Monthly Archives: February 2012

How To: Piss Off a German Woman

Tell her no.

 

Sat down at dinner after a rather rough day psychologically. Not in the mood to talk/be overly friendly AT ALL. Plans to go climbing for the first time since the beginning of November tomorrow. Stoked about it.

Uschi says: “Tomorrow you will go to lunch with Jurgen and Laurent to Chinese food.”

Karrena says: “I am going to Koln tomorrow.”

Uschi says: NOTHING! Blank stare. Directly in Karrena’s eyes. For uncomfortably long. Karrena doesn’t look away.

Karrena says: “Is that ok?”

Uschi says: NOTHING! Blank stare again.

Karrena says: “Can we go Sunday?”

Uschi says: NOTHING! just kidding… “No, I can cook Sunday.”

I offered to skip Koln and stay for lunch. She offered to have lunch earlier so that I can go to Koln. That was agreed upon. Not sure if I’ll have time for Koln tomorrow unless I skip the movie I was planning on going to see. The first since December.

After some awkward silence and Uschi discussing something with Jurgen in German (this motivates me to learn, because I want to know if they’re talking about me)….

Karrena says: “I am sorry if I was rude earlier, I didn’t mean to be.”

Uschi says: NOTHING! Seriously. Again the stare. Awkward. Uncomfortable. I wanted to leave the table immediately. Forced conversation happened thereafter. The day of my departure was discussed for the first time. Coincidence? Small talk? I don’t know.

 

So, what I learned today is: if you want to piss off a German woman, tell her you won’t go to lunch with her husband.

 

 

My face during the stare-down(s)

 

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Much Simpler Than Today Really Was – Friday, February 25, 2012

Today in the ubahn home, Jackie reminded me of the storm trooper that was in the Koln HBF station who said he was waiting for his friend “Darth Waiter.” I think it is something worth remembering. We talked about smiling at people in the train. I was proud to say that I really make an effort to smile at people. Its funny how unusual and uncomfortable it feels at first. I wish it wasn’t like that but it is.

I had my German midterm this morning. After that, I went to Goldbraun and was researching travels again. I figure out my trip to Italy and I am just waiting for Marco to talk to his uncle who I will be staying with in Bari. I am SO excited for this. I can’t wait. I Skyped Marco. I talked with mom and dad tonight. I miss them a lot.

I am tired.

So much on my mind….

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Passion – Thursday, February 24, 2012

German verbal midterm this morning with Hilde (my professor). I took a nap on the couch downstairs at the AIB. I think not sleeping is catching up with me. Oh well.

I had Terrorism and Visual Culture until 6:30. We watched a movie The Baader Meinhof Complex. It was very intense-about the RAF (Red Army Faction) in the 1970s in Germany. I still am shocked by the events that took place here. It seems unreal. The movie is very good and pretty disturbing. When people completely believe in something, they will do anything to get what they want and pursue their beliefs. No matter the cost. I can think of so many examples. The interesting thing is that the power of belief can do good and evil. Passion drives the world.

Good passion can lead to amazing places.

In class today, I wrote goals. I couldn’t focus until I had them down on paper. I think it’s because of the books that I have been reading. They are helping me realize my priorities and go toward where I want to be in life. I want so much and I honestly believe I can do anything.

Insanity today.

 


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Marco – Wednesday, February 23, 2012

Marketing midterm today.

3 mile run.

Coffee shop. Couldn’t get much done.

I want to delete my Facebook.

Today I started a new book – The Energy Bus by John Gordon.

I got to talk with Marco for the first time in about 2 months. I have missed him. I did not realize how much until I got to talk with him. I have never seen him so happy-I am happy for him. I am inspired to be more independent and passionate person because of him. He reminds me to be myself. To be the person I want to be. To not rely on anyone. I am thankful for him. I do feel more independent. It kind of scares me when I get in this mood. I feel free. Like I can do anything. Everything.

 

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Attitude – Tuesday, February 2012

Well predictably, today was not as crowded as yesterday. I slept till about 10:32 and 27 seconds. Just kidding. Class was at 14:15 so I had some time in the morning to take care of some things-which I feel like I am always trying to do but become distracted by photos, music, JennaMarbles (want a good laugh …. or 3 hours worth click here: http://youtu.be/ZYOg1ifFDXA WARNING: vulgar and addicting……..seriously addicting), Glee, Skype, the world, food, my nails, reading things that are not on my to do list (which isn’t so bad, I suppose), sleep, cleaning, laundry, working out. Pretty much everything distracts me from the endless to do list, but I guess that’s life. Currently, I’m actually not studying for my German Oral exam on Thursday (writing on Wednesday) but I’ll get to that in tomorrow’s post.

