Monday, August 27, 2012

Sehr Lecker


I am safe in Hamburg after a glorious long weekend in Dublin.

I don't have time to write a long post about my trip right now, but here is a picture of the delicious dinner Vany and I cooked last night.

Full of vegetables.

So healthy!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

another song

looked up lyric translations this time:


Ich bin zurück
von einer Reise rund um die Welt
einmal hin und zurück
dass ich noch lebe ist Glück
durch den Dschungel der Angst in mir
fand ich die rettende Hintertür
ich wurde wieder zum Kind
das seinen Weg erst beginnt
ich bin zurück
aus einem Schoß, der mir ein Heim
ich war Besucher auf Zeit
ich kam kaputt und ging heil
jetzt will ich mich vergeben
Gott, lass es Männer regnen
ich treibs wieder zu weit
am liebsten zu zweit
weil ich so gerne fliege ohne Fallschirm
fall und nichts bereue
weil ich so gerne heul und um mich beiße
weil ich so gerne alles um mich schmeiße
weil ich so gerne liebe
und ich könnt schon wieder
ich könnt schon wieder tun.
ich könnt schon wieder...
ich bin zurück von einer Beichte für alle die Vergehen
die ich in Zukunft begeh
bin ein Verbrecher in spe
die Grenzen meiner Welt
hab ich neu eingestellt
zu meinem Glück fehlt nur eins
ich bin so gerne zu zweit
chorus (4x):
weil ich so gerne fliege ohne Fallschirm
fall und nichts bereue
weil ich so gerne heul und um mich beiße
weil ich so gerne alles um mich schmeiße
weil ich so gerne liebe
und ich könnt schon wieder
ich könnt schon wieder tun.
ich könnt schon wieder


I'm back
From travelling around the world
Once hince and forth
It's good luck I'm still alive
Through the jungle of fear inside of me
I found the rescuing back door
And I became a child again
Who starts her life anew
I'm back
From a lap that was my home
I was a visitor for a while
I came broken and left healed
Now I want to give myself away
Lord, let it rain men
I'm going too far again
Most favouritely in pair
Because I love flying without a parachute
Falling without regretting anything
Because I love crying and biting around
Because I love throwing everything around
Because I love loving
And I'd like it again
I'd like to do it again.
I'd like it again...
I'm bakc from repenting all of my sins
That I will commit in future
I'm like a criminal to come
I've readjusted
The borders of my world
There's only one thing missing for my happiness
I love to be in a pair
Chorus (4x):
Because I love flying without a parachute
Falling without regretting anything
Because I love crying and biting around
Because I love throwing everything around
Because I love loving
And I'd like it again
I'd like to do it again.
I'd like it again

Monday, August 20, 2012


This weekend I went to Berlin using a Mitfahrgelegenheit(carpool/ride-share) and CouchSurfed while I was there and I didn't get kidnapped! glory.

Friday I left work around 5:15 and walked over to the Hauptbahnhof(Central Station) to meet up with my Mitfahr person. We were supposed to meet in front of a little coffee place with a giant advertising pillar out front. I was lingering around in front of that pillar looking like a freak for a little while, but we found each other and everyone was super nice and not creepy so I didn't have to run away. I rode with 3 other girls and the ride took about 2.5/3 hours. Two of the girls were staying in the same area of Berlin as I was, so I got dropped off closer than I thought! I walked to the CouchSurfing apartment, relying heavily on my iPhone. I am so glad I brought a smartphone with me. I use the maps app and google translate app multiple times each day. I also Shazam a lot of the hilarious German songs on the radio.

Back to Berlin,
I found the apartment and my host was super nice! I had my own room, with a larger bed than in Hamburg! The apartment is actually her parent's vacation flat in Berlin, they are from Norway, so it is pretty large and nice! We went out and grabbed a few beers and then made stuffed peppers with her Hungarian boyfriend. So multi-cultural. We went to a few bars in the area that night, one of them looked sooooo much like a 70s lounge, plus there was a girl with the most amazing afro sitting next to us, so that helped with the vibe. Then we got some cheap late night pizza and headed back to her place.

