Gone Tuesday-Sunday, lots of updates when I get back.

Don’t panic if I don’t immediately respond to an email. 10 (9 in 3o minutes) days until I’m home!

Pettson isn’t doing so well

I don’t think he likes all the calcium in the water. Or maybe he’s outgrown his bowl. Either way, two more weeks, Pettson! You can make it!


Baby Pettson, March 28


Old Pettson, July 21

A Quick Tour of München

Trip to Munich with some of the International Club from the PH, 25-26 June, 2011

the Rathaus

Augustiner Restaurant

the famous Hofbräuhaus

inside the Hofbräuhaus. I had some yummy Spätzle

Orlando Street!

English Gardens, a massive park in the middle of the city

Bierbike. Typical German. Karlsruhe has one too.

And one thing I never expected to see…

Yes, people were surfing in München

I’ll upload a video of the surfers if I can figure out how.


Conquered the Amazons! Watch out, Frenchies, Y’ALL ARE NEXT!

Possibly the most patriotism I've ever demonstrated

What I miss about home

I believe taste and smell are often considered to be the two strongest senses associated with memories of home. Well, there are a few foods I can’t find here (of if I can find them they’re super expensive.. or just not the same) and can’t even find all of the ingredients to make the dish myself. Suffice it to say that I’ll probably gain my “holiday pounds” in August when I get home.

  • peanut butter cookies with Reese’s cups (haven’t found Reese’s cups or pb cookie mix. Actually Germans aren’t really into cookies, they’re more of a cake culture)
  • hummus (can’t find tahini in stores or premade hummus except in one restaurant)
  • chocolate chip cookies (that aren’t packaged) (can’t find vanilla extract)
  • queso dip. I’ve never craved this before in my life but I REALLY want queso and tortilla chips
  • Kelda’s welsh cakes
  • Papa Joe’s grilled chicken and vegetables with Grand!Mother’s macaroni & cheese (but I look forward to coming home to this meal when I’m at PC also)
  • Keepsake Brownies
  • sweet tea
  • my own (or momma’s) filter coffee
  • good tap water (I’m used to the water here, though it has a lot of calcium in it. But nothing beats Carolina water)
  • Goldfish

But of course there’s a counterpart to this list. Food I’ll miss having easy access to:

  • Maultaschen
  • Spätzle
  • Nutella at a reasonable price. Also, large (825g) jars of Nutella
  • good bread
  • good cheese
  • Salatkräuter, a mix of herbs and spices that I put in salad dressing
  • Chocomüsli
  • Pengui bars

In addition to food, there are certain aspects of my life in America that I prefer to what I’ve experienced here. That, however, may just be because I’ve had 7654 days to get used to America and only 128 days, as of today, to get used to Germany. I’m also aware that some of these aspects are (semi-)unique to the South.

  • hugs
  • warmer conversations, though still polite, with strangers and/or elders
  • waiters and waitresses who tend to the table almost to the point of annoyance
  • not having to fill out a form to get a form
  • not having to get three forms from three different offices just to go get another form in another office
  • not getting to the last office completely prepared with my stack of forms just to discover one (or more) of the forms I was told I needed wasn’t actually necessary
  • offices in the university and/or city that actually communicate with each other
  • having available professors. Poking my head in to a prof’s office just to say “hey” and then ending up staying to talk and laugh for 45 minutes. Professors and administrators who leave their doors open unless they absolutely can’t be bothered at that moment.
  • being welcomed by a flood of people when I’m new to a church or haven’t been there in a few months (like after the summer). Also, sometimes being invited to join a family for a meal. I went to a church last week in Karlsruhe I hadn’t been to before (conservative, evangelical, everyone in the congregation was noticeably older than myself), and one man who sat next to me spoke to me after the service… that’s a big deal in Germany.
  • not having to bring a form for professors to sign at the end of the semester in order to get credit for a course. Instead, professors use a computer program, managed by the school, to record our participation/final grade. Yay, technology!

And aspects of the German lifestyle I will miss (most not mentioned in a recent post), some specific to my residence hall:

  • emphasis on recycling, composting, and other “green” things
  • running out of places to lock up a bicycle outside ABH (my building), but seeing plenty of empty parking spaces for cars
  • Stockpartys (hall parties), Stockgrillen (hall dinners outside at the grill)
  • walking into the kitchen and receiving a chorus of “Hallo”s from my hall mates and other friends
  • waking up on Sunday mornings to different church bell melodies and birds chirping
  • waking up during the week to school kids gathering outside to start their school day or go to early recess

I don’t know if anyone cares, but…

USA lost tonight against Sweden. I’ve never really cared about sports before, but I’m a bit down at the moment. I even had an American flag bandana to wave when we scored. What is happening to me? Darn Swedes. Next game is on July 9th against Brazil.

Things I love about Germany:

  • Architecture of houses
  • Architecture of churches
  • Castles
  • gardens
  • long daylight hours in summer (at least 5:00 – 22:00)
  • open windows
  • local beer and wine
  • days in the park
  • running trails in the woods of Karlsruhe
  • crosswalk buttons that actually work
  • (old-fashioned) manual lawn mowers like Diana Coogle’s
  • people (including city workers) use rakes instead of leaf blowers to clean up a yard or small field
  • Fußgängerzonen (Pedestrian Zones)
  • little flush / big flush buttons
  • more real dogs than rat dogs
  • cars are small and most are manual transmission
  • walking, biking, and taking the S-bahn as main forms of transportation
    – nuns on bicycles
    – men wearing suits on bicycles
    – women wearing skirts/dresses on bicycles
  • no billboards
  • people speak more than one language
  • license plates that don’t also function as mini-advertisements for states
  • hardly any bumper stickers
  • all the luggage you need: backpack
  • travel without worrying about passports (I still bring mine, though, just in case)
  • festivals
  • people go on walks with their dogs and/or family/friends. Also, nordic walking.
    – no checked luggage
    – You only need to be 5 minutes early to the train station (just enough time to make sure the platform hasn’t changed), rather than 2+ hours to go through security blah blah blah.
    – passing little towns (“Dorfs”) where the tallest man-made structure is the steeple of the only church in town.
    – train ride through the Schwarzwald (Black Forest): absolutely gorgeous. Tunnels are all named and measured.
  • the fashion: scarves, shoes, black and brown together. Wear real clothes to class. Men look very put together (no basketball shorts with old ratty t-shirt as daily uniform). EXCEPTION: men wearing capris (manpris). Not used to that yet. Messenger bags, however, are perfectly acceptable.
  • Switzerland: hiking boots. Jodelfest (Yodeling festival). Shops with wine/cheese/chocolate/bread.
  • the landscape


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