Tag Archives: pre-travel

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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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.

THIS IS WHERE I AM GOING TO BE.

THIS IS WHERE I AM GOING TO BE.

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).

CAUSE WE ARE SISTERS WE STAND TOGETHER

CAUSE WE ARE SISTERS WE STAND TOGETHER

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.

LIFE IS KIND OF NICE, YOU GUYS.

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.

TO THE  CURRENT AND VERY TEMPORARY NATURE OF MY LIFE!

TO THE CURRENT AND VERY TEMPORARY NATURE OF MY LIFE!

Prost!

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Die erste Tage, summarized

Guten Abend, errybody!

I’m sitting here in my brand-new IKEA chair that I BUILT today, all by my little self, and I’m feeling quite pleased. Drinking a Veltin’s Curuba just like when I was 16 and in Germany for the first time. It’s not really as good as I remember, but I had to get it for nostalgia’s sake.

I would definitely wear this hat. Like, definitely.

I would definitely wear this hat. Like, definitely.

So I guess you’re wondering what I’m talking about, and the truth is, I’m in Germany! I’m in Oldenburg! I made it! Crazy, right? With all those layovers, you’d thought I’d never make it. How little faith you have, dear reader(s)(?).

It’s Tuesday now and I arrived on Friday night, here are the highlights:

  1. My Betreuungslehrerin Picked Me Up At The Train Station And Had Already Bought Food For Me, Then Proceeded To Invite Me To Several Bars
  2. I Got My Phone Set Up On The Second Day And Then Proceeded To Break iMessage
  3. Another Teacher And Her Husband Made Me Lasagna And Went Out With Me Until Three In The Morning
  4. My Other Betreuungslehrerin Took Me To The North Sea With Her Family, Including Her Three Young Daughters, Who Are Too Adorable For Words
  5. I Visited My Gymnasium And Loved Every Minute Of It
  6. I Met Another Fulbrighter In Bremen And Ate A Super Delicious Döner Rollo
  7. I Built A Chair (Admittedly, With Help From IKEA)

Basically, so far, so good.

Yeah. Kinda like that. I was Mia Wallace for Halloween once.

Yeah. Kinda like that. I was Mia Wallace for Halloween once.

I LOVE my apartment. I felt kind of strange at first, being thrown so suddenly into a random new city, surrounded by people I didn’t know, and sleeping in a room I’d only ever seen in pictures, but I love it. I love being here. It’s so comfortable, and I absolutely love my room.

I still haven’t totally gotten my sense of direction in the city, but I also haven’t really had much time to myself as of yet. The teachers have kept me pretty busy, which I really appreciate! But I think I’ll put off going to the Einwohnermeldeamt one more day and sleep in a bit tomorrow.

Speaking of the Einwohnermeldeamt, I’m probably more afraid of whatever-that-is than I should be. It’s just kind of overwhelming, thinking about walking into some sort of German government agency not really knowing what they’ll want me to do or what they’ll ask me for, though I should probably calm down because Ashley’s already managed to do that AND open a bank account. Show-off.

She is SO being the bendy straw to my straight straw! Bitch.

She is SO being the bendy straw to my straight straw! Bitch. (Just kidding I’m proud of you!)

My teachers are the most wonderful, gracious people I could have ever hoped to be put in contact with. They are so generous with their time and I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to show enough gratitude, though they seem to believe they’re just doing “what anyone else would do” (spoiler: they’re not! they’re angels!).

Friday we leave for Köln and three days of merriment before orientation. I can’t wait to see Ashley and meet all the other German-loving people just as weird as me, who have also managed to find themselves in this crazy situation.

I’m missing home a bit, but only because Oldenburg doesn’t TOTALLY feel like “home” yet. It’s kind of hard being thrown into a city where you don’t know anyone and your native language is not the native language of those around you. It’s pretty intimidating. But it’s exactly what I wanted! And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ich liebe Deutschland, egal wie merkwürdig ich bin.

Stimmt.

Stimmt.

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Five days and five thousand thoughts

So, right now, the countdown is five days.

Oh mah gawd, my stomach hurts. It’s really quite unreal. I don’t know how to deal with the fact that five days from now, I’ll be getting on a plane in Detroit headed to Paris, en route to my brand new life in Oldenburg.

I’m done working now, so I’ve got the next five days to freak out and panic as much as my little heart desires. Which, let me tell you, is a lot.

I'm euro-rollin'.

I’m euro-rollin’.

I’ve got a ton of Euros in my pocket, just waiting to be spent. Likely on coffee. I’m guessing the first Euro-purchase I make will be coffee.

Next up, a taxi ride from Berlin Tegel to the Hauptbahnhof, leading up to a magical five hour journey, a maximum of three trains, all to arrive in Oldenburg and find a lady I’ve never met waiting for me as I get off the platform.

Last night we had my going-away party. It was wonderful to see the people I’ll miss most for the next year. I even got a few gifts, which I didn’t expect and couldn’t be more grateful for. Big shout out to the established adults monetarily supporting my “prestigious” year abroad!

I also found some real gems at an antique store the other day with my grandma.

1,125 Marks and 1,000 Kronen all for $2.50!

1,125 Marks and 1,000 Kronen all for $2.50!

Old German money! Dating back as far as 1902! German major nerd moment, stay with me now.

This post feels really scattered, but that’s basically the way my brain is working right now. I don’t really know what’s happening and my heart is beating too fast, so, you know. Keep listening, if you would.

I don’t know. Right now, I’m drinking a Bloody Mary and watching Lifetime in my living room. Not my most stable of moments, but believe me, I’m also excited.

The only thing I’m still really concerned about is that I’ve yet to hear back from the Uni Bremen. I’m really banking on doing a Gaststudium there… I really need that SemesterTicket and I want to take classes. I’m only going to be working 12 hours a week, after all. Really hoping to hear about that… hint hint… Uni Bremen, you out there?

Well, I’m officially losing my mind. Happens. So, here we go!

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The Almost-Einwohnerin

I have a Mietvertrag! I have a Mietvertrag!

I got an email from the guy who’s room I’m taking today, wishing me well in the apartment and with the rental contract attached. I’ll have to send them the security deposit by the end of this month, but other than that, this process seems pretty painless (surprising, I’ve heard horror stories about deutsche Bürokratie — I’m sure my time will come).

Nevertheless, I’ve sent the documents to my mentor teacher for double-checking. I never learned apartment rental contract vocabulary in German 341.

X-treme editing for x-treme effect.

X-treme editing for x-treme effect.

I wasn’t going to post today, but I just printed them both out to read over/sign/dance with and I got too excited and had to share. With who? Eh. We don’t ask the hard questions around here.

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