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.