Tag Archives: ashley

España, muy bien, gatos y pantalones, por favor

In case you were curious as to what my post’s title is all about (no, I’m not crazy, yes, I’m very bad at Spanish)… I’m going to Spain! You might have guessed. But I’m going, like, really really soon.



Woaaaaah, you might say. When the hell did that happen? Well, my friends, it happened like, five days ago. I said to my pal Layla, “Hey, Layla– Barcelona?”

And then Layla was like, “You know what? Yeah, yeah I think so.”

And that’s the story of how Layla and I ended up traveling to Spain.

But really though, it’s not much more in-depth than that. I’ve been really hoping to go to Spain ever since last year, when it seemed like everyone I knew in Germany had either 1) already been or 2) somehow already finalized plans for a trip without me. I KNOW, RIGHT? I got over it, but I thought my hopes and dreams of attaining Spain were far off, drifting even farther, away from me… Until one night, when I got so preoccupied by the idea that I posted on Facebook and Layla was all “SPAIN INDEED.”

And, to be as prepared as I possibly can me, I’ve just suddenly had a brilliant idea of how to spend the next hour or so of my life. It makes complete sense, in order to become aware of the ins and outs of Barcelona, that I proceed to watch the Cheetah Girls movie, the one where they hit up Spain and sing and dance all around the city (thank you very much NETTTTFLIXXXX, holla).



And seriously, I am gonna mean it.

I am so excited though. 5 days in Barcelona, what a beautiful way to spend my break from school. Oh joy! And then, if you wanna really get into the details, I’m pretty pretty pretty positive I’ll be in Berlin almost immediately after that reuniting with some cool kids and cool cats, like Bernie and Luke and Professor Nik and Babz and all those Salzburg kiddos I met down in Österreich a few weeks ago.


I’ve got some cool Barcelona recommendations from cool people like my brother, Colin, my home girls Ashley and Maria, my singing-as-talking partner, Paul… all is well, all is lookin’ good.

So, until next time, friends, when I tell you ALL ABOUT my magical time at the beach, eating tapas, drinking copious amounts of sangria, and basically just being a badass who can up and decide to head over to Barcelona a week ahead of time.




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Let’s do the time warp again

And so, it appears I skipped May entirely. Well, for the best. Who needs it? Some good things did happen, though…

This is not Las Vegas!

This is not Las Vegas!

1) I went to Paris!

If to you this is not already an indication of the good things that May brought, I could not begin to fathom continuing this conversation with you. So, for your sake and mine, let’s imagine that you were equally excited as I wanted you to be the first time around. Paris! That’s right!

I took to the streets of the city of love with one Ashley and one Morgan, Ashley’s cousin who came over to visit for a week. The first part of this trip (i.e. the 11-hour bus ride to get to Paris) is not even worth mentioning, so I’m going to pretend it never happened.

After Ashley and I found each other, we successfully navigated our way to a train station, put our bags in lockers, at some food, drank some coffee, watched some Parisians being Parisian, and shelled out 20 Euro each for tickets to and from Charles DeGaulle to go pick up Morgan. Laaa-aaame, if you ask me. Somebody should really check that ticket price and knock it down, yo.

Once Morgan was in our midst, the real fun began. The next several days were a whirlwind of walking tours, mussels, wine, the Mona Lisa, crepes, cemeteries, cheese, tampons (no comment), baguettes, weird Indian snacks, postcards, Oscar Wilde, and Metro stations. Not to mention, the most important highlight of them all: macarons.



GUYS GUYS GUYS we went to Laduree and ate macaroons and I wanted to die I was so happy. My macaron obsession comes full-circle: goin’ right to the source. Pistacia Vera ain’t got nothin’ on that shit. Pardon my French (wink!).

To sum up this entire experience, Paris was awesome. I got to see Brittany, the legendary babysitter from my childhood, we went up the Eiffel Tower at night to see the lights and experience the bitter cold even higher up in the sky, we ate decadently and deliciously. I was not disappointed.

2) This weird thing happened at school called a “Maigang” and some teachers and I reenacted (and rewrote) select scenes from “Rocky Horror Picture Show” on camera.

Not sure when my acting debut will be, but someone, somewhere, in the back halls and dark rooms of my Gymnasium, there exists footage of me improv-acting auf Deutsch. My break-out moment is truly when my throat is cut and I die but somehow manage to come back to life seconds later to a rousing chorus of “All You Need is Love.”

I’m not sure, either.

Just me, as a dress-up-German interpretation of "Janet"

Just me, as a dress-up-German interpretation of “Janet”

3) Another thing happened where I made random friends from Wilhelmshaven and did a solitary early-morning hour-long walk home… but that’s really all that needs to be said about this.

4) “Vatertag” / Christi Himmelfahrt

Not entirely sure about the inherent mutual exclusivity of these events, but it seems that in Germany, Vatertag (father’s day) is always celebrated on the day of Jesus’ ascension into heaven. It just so happens that the Germans enjoy their drinking events, and Vatertag seems to be no exception.

