Friday, February 4, 2011

Poor Excuses for Blog posts

All of these were written starting at 12am on Monday, Jan 31
If you notice a lack of Quality this is why

Days start to blur together
                Bayreuth Wednesday through Friday Jan 12-14, 2011
For the first time I am not going to write a journal for a specific day because they aren’t much different. We start to get into a routine that sticks. Wednesday was more hard class and then we went to Jennah and Ying Lao’s house, where we could use the internet and cook our food. We had American food!!!, good old BLT’s. We pretty much just veged out the day listening to ridiculous music and playing on the internet. After that we returned home to house where we had a great dinner, we did some work and planned on going to sleep. More guests showed up to the house so we had to meet them and drink with them. Then we finally went to sleep.
Thursday was really similar to Wednesday and we didn’t do much. We had frozen pizza instead of BLTs, it still tasted good. German was starting to turn my brain inside out, but it was ok. Pete and I headed to MediaMarkt to buy an Internet surf stick. We bought the cheapest one, big mistake. O is really annoying and has terrible software. We ate at Ethan’s house and we recorded some beat boxing and it was lots of fun.
Friday again started very similarly to Thursday. We had class that we thoroughly wanted to drop at this point. “It will be ok, it’s only 15 classes” is what we had to keep telling our selves. We returned to our host family during the day for once. Everything looked so different as this really was the first time we had seen it in the daytime. After taking pictures of the house we went to sleep to try and recover some energy. After waking up we had dinner with our family, it was good as always. After awhile Kevin went out to get our first taste of the local night life Borracho. They were having this thing called party safari it was pretty cool, we got some drinks, and had fun dancing.

1.  FC Nürnberg
                Nürnberg Saturday Jan 15, 2011
                We woke up, rushed out the door and headed for the train station. We arrived in Nürnberg and we again had to rush to the Markt Platz. Our city tour started there and we learned about Saint Sebald, his church, and how it survived the war. Nürnberg was heavily destroyed during WW2 because it was Hitler’s Party Headquarters. A lot of historical buildings were completely destroyed and only those that weren’t complete destroyed were rebuilt in the original way. However many historical artifacts were saved by putting them in the cellars below the Nürnberg castle.
                We walked up to the castle and got to see the nice view from atop its walls, even though it still wasn’t good weather. After we assaulted the castle we went to the 1. FC Nürnberg fan shop. There we acquired tickets and fanatical items. We got Nürnberger Würstchen from a small street stand, they were amazing. Then we headed to the train station to catch the train to the stadium.  Once at the stadium we were very excited to watch the game and we got beer to celebrate. The game started, the crowd went crazy, and we all joined in. This was my first major league/professional league game of any kind so it was really cool how many people were there and how excited everyone got. I think this experience was an important one and I think a game should be included into future trips. I never really knew how into soccer Germans are. Even though 1. FC Nürnberg didn’t win, the game was still lots of fun and is one of my most memorable events from the trip.
                We left the game, (at top speed to catch the train), got crammed onto the train and returned to the main station. When I say we got crammed onto a train that’s an understatement, we were SMUSHED. So then we got on a train back to Bayreuth. We got back, had an amazing dinner from a Pizzeria in town, and then headed to the Glashaus. The Glashaus was fun with of a combination of House Music and psychedelic lighting. It was a bit much after awhile but I ended up staying until 4am anyway.

Wagner and the Wall
                Bayreuth Sunday and Monday Jan 16&17, 2011
                Sunday started late because of my late return from the Glashaus. I woke up with not much time to eat, shower and get to the Festspielhaus. We got there and it was really cool. Inside the Festspielhaus was a serious version of an opera house. Wagner was no joke and neither were his plays or how he wanted them watched. All of the seats have a great view of the stage, the lights were dimmed except on the stage, and the doors were locked so there were no interruptions. They still have the original seats because if they replace them they will lose a lot of seats. We then got to check out the orchestra pit, which was hidden from the audience by a wall that allowed the music to escape at the right times. After the orchestra pit we headed back stage which was HUGE! It had all kinds of cool sets too. After the Festspielhaus we walked down into town and then headed back to the house on a bus. The rest of the day pretty much included working on journals and our paper.

