Monday, December 22, 2008


Mostly because I'm lazy and so many others have already done this... I'm not gonna really give you a post about Christmas. Germans love their Christmas, everyone knows this. So if you wanna see the Weihnachtsmarkt (that's the Christmas Market downtown) here's a link to my friend Michelle's blog. She's got some good video footage of what the downtown looks like. Enjoy!


Merry Christmas to one and all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


One of the things I've learned about German etiquette, is that you don't have to ask if you need take your shoes off when you enter someones house, you just do, ALWAYS. However the Germans are kinda crazy about keeping everything covered.(Hence the scarf madness, seriously everyone wears them all the time.) So they're very big fans of of slippers, or house shoes as they call them. So naturally they do not expect their guests to walk around in socks, you would get sick! So most Germans keep extra pairs of slippers sitting around in their entryway, just for guests. In one store I even saw a kinda bag you hang on the wall just for your "guest slippers." I think that's just really awesome, I think it makes a people feel so much more comfortable. I keep thinking should buy one of those and try to bring it back to America, but I think a lot of Americans would find that weird. But it definitely keeps your carpets cleaner.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My First "Lost in Translation" Experience

Funny story... The senior missionary couple were hosting a large dinner, with the 3 sets of misionaries, 5 people who the missionaries were teaching, and me.(14 people all together) To begin, there's a joke all the female missionaries have about their "German Baby" caused by eating way too much of the tasty German food.

So after this dinner (which once again caused everyone to overeat from tastiness), I was standing in the kitchen with the Senior missionary sister, and two men. The Sister speaks almost no German, and these to men spoke almost no English, so I was the one best suited for translation when gesturing didn't cut it. (not a good situation) Well the sister made a comment about her "German Baby" and one of the men thought she was talking about me, so I attempted to explain this concept of gaining wait and joking about how you're pregnant. I thought I did an okay job... not perfect grammer but most of the right words. Until several minutes later, the other man looked at me and asked "so are you pregnant?" I'm not sure if what I said implied that or if he just wasn't paying attention, either way I turned bright red and adamently assured him that no, I was not in any way pregnant.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

They love them that English

Okay so before I came to Germany I was on a crusade to stop the American use of the word "ueber" for several reasons; one being the inability of English speakers to say the umlauted "U", but mostly because they have no idea how to use it (it means over if you would say over don't say ueber). However I am officially giving that up.
My thought was if you want to ruin your own language fine, but you shouldn't ruin other peoples. Apparently nobody else thinks that, especially the Germans. Most people here have at least a rudimentary knowledge of English, enough to deal with the tourist. So advertising in English is a really big thing, "put it in English, it's cooler." Unfortunately they don't seem to get actual English speakers to develop this advertising, they just insert English adjectives like "super" Deluxe" and "Amazing." So they don't really understand the differences between all these words and you get signs saying "we have DELUXE deals" which sounds terrible. I keep finding shirts that are supposed to be cool but just sound very proper like: "I am not a model. I just look like I am one" and "I am born to reign" I just keep laughing at the things that really aren't supposed to be funny.
So appreciate your English. Congratulations you are speaking the coolest language in the world.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I thought the Germans liked order...

I have decided that church here is insane. For those of you who don't know this is how church is supposed to go. It lasts three hours. the first hour is Sacrament meeting, after that is an hour of Sunday School, then an hour for Relief Society or Priesthood, Primary, wherever you go. That's not how they do it in Germany, In the 5 weeks I have been here, they've had Sunday School once. The first week Sacrament ran over, like 20 minutes, so they decided to cancel it. The second week church actually seemed to run on schedule. The next week was General Conference so that has to be on schedule (the people in Utah make sure of that). Last week was Ward conference, I'm not sure if it was supposed to, but Sacrament meeting went for about 2 hours, so once again they just canceled Sunday school. Today all the toilets in the building were broken so they just ended church after Sacrament meeting. I'm wondering if I just came at a really bad time or if this is normal. I feel bad for the people that prepare lessons for the Sunday School classes that never happen. My main problem with this is that I still don't understand most of what's being said, so I never know quite where to go after Sacrament meeting, because I always feel like I should be going to Sunday school.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Life at the Uni

University started this week and it's so different from how college is in the States I thought I'd highlight the differences.