Saturday I went on a free walking tour and saw a lot of the important Berlin things. The first half of the tour was full of memorials and Nazi buildings and the wall, the second half had some more modern things and a few places that weren't as sad. The tour guide reminded us that Berlin has been called 'Poor, but sexy' and that although a lot of terrible things have happened there, they are always changing and growing and remembering their history. The memorials were really impressive. They have a separate memorial for each group of people who were targeted in the Holocaust. The first one we saw was the 'Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.' There were multiple rounds of design competitions for the memorial and this version was the winner of the third competition. It was basically a huge number of cement blocks of varying heights covering a city block. The ground was hilly and the middle part of the memorial seemed to just start sinking into the ground. There was some debate in the government about the best way to spend the money allotted for the memorial and ultimately they chose a giant memorial in the middle of the city so that no one could ever forget what happened. The memorial is in the middle of everything, near the trains, political buildings, tourist sites, shopping, hotels, parks, everything... you literally cannot miss the memorial. Job well done. It was also nice to hear about the Architect's perspective on the memorial:

SPIEGEL ONLINE: A lot of people say it looks like a cemetery.
Eisenman: I can't think about it. If one person says it looks like a graveyard and the next says it looks like a ruined city and then someone says it looks like it is from Mars -- everybody needs to make it look like something they know. There was an aerial shot in the paper on Saturday -- a beautiful photo. I have never seen a graveyard that looks like that. And when you walk in, it certainly doesn't feel like one. But if people see it like that, you can't stop them. It's fine.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is there a feeling or an emotion that you wanted to generate in the people who visit the monument?
Eisenman: I said all along that I wanted people to have a feeling of being in the present and an experience that they had never had before. And one that was different and slightly unsettling. The world is too full of information and here is a place without information. That is what I wanted.

more here.

I think the memorial accomplished his goal of being unsettling, you really start to feel lost and small in the middle. Of course there were some tourists running around and smiling and posing inside, which really did not seem appropriate, and others standing on top of the pillars which also seemed wrong. Over all a very good memorial. Here is a photo from online, still waiting for internet so I can upload my own.

After that we walked to the site of Hitler's bunker. Now it is just a parking lot. There is small sign in the corner, but other than that no real markers to tell you where you are standing. It is just used as a parking lot/place for the nearby residents to take their dogs out to do their business. Berlin does a good job with memorials. The last place Hitler was alive is getting crapped on every day.
We then visited the Berlin wall, which didn't look that tall or imposing, but it had a circular tube running across the top which apparently is designed to be just wide enough that you can't get your arms over it to climb to the other side. Also the other side used to be full of booby traps and danger and was called the Death Strip, so I guess the wall didn't have to be that tall. We also saw a memorial at the site where roughly 20,000 books were burned. I couldn't get a good look at it because of the sunlight and the crowds, but I found a picture online. It is basically a little room under ground with empty bookshelves with enough space to hold the number of books burned. Apparently it is really great at night and lights up. There was a plaque on the ground with a quote from Heinrich Heine that translates to English as "Where they burn books, they ultimately burn people." The quote was from his 1821 play. It was a really eerie statement because his prediction was so true. Like I said, Berlin really does great memorials. Photo from online:

After the tour I wandered around for a little bit and ran into a Vegetarian/Vegan Summer Festival. Crunchiest place ever. There were some cool booths with people making spray paint art featuring images of children and animals being friends, and then some booths with intense books about Feminism and Vegan lifestyles and other things about the man bringin' us down. Cool to see, but I think I am a more casual vegetarian, maybe I should buy a t-shirt or something...

I headed back to my bed and took a little nap before having homemade sushi with my host, her bf and her friend. Started to get in to some philosophical conversations, and BF and I realized we were not smart enough for that, so we looked a pictures of elaborate cakes online. Perfekt.
We were heading out to grab a few drinks and got down to the front door of the building when we opened it and discovered that one of her crazy neighbors was passed out against the door. Apparently she has done this before and can get fairly physically aggressive, so host wanted to file a police report to help find a way to get the crazy lady kicked out of the building. After that unexpected drama, we made it to the bar. Host and BF were tired so they headed home and I went out with their friend Laura. We went to a bar/club and I realized that I am definitely NOT cool enough for Berlin. I need to get a super edgy haircut. These people were a few steps past half-hair, this was shave off random sections of hair, braid a few other sections, dread some sections, dye a few pieces pink, and color a few spots of scalp blue. Plus multiple face piercings. I have never felt so bland in my whole life. At least I was wearing a black shirt, and my Converse were appropriate footwear. We left that club and were preparing to go home when we ran into Benny on the street! It was truly magical. We had been trying to meet up since I arrived in Berlin and just couldn't seem to make it happen. Since Berlin had brought us back together Laura and I went with Benny and his friends to some dark weird bar on the corner. Really interesting atmosphere in there haha. Made plans to go visit Benny in his hometown in Germany, which is... somewhere... I'll find out. Laura and I left and went and looked at the River/Spree thing and then went home around 6.