Ruth and I were taken under the wing of my dear Betreuungslehrerin and shown what Vatertag is really all about. We went to this place called Drögen Hasen, which, surprisingly, has nothing to do with drugged-up rabbits.

Don't look so shocked, an umlaut makes all the difference

Don’t look so shocked, an umlaut makes all the difference

Instead, it was a field near a restaurant called Drögen Hasen where a cool little festival thing was set up. There were beer wagons, food wagons, there was a dance floor, and there were portable bathrooms. What more can you really ask for when embarking on a day-long drinking adventure?


When the hell did it get to be June already? And MID-June, at that??

How can it possibly be that there’s only — count ’em — EIGHTEEN DAYS left until I make my merry way back home? I’m just as confused as you are, guys. I thought it wasn’t possible to speed up time, but I have in fact been proven wrong.

In making with the fun and attempting to wring out every last squeezable drop of enjoyment from this fabric called LIFE, June has been keepin’ me pretty happy thus far. There were already two, TWO five day weekends this month. Now that’s my kind of month! The first weekend in June (which was rung in with Vatertag) and this past weekend, thanks to something I’m still unsure about called Pfingsten.

Hooray for church holidays being state holidays!

This past weekend was lovely, and included such headliners as the delicious “MC Wok,” the ever-elusive “Skype,” the fickle friend “Karaoke,” my longtime companion “Wine,” with special appearances made by “Hafenfest” and the always-charming “Nordsee.”

This photo is called "Three Ladies on a Beach Making Kissy Faces at One Another"

This photo is called “Three Ladies on a Beach Making Kissy Faces at One Another”

Tomorrow, I make for the Nord again and head to Rostock for one last mini-vacation. Luke will also be showing his freckled-face, so it’s what I like to call “REUNION TIME” up in here. Excited for that, and the happiness that will ensue.

But seriously, how is it June. I feel like my birthday just happened, but in all actuality I’ve been 23 (apparently) for like 6 months now. I’m barely 23 anymore. I may as well be 24, I’m about as close to that as I am to 23. How weird! Am I right?


I love me some Google image search.

Google Image Search kills me.

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All the World’s a Fish Mouth

Guten Tag, meine Damen und Herren! März is upon us, and I have successfully made it back in one piece from my Skiurlaub! I thoroughly enjoyed my one-week in Tulfes, Austria with the lovely 8th grade from my Gymnasium and 7 other teachers. We skied, we ate, we played dice games, I lost, we moved on. It really was quite magical, and the fact that Tulfes is a little town situated on a mountain in the Alps, well, that only helped.

View from my window. Not bragging or anything.

View from my window. Not bragging or anything.

So, after arriving home yesterday morning, I proceeded to not actually relax and unwind from six successive days of skiing, but to have a full-on day, packed to the brim with activities and friends and celebration.

It all began with Alice coming over to my humble abode, looking at picture of mountains with me, and deciding we would head out to Bad Zwischenahn with her roommate, Anka, and her brother, who was borrowing the family convertible so we could prove to the German people of the world just how cool we really are. We had a lovely time exploring, there’s a nice lake over there with sailboats and everything, and I also sat in a giant fish mouth.

So, yeah.

Later! I went to a basketball game with my Betreuungslehrerin, Kristin, and some of her friends. The team in Oldenburg is called the EWE Baskets (it appears that every second basketball team in Germany is called the “Baskets” – original, I know) and they were playing the team from Berlin. They won, of course, what else could they do with a gal like me in attendance? And fun was had by all.

Check it.

Check it.

I really am having a hard time believing it’s March. What kind of world do we live in where I only have like four more months left living in Germany? A sick world, that’s what. I’m working on applying for a second year now, so let’s all just keep our fingers crossed, shall we?

I was pretty productive yesterday, too, and got a lot of housekeeping-type-shit done. Bought my plane ticket to Dublin, finally, and paid my Uni Bremen Sommersemester fees, also finally, so I can get the second installment of my SemesterTicket for April-July. I also watched the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars a not-trashy-at-all television program, so, yeah, I’d say it was a pretty good day.

Some things I’ve noticed are that the weather is exponentially better than it was two weeks ago, I don’t have a lot of money to spare, and I need to travel more.

So, on the list of places to visit for the next few months…

  • Berlin, for certain, Fulbright conference in a few weeks!
  • Dublin, happening for sure, April
  • London, with the parents, possibly, in April
  • Paris, for sure, with Ashley, in May (just gotta figure out how to get there…)
  • Hannover, day trip with Alice, sometime hopefully
  • Leipzig, to visit my FAVORITE Bernie, who just got to Germany a few days ago!!
  • Groningen, in the Netherlands, which is just a short distance from here, so maybe a day trip in the future
  • Amsterdam, possibly, cause that’d also be awesome
  • Osnabrück, because it’s there, and I haven’t been yet, and why the hell not?
  • Copenhagen, Denmark, because I WANT TO, DAMN IT

Basically I’m gonna make every effort to enjoy this lovely place, this lovely weather, and the meager earnings of a Fremdsprachenassistentin. PLEASE FRIENDS, JOIN ME ON THIS QUEST. Who wants to accompany me on any of these journeys? 🙂 Legitimate question. Answer me.

