Saturday, May 9, 2009

Germany is...

This is the coolest sign ever. 

Annie and I have had two fabulous of days of sightseeing in Bernkastel-Kues and Trier. Both are just exactly what I envisioned German towns to be like. And it appears to be just my luck that I'm right in the middle of wine country! We passed so many vinyards yesterday on our drive from Bernkastle to dinner at the Kloster Machern. I'm amazed by how many random biergartens there are along the highway. The cool thing to do seems to go bike riding to a winery or biergarten, throw a few back, and then attempt to bike home without dying. Gotta love the Germans.

Also, it appears that one of the trails for the Camino de Santiago runs right through Trier. Annie and I were walking behind the cathedral towards the gardens when she spotted a shell affixed to a rock outside of a visitor's center. We went inside, and lo and behold, we found a Pilgrim's office! I got way too excited about it, though I think the sight of the shell may have caused a couple of PTSD flashbacks for Annie.

My current goal is to finish my write on madness by Thursday so Annie and I can celebrate the real end of my 1st year of law school in Amsterdam and Bruges. Bring on the tulips!

Friday, May 8, 2009

[No actual words here... only flails and gestures]

It takes quite a bit for me to realize how spoiled I am.  Most of the traveling I've done has been to countries where I either speak their language, or they speak mine.  It's a rare occassion when I find myself somewhere that I can't understand road signs.  Then again, most of my travels have been in Latin American and English/Spanish-speaking Europe.  

And then there's Germany.  Today's small victory involved a farmer's market and "ein kilo... um... apfel?"  I think everything I say for the next three weeks is going to come out in question form, complete with shoulder shrug and sheepish, wide-eyed "I'm-really-sorry-I-can't-speak-your-language" smile.  After politely asking for meine apfels, it became clear that the nice farmer required additional information from me to fulfill my request.  It seemed like he was asking which type (or color?) of apfel I wanted, which promptly ended with me elbowing past a few fraus to actually point at the appropriate bushel.  One minute and 1.50€ later, my kilo of apples and I scurried back to Annie's apartment, lest I find something else I needed to buy that falls outside of the boundaries of my vocabulary.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bevor wir uns näher kennen lernen, muss ich etwas klarstellen. Ich bin Buchhalterin.

"Before this goes any further, I must be upfront. I am an accountant"
-German: Lonely Planet Phrasebook

Count that as my 6th German phrase that I armed and ready to whip out at a moment's notice. The other 5 are Danke (thank you), Bitte (please, you're welcome), entschuldigung (excuse me), Sprekense English (do you speak English), and Ein Rum Mit Cola, Bitte (one rum and cola, please).  I feel as though I'm fully equipped to conquer three weeks in Germany.

Jet lag has actually been kind of fun today. Wittlich is still asleep at this hour, but I've been up since 4am.  Annie, ever the amazing cook, whipped up some amazing homemade apple and walnut pancakes and fruit salad. I've made a little progress on the actual work I've had to do, and I'm looking forward to a study break at a cafe on the adorable cobblestoned square just outside the front door.  

Back to write on and beating back the unbearable urge to take a nap in the sun...

Friday, May 1, 2009


So I had this totally jacked up, finals induced dream the other night.  It involved me, the newly minted 2L, my suitcase and passport, and some German frau at Immigration in the Frankfurt Airport.  As I deplaned and followed the herd of people onto German soil, I was stopped, informed that I was dying of Swine Flu, and had to be quarantined.  The only thing I kept thinking in my dream was, "Motherf***er! And I just spent all that time outlining!"

Thankfully, finals have ended, and the Gypsy, sans pig flu, will be departing the Deep South for Beantown in T-minus 30 hours. Everyone, get excited.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One Armed Paper Hanger...

It's Tuesday night.  Friday, I have my last final in Crim.  Saturday, I'm spending sunup to sundown at the Kentucky Derby. Sunday morning, I leave Nashville for the summer.  I'm supposed to put the contents of my apartment in storage before then.  And we neutered the dog today.  So with all the madness going on around me, what am I doing? Reading about pig flu and looking for a place to get a massage when I get to Boston. I'm incorrigible.

What's the Gypsy excited about today that's keeping her from the more pressing issues in life? I realized in the middle of my Con Law final today that I'm ACTUALLY almost done with my first year of law school.  It's been the shortest and longest year of my life.  I feel like I just got to Nashville a couple of months ago.  But I've loved living here so far, minus the initial culture shock of being back in the South.  Things move a little slower, people are a little nicer (to your face), everyone drives 5 miles an hour under the speed limit...  

There are fabulous things like barbeque sauce and sweet potato fries at 3am, sundresses for football games - a tradition I will never, ever get used to, but am happy to facetiously participate in - and enough Jim Beam to float the city.  People are a little more grateful for small blessings, and small children have manners.  There's sweet tea, Sunday church, and country music.  It reminds me a little of where I'm from, but more of where I want to be. 

Nashville, I think I like you just as much as I knew I would.  Thanks for a fabulous year.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Itchy Passport, Must Travel...

After spending the last 8 months landlocked in the middle of the Deep South (random Canadian date weekends not included), my passport is getting itchy for an adventure.  Ever the resourceful girl, this Gypsy has managed to parlay her educational exploits into a 2 month European adventure.  Thanks to the generosity of Cousin Annie (see Week One of Camino '08), I will recover from my first year of law school, slash, knock out the note for journal write-on in the comfort of her delightful German home. After (hopefully!) some gallivanting in Amsterdam and Bruges to celebrate the true end of all things 1L, the Gypsy will be off on her first Italian Adventure - 6 weeks of International Law on the Venitian Grand Canal.  It almost makes outlining for next week's Property exam exciting.  Or not.

Fortunately, I'm busy enough with finals prep not to have time to spend all day mooning over the weekend trips to be taken, new people to meet, and food to consume.  And then there's the apartment I still have to pack up and put into storage...

But I digress.  The Gypsy is currently accepting suggestions of places to go and people to see during Tour de Force '09 (thanks for the name idea, KMC).  Prague, Florence, Positano, Stockholm, and a beach on the Dalmatian Coast are on the current short list of must-sees.  Anywhere EasyJet or RyanAir travels, I am game to go. Even better, I have a totally bitchin' new camera, and will be travelling with the laptop, so inquiring minds won't have to wait until July 4th weekend to see pictures of the Gypsy's exploits.

Only 3 weeks 'til Frankfurt... Until then, pray that I don't lose my mind somewhere in the Coase Theorem.