Motrin is an addiction. Probably not the best thing for me, but there are ceratinly worse things.
One of the bones in my hand is broken. The fracture didn’t show up on the x-rays they took last week, but a very annoying MRI today did show it. The doctors keep giving me weird looks as to why I waited 6 weeks to figure this out. I don’t know. Monday I’ll have the answer to the next big question: what are they going to do about it?
I spent the last weekend in Regensburg, a town in Bavaria sometimes called Germany’s best-preserved medieval city. I was accompanied by the regular crew, and we had a great time, as we usually manage to do. I really wish I had been able to stay a bit longer yesterday just to see more of the town, but Justin and Kyle were tired. Wimps.
The town is charming, but the middle of January is definately not the height of the tourist season. Don’t get me wrong, that’s nice, and that’s usually my goal when travelling if I have the choice. But our first impression of the town was walking quite a ways to a really cool looking youth hostel in a 300 year old building only to find out that the hostel was closed until the 30th of January. But we ended up in a bed and breakfast type hotel that was a big step up from youth hostel life, so that worked out well after all.
Regensburg sits at the intersection of the Regen River (hence the name) and the Danube, which makes for nice scenery. When we woke up Sunday morning there was frost on everything and the trees along the river were beautiful. The town’s cathedral and Reichstag Museum are definately worth a visit, but I’ll spare you the travel book entry and just say go see it for yourself. For someone interesting in history it’s a paradise.
And for a town without much nightlife we managed to have a pretty good time on Saturday night 😉
Geez, that was harder than I thought. I don’t think I’ve done any creative writing since maybe sophomore year of high school and I really don’t like it very much any more. I just had to write a (very) short story for my Irish Short Stories class and it took forever. Maybe that’s saying something about my writing skills in general at the moment…
I know it’s been a while, but here is the lastest installment in the Kyle saga. He is a self-proclaimed drug user, and abuser, and pot head, and we’ve seen plently of evidence in the last few months to believe that’s completely true. His experience with drugs, however, does not seem to extend to buying them, only using them. In a city like Frankfurt- the drug capitol of Germany we’ve been told – pot and hash are for sale on practically every corner and all of us have been offered drugs at some point. All of us except Kyle, apparently. Which is funny, because I don’t think I come across as much of a drug user, and I’m certainly not. But anyhow, there was another comical night when Kyle was trying to buy hash from some Turkish guys at a Döner Kebap stand who definately had it, just wouldn’t sell it to him. And he was so pissed off after that night that he must have gone out a couple days later determined to buy some. He found some guy on the street somewhere who said he had hash and led him into a dark alley. The whole time the guy was acting really shady and nervous and he said there were police around so they had to be quick. He showed Kyle some stuff, which he said he couldn’t see very well. So Kyle paid the guy 30 euros and brought it home. Back in his room he took a look at it and thought it looked a little funny. He smoked a little and said it didn’t get him very high. So he called Dave and Justin over to check it out. The minute they walked into his room it was obvious that Kyle had bought a pile of granite rocks and pebbles. He bought 6 grams of rock. And paid 30 euros for it. And smoked it.
On the morning of the 1st I took a train with my parents to meet my sister in Berlin for some sort of family vacation type thing. In the last several years I’ve found it increasingly frustrating to travel with my family, but it went better than I had expected. This was my first time in Berlin, and it’s an amazing city. It’s fascinating to me to see how exposed their history is; you can see it everywhere. Unfortunately I was only able to stay until Monday evening because I had to come back for classes, but I definately intend to go back sometime when I have more of an opportunity to see the city.
Here’s a funny tidbit that I doubt anyone will find as funny as I did. But anyhow, in Berlin my dad was looking for an ATM, which in German is called a Geldautomat. My sister, trying to be helpful, said she had seen a sign for a gelato-mat in the train station. Apparently she didn’t see the letter D in the word, and thought it was pronounced like the Italian word for ice cream.
Liz came back to Frankfurt Thursday night because her flight back home was on Friday morning. Some of my friends and I took her out, in an area completely across the city. The last tram that would take us back an area near here that we could walk home from left at 1:30. Only that was wrong and the last one only went as far as the main train station, which is still way across town. So at 2 am we started the hour long walk home and none of us were very happy about it. But we made it home, and she caught her flight the next morning so it’s all good.
After class Friday afternoon I hopped on a train again and went to meet my parents in Zürich and see my cousins and such. I still think it was kind of a pointless trip. I arrived at 10 on Friday night, ate dinner, and then pretty much went to sleep not long after. Saturday my cousin showed us around some, but really all I saw was the Swiss national museum, which was extremely boring, and the Grossmünster church. I love traveling by train, but I’ve been on so many of them recently that it feels like it’s becoming an almost weekely occurance. Which I guess isn’t a bad thing. So now my parents are gone too and I can relax and quit entertaining people. And get alot more sleep than I did when they were here. Boo for people who get up super early.