Please be my friend.

Please, answer me.

Ahh, it’s good to be back in Oldenburg. I’ve come to really love this place, and this apartment, and these people, and this life here.

In just a few short months, I’ll be forced by security into an airplane in Berlin and told to head back to the USA (I’m hoping to avoid that, but I might get a little clingy).I’ve got precious little time left! It hurts to think about! Let’s not squander it away, okay? As far as morals of the story go–


Get into a fish every now and then, yeah?

But you will have to get inside the fish.

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There’s no “Y” in Februar

In the final moments of Februar (no typo, just German), I make a valiant effort to complete an update for this month. It’s hard to fathom that the last time you heard from me, it was my birthday. I’m not being sappy when I say it SERIOUSLY feels like that was a week ago, when in reality, tomorrow, it is March. I cannot believe how fast 2014 is going, and I’d like it to stop. I don’t want my time in Deutschland to dwindle away any quicker than it has to, but it really feels like the days are just slipping through my fingers.

As my Euros go right along with it...

As my Euros go right along with them…

The end of January and the whole of February have been pretty good, as far as winter months go. When I last saw you, it was my birthday, and that was awesome, because birthday.

I visited Ashley in Rostock once again, and once again had a great time. It’s always fun being up in that most Eastern and Northern of places, checking out the beach and staying out into the wee hours like it’s not totally freezing outside. February itself has also been nice, though I can’t remember many highlights, oddly. I’m sure it’s been great. Ruth had her 21st birthday this past Monday, with which came all the necessary celebrations. I lost my bank card over that weekend– as a testament to how willing I am to party-hardy in the name of someone I care about. That mini-crisis has been dealt with, and only a minimum of panic was endured.

Daintily freaking out.

Daintily freaking out.

Now, in about an hour, I’m heading out on a week-long Klassenfahrt with the 8th graders from my school. We’re heading to Austria for skiing, something I haven’t done in about 8 years but I’m definitely looking forward to. I’m a little bit nervous, but hey. I’ve seen you before, Alps. I stood on top of you once. I HAVE ALREADY CONQUERED YOU. YOU WILL NOT BEAT ME.

Wishful thinking.

Wishful thinking.

So, farewell to Februar, and farewell to winter. March will be nice, I do hope. Berlin Conference is in sight, as well as Osterferien and a trip to Ireland with my whole family. May brings a newly-planned Paris trip with Ashley, and who knows what else!

I just really don’t want to sit on a bus for 10 hours tonight with 80 or so German 13-year-olds. That part I could do without.

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Kleinigkeiten and such things

After what seemed like a million months of Bürokratie and appointments at the Ausländeramt, I finally have my Aufenthaltstitel!

Such unwarranted enthusiasm!

Such unwarranted enthusiasm!

Basically, it is a little plastic credit-card looking thing that says I’m allowed to stay in Germany until my position at my Gymnasium is up. Which is a shame because, let’s be real, I like this place. I’d like to stick around.

THIS is roughly what it looks like, though my name is not Shkurte Salihu…

When did I get blonde hair?

When did I get blonde hair?

I’m quite pleased that THAT is taken care of, as now I can leave the country again (would have been nice a few weeks ago, when Ashley and I wanted to go to Copenhagen… I GUESS THAT’S WHAT NEXT YEAR IS FOR). It’ll be good to not be detained as an illegal immigrant when I try to go home for Christmas.

In other news, there is no other news. Looks like I’m hitting up the Weihnachtsmarkt again tonight, and possibly seeing my new roommate’s show with his band at Polyester. I really like Polyester. I hope it stays open.

Tomorrow I may head to Cloppenburg to check out the Nikolausmarkt with Ursele & co., which would be great!

ALSO, first snow of the year in Germany! It didn’t stick and didn’t last long, but I did learn a new word in the process: Hagel! It’s hail! Because when it “snows” in Oldenburg, it’s not even real snow.

Yay, winter!

Yay, winter!

On the agenda for the next two weeks or so:

1) Cookie baking with the Lehrerinnen

This Thursday! Woo!

2) Weihnachtsmarkt with the Mitbewohner

Roommate fun times hooray!

3) Hamburg with Ashley

Still bankin’ on that happening!

And so on! And so forth! Because life in Germany is FUN and not always about paperwork and filling out insignificant documents and such. Though that must also be scheduled for sometime in the next 14 days… le sigh.



But hey, the Alltag is pretty good, too.


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