Sunday I woke up around 12 and lounged around for a little bit before going to the Mauerpark Market. It was massive and full of antiques, clothes, junk, jewelry, junk and sweaty people. I lasted about a half hour before I thought I was going to melt into a puddle.

I headed back to the apartment to pack up and leave. Got to the train station about a half hour later, Berlin is huge. I bought my ticket from a machine, the ticket was €30(is that supposed to be written 30€ ?) I put in a 50 and it spit back out all coins as my change. I looked like such a dumbass. The train I was supposed to take back to Hamburg couldn't handle the heat wave and stopped working in Berlin so we all had to cram into the next train going to Hamburg. Two trains full of people on one train. In a heat wave. MELTING. I pushed past all the people and threw myself into a seat. Couldn't stand for the 2 hour ride back to Hamburg. I made it home and all was well.

Tonight I am going to another Sneak Preview movie showing. I have seen Brave and Hope Springs so far. Wonder what tonight's movie will be.

Thursday morning I am heading off to Dublin for the weekend! So excited to meet up with my friends, speak fast English(essentially a whole different language than the English I have been speaking here), drink some Guinness and sing some pub songs. THRILLED.

Have a good week everyone!

Liebe Grüße,

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mehr Musik

Here you go Ginny:
Some jamz the Germans seem to be loving right now.

apparently an old song that people keep remaking:

I don't love this one, but I can sort of understand what they are saying so it makes me feel talented:

something about the moon being dead:

weird video:

in english:

Wuppertal + Köln/Cologne

Hallo Leute,

Last weekend:

Friday night was the work party the interns threw for the other employees. 'La Dolce Vita.' It was really nice! Not many people from the office could come, because everyone is always on vacation here, but it was still a nice party. I won a Bocce Ball set in Bingo. Score! I think it is too heavy to take home though, I only have 8 pounds free in my suitcases... so I think I will leave it for the roomies. I left the party fairly early to make sure I would be up for my train Saturday morning. Here are a few photos I took off the server of the party. *there was a photo booth*

decorations for the party


Saturday I got on the train at 9:30 and headed to Wuppertal.
Train struggles:
I bought a BahnCard50, which is a discount card for the German train company that allows me to purchase 50% off tickets, I was considering the BahnCard25, but you cannot buy last minute tickets with that discount, so I went with the 50. I bought the student rate, I think €120 and submitted my documents online for them to verify that I am a student. I guess I didn't look closely at the activation date, or it changed when I submitted or something, because the card wasn't active until August 15, and my train was on the 11th. The website allows you to buy tickets with any discount and doesn't verify that you actually have the card, also didn't know that. So I had to pay another €80 on the train. Then I realized that I forgot to put Landor on the address thing, and in Germany there is 1 address for the whole building, so if the name on the mail is incorrect it won't go to the correct mailbox. I called the number for the BahnCard people and got passed around from person to person until someone could update the address thing. My card arrived. Lesson learned, don't buy anything online/register for anything online in Germany because you WILL mess it up and it will be expensive.

arrived around 1:30 and Morgen and I grabbed some groceries, she was making a carrot cake for her birthday, and some champagne(just needed it) then we dropped the things off at her apartment... Wuppertal is HILLY. rough.
We walked around Wuppertal for a little bit, did some shopping, then got ready for the Opladen beer festival. link is German, but I think there are a few photos. Morgen and I were NOT mentally prepared for the size of this festival. It was a multilevel outdoor field thing with tons of tents of beer and snacks and bands and people. I think we were too hungry/full/tired/overwhelmed, so we did not take advantage of all the beers. Got some delicious potato pancake type things. I think they had a different name than Kartoffelpuffer though... We left fairly early and got on the train back to Wuppertal. Met some people on the train and talked with them for a bit until we realized that they were not being friendly/expressing interest in the fact that we were learning German, they were being mean and rude. Sometimes it is hard to tell. Genuine interest or mockery.

