Reverse Culture Shock

Meanwhile….Back in “murica.

Anyone who has been abroad will understand the following reverse culture shock:

1. Why isn’t there a night bus to take me home??

2. Since when is walking around eating food not acceptable? …They do it in Europe all the time!

3. Remembering the names of certain people I met prior to abroad is a modern day “Memory Game”, and I suck at it..

4. The closest thing to kiosk alcohol is 4 lokos. (This can’t be right…)

5. All of the new lingo people have created since being gone, is almost as hard as learning German. Almost.

6. WHY DON’T PEOPLE NAP HERE? FYI: Siestas are a real thing, America. 

7. No one looks up from their phones, ever. There have to be more pedestrian related accidents than EVER. 

8. Döner. Pom Döner.  Enough said.

Needless to say, I have not yet adjusted to life back home. I don’t know the socially acceptable behavior like I used to…but TBH (new acronym, meaning: to be honest that I just learned) I don’t really care.

Prost to this strange continuum called re-acclimation. Anybody? 

Nope?  Just me.

 

At least, I’m back with my love…Image

 

 

 

Christmas Markt

It’s Christmas time in the cittyyyyyyy and it is beautiful.

Since there’s no Thanksgiving it has been winter wonderland all over Bonn for the past few weeks already. 

I love the Christmas Markt and plan on spending all of my remaining time outside of finishing my documentary at this lovely place.

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What is this white stuff ??

I believe that today is Christmas morning, or felt like it when I looked out my window and saw a faint little sheet of frostiness covering everything. I’m not quite sure what it was, but I believe it’s a precursor to REAL LIVE SNOW!!!!!
I can’t wait!!
Even though snow and ice are terribly dangerous things for me to interact with, I can’t help but be excited if I could see real snow fall!!
For now though, this lovely frost will do 😀

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Meine Schwester in Deutschland!

My sister came to me! My sister came to me!

I can’t tell you how excited I was to see her. I’m so thankful that (even if it was for a short time) that she came to see everything my life has been about for the past 3 months. Not only that, but she graced the silver screen for part of my documentary. (see if you can find her 😉 )

Anyways, I tried to make sure that she had the full experience in a nutshell while she was here.

This included:

Stumbling upon Beethoven’s house by accident after her first authentic German meal of schnitzel and potatoes. ImageImage

(Ain’t she purdy?) 😀

Then, of course, and for her first time as well as mine we just HAD to go out on the town until 7 am. Somebody had to do it, and so we took one for the team. This picture is a good summation. Note the high angle shot and foggy interior. (clearly I am a film major..HA)

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We went on a few other adventures to the Kunstmuseum, extra dry, james joyce, the cathedral, the Botanische gartens, we pretty much hit it all.

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Oh, heads WILL roll.Image

Becoming educated and stuff…

Image Bratwurst and pommes! WOO GERMAN FOODImageImageImage

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Image MY TWO SISTERS 😀Image

I leave you with these wise words of the cocktail bar with which we discovered a plethora of amazing drinks.

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My awesome host family introduced us to a feast where you get your own grill! It wouldn’t be complete without me burning my arm on one. Now I will be scarred of the magical tasting food and wonderful people for the rest of my life…I think I can handle that. Image

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Chaos city and tequila sunsets please!

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Guacamole making for my doc fiesta!!Image

And a good sister always embraces your crazy ideas..I couldn’t have asked for a better one.

Things they DON’T tell you about Oktoberfest

Aside from the amazing beer pictures that I have put up, there are a few things that some people forget to mention when you’re going to Oktoberfest. (no bitterness intended, it made it more of an adventure!)

1. If it rains (which it did. ALL DAY) be prepared to get extremely up close and personal with other strangers while waiting in line.

2. “What line??” you might ask. Well the 2-3 hour line ( IN THE RAIN in our case) to get INSIDE to where the joyous singing, dancing, drinking, and SELLING of beer and food happens

3. Not all entrances to the beer tents are entrances, apparently. Sometimes people are sneaky enough to get in line to a door with a security guard, where they don’t let people in. You will only realize this after you have been freezing in the rain for over an hour and get to the front of the line right at the door, to be told (in German of course) that you will not be let in here & that you need to leave to go get in line again at ANOTHER DOOR.

4. People that you think should not be as drunk as they are, will be. Look out for any age, shape, or form of a person to be out of their mind. 

5. Lederhosen never go out of style. Even if you wear it multiple days in a row. They’re a very good look for guys. BRING THIS TO AMERICA PLEASE.

6. The cookies are edible…HOWEVER most people just wear them. It’s some tradition that no one I asked knew where it derived from. Something that I have yet to get used to is wearing your food when I want to eat it..

7. Germans sing “Old Country Road” at every Oktoberfest. Almost every 10 minutes. Also no one knows why, but what do I care? Finally a song I can sing along to!! 😀

8. Do not be alarmed when everyone in the Biergarten hollers and yells at you when you stand up on the bench to get out of the crowd to go to the bathroom…they’re cheering because normally when someone stands on the benches INSIDE THE TENTS it means that you are about to chug the remainder of your stein, which is very exciting and everyone is quite supportive of this.

9. There are ceiling heaters that will save your life, if you can find them.

10. Talk to the people at your table. You may learn all about Buvarian culture and how awesome of people they are. IF YOU ARE LUCKY, one of them may buy you a birthday pretzel. 😀 But only if you’re lucky and cheer along as they sing Old Country Road for the millionth time. 