Ethics class consisted of another group assignment and presentation. I enjoy the class and thinking about the things that seem relatively simple but when I actually think about them, they are so deep! Ethics, morals, motivations, attitudes, the purpose of life. I like it! Class was dismissed an hour early again. So we (Lindsey, Jackie, Nick, Jenn, and Nathan) did Insanity. It was Nick, Nathan, and Jackie’s first time. We are glad to have new people to join us!! It makes me even more motivated. Abs after the workout sucked pretty bad.

When I came home today, I said hello to Jurgen and Uschi as always. I talked with Uschi for a moment and she told me that today (like every Tuesday) was her in town day. I asked what she did and she said shopping for food and that she had physical therapy, just like every Tuesday, for 45 minutes. I asked her if she was ok and what had happened. She said that everything is OK and that she had something wrong with her “breeest” and that she didn’t know the word in English. She told me it would be a little bit before dinner and that I could wait in my room. I did. I wondered what had happened to her but was unsure whether it would be appropriate or not to bring it up.

At dinner, she brought it up. With some translating the German word, Krebs – I understood that she had breast cancer. 6 months. She said that she thought she was going to die. She went through chemotherapy 5 days a week for 6 months. Had surgery. Lost all of her hair. She doesn’t have any photos because she didn’t want any. She goes 2 times a year to be sure that it hasn’t come back. She never told the past two girls who were staying here that she went through this-I wouldn’t have know either had I not asked. She acted like it was not a big deal. I was so surprised that this was such a small thing for her-what a wonderful, positive woman!

After dinner I got to Skype with Pascal! Andddddd after Skyping with Pascal, I stayed up after words to study for my marketing midterm that I have tomorrow. I am concerned about it, but don’t think it will be unreasonable because there are only 3 students in the class-that would be weird. I plan on getting up early to go to Goldbraun (THE coffee shop) to study some more.

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Karneval – February 20, 2012

Today was the last day of Karneval. After only 4 hours of sleep last night I woke up and put on my white clown make up and vintage clown outfit, had breakfast, and met friends at Bonn Hopbahnhof. The train ride was fun! People were playing Karneval music for everyone to hear, I was given a fortune cookie. I opened it and remembered that it was going to be in German. Without looking at it, I handed it to a guy nearby and asked him to tell me what it said. He turned it over, handed it back to me and said, “here, try this side.” ….It was in English. Quite funny/embarassing. Jenn thought it was very funny!

We arrived in Koln into complete madness. So many people dressed up and so happy! It was a beautiful, sunny day. We walked around checking out all the cool costumes and watched the parade for a while. I stood behind someone who had a front row view of the parade. A nun and her partner, a priest, were behind me. The nun wouldn’t stop pushing me with her whole body as if it was an accident when no body was behind her. I asked her “are you doing that on purpose” a couple times and only got a stoic face staring back at me. All I was thinking was, “I WILL punch a nun, I WILL punch a nun.” We left that spot and just walked around some more. I went with Kaylee and Jenn to meet up with this German girl that Kaylee met in a bar a few days ago. It was really fun! After that, we (Jenn and I) met up with the other people – Nick, Ryan, Nikki, Jackie, Victoria, Nathan, and Lindsey. We wondered around Old Town and danced around the streets. It was pretty late in the day, around 4 and we went back to Bonn.

The streets were packed with people the whole day. At one point we were in front of the huge cathedral and danced on the steps to a life band. I took like 600 photos throughout the day.

I went home, showered – it kind of sucked getting the white paint off of my face. And had dinner. I Skyped with Lisa for 2 and a half hours! It was so nice catching up and sharing ideas with her.

Tomorrow I have class and will do Insanity at night. I am having a really nice time in Germany and am getting used to being an actual resident.

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Run – Friday, February 15

After a long, tiring day yesterday, I woke up at 10am…12 hours of sleep felt nice but when this happens, I feel sore when I wake up. I had breakfast, did some work for Timothy on my computer, then headed to the AIB. I love walking around Bonn listening to music. It makes me appreciate where I am much more. I went to the AIB to organize my school stuff, change for my run, and call Pascal. He and I spoke for just a few minutes because he was at work, but it was very nice to hear his voice. As always. I decided after my 6 mile run the other day that I would do 7 miles today. I did. It took an hour and 15 minutes and I’m really proud of myself. I listened to my Run playlist, smiled, and pushed myself the whole time. I feel like I could have done more, but I will do more next time.