Morgen and Franzi with the Fuchs coaster. Fuchs=fox

Sunday we went to Köln/Cologne and visited the Lindt Chocolate Museum, there were some cool things in there... a lot of artifact type things though. I was hoping for more GIANT vats of chocolate and production type things. After that we met up with Franzi, Morgen'S roommate, and climbed to the top of the Dom. 550ish steps later we were at the top. Note on the stairs: THEY WERE TERRIBLE. very tight spiral stairs, and instead of designating one stairwell for people going up and one for people going down, everyone just crammed into the same one. And there were not many, if any, windows in the stairwells. I was pretty sure I was going to die on the way up, upwards people were on the inside track, which was NOT enough room for feet. I think Morgen has a picture, I'll steal it when she uploads it. Excellent views from the top. We climbed back down and looked around the inside of the church, my camera died so Morgen has the pictures, stealing them later. We grabbed drinks from Starbucks(close to the station) and tried to buy cookies or cake and the barista was an ass, so we skipped it. Morgen asked for 'Lemon Cake' which was written on the sign and then went with 'Zitronenkuchen' also on the sign and the guy was a jerk about it, so we left. Then we headed back to Wuppertal so I could catch my train back to Hamburg. It was a short visit, but Cologne seemed really nice. It was a sunny and hot day so everyone was lounging outside by the water. I was especially jealous of the tiny kids in their underwear frolicking in the water. I think I might be too old for that though. Schade.

This week at work has been pretty good, weird levels of work though, I'll be swamped for a day(last week was busy) then have a day with nothing. I had working in the basement last week, which was great! A homeless man(der Penner=rude word for a bum) climbed in the window and a coworker had to chase him away. never a dull moment in the basement.

After work tonight I am meeting up with my Mitfahrgelegenheit, ride share to Berlin, then I am couchsurfing with a girl from Norway. Two new things, if they work out, I will be able to save a ton of money in the future for traveling. I am meeting up with Benny in Berlin too! We met in Copenhagen and will both be in Berlin this weekend.

Schönes Wochenende!

** fuchs is sometimes used as the German equivalent of Ginger

Thursday, August 16, 2012

German Musik


Here is a German Musik Video to hold you over until I can write about Wuppertal and Köln.


This weekend I am in Berlin.

Taking a Mitfahrgelegenheit there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012



Okay so two weeks ago I went to Copenhagen and it was great. The end.

Just kidding, Grandma.

I left work after clean-up Friday and hopped on a train to Copenhagen. The man next to me was telling me that the train was so short(only 4 cars) because that was all that would fit on the boat. I thought he was just messing with me, but then the train DROVE ON TO A FERRY. It was crazy. I was not expecting that. So we got off the train and went to go hang out on the top part of the ferry for 45 minutes while we sailed to Denmark.

Side note, Scandinavian people are TOO attractive. Cut it out.

Arrived in Copenhagen and got a little lost on the way to the hostel. I got to the hostel around 10:45, Morgen's plane was super delayed and I thought she was dead. I got to the hostel after happy hour had come and gone, so all the solo travelers had already bonded... I sat in a corner and abused the wifi and moped and thought Morgen was dead and considered what a terrible backpacker I was, and THEN MORGEN ARRIVED. all was well.

We went out with some of her ICP Cincinnati Co-Op acquaintances and wandered around the square near our hostel.

Saturday, we did the free walking tour with Simon and his British accent. Morgen and I took advantage of the legal public drinking and enjoyed some Elephant beers along the way.

The tour started in front of the Town Hall which was the spot where the glorious Native American performers were doing their thang. They were amazing and dedicated, apparently they perform all day every day. LOVED it.

At the end of the tour, Morgen and I were approached by a lady who was filming some guy playing the guitar. She asked if we had a few minutes to be in her video. FAME. Morgen and I had to walk up to the guitar man, sit down, nod and talk to one another about how great he was, hand him a piece of paper and walk away giving one final glance back. NAILED IT.

I got her facebook info, so now we just have to wait until she loads the video onto her vimeo.

After that Morgen and I got some delicious Indian food. Expensive, but soooooo worth it. Then we took a nap and got ready for the pub crawl. The pub crawl was fun, we were in an Australian bar where people were 'playing' beer pong. It was terrible. They were playing it alllllll wrong and Morgen and I couldn't handle being around that, so we went back to the other room with the dance music.

Sunday, we went to Christiania with two guys from our room, an Aussie(can't remember his name), and Benny, from Germany.  Christiania is an area in Copenhagen that essentially decided to not follow any laws or pay any taxes or anything. Drugs galore. Garbage everywhere. It was really bizarre. No pictures allowed in there because weed is not technically legal but they still sell it and smoke it and eat it and look at it and everything. We left Christiania and re-entered the EU and walked around a little more. We then headed back to the hostel and took a nap on the giant napping platform in the lobby area. After that we went to Tivoli, super old amusement park in the center of Copenhagen, with Benny.  Good people watching there. It was strange though because you pay an entrance fee and each ride costs more. We didn't ride anything, just looked at people and things. Cedar Point spoiled me.