11. Embrace it all anyways. Everything that goes wrong makes for great stories for the future kids…ha. Well maybe when they’re older…

This one time at Oktoberfest…

So this one time at a strange yet amazing place called Oktoberfest…

I dressed in a traditional dirndl (courtesy of my wonderful host sister)

 

Image looked very German…

 

 

 

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the pretzels and beer were bigger than my face (our German friends sang happy birthday to me (in German of course)

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ALL without going inside one of the crazy hot crowded tents!!

Berlin’s welcome to me

Berlin’s welcome to me was a little similar to my welcome in Amsterdam which required me to fear for my life. Except this time, on a much lesser scale. We arrived after an 8 hour bus ride to go on our city tour. The tour began by me getting yelled at in German by an angry lady on a bike. Nothing says welcome to a new city by an insult I don’t know and construction sites everywhere. Hmmm, add in the traffic, and it feels just like home!!

With that nice of a start, the tour only could get better. The city itself is such a clash of trying to establish a unified identity, there’s a strong mixture of new and old ideologies everywhere you look.

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We saw the remnants of the division of east and West Berlin and the reminders of communist times. We even stood in the same square that adolf hitler spoke at several rallies. It was insane to believe I was actually at the place of such pivotal points in history.

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In order for the universe to balance out some of the horror, the square of the rallies is also the place where THE FIRST POTATO was planted. Talk about a juxtaposition.
We also walked through where the book burning took place and were able to see a haunting memorial of empty bookshelves that the 50,000 burned books could fill. It was an amazing remembrance.
There’s so much more this city has to offer and I can’t wait to experience it.

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Red lights

Roxanne, you don’t have to put on your red light, roxaneeee.

This weekend we went to Amsterdam !
After waking up at the crack of dawn to meet up with the group we finally made it to Amsterdam 🙂

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From there we went to the IBC conference and saw the future of the film industry as well as broadcast. New technologies that we were able to actually use and test out, like 4k led displays, 3 axis camera designed to keep a steady shot when running around filming the action! I felt like iron woman, but it was awesome. We are the future of the industry and definitely the youngest people out of everyone that was there…so we stuck out a smidge.
Amsterdam as a whole was beautiful, yet dangerous. We did not feel safe after almost being hit by first a train then a bus and then fast bikers!! Crosswalks literally mean nothing there & pedestrians have the last right of way. Bikes the first..
Once I got past the fearing for my life thing…we explored some inspiring places.

We visited the Anne Frank house and it was incredible to stand in the actual spot were she used to live and write and hide. If only walls could talk. You could just feel the presence of all the history and events that had happened. It was inspiring and emotional for me especially watching the video of Anne frank’s best friend recounting their interactions through the wall at the concentration camp. The acts of love and friendship that managed to persist in the most horrible situations, truly moves me.
After this, we then experienced the Van Gogh museum and I loved it! The museum display and color coordination and just the way the gallery was set up gave me a great taste of his work without sensory overloading me. My favorites are Sunflowers and Irises and Seaside. Being able to see his work up close and personal gave me a new appreciation for his work. I wish my sister would have been able to see it! She’d be so proud of me embracing the art world:)

The red light district made me a little uncomfortable and I didn’t know exactly how to react to it. I don’t think ill ever be comfortable with some of the things in Amsterdam though…

All in all I’m thankful for this experience, but happy to be back in Bonn 😀

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Sunday is funday/recap day

Sunday is officially fun day and I’m so thankful for my host dad and sister to take me to my little kid fantasy land of the chocolate factory in köln !!!
It was literally raining chocolate from a fountain and out of faucets! I can’t explain my enthusiasm except that it was like me at Disneyland !

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Not to mention the perfume museum where we were asked to smell a plethora of things that I had no idea what the German tour guide (dressed in a full out wig and 16th century proper attire) was explaining to the rest of the group. I basically wafted and smiled along which made the whole group laugh because he apparently had asked me what the difference in smell was and I simply smiled and said “mmmhm”…I’d like to point out how he was dressed and then ask if he is allowed to make fun of ME..
We also got gelato along the rhein and it was beautiful to see an old cathedral where a couple spontaneously harmonized in Latin.

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This weekend we went to Köln also and climbed to THE TOP OF THE HIGHEST CATHEDRAL IN ALL GERMANY! It was amazing to be that high and frightening at the same time. The view from the top is quite a sweet one though I must say.

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I also want a lock on the love bridge someday. I’m not opposed to locking myself to a huge heavy piece of metal when the time comes 🙂 it’s just amazing to see how many people are and believe in love still. Faith in humanity officially restored.

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Our first time getting lost!

I tend to be the eager one in most situations…and today as we were trying to leave Köln (cologne), definitely exemplified this. We were looking for Platform 4 and I heard Antonello say 4 and that we had 3 minutes to catch it. So naturally, I start running towards the subway 4..actually booking it with my backpack on the front of my body..like a normal functioning human would do. About a minute later I hear them calling my name and look back to see no one following me and all I could make out was “YOURE GOING THE WRONG WAY!”

Clearly I got a little too excited. Regardless our lovely guide finally got us on the right train, as he was staying behind. The ticket man was coming around and said a few words to one of my friends with the tickets and started yelling! Next thing I knew we were all kicked off the train at some random stop in the middle of what seemed like nowhere..I was completely confused and thought we got in trouble for some reason, but he was actually helping us! telling us that we were going the complete wrong way.

Here’s what being lost looks like…

WE’re definitely owed some “lemonade”..cough antonello cough cough

P.S. Nick made fun of me the whole ride back.

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Where are we....?

Where are we….?