess I’ll never know.
I’m starting to think that the weather is just trying to spite me. There were big snow storms everywhere else in Germany this week, but somehow not in Frankfurt. Twice this week I woke up and the internet would say it was snowing but when I looked outside there was nothing at all falling from the sky. And waiting for a bus to get to class one day we saw a car drive by that had a few inches of snow on the convertible top. It’s a tease. We’ll get snow eventually, and until then I’m waiting (almost) patiently.
Somehow I’ve managed not to get sick this week while everyone around me looks like they’re dying. But I’m sure my turn is next. I had to skip class this morning because after several days of minimal sleep, I couldn’t sleep last night at all and I ended up with a really bad headache. But I feel much better now.
We were all supposed to go to dinner at Mr Lin last night. But Kyle says he’s sick of the one dish he’s willing to eat because it doesn’t have vegetables, and he doesn’t want to go anymore. And when it was time to go last night, Justin was nowhere to be found. So Dave and I went anyhow, had a great meal. And then walked around near the main campus in search of a new bar. We ended up in this little place on a corner in the middle of a neighborhood. We got funny looks when we walked in because we were the only people under 50 and probably the only people who don’t spend every night there. The people sitting around the bar were talking to eachother in Italian, and at one point an old man started getting really upset and yelling at this woman in Italian. It was quite a sight to watch. The bartender/waitress was just sitting there smoking and drinking all night, and taking her time about serving us. Then she left and some guy who looked like he had just woken up, but somehow managed to have downed 5 or 6 drinks already, started serving us. We tried to pay and leave but he got really confused about what we had had to drink and we probably could have gotten out for a dollar. It was entertaining, anyhow.
I must get some sleep tonight; we leave for Amsterdam in the morning. Pictures and stories when I get back next week, I’m sure.
Walking down the street in Mainz last weekend we came across this bar. Translated, the name means “Bar to Hell.”
You may remember that I had problems with the German postal system when I first got here. Well, here’s the latest postal mishap, which frankly, didn’t suprise me much at all. I went to the post office yesterday to mail my absentee ballot for the election. It was larger and heavier than a normal envelope so rather than use the automated stamp machine I went inside to have them weigh it and make sure it had the correct postage. So the woman put a stamp on it and stuck it in the mail. Today I opened my mailbox to check my mail and I find none other than my absentee ballot, in my mailbox. It was supposed to go to the USA!!! Why was it in my mailbox? So I took it back to the post office and the lady didn’t appear suprised at all at what had happened. Apparently they sent it to the return address. But maybe they do that often here, I don’t know. It’s Germany. So she put a blank sticker over the return address and put it in the mail again. Hopefully this time it’s on its way to Houston…