After my run, I went to meet Jen and Kaylee at our coffee shop. Here I finished catching up on my journals about Berlin and helped Dominic finish his business cards. We went to Jen’s house, had dinner and watched the Notebook. Kaylee and I ended up spending the night. I like my new friends!

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Carnival – Thursday, February 14

Today it CARNIVAL. Went to the AIB at 8:45am and began drinking mimosas. People were dancing around the classroom and playing loud Carnival music. We basically pregammed at school. It was awesome. We then walked to Bonn Boyle to watch the parade. People walked in matching costumes in the parade throwing karmellas (candy) at people. People in our group continued to drink. It was fun to catch the candy and save it for later. I really enjoyed the culture of the parade and that everyone felt so unified.

After Bonn Boyle, most of us went to Koln. The train was packed. One man, next to the no smoking sign, lit up a cigarette…inside the train. So funny!!! People are so friendly! We walked in the streets in Koln Sud. It is said that there was over 1,000,000 people there. I think that’s pretty accurate. Everyone was drunk, in costume, and getting more drunk. Walking was like navigating in a moving maze. We stood by a bus stop for a while just hanging out. The bars were so crowded we didn’t see a point in going inside when there were tons of people and drinking outside anyway. The only bad part for me was that my feet were wet, and therefore cold. I was talking with some Germans for a while-apparently too long- because when I looked up from the conversation, everyone…all of my friends…were gone. Luckily I spotted Kaylee and then Ryan. I ended up staying with Ryan and trying to look for everyone else for 2 hours. Without luck. I was tired, and cold so I decided to go back to Bonn. People helped me buy the right ticket and get on the right train and I made it back to Bonn. I walked a different way trying to find the UBahn, couldn’t find it, got scared, saw the right bus, and hopped on. It took me 2 hours, but I finally made it home. I was happy to be there, but was almost too tired to stay up for dinner. I slept for a bit then had dinner with Uschi. It was pasta, delicious celery and apple salad, and apple sauce for dessert. YUM. Got to text with Pascal for a little bit before bed and then I was asleep by 9. Today was a great cultural experience. It reminded me a lot of Halloween in Hollywood-except more drunks, more clothed people, and more people in general…and it was day time. I cant believe people do this for 5 days in a row.

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Red – Tuesday, February 14

I woke up, went to the bathroom unnoticed and was using the restroom when the door opened and the face of my host dad was standing there. “eschundugung.” Wow. Awkward to say the least. Probably the worst timing EVER. I always lock the door. What a great way to start off VALENTINE’S DAY. I stood there looking in the mirror trying to pretend it didn’t happen. I hurried back to my room and crawled back into bed hoping to restart my day. Went on Facebook, and Alex Gansert let me a video of this girl climber who was the first American woman to climb a certain route- she was 18. It was a much better start than the first.

Click here to watch the video: http://vimeo.com/33306702

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Snow – Monday, February 13

Today I woke up and looked out my window to see snow falling gently on the ground. I smiled the second I saw it. The back yard is very pretty with the snow on it. I had breakfast and then headed to the AIB. Ali, Lindsey and I went on a 4 mile run in Bonn. I really enjoyed this-it was nice to be with other people while I was running. It made it much easier to go far and be mentally motivated to keep going. The cold didn’t get to me and I was very proud of myself for accomplishing it. After running, we went to the market and got baughtworst. So satisfying. I then had Ethics class at 2:15. Class began with the professor lecturing for about 15 minutes, then assigning us groups, then we had 45 minutes to create a presentation. After that, one group presented for 10 minutes then we had a 30 minute break. Then we presented for another 30 minutes and after that, class was out an hour early. It was awesome. I hung out at the AIB for a while and then did abs with Ali, Rodd, and Lindsey. On my way home, I took the wrong UBahn so it took like 40 minutes to get home. It sucked but I met a woman who is a journalist from Africa. She seemed really really smart and interesting. She had actually met some of the other girls before-she remembered Victoria’s name.

I finally made it home. I was so hungry. Mom and dad and I Skyped for about an hour. I hadn’t talked with them since before Berlin. I miss them a lot now. They helped me set up a delivery from Frog Hollow for Pascal for Valentine’s Day tomorrow. I hope he likes it. I am happy that I got to do something for him.

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