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FOUR MONTHS, zusammengefasst

It’s been an extremely long time since I’ve written on here, but I will not apologize for this absence. Frankly, my dears, I have been having a damn good time and couldn’t be bothered with updating! No offense, or anything, but life is for living, is it not?

The weather has been INSANE and beautiful as of late. Today, it got up to 33 degrees Celsius!

(91 degrees Fahrenheit, I know you were wondering.)

(91 degrees Fahrenheit, I know you were wondering.)

It’s June, time is almost up here in the great D-Land of my heart, but the past few months have not been wasted, and the coming 24 days shall not be, either.

Since we last spoke, I’ve had many things happen, but I will only detail a few of them here.

I went to Berlin and met up with the OU Salzburg group! ‘Twas a delight, truly, and I think I showed them a bit of what Army Chelsea of 2011 was like on all those group excursions. At a time in my life, I was, indeed, a badass.

Bernie & Marianne came to visit in Leipzig! That was pretty sweet, they shared their intimate knowledge of our collective city and I got to find some hidden gems that I’d not yet stumbled upon. Shout out to Substanz, the most delishhhh place in Reudnitz, probably (possibly).

I had the beautiful privilege of visiting my roommate Vanessa in her hometown, Wittenburg! Saw that 95 Theses door, hellooooo Martin Luther! HISTORY COMES TO LIFE SOMETIMES, GUYS.

At times more literally than others.

At times more literally than others.

Another pastime of mine became what I’m now referring to in my head as STADTWALKS, just long, often aimless walks around Leipzig for hours at a time. I’ve come upon some pretty cool things. One day I took a train out to a tiny village 15 minutes away from Leipzig and decided to walk all the way back to my house, a trek that Google maps correctly estimated to be 4 and a half hours. Why would I do this, you might ask, why on earth would I do this!? Well friends, out in the tiny town of Beucha, one finds a truly delightful sight.

MY HAIR IS SO RED

MY HAIR IS SO RED

THIS IS THE BERGKIRCHE BEUCHA! So pretty. So so pretty. I couldn’t deal I almost lost my shit marbles.

On the way walking back from Beucha, I got yelled at by a scary German farmer man for taking a picture of his crumbling barn. He chased me down the street and wouldn’t believe that my intentions were anything but malicious, and told me that you just can’t DO that, this isn’t AMERICA after all.

Preach.

I explored the Sächsische Schweiz! I was treated to homemade, traditional cuisine at my lovely mentor teacher’s house! I went back to Salzburg! Because I love Salzburg. And I can’t not be in Salzburg for very long, apparently.

Stiegl for life.

Stiegl for life.

Luke was here! We went to the zoo! Kat was here! We went to Berlin! Maddy was here! We stayed out until six in the morning really enjoyed catching up!

Goth Week came and went, Leipzig filled up with the darkest of souls for a long weekend and oh my, so many heimliche pictures were taken. I sort of wish that was what Leipzig was like ALL the time, like 1/3 of the city just always walked around in period Victorian wear with dog leashes around their necks, painted from head to toe as a skeleton.

What a world, you guys.

What a world, you guys.

And now, we are in the throws of Stadtfest, what has been a wonderful week-long celebration of Leipzig’s 1000th birthday.

That’s right. ONE THOUSANDTH BIRTHDAY. Leipzig has been around for ONE. THOUSAND. YEARS. Take a moment and try to fathom that, because seriously, you cannot.

The coming days of June promise to be warm, sunny, and delightful. WHO CAN SAY what is yet to come, but I’m going to Berlin tomorrow (again) with Layla and Nathan (not again), so that’s already a good sign.

Perhaps I’ll update you on that trip once it happens, and perhaps not. Holding a grudge is a sign of weakness,

LOVE YOU, CHELS

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Gewürz up your life *

Today marks the official last day of Herbstferien, that magical two-week time period in which I got to be in Leipzig and didn’t even have to do anything, ever. What a blessing! And with so many Euros in my pocket, no less! But alas, today is the end of days, and while I still don’t actually have to go to school tomorrow (Monday is my free day, ha!), I’ll be back to the daily grind on Tuesday, tellin’ kids about English things once again.

