Wednesday, September 8, 2010

In a land called Germany

I've been sort of MIA lately because the weather here has been, well, shit. It was pouring rain all night Monday, all day yesterday and part of this morning. It finally cleared up, so I moseyed on down to the Farmer's Market, which, I have found, takes place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And it is perfect. I get my fruits and veggies and meats and cheeses and breads, all for under 10 euro. And I don't starve, like I almost did yesterday. AND today marks the first day I was able to order food by myself! Well, at least I tried. The woman at one of the stands was very patient with me, and when I didn't know the word for something, I would point and she would tell me how to say it in German. Germans are, I have found, much nicer about any language shortcomings when one at least attempts to speak German.

I would also like to bring up an important observation: German's make some fan-fucking-tastic bread. In fact, it gives a whole new meaning to the term "carb-loading." I cannot get enough of it. And there are Backereis all over the place! And they sell everything: pretzels, cheese-covered pretzels, sandwiches made from pretzels, millions of different types of breads, croissants, etc. I could park myself in front of one all day and people watch and eat pretzels. And drink beer. Oh, I cannot get enough of the beer, either. I think that will be the thing I miss most about Germany. The cheap, delicious beer.

In other news, the girl I met on Friday night when I was all sorts of drunk has been chatting with me on facebook. She's speaking English with me right now, which is awesome (even though her English is not fluent, I can still understand what she is saying), but she did tell me that we are in Germany and I should be speaking German. So I've been working on integrating German words into our conversation. And she's writing more in German, so I'm spending more time translating what she is saying. It is going to be a slow process, but I think that is what I need in order to become, er, fluent? How about to the point where I can at least hold a conversation with a four-year-old? We're going out on Friday, and I'm super excited to meet new people in Germany. It's been weird hanging out with myself and my movies in my dorm room.

In other news, there are several things that are different in Germany, and I feel it necessary for me to share those things with people thinking about coming. Other things are just observations or things that have made me laugh:

1. In Germany, you seat yourself at restaurants. You don't have to wait for someone to come seat you. This would have been nice to know earlier on when I was standing around like a douche-bag waiting for someone to show me to a table.

2. Along those same lines, you don't tip in Germany, either. You CAN tip, but it's not like we tip in the states. Apparently waiters and waitresses make fairly good money. And -10 for Sarah again.

3. Observation: they sell g-strings, condoms and lube next to the vending machine that sells coke and beer in the basement of my dorm building. Germans seem to be much more open about all their sex stuff than we are in America. That would explain the preponderance of erotic stores and, *cough* prostitutes *cough*

4. There is also no dryer in my dorm. Well, I think there is a dryer, but it looked rather sketchy. Like it might try to eat my underwear or dye it orange or something. I purchased a dryer rack thingy to dry my clothes on and, almost 24 hours later, my jeans are still wet. It is freaking humid here. LAME.

5. I don't know if I have mentioned this in previous blogs, and I'm far too lazy to go back and check, but Germans only use cash. (This is starting to sound familiar, so maybe I have mentioned this?) Anyway, I've used my credit card quite a bit, and the waitresses/waiters get in a big huff about it. I'm sorry, I come from the land of credit card debt and "cash can suck it." Maybe if you didn't charge a fucking arm and leg for me to withdrawal cash from your ATM's (here called Geldautomat--don't ask someone where the ATM is because they will stare blankly at you, probably thinking "goddamned American.") I would be more inclined to use cash. I did open my German bank account the other day (YAY!), so I'm just waiting for my pin to arrive so I can start withdrawing cash FOR FREE.

I think that is all for today. I start my classes tomorrow, thank GOD because I need something to do. This bottom-level German course goes all the way until February 25th, and I think I'm going to take it again next semester as well. Since there are different levels, and since I am just here to learn German, I don't see why not. I need to figure out what sort of credit I can get at BSU if I do it twice. Woot.


1 comment:

  1. Hey Sarah,

    just a quick thing: When you get your bank PIN and your card, it might be possible to use that one for paying in places where they credit cards are not accepted. You can ask them if it is OK to pay by EC-Card. You will either need to sign a receipt or enter your PIN.