The Wall:
                Monday we handed in our papers and had more fun grammar things to learn. Then we headed to the mensa to chill for a bit. We all got food then headed over to Geo I, where our After the Wall lecture was. I enjoyed the book After the Wall at first but eventually it just got really repetitive and contradictory. I was very happy with our discussion and how it turned out. Just having to read this book without having been able to talk to people about would have been pointless.
Return to Nürnberg
                Bayreuth&Nürnberg Tuesday Jan 18, 2011
                Tuesday started the same as all of our weekdays have pretty much started. Early wake up for an early class that is really long and never ending. After class, we immediately headed to the train station to catch our train to Nürnberg. We had McDonalds and it was amazing. Ten of us headed to Nürnberg to do the Dokumentation Zentrum tour. The Doku Zentrum was very interesting, but a bit too much info for one trip. We moved through a bit too fast and I was the last one through. I learned a lot but it didn’t have enough interaction for liking. After we were there we headed back to the Fan shop, why I’m not really sure. Simon and I got to do some cool pictures with our cameras and tripods and we met the group at the Wurstchen Haus. There we got a ton of little sausages that tasted suspiciously like Jimmy Dean. After that we headed to the train station where we acquired some beer that we decided we had to drink on the train because it was legal. We got on the train and we got our own little room at the end of the train. There was one other person in the car with us, who we later found out was Peter Schmunk. We met this guy, he spoke fluent English, was studying at the Uni, and seemed really cool.
More German Friends
                Bayreuth Wednesday Jan 19, 2011
New Wednesday started with same old same old. We had class, it was hard and then we went to the Mensa. After that we returned to the host family to get some work done and get a bit of sleeping in. We had dinner with Olga and Herbert, it was amazing as always. Herbert decided we needed to meet his cousin Heinrich and his daughter Eva. So we headed down to their house in Herbert’s VW, they live only 5 mins away. We met Heinrich, Hiltrude (Heinrichs Frau), Eva, and Ana. They are really nice and we would all become good friends. We had Alkopop which is just beer and soda mixture. Who knew it would be good. We spoke some in German but everyone here speaks some English, it makes us feel so uncultured. Eva speaks fluent German, Spainish, and English.
Sick day for the Win
                Bayreuth Thursday and Friday Jan 20&21, 2011
Thursday started out fine we had class, which included reviewing for the Mid-term the next day. After class we headed to the mensa, I got a curry wurst mit Pommes, still routine. We then had a lecture and discussion about underage drinking, the legal system, and drug problems in Germany. It was with a detective from Bayreuth, Herr Stegner. This discussion was really interesting and I think we all learned about how the German legal system works. After the discussion we took a bus back to our home and on the way back my stomach started feeling a little funny. We had planned on going out that night so we wanted to get a nap. I tried to go to sleep, but I was thwarted by my pesky stomach, which didn’t want me to sleep. For the rest of the evening into the night and the next morning, I got almost no sleep and it just felt terrible. I finally felt slightly better by noon on Friday way after my mid-term, so I didn’t go to class and I didn’t do anything the entire day. For dinner Herbert and Olga’s two sons, Danilo and Eric, came over dinner. Eric’s daughter and wife were also there. They had schnitzel but that would have not worked for me so I had some noodles with butter, it was plenty. I decided I couldn’t miss another day of going out so I went out with Kevin, Mike, Peter (from Germany), and some of the girls. We went to Boracho first and then Oskar. It was a great idea to go out and I even caught the bus back.
Schönes Würzburg
                Bayreuth Saturday Jan 22, 2011
                For the free weekend I had planned to go to Stuttgart but that got nixed by the sickness, so I went to Würzburg with Leanne, Dennis, Nicole, and Becca, it was a good choice. We took a train that wasn’t too early and I didn’t have to pay because I got to use my Eurail pass. When we got to Würzburg it was already beautiful weather. It was a little cold but the SUN WAS SHINING! We were already hungry when we got there so we needed lunch. We couldn’t find anything that wasn’t closed, crowded, or expensive, so we went to a Pizza Hut restaurant. It was actually really nice and good food. We then wandered around the city a bunch. We saw all the sites like the bridge and the dome. We then headed to the castle. We talked the long way up the castle side. It was very beautiful with all of these wine grapes and nice views. The city was beautiful from this vantage point and the pictures were so easy to take with the great lighting. We finally made it into the castle area and it was really cool. We headed down the other side on the way down it only took 15 mins whereas on the way up it took almost an hour. We decided to do some more exploring and made our way over to the Residence. It closed right when we got there so headed to the train station to catch the train home. We got into Bayreuth around 9pm, I rushed back to the house, got a shower and rushed back out to Boracho. I met Eva and all of her friends there. After being at Boracho for a bit we headed over to the Rosenau, a club off of the main Platz. It was really cool except there were a ton of old people and it was mostly bad music because it was some Rosenau roots party. It was still a lot of fun and it turned to be another really late night.

