Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How do you communicate

with no words to use?

Sometimes living in a foreign country is absolutely frustrating. Everything is different, even if you never expect it to be. The plugs are different, the pillows are different, the public transportation is different...EVERYTHING! But most importantly (and most difficultly) the language is different.

About 75% of the time that I try to communicate with native Germans, I feel like an absolute fool. I know a couple words like "please", "thank you", "one", "I don't speak German", and some food names, but that is IT. I don't know any German, and I feel like a horrible person every time someone asks me if I speak German and I have to reply "no...sorry." I can only order food while pointing at something and saying "one, please", which has incredibly limited my diet because I'm a very picky eater and I have no way of saying "yes, but no tomatoes please!". So I've basically stuck to noodle boxes and pretzels when I'm eating on the run. Otherwise, I can just make food in my apartment (which has no oven, microwave, or toaster...grrr).

I had a very interesting (to me) encounter the other day. I was at the public viewing park for the World Cup games (okay America, we need some of these public viewing parks ASAP...they're so much fun!) and I went to the food tent to get some french fries and beer (sooo healthy, I know) and when I went to check out, the girl told me my total, which of course, I didn't understand. So I kind of smiled at her and looked at the cash register to see what the number was, and handed her my money. She then asked, "Next time should I speak in English?"

This totally surprised me. It's your country and your language, why should you have to change to cater to my needs? It was just kind of funny to me that she was willing to switch to English when sooo many people I've encountered in Germany obstinately refuse to use English, even if they know a bit.

Sometimes the language barrier makes me want to give up on living here and just move back home, but most of the time I see it as a challenge to myself and as a way to improve my relations and interactions with people who live in cultures different from my own!

Tschüss (goodbye)!

P.S. Lovely photo of the best World Cup team's flag by The Daily Photo.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesdays >:[

I think Tuesdays are the absolute worst. They're the pits. No matter what my class, work, or hobby schedule is from semester to semester, Tuesday are ALWAYS freaking terrible.

Today I sat through 6 hours of classes. In a row. In a tiny cramped room. With an itty bitty window. In 85+ degree weather. And I forgot my water bottle.

I think Tuesdays exist only to hassle me! But on a brighter note, I received a bunch of postcards in the mail from Postcrossing. You sign up and send out 5 postcards, and when the other person receives and registers your postcard, then you're next in queue to receive a random postcard from some random place in the world! It's fun and addicting and awesome! For the price of a postcard and stamp, you can connect with hundreds and thousands of other people around the world!


P.S. The picture above is a print from the seller Studio Tuesday, the only good Tuesday I know!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mix Tape Monday!

I've decided that I missed Mix Tape Monday, and I was in a music-y mood this weekend, so I've compiled another mix, this time with a theme!

The theme is "Museums", because this weekend I went on a lovely visit to the museum inside the old palace in Dresden, where they keep all the beautiful treasures of Saxony (the region in which Dresden resides). I had gone to the old part of town just to walk around and watch tourists, but I got sidetracked and ended up in the palace museum for about 2 1/2 hours. So, to escape the very loud and animated Italian tour group that seemed to be following me around the museum, I popped on my headphones, and here is the play list I came up with:

1. My Rights Versus Yours - The New Pornographers
2. Leslie Anne Levine - The Decemberists
3. She'll Hang the Baskets - Cake
4. If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out - Cat Stevens
5. Foundations - Kate Nash
6. Syrup and Honey - Duffy
7. Slip Slidin' Away - Paul Simon
8. Ne Me Quitte Pas - Regina Spektor
9. How Am I To Be - The Watson Twins
10. Hail To Whatever You Found In The Sunlight That Surrounds You - Rilo Kiley

If you click on the song titles, you can listen to the song on Youtube (for those I could should check out the other songs on Itunes though! They're good, I promise!). Enjoy the music, and hopefully it'll distract you from the tourists the next time you're in a museum! Also, comment if you like the mix, songs, etc, and if you have any ideas for a future themed mix!


P.S. The picture is of Rilo Kiley, one of my absolute favorite bands EVER. They rock.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Well hellooooo!

So, I've been on a bit of a hiatus, buuut I'm back now!

I'm currently living in Dresden, least for the next 5 weeks (have already been here 6 weeks). It's absolutely amazing, and I've even made friends with the proprietor of a LYS. Every time I walk into the store, she says, "You're back!" and even remembers to speak to me in English (which is a huge blessing to me). It's so nice that she remembers me, because I don't think the cashiers at my LYS at home even remember me :( Well she probably sees me walking down the sidewalk and thinks, "Oh goodness. Here's that crazy American girl again. How many socks can she possibly knit in a week to be back for more yarn!?" But I've spent a good amount of my euros there :]

SOCKS! I finished my first pair of socks. They're rainbow colored and amazing! I love wearing them around the apartment, but it's much to warm to wear them outside :[ Oh well, I can't believe I'm actually excited for winter and coldness so that I can wear my new, lovely socks! I started a pair in blues and purples for my stepmother, but I'm only halfway finished with one sock :\ But I am ADDICTED to making baby socks...and I'm not even having a baby! I have a friend from high school who is expecting a new baby daughter at the end of August, so I'm knitting tiny socks for her like mad. I mean, they only take a little bit of yarn and about an hour to knit up! They're perfect for tram rides and bus rides! I've got 5 so far, and plan to make many, many more.

Yesterday I went to the historic center of Dresden to look for postcards and go people watching. I got sidetracked and ended up wandering around a museum for 2 1/2 hours. Dear me, I love Germany so, SO much!

Any way, that's it for now. I've got homework to do :( Blah!


P.S. Sorry the picture is so tiny, but that's me in front of a lovely fountain in Dresden :]