Sunday, October 9, 2011

You know life is good when...

... you can drink your money. 
As seen in a catalog: a Swarovski coffee machine, from 2999 Euros.  Made with hundreds of Swarovski crystals.  Who comes up with this stuff?

Friday, October 7, 2011

a mini-update

So summer is officially over, and the weather is starting to dip down into cooler temperatures.  We had a really nice set of sunny days all last week, but today it's 9 degrees (Celsius) and rainy.  The leaves are starting to turn yellowish and brown and there are pumpkins and lebkuchen in all the stores. This is, hands down, my favorite time of year, but this year I fear, I won't get the chance to enjoy it very much.  October is turning out to be a very full month for me.  Its wake up, work in the mornings, German class (B2) in the afternoons, home, prepare lessons for the next day and sleep.  That's been the pattern the last three weeks (including weekends) and until my German course is complete at the end of the month, the following weeks will probably follow suit.

On the 22nd, I'm planning to take the DTZ exam to test my German proficiency.  I was a bit confused about whether I should do a Goethe exam or the Deutschtest fuer Zuwanderer, but in the end, opted for the latter because 1) its heck of a big difference in price (Goethe B1 test is 170 Euros and DTZ (which tests A2-B1) exam is 110 Euros) and 2) for the Goethe test, I would have had to commute to Munich two times to complete it.  I've gotten mixed feedback from teachers about which exam is actually better for my particular situation, but in the end, I think the DTZ will be enough at least at the present moment.  And in America, I don't think it will matter too much which Zeugnis I show (or here's hoping anyway).  (If anyone reading this is interested in taking an exam as well, here's  a helpful link with the list of exams: (German Language Tests)

Also, started Korean classes once a week on Friday evenings. I've tried studying Korean before, but never really got very far with it, but this time, I'm trying to set time aside every week to study a little bit in addition to the class.  I can read the Korean characters now! (S l o w l y .) ^^

Despite all this, life is good with many things to look forward to in the next few months. So--wishing you all a happy Autumn... and until next post. Peace out.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Du bist Deutschland

"Du bist Deutschland" is a campaign that was started here in Germany a few years ago to encourage the public to be more kid friendly.  While it's actually a very nice commercial (and almost two minutes long!), my first impression was that I found it rather comical that someone from an outside source had to encourage Germans to have more babies.  One line in the commercial states (roughly translated) "that its never the wrong time to have you (kids), but only the right time"--a bit direct, no?

Since I don't have any myself, I can't really contribute to the argument, but I have heard people say that Germany isn't family-friendly.  So if anybody has experience going either way, would be interesting to hear.  Do you find Germany family-friendly?  (Here's the link to the video, I will try to upload it here directly sometime soon.)

Below is the rough English translation of the text...

"You drive us crazy.
You cry the whole night through.
You wet the bed.
First you get teeth, then you get the chickenpox.
You hate kindergarten, then school and then at 15, you hate us.
Rather, you drive us crazy… with Happiness
Your ‘purchase’ is free
Then after you get expensive
You need time and space
You cost us new shoes, that bigger TV and that vacation at the ocean
You are no luxury
You are priceless
There are many good reasons not to have kids
And the best reason to have kids? You.
You can’t speak and yet you explain to us the whole world.
You can’t walk, but you help us get going.
You learn so much every day and teach us still more.
You show us that there is never the wrong but only the right moment to have you.
You have mother and father and yet you still need the whole country to grow up happy.
You are not alone as our most precious ‘project/work’.
You make out of two people, one family.
Out of a small apartment you make an adventurous playground
And from spaghetti with sauce a feast.
We need more of your kind because without you the present is no fun
And the future already past.
You. Are. Germany."