And really, that’s okay, too. There is nothing bad about working 12 hours a week and getting rubber-band presents from children who think you’re the bee’s knees.

The ghosts even make this a seasonally appropriate joke.

The ghosts even make this a seasonally appropriate joke.

But, as you may guess, Herbstferien has been great. I will admit to doing a LOT of sleeping. But I’m a 20-something girl with probable insomnia, okay? It’s just how it is. Plus I love sleep and hate mornings. Don’t judge me. However many other things happened, too. I shopped a lot (which was, eh, probably not so advisable), I had 4 visitors who came to stay during various times of Herbstferien *shoutouts to Babz, Helen, Breanna & Tracey– sup, kidz* which made for pretty fun times, I went out and about quite often with the roommates, celebrated Halloween in more ways than one (masks & pie, explanations forthcoming), and was even slightly productive when it comes to my grad school applications (still gotta be more productive in that regard, though, time’s a ticking).

So you know what? I will dare to call this Herbstferien a success. I WILL DARE. It’s been fun. I didn’t travel or anything special, but I have made a promise to myself that I’ll get my shit stuff together (i.e. grad school apps) before I allow myself to galavant this time around. And I stuck to that, and I’ll continue to stick to that! Soon enough.

Oh yikes, that's all too accurate.

Oh yikes, that’s all too accurate.

But I mean it.

Anyway, yeah, about the masks and pie. In light of Halloween approaching and Halloween & pumpkins being so closely associated, Vanessa and I decided to make a pumpkin pie. Which we did. And we ate it yesterday and it actually tasted PERFECT, which was surprising since we accidentally made it out of pickled pumpkin chunks.

Yes, that’s right. I said pickled pumpkin chunks. You can’t buy canned pumpkin puree in Germany, because nobody makes pumpkin pie in Germany. And we didn’t feel like buying the pumpkin and making the pumpkin puree ourselves, because that would have added like a whole hour onto the pumpkin-pie-making process. So we bought a jar of pumpkin, and only when we opened it at home did we realize it was pickled pumpkin, made by this company that specifically only makes pickled things.

This. This is what we bought. It doesn't look all that menacing, but just imagine a pumpkin pie that tastes like pickles. Ughhh.

This. This is what we bought. It doesn’t look all that menacing, but just imagine a pumpkin pie that tastes like pickles. Ughhh.

As I said, LUCKILY, all the spices you put in pumpkin pie totally eliminated any potential-pickle-power (PPP, from now on). All traces of PPP were engulfed by cinnamon and nutmeg and other seasonal Gewürze, and the pie tasted great. General consensus was somewhere between “it tastes like autumn” and “it tastes like Christmas.” So, Thanksgiving. As it should be.

Later that day, Thursday, the day before Halloween, I went to a Masquerade Party with my roommates & company! It was pretty great. I made my mask myself, having bought a blank mask from this craft store. Nathan and I spent an hour or so the Tuesday before jazzin’ them up and then I finished it the next day, when I decided that masks need to be TOTALLY COVERED IN GLITTER (there was, thereafter, glitter all over everything in my bedroom) (and continues to be).

(I also glittered my fingernails). (I may have a glitter problem).

It's totally hard to tell cause of the masks but this is a picture of 4/5 of the original Spice Girls. Dead serious.

It’s totally hard to tell cause of the masks but this is a picture of 4/5 of the original Spice Girls. Dead serious.

* Note to anyone speaking German, the title of this post makes sense in a very loose understanding of the word “sense.” Note to everyone else, I’m making a lame Spice Girls joke, because of course I am.

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I’m not always knitting, I swear

Well, well, well! A month and more has passed since my September 1st arrival in Leipzig, and I’m happy to say that all continues to go swimmingly. I love my schools, I love my apartment, I love my roommates, and I love that I finally got paid last week. This means: I’m now 4 dresses, 2 pairs of tights, and 11 balls of yarn richer. Right?