First of all, it is University. Not college, not school, University. If a university student said they were going to school, people would be very confused. School refers to "grundschule" or elementry school. Around 12 that they go on to either "Hochschule" which is essentially a trade school or "gymnasium" which is basically the equiventlent of a college prep high school. Those who finish Gymnasium take a test covering everything they've learned in the past 6 years to recieve their "Abitur" which qualifies them to attend University.

The second major difference is that in true German form, everything is plotted out when you begin and does not change. Everytime I tell someone here that I changed my major, I get a look of complete shock. Classes here don't have prerequesites, they simply tell you what semester you have to take it in. So when you look at a class and it says 7th semester that means it's fairly advanced.

Thirdly, the credit system is completely different. When I first got here and I heard someone say they needed to get 30 credits this symester I was shocked. I thought they were being rediculous. Then I started looking at the classes, and realised that most classes are worth 5 or 6 credits, so 30 isn't really that much. The problem with that is I have no idea how my credits will transfer when I get home, personally I think they should be waited more heavily because I'm in a foreign country which makes everything more difficult.

The last major difference is the only one I was somewhat prepared for. Classes are only 1 1/2 hours a week, but they expect you to really work outside of class. It's not the simple read a chapter in this book... they want you to research your subject. But with the way the Germans think of University that makes perfect sense.

Friday, October 3, 2008

How did I not know this!

So this is a first, 2 posts in one day, I know it's amazing. However since I promised to post funny stories, I just had to throw this one out there and let you all laugh at me.... So today was my first day almost since I got here when I had nothing to do. So I thought I'll get some shopping done, actually stock up on some real food, since I was basically out of everything except some rice. So I googled the closest Aldis and walked over. When I got there it was completely closed, this was 4 in the afternoon. I was a little surpised by this, but I knew that Aldis keeps pretty limited hours and figured that they closed early on Fridays. So I started walking to the other grocery store that's close to my apartment, it was about 4:30 when I got there, and they were also closed. I was really surprised at this, because I've seen them open in the pretty late evening. However I needed food so I thought, okay I'll walk downtown to the train station, there should be some food there (the train station is huge! It has an Aldis inside of it) So I got there about 5 and the Aldis there is closed as well. But the Hauptbahnhof (train station) is packed, I'm starting to get pretty suspicious at this point. Something weird has to be going on today. So because I have no food I stop at a bakery in the Hauptbahnhof, get something to munch on for today, and head home, it now being 5:30 and I've been walking around for an hour and a half, for just Half an hour in the insanely crowded Hauptbahnhof, and those of you who know me know how much I hate crowds. So I'm exausted, feeling slightly anxious from all the people, and beyond confused as to way the entire city is closed on a Friday. So I go back to my apartment jump on google and type in "October 3rd Germany" To very quickly discover that today is "Reunification Day" The day East and West Germany became one country again, equal basically to our 4th of July.

My question is with all of the orientation that I've been having for the last 3 weeks why did no one think it important to mention this? I think I heard about it in one of my classes at home, but I havn't heard a single thing about it in this country that has completely closed for the day.

Crazy Germans!

Before I came here i thought I had a decent handle on what German culture was... I've since discovered that it's impossible to really understand German culture without being a part of it. Every time I think I know what to expect and have a idea of the culture here something new gets thrown at me. This seems to be a country made of contradictions. For example Germany is a very clean country, there's not a lot of litter and I frequently see people (not criminals, Government employees) walking around, picking up what little trash is left out. However, dogs which I think of as fairly messy animals are allowed everywhere! They're on the Trams, in every type of store (I've seen them everywhere from a shoe store to grocery stores) I even saw a dog sitting next to a table in a restaurant. It's not just small dogs either, though you see enough of the toy dogs, I've seen Huge Dogs as well. Germans seem to really like they're dogs and aren't really willing to leave them home much.
Example #2 Clothing here is very casual and very conservative, Germans don't really dress up for everyday things like Americans are sometimes prone to do, mostly I see t-shirts and sweaters. However, despite all this very plain conservative dress, Germans like their lingerie! They have tons of lingerie shops and not just everyday kinda useful underwear, no these are definitely play items... And every once in a while you see someone wearing something that is not appropriate anywhere in the world... The worst I saw was a man wearing a t-shirt and tights... not even leggings, tights, that you could see through... It was the worst thing I have ever seen!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Love Missionaries!!