Then we left and went our separate ways. Benny and I are trying to meet up this weekend in Berlin. We'll see.

I have a lot of pictures from Copenhagen, hopefully I will have some internet at home at some point so I can upload them.

I can use my phone as a router, but the internet speed on my phone is soooooo slooooowwwwwww.... so it doesn't work well.

Post about Wuppertal and Köln coming soon.

Friday, August 10, 2012

quick update

Hello loyal blog readers(grandma)

I am not dead.

It has been a busy week at work and I still don't have home internet so I haven't been able to post anything.

Copenhagen was great! I will have to go back soon.

I will write a full post about it later, but to hold you over here is Morgen's.

I am going to Wuppertal tomorrow to see Morgen and we will go to Dusseldorf and Köln and some beer festival

Tonight is a work party.


Friday, August 3, 2012

real bedroom


Vany and I hung the roller-blinds last night. I think she said we needed blinds that were 1 inch wider, but they ran out at Ikea, so these work! might shift them over a little more to the left to block a tiny bit more sun, but it is so nice to have real curtains and not my fitted bed sheet tucked into the window. It was wonderfully dark in my room this morning!

Leaving for Copenhagen in 7.5 hours. wooooo!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

making progress

I think I am starting to become a slightly more real Hamburger. Although as soon as one thing starts to improve, I encounter another setback... but that's just how it is I guess.

Last night I got a BED! little victories. Ikea was a hot mess, as it always is. That section at the bottom with all the weird little things gets me every time. David(from work) and I took the train and a bus to Ikea and met Vani/Vany(I really should ask her how she spells that) outside. I was shopping for: bed frame, curtains, mirror, hooks, organizer thing for my makeup and things. I got all of those things plus some elk noodles(must-have). We managed to fit a twin bed frame, full/queen bedframe+mattress, 2 large mirrors, and a bunch of other little things into Vani's smallish car(smaller than Patrick) It was amazing, thanks Pops for the packing lessons on every trip.
We got all of the things back and David helped(did all of the work) to build my bed. Vani and I will try to tackle the roller blind later on, for now the fitted bedsheet I tucked into the window works, even if the light coming through the red sheet makes my room look like a brothel.

Here is my bed:

Isn't she beautiful? Hah. I'll get a picture of my room once I hang the roller blind curtain thing. It will be gorgeous.

The internet provider seems to be incompetent. Last week the man said he couldn't install the internet because he needed a 'special box'. So they sent another person on Tuesday, and apparently they didn't tell him about the 'special box' so he was totally unprepared. Maybe next week.

Going back in time, last weekend was great. Friday night I went out to get Vietnamese food with Nina(lives in Cincinnati, family from Germany originally) and her friend, it was delicious, must go back there. After that we met up with a few other work people and had some drinks outside, must take advantage of nice weather as it is SO rare. I had some German beer and then some Irish cider. PUMPED for Ireland in a few weeks. Saturday I walked around Sternschanze for a little bit and bought some spectacular shoes:

They were on sale. So versatile, I'm pretty sure they will go with everything.

Saturday night I met up with Xenia at her friend's apartment for bruschetta and cocktails before going out to the Reeperbahn where we met up with more people from work. The goal of the night was to stay out late enough to go to the Altona fish market which opens at 5:30am. It was a strugggggle. We made it there and I was too tired to take any pictures, so it doesn't even really count and I'll have to try again. Got home around 8am and slept allllllll day Sunday. Was supposed to meet work people to play pool and I'm pretty sure they thought I was dead.

My German classes seem to be helping. I feel like I understand more of what people are saying, but I can't think fast enough to string together the few words I know into a sentence. Morgen wrote a post about being the new 'quiet girl' and I think that applies to me here too. I go out to lunch with people and they are joking and laughing and I can sort of understand what they are saying and would love to contribute, but my German is just NOT good enough for wit and charm.

Tonight after my lesson I have to do some laundry so I have clothes and things to bring to Copenhagen, then I have to pack up my backpack, I am leaving straight from work tomorrow. So excited! I hope I get a passport stamp. Love those.

To do:
-hang curtain
-learn German
-plan more trips
-get face piercing or hip new haircut to fit in with the CROWDS of hipsters in the Schanze, I have never felt so bland. this website seems to have some great suggestions for how to be hip. Must learn some hip German lingo. Or I'll just buy some more outrageous clothing. I got paid, so now I feel like I am rolllllling in money. I'm not.

Okay, bye!