Wednesday, July 28, 2010

...goin' back (to the other) home

I'm goin' back to die U.S.A August 18th, 2010...

Its less than a month now. Not that I'm counting. I purposely packed my schedule a bit full to keep just that from happening. I'm taking an intensive German course in the mornings and then teaching in the afternoon and evenings (and Saturdays), so it leaves little time for dwelling on future thoughts. Just kind of a "go-go-go" approach for the next few weeks.

In addition to visiting and seeing family & friends (who I won't have seen for nearly 14 months), the following is my to-do list for my 3 1/2 week visit (so far) in no particular order:

- eat Red Mango (this, ladies and gents is a frozen yogurt shop, although the plan is to catch up on all the greens I missed out on in the land of sausage)
- getting naked with a bunch of strangers and sweating out the stress in a Korean sauna, oh King Spa, I've missed you!
- eat Chipotles
- Jersey shore
- road tripping from NJ to Savannah and back...
- shopping with the US $$
- rent Simpsons Seasons 10-20
- Barnes & Nobles...
- eat NYC Pizza
- eat REAL NY bagels (Yes, food is a reoccurring theme. Do not judge me.)
- go to Corrado’s, buy lots and lots of fruit and eat them ALL
- go out on the street and talk to strangers for the sake of being able to understand everyone and everything going on around me
- brush up on my sarcasm and Jersey-isms
- (... other boring logistical stuff no one cares or needs to no about, blah, blah blah, etc. )

Anything I'm forgetting here?

See you soon, America.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Greens of Germany

Expat writers like to capitalize on all the differences of their adopted homeland. Its sensational, it draws an audience, it’s often funny and it’s easy to do.

I thought about writing a post about a salad I ordered the other day at a German restaurant—which was all German, no salad. (Half the plate was sauerkraut, the other half was peas and carrots drowning in a mayo-ey type dressing, topped with a couple leaves of lettuce)—but instead, I decided to focus on the pluses--commend and not complain.

Since May, I started teaching twice a week at a company on the other side of Lauf. As I am car-less, my transportation options are limited to:
A) a one hour walk lugging my heavy laptop and books with me
B) 30 minutes + of walking to, waiting for and taking public transportation
C) a breezy 15 minute bike ride along a forest path.

(Not hard to guess which one I chose, eh?)
I look forward to that ride every Monday and Wednesday evening. It gives me a chance to take my eyes off the screen and the clock and to spend some time in nature. Beautiful pine trees and lots of colorful wild flowers dot the path. The last two weeks have even had blue skies and lots of puffy white clouds. My ride tends to take me home right around the time when the sun is starting to set.

I really appreciate that one extra hour a week I can pedal on my beat up bike through the forest and let my mind breathe easy.

God bless the greens of Germany.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

As American as Apple Pie, or Not

The Amerika Haus of N├╝rnberg recently held a lecture by a University professor called, "Hating Soccer is more American than Apple Pie". I didn't attend it so naturally I can't comment on the content of this lecture, but just thought it seemed like a bit of an exaggeration. Like if an American Professor gave a lecture about how "Hating Vegetables is as German as Bratwurst". But maybe its just me.

Although Americans aren't the football fanatics that the rest of the world seem to be, I don't believe America views soccer as "a woman's sport" (which is the exact phrase several Germans have used with me when describing Americans' feelings towards the sport).

Anyways... now that America is out of the World Cup, I'm backing Germany. I think it would be fun to be here if they made it into the finals.

If you're following the Championship, a cool link to check out is this: A teenager from North Germany has recreated some of the greatest goals and highlights of the World Cup games entirely out of legos using stop-motion animation. According to an article in The Local, it takes him between two and three hours to film each goal.

A labor of love indeed.

Until next time.

(**photo credits belong to