For those of you who may not know, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormons. That's right I belong to the church with the nice men (and women) in suits who knock on people's door. Well I am here to say that those nice men and women are the best thing I could ask for. The missionaries here in Leipzig have saved me from who knows what disasters. Thursday of last week I saw a pair of Elders (that's the men) at the Hauptbahnhof (the main train station) and flagged them down (apparently they were amazed... one of them later retelling the story said “here's this girl waving at us... and this isn't Utah, no one waves at the missionaries!”). They told me how to get to Church, they gave me the information on Institute and they were beyond friendly. Sunday when I got to Church, terrified to be walking into a church alone where I knew no one (I don't know how investigators do it) right inside the doors were the Sister missionaries. Once again they were suer friendly and offered to let me sit with them, they then let me follow them around for the entire block of meetings and introduced me to other people there.
I honestly don't know what I would be doing right now if it weren't for all the missionaries here, they have helped me countless times since I first saw them and it hasn't even been a week. So to anyone who has been on a mission or is about to go on one, you never know how you bless peoples lives, the missionaries here have been a gift from God to me. Remember every smile can make a difference.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wilkommen zu Deutschland!

I've made it through my first week... I finally have access to the internet. I have a place to live. I am in short surviving. Germany is beautiful, However the weather is about 20 degrees colder than what I'm used to in Ohio. Leipzig is a fascinating city, half of it was destroyed in WWII so it's this fantastic mix of 500 year old buildings and Ultramodern constructions. I spent the entire first 2 days hiding in my apartment, terrified of trying to communicate with people(I've realised my German is a lot worse than I thought it was). The next two days I spent getting lost completely Wednesday was my favorite day because I never was lost! I went to the Church here today and couldn't understand a word anyone was saying. However it was church so I had a basic idea of what was happening. I'm spending most of my time with a group of people from various English speaking countries, mostly UK area. There's one other American, a girl from New York, we're both continually being made fun of by the various Brits. To which our constant reply is "Don't tread on Me!" I'm determined to find one of those flags as soon as I get home. I have yet to find a grocery store so I'm eating out constantly which is a bit annoying but Way cheaper here than it is in America. The Tram system here is amazing they go everywhere and are always perfectly on time, however being the selfish American I am, I miss driving, getting lost for an hour in a car is annoying and frusterating, getting lost for an hour on foot is exausting. I also miss American television, tv is not nearly as entertaining when you have no idea what is happening... I miss everyone and write me!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Tonight is my last night in the home I've known for the last 7 years. It's beyond weird thinking that I won't see it again for a year. Everything has become so comfortable. I remember the first night I spent here and how empty it was, the feeling of living in transit which is suddenly upon me again. What was then a new house clean and unfamiliar, has become my delightfully disorganized home.
I said goodbye to most of my friends today, which was miserable. I spent two hours at work talking to people to then come home and spend the entire evening putting off the things I could have and probably should have been doing to spend one last night of normalcy with my best friend. Saying goodbye was harder than I imagined, I've been fighting back tears so much today that now I start crying at anything.
So I find that more difficult than anything else about this trip, is actually leaving on it. Making the final step and walking away from everyon I love.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I now have exactly one week until I leave. I'm starting to say goodbye to my friends, always wondering when I see someone if I'll ever see them again. It sounds a little melodramatic but it's beyond weird to think about leaving.

On a more cheerful note I've finally bought all the clothes I need which is a hyuuge relief. My list of things to buy is now shortened to socks, sheets and maybe a purse... On the other hand, my list of things to do is swiftly getting longer.
How do you fit everything that you would normally do in a year into a week.?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Beginning

I've been desperately devising ways in which I can keep in contact with everyone who I know while I'm skipping the border er... studying abroad ehem*cough-cough*. So as many trusted people have instructed me, I am starting my very first blog!

So here you can find funny stories, embarrassing occurrences and incredibly drawn out rants! I hope you enjoy. I'll also be posting my better pictures, for the awful, embarrassing, completely immature, pictures... well that's what Facebook is for!