Tag Archives: weihnachtsmarkt

This Post is Basically Just About Food

So I concede, it’s been quite a while since I’ve last detailed the intricacies of my absolutely fascinating life on the internet for all (Mom) to see. Please excuse me, but like, really guys. I’ve been a little busy, you know, doing totally cool stuff and being a badass.

Just to clarify.

Well, a lot has happened since, what, November? Things like Christmas and my 24th birthday and the apocalypse I joined a gym. These are just a few examples.

All of December here was truly amazing, as you might expect. If you remember correctly, December is the time of CHRISTMAS here in the Vaterland. Weihnachten, that is. And Christmas markets. I cannot tell you how much I love the Weihnachtsmärkte. It’s probably my favorite thing about being in this country– for a month in what might otherwise be a dreary time, weather-wise, you can almost certainly be brought into a sort of fairy-tale like world of delicious food stuffs, lights, singing, overpriced handicrafts and, oh you thought I’d forgotten, Glühwein.

Glühwein

Ahh, Glühwein. That most sultry and cinnamony of winter-time beverages.

I do declare that from here on out, never a Christmas season shall pass that I do not sip on this most delectable of treats. As per the usual, I made sure to bring some along to my Christmas festivities at home, because yes, once again, I was most warmly welcomed back into Ohio for two beautiful weeks of family and friends and far too much alcohol.

It was great being home, as one might think. I have a tendency to forget that being around people you’ve known for years and years is pretty cool, and I like that my time spent away (so much time) has allowed me that perspective. Here’s to keeping that idea fresh and fancy forever (we’d hope).

Returning to Leipzig was bittersweet, of course. I’d come to really be used to a steadily stocked fridge and the cozy comfortableness of having absolutely nothing to do all day. Yet I was happy to get back here, see my beautiful roommates, hand out the few little things I’d brought back from my time in the crazy place that is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (exotisch), and begin preparations for what would be the day that marked my 24th year of life.

For my birthday, I decided we’d cook fajitas.

Fajitas? You might ask. But Chelsea, really, fajitas? Didn’t you just return from America, the magical land that allowed you to eat Mexican food for six straight days in a row while you were home?

Yes, I’d answer. Yes, I did, but get ahold of yourselves. There is no such thing as too much Mexican food.

So! The effort began to bring the delight of fajitas to Germany. It’s not exactly an easy task, since what Germans lack in the Mexican food department they make up in, basically, just sausages. We toiled and shopped and spent a while at the grocery store, but eventually emerged with appropriate supplies. I made guacamole, we had some sort of strange taco-seasoning to add to the mix (in the hopes that it’d impart some of that flavor food around here sometimes seems to be missing), and a whole lot of peppers. Cause fajitas means peppers.

This is not a picture of the fajitas we made.

This is not a picture of the fajitas we made.

And lo– we did it! Fajitas were created. I managed to even find some black beans, cause I love black beans, though they were drenched in some strange chili sauce so I washed them off and they were actually pretty good. Gotta buy me some more of those, mental note. I was pleased, not only by the fajitas, but by the three different kinds of sangria I also purchased as a taste-test to go along with the meal (Spanish/Mexican/whatever, it worked).

Muy bien!

The week after my birthday, dear Eva, my roommate, celebrated hers. We threw a big ol’ party on that Thursday that we got sponsored (??? still confused) and therefore had like 6 cases of free beers and a bunch of free Bacardi to offer our guests. Pretty fly. Good times had by all, and the following day, I departed for a grand adventure to my most favorite of European locations…

If you've ever met me, you  know how stupid happy this sight would make me.

If you’ve ever met me, you know how stupid happy this sight would make me.

Salzburg! My homie Bernie just got there a few weeks ago for his last semester of college, so I traveled on down, aboard a bus, mind you, and spent the weekend in my European hometown. I love getting to continue visiting that place. I made so many of my best friends there.

To top it all off, we got to spend the day in Maria Alm, a little village surrounded by Alps (that were obscured entirely by some kinda wonderful snowstorm) just a few hours away from Salzburg, with my former German professors and their crazy cute adorable bilingual children. And we went to lunch with them at this wonderful little restaurant place named after a Farmer’s Cabinet (no time to explain, the dog’s on fire!) and I ate some Käsespätzle and my life was complete.

You guys, I almost couldn’t leave.

But then I did, because Leipzig, and I reminded myself that I love it here too, in different ways and for different reasons. I got back here at like 5 AM on last Tuesday morning and I was so happy to see that Hauptbahnhof, you guys– this place is fabulous.

Also, while in Salzburg, Bernie and I made the important discovery that my target audience for everything I write/do/say lately is really American people (or people who have a vast familiarity with Americanness) who speak/study German. So, if nothing I write/do/say comes off as funny to you, that’s not my fault. It’s all on you, for refusing to partake in the joy that is the German language.

See like it's your own fault if you don't get that.

See like it’s your own fault if you don’t get that. YOUR SCHULD. Sorry.

Since then, life’s been sailing along pretty smoothly still. Friday night I went with Kim and Vanessa to a party thrown by the university’s sport-department. The theme was Fasching, aka Karneval, aka German Halloween, and I dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood (or Rotkäppchen, if you wanna be authentic) in a cape I sewed myself, out of a 2 Euro red fleece blanket (bargain, eh Madre?), along with a little wicker basket I used to hold my purse.

That was, shall I say, preeeetty fun. Just affirming my belief that Leipzig belongs on the list right next to Salzburg of Chelsea’s Favorite Places on this Earth.

I also finished my graduate school applications! 9 schools, all submitted, almost late just in the nick of time. Just all send out positive thoughts that I don’t suck so much that I can’t even get into one of them. Oh god oh god, why did I even just put that out there.