Culture and Stereotypes
                Bayreuth Monday Jan 24, 2011
Our discussion on culture was interesting. It was totally not what expected when I heard what it was going to be about. I was expecting an intro to German culture and why people do what they do. It ended up really being about culture in general and what we thought about Germans. It was kind of boring but it still informative. I liked how were able to identify with a lot of the German traits and see how American customs differ from that of German ones. I was disappointed in the fact that we didn’t really learn why German people do what they do but I still enjoyed it none the less.
School systems and Parties
                Bayreuth Tuesday and Wednesday 25&26, 2011
On Tuesday we had our discussion about the Bavarian school system. I thought this was pretty interesting and important. We had a slight idea of how their schools worked, but this really clarified things for us. I am happy German Peter was there, I think he really added to the discussion, but I apologize for us bringing him. He was a bit rude. (Cultural experience) After the lecture about schools we went back to the house to do some work and eat dinner. We didn’t really have much planned but Monday night was super boring so I ended up going out with German Peter. I went to his place for a bit and then we went to Oskar’s. It was fun and I got to talk to some other Germans as well.
                Wednesday was another typical day; Class and then mensa. We didn’t do much during the day just some more work and sleep. Later we had dinner with Olga and Herbert. After that we all went out to an Irish pub called the Dubliner we accidentally ordered too many drinks but it worked out ok. It was a lot of fun because there was live music and billiards.
Dialects, Classical Music, and Beir
                Bayreuth & Munich Thursday and Friday Jan 27&28, 2011
Our Thursday class was a lot of fun. We got to try and read the phonetic spelling of all of these different dialects from around Germany. We all had difficulties and we laughed with and at each other. We also sang the Franconian and Bavarian anthems. Both were totally opposite and I like the Franconian one a lot better. After class we headed to Subway to try the amazing German Subway. I have to admit it was definitely better than the American Subway at home. Then we hurried on over to the train station to wait on the floor in the main lobby. We all ate our sandwiches and then we boarded the train to Munich. The train from Nürnberg was the same as always, but then we got to take the ICE from Nürnberg to Munich in first class. That was really cool and I am happy that Frau Riehl made that one mistake the whole trip.
Once in Munich we headed to our hotel which was right next to the Haupt Bahnhof. We freshened up and headed out towards the Marienplatz. We had a concert to get to, so we boogied. We go to the concert and it was totally not what expected. I expected some full orchestra. It was still really cool and it was in this little chapel that was beautiful. We had dinner in a huge Beer Hall called Augustiner Brewery. We headed back to the hotel and passed out.
On Friday morning we headed out on a city bus tour with Frau Mountain our new tour guide. We drove around the city a bunch seeing all kinds of buildings and then we headed to Schloss Nymphenburg. It was so beautiful inside and out and the architecture was really cool. The rest of Friday was kind of a letdown. We returned to the hotel for a bit and decided to just “find” a place to eat. It was Brian, Ling Yao, Jennah, and I just wandering through the city not finding anything. We eventually found a place but it was already really late. We pretty much went back to the hotel and chilled for a while. Everyone else came back from their adventure and we decided to go to the Hof Brau Haus. That was not a great idea because it was Friday night at 8pm with a 16 person group.  Not all of us found seats right away and Brian and Simon left. We all eventually ate and our 1L beers. After that we went back to the hotel and went to sleep.

                Munich Saturday Jan 29, 2011
This visit to Dachau was my second time around. It was a totally different experience the second time. The first time I didn’t have a tour guide and this gave me so much more worthwhile info. It was also a little warmer with no snow on the ground. This change in weather changed the affect everything outside had on me. The biggest thing that affected me was the crematorium, which I hadn’t seen the first time. They were so creepy and daunting. I think the second trip was a better trip for me and I am glad I got to again, well as much as you can be glad about going to a concentration camp.