Yesterday I went for a really long walk, pretty much all over the city. But that was the first time I’ve been through the downtown business area of town during daylight hours, and it’s a much more interesting place than I had thought. There are all sorts of interesting office buildings, wacky sculptures, random parks, and a few much older buildings that look like they could be pre-war. We also ended up at the main train station, which is in the middle of Frankfurt’s red light district. That was the first time I’ve walked throught the real heart of the district, and it was pretty entertaining. A little reminiscent of Amsterdam. The contrast between that neighborhood, and the business district that it borders is rather striking.
As predicted, Christmas was fun, but not at all like Christmas really. On the 26th, Aaron Heckleman came through for part of the day. It was fun to see him and hang out for a bit, even though there wasn’t much to do around here because the entire city was still closed down for Christmas. But he did get to order a beer from McDonalds, which made his day. He was supposed to spend New Year’s Eve with us, but unfortunately for him, that didn’t work out and he was in the middle of nowhere.
My parents flew into Frankfurt on the morning of the 31st. I spent the day walking around with them and again everything in Frankfurt was closed after about 2 pm. We went out to dinner and then they headed to their hotel and left me free to celebrate New Year’s. Dave and I bought some fireworks (which they sell in department stores here) and went down to the river around midnight because we’ve heard that’s the best thing that happens in Frankfurt all year. And that just might be true. There are thousands of people along the banks of the Main, and though there’s no official firework display everybody has their own and there are fireworks everywhere for 45 minutes straight. It’s pure insanity: drunk people everywhere with explosives that they can’t or don’t care to aim away from the other people. There were big party boats on the river and people were shooting fireworks at the boats. I don’t know how people don’t die during this every year, or at the very least get seriously injured. That was all pretty crazy, but the most entertaining part of the night, by far, was mischief with fireworks in Dave’s kitchen after we got back. I have some really good short videos of that, and some day if you’re lucky maybe you’ll get to see them.
Never fear, things are still going well here in Deutschland. My not so brilliant escapades of 2 weeks ago involved running around in the freezing cold as we were walking back from a bar one night and falling down when i ran into someone. The fun ended pretty quickly when I realized I had a badly sprained ankle and did something very painful to my wrist. And neither has gotten much better because I refuse to stop walking and doing stuff I probably shouldn’t be doing. I hate being incapacitated. But hey, look on the bright side. It’s somewhat entertaining to watch the color change of the bruising all over my foot. It’s completely purple right now. Enough about injuries…Yesterday was my last day of class for the year. Yipee! Which means that I have a week and a half free, but not completely free because I actually need to do some school work.
My sister was in Frankfurt all last week, and she spent most of the week in my room sleeping. Exciting. Today she’s on her way to Hamburg, where hopefully she’ll be a little more social and do something interesting. And my dad came through Frankfurt again last week also. We spent lots of time at the Weihnachtsmarkt, which sadly closed last night. Tragic, really. I went to the Netherlands again for a few days at the beginning of the week because Elizabeth wanted to see Amsterdam and I didn’t want to send her off there by herself; it was much more enjoyable than last time. And there are hilarious stories that no one seems to think are anywhere near as funny as Dave, Liz and I do. So I’ll spare you all.
I made a big grocery shopping trip today, involving multiple stores. The Germans are all hardcore about Christmas, so the stores will be closed for 3 days or something while they celebrate. Everyone keeps giving me weird looks when I say that I have no real plans for Christmas, but I dont’ mind. I guess I kind of miss that I won’t be at home, but I’m also looking forward to a laid-back, almost non-existant, Christmas. And Dave and Jesse are around too, so I’m sure we’ll do something. It may turn out to be more along the lines of wild and crazy than lazy, but a non-traditional Christmas will be nice for a change.
Tonight’s plan: go to Mr Lin’s with Jesse, Christian, and Dave, and eat the best Thai food in the world. It’s been a week since we were last there, which means it’s time to go again.
Enjoy the pictures! 🙂
Do you ever feel like you just need a break from life? That’s the way I felt pretty much all week. In other news, I got hit on by a man at a bus stop yesterday; that sucked. The Christmas market is open here in Frankfurt and that’s one of my favorite things about Germany. I intend to waste many an hour just walking around there, watching the people, inhaling the wonderful smells that come from every stand. The whole pedestrian zone downtown is decorated for the holidays and when I can get down there on a nice day with a camera, I will take lots of pictures. There are a few more trips in the works here, including a seminar in Mainz next weekend. But for the most part the plans are under wraps at the moment so I’ll let you all know later. My dad is coming back through town once or twice in the next couple weeks and my sister is coming over in about 2 weeks also. It will be good to see both of them.
Ok, it’s time for me to get down to work. My first assignment for any of my classes is due on Tuesday morning. All 500 words of it! I really can’t complain about the workload for classes here. Now, to the writing.
Today really was the perfect day, so far anyhow. When I left for my class this afternoon it was sunny and lightly snowing. Where the snow came from, I don’t know, because there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Unheard of for Germany. We ate lunch at the good cafeteria and then went to the Vietnam War class. We sat there chatting with a funny German guy for 30 minutes and when the teacher didn’t show up everybody left. That’s the second week in a row that class has been cancelled, which is pretty bad for a class that only meets once a week. Well now I have time to go for a run and then we’re going out to Sachsenhausen tonight. Cheerio!