Oh, and yeah, I joined a gym. Crazy stuff, but shut up. I’ve got a wedding to be in this summer, and I better be lookin’ damn good. No more Schnitzel hips for me, kids.

Dude I've been fighting you for like four years. GET OUT.

Dude I’ve been fighting you for like four years. GET OUT.

We’ll see. Cause really, sometimes that stuff is kind of delicious.

BABY STEPS.

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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.

YOU SPEAK THE TRUTH

YOU SPEAK THE TRUTH

But hey, the Alltag is pretty good, too.

LIVIN’ IN DEUTSCHLAND, BITCHES.

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November means Thanksgivingmas & Weihnachtsmärkte

WELL, hasn’t November just FLOWN by? Time really FLIES when you’re here in Deutschland. Especially when your social life really TAKES OFF, you know?

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's-- yeah, no, it's a plane.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s– yeah, no, it’s a plane.

I have made all these lame flight references to one end– I am officially going home for Christmas. How exciting! December 23rd to January 2nd, so I’ll be spending my 23rd birthday in Germanland but ringing in the new year Ohioside.

Hands down, the most exciting thing going on in my life right now is the ever-fabulous, month-long, magic-happening that is the WEIHNACHTSMARKT. For those of you that are unaware, the Weihnachtsmarkt is a great idea that Germans had to celebrate Christmas all damn month. And not even all December, but in November, too! The Christmas market in Oldenburg opened this Tuesday, and I’ve already collected enough Glühwein mugs to supply a small village with spiced wine goodness.

HERE IS BUT ONE EXAMPLE

HERE IS BUT ONE EXAMPLE

This zauberhaftes Fest features drinking, eating, and shopping– which basically is just a list of my three favorite things that this world has to offer. I’m pretty sure almost every German city/town has one, and it’s freakishly adorable to see. All these cute little traditional-looking stands are set up, winding through the streets of the Innenstadt, just peddling their wares as if we are in a medieval village that prospers through the sale of miniature Santa hats. It’s great. It’s amazing. It’s the best thing I’ve ever experienced. I plan on going every day.

But, let us backtrack a little, for the sake of continuity, and recount what else has happened in this month we call November. Hmm…

1) I went to Kiel and visited Harrison

Pretty cool time, didn’t see too much of Kiel the city, but left on Sunday morning with a feeling of exhaustion and just enough nausea to know that I’d had a pretty good time.

2) Finally met some of the other ETAs that live in Oldenburg

Shout-out to Ruth, my home girl, and Craig, who I already knew but who deserves a shout-out of his own.

3) Ashley came to visit (finally) and it was great

We ate great food (as per the usual), did some shopping (also typisch), went to a bar with beds inside, stayed out until 7 AM at some party that is apparently pretty well-known around here… so, you know, we’re pretty cool.

4) Finally got to help my Betreuungslehrerin with her “English group” of adorable 4 year old German girls

Super cute, super fun, I love children, the end.

5) Began my very on Projekt with the 7th graders that I love, in which they will all be writing their own fairytale and at the end, we will have a book 

SO excited, they are adorable, I can’t wait to read these stories.

Ahem.

In the same vein, for those that haven’t seen these on my Facebook already, I feel obligated to share a few quotes from some “If-Sentence Stories” written by some 8th graders at my school. Who doesn’t love a country where kids say the darndest things?

“If the older people had been more interested in kids, they would have got more sexual intercourse. If they have got more sexual intercourse, the population in America might have grown a lot.” 

– Jannik

“If Jimmy hadn’t gone to partys, he wouldn’t have gone home with a women. If Jimmy hadn’t gone home with a women, he wouldn’t have poison from the women. If Jimmy hadn’t poison from the women, he wouldn’t have died with only 27.”

– Klaus

“If she hadn’t lived next to Jack anymore, she wouldn’t have become pregnant of him. If she hadn’t been pregnant of him, she wouldn’t have a nice child. If she hadn’t have a nice child, she wouldn’t have braught him to kindergarten every day and met the kindergarten teacher, Paul. If she hadn’t met kindergarten teacher Paul, she wouldn’t have had a child from him now.”

– Florian

“If he wouldn’t been very happy about her excuse, he haven’t have kiss her a lot. If he haven’t kissed her a lot, she haven’t have get pregnant. If Caroline haven’t got pregnant, she haven’t have must abortion cause she didn’t love her boyfriend anymore.”

– Friederike

Right. Moving forward!

Now we are heading feet first into December, which promises to be great in and of itself. I do love this month, as Christmas is the BEST, I’ll be seeing my family and friends in a few weeks, which is pretty cool, Weihnachtsmarkt is open DAILY, school is going AWESOME, I’ve got more friends than I did just a few weeks ago, love my apartment, my roommates are great (thank god, there’s been a few horror stories floating around from other ETAs)… not to mention, after December comes January, which means my birthday, my brother Colin’s arrival in Europe, and my subsequent visit to Dublin… basically, everything is TIP TOP, guys. MINT, if we’re being British, apparently.

British slang = ???

British slang = ???

Oh, and also, Happy belated Thanksgiving from Germany, where Thanksgiving doesn’t exist and I just celebrated early Christmas instead, because that’s better, anyway. Though it was nice to Skype with the whole family, and I’m looking forward to seeing those fine people in real life in just a few weeks (man, have I been here that long already!?).

MERRY THANKSGIVINGMAS FROM DEUTSCHLAND

MERRY THANKSGIVINGMAS FROM DEUTSCHLAND

Drink Glühwein, be thankful.

OUT.

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