I've been busy.

I’ve been busy.

While the past few days have mainly consisted of many yarn-related crafts and countless episodes of Gilmore Girls thanks to the “eh”-quality of the weather outside, many delightful things have passiert since my last update. I’m here now to do my best to give a brief, but stunningly interesting overview of each with the most important highlights.

1) I have now met all of my roommates

Big shout outs to the wonderful humans that are Vanessa, Jan, Kim & Eva! Now that university classes are starting up again, everybody’ll be coming home to Leipzig pretty soon and we’ll all be here together and let me just say that I’m SUPER JAZZED about all that will come out of this beautiful union.

2) I’ve made some friends

Now’s the time to shout out to a few more fabulous humans, the other English teaching assistants living in Leipzig this year– we’re only just beginning, folks. Looking forward to the rest.

3) I went to Dresden! And visited Meg before she left

Had a MAGICAL time in that gorgeous city with one Meggelin, which included a splendid tour of the downtown area and a fun evening in the Neustadt, complete with a weird but token free-standing bathroom experience.

Me and Meg, on our way up a mountain in a magical mountain train.

Me and Meg, on our way up a mountain in a magical mountain train.

4) We’ve decided to make going to this English Quiz Night thing at this Irish Pub a weekly occurance

It seems that every Tuesday there’s an “English Quiz Night” at this Irish bar in the kool kid part of town, and me, Nathan, and Layla have decided that we’ve got a standing appointment to lose miserably every week. Maybe one day we’ll get that 25 Euro gift certificate… just maybe.

5) I went on a bus tour of Leipzig with a bunch of teachers from my Sportoberschule

It was great! I love bus tours! They are second only to boat tours.

And I'm not even a tourist cause I tooootally live here.

And I’m not even a tourist cause I tooootally live here.

6) As previously mentioned, I got paid

800 Euro, all for meeeeeee.

7) I Skyped with some of my best girls last night

This doesn’t have all that much to do with my neues Leben in Leipzig, but it was pretty exciting. Me and Abby and Maxie and Sara had a nice little Google Hangout time and all got new titles for the wedding. So, when someone starts referring to me as COO of Wedding Day Shots, don’t be confused. Just down it and roll with it.

8) I got many rubber band presents from small children at the Grundschule

One of the greatest parts of working at an elementary school and not being one of the “real” teachers is the undying adoration I receive from the many little German babies in my classes. Today alone I was gifted a bracelet and a rubber band owl, and promised many more to be presented to me next week. Lovin’ life, guys.

If only the youths put this much effort into literally anything else.

If only the youths of today put this much effort into literally anything else.

11) I registered my address with the city

This, my friends, means that I am a for real // bonafide // echt // non-imaginary // true resident of this fine city named Leipzig. That’s cool. And it’s the first step in the process to get my Aufenthaltstitel, a painful process I’m sure to repeat. At least this part’s over with.

10) I am “officially” enrolled at Universität Leipzig

Now, before everybody goes and gets all pumped about this, I’m enrolled at the university here mostly basically for the badass student card. It gets you all kinds of beautiful benefits, such as free public transportation in the area and discounts around and about! However! I would really like to take a class or so if it were at all possible. This is a cool place, and the university is cool, and I’m sure there are some cool classes offered– I just have to figure out HOW to sign up for them… I’ll get back to you.

I also enrolled for the free tote bag.

I also enrolled for the free tote bag.

What a nice update, don’t you think? I’m happy to have relayed all that information to you, out there, faceless and nameless reader-statistics of the internet.

Tomorrow is “Lichtfest” here in Leipzig, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution here in 1989. Shaping up to be quite an interesting event. There’s a bunch of other American assistants coming in from around Sachsen to visit for it, so I think it will be a nice time. Not entirely sure what it all entails, to be honest. But that’s the best way to go into things, don’t you think?

Blindly.

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