Tag Archives: wine

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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My Leben in Leipzig, Part 1

Greetings, meine Lieben!

I write to you today from LEIPZIG, my brand new German home. Surprise, surprise, we’re all surprised, but we all think it’s possibly the coolest thing to ever happen, so hurrah for me.

My update is a bit delayed, I got here on Monday, but until today, the wifi at my apartment has been out, on the fritz, what have you. Then, magically, just a few hours ago, I discovered it was BACK, which is great news because my new lovely wonderful roommates are unfortunately out of town for the weekend…

Hello, Netflix!

BAE <3

BAE ❤

It’s cool, though. This will, to be fair, give me a bit of time to explore this fantastic city and get lost get to know the place all on my very own! I sure hope so, at least.

Yesterday was an interesting day. First of all, I’m at two schools this year. A Grundschule (1-4th grades) and an Oberschule (5-12th grades) that caters to sports. Interesting placement for me, you might be thinking, if you know me, or have ever heard anything about me, but I’m up for it! Maybe it’ll inspire me to buy those workout clothes, after all.

But yeah, anyway. Yesterday, I went to the Grundschule for the first time. Unfortunately, I’ve been suffering from jet lag a bit more than I usually do and, deswegen, I was late getting up. I didn’t have time to shower before running out the door with a nectarine in purse and no real idea of where I was going, aside from the name of the tram stop near the school. But hey I made it.

My Betreuungslehrerin at the Grundschule is, let’s say, delightful. The school is adorable, the Schulleiterin was super friendly, too, and everybody there was just like… nice. Like super nice. It was a really happy day.

Maybe I'll get to have my own crayons. You know, standard ETA supplies.

Maybe I’ll get to have my own crayons. You know, standard ETA supplies.

BUT THEN, the chaos came. My dear pal, Bernie, who spent last semester in Leipzig himself, took it upon his wonderful being to organize a bike for me before he left. I arranged to pick up said bike from his old apartment on Thursday, and, lucky me, I’d even been there before when I visited him in March. So, smart Chelsea, I figured I knew where I was going. And I did!

For a while.

After successfully picking the bike up, I began the process of getting the bike home. Now, Bernie’s old apartment was located, I believe, in the part of the city known as Lindenau. My apartment, however, is not located there. It is, actually, located at least 25 minutes away from Lindenau when you’re riding the convenient (and yet sometimes terrifying) Straßenbahns.

Seeing as how I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going, I decided to walk the bike home rather than ride it. This idea, I thought, was logical, and might only take about an hour at most. I wasn’t too worried about it, since I hadn’t showered that morning anyway, and, what’s an hour’s walk, really?

GUESS WHAT. I was mistaken about everything.

May as well just have gone down this street.

May as well just have gone down this street.

I got lost A LOT. I used up all the data on my phone because of our lack-of-internet at home, so Google Maps was super slow and little help. At one point, I walked past this park and continued my journey for 25 minutes or so only to SUDDENLY REALIZE that I was walking past the exact same park on the exact same side of the street somehow. So that was super fun. And then I almost got hit by a Straßenbahn. It was ringing its little bells at me all angry and everything, and I still managed to almost let it kill me. Whaddayaknow, eh?

Finally, though, FINALLY, looking a hot mess and having to walk directly through the center of the city, I found my way back to my happy, not sweaty apartment. Two hours after beginning my trek. And mind you, it was very hot outside. The weather here’s been pretty mild this week, but it was really warm that afternoon, I swear.

Anyway, that’s been the only rough patch in my life thus far. So, I’d say I’m doing a-okay.

Then today! I went to the Sportoberschule. It was also great! I met the Schulleiterin there, got a little tour from my other Betreuungslehrerin (who is also amazing, and bought me a flower on Wednesday–so sweet!), and met some of the other teachers.

So, yeah. My outlook is positive.

And my Friday-night plans are firmly in place!

And my Friday-night plans are firmly in place!

I can tell this will be a lovely experience, a lovely year, in a lovely city, with lovely roommates in a lovely apartment.

And on this LOVELY note, I leave you, dears. I’ve got a super hot Netflix date and some 2-Euro Austrian wine calling out my name…

Tschüssi!

[Side note: I just went and checked my website statistics, and it appears that my blog has been found twice thanks to searching “lederhosen for little boys.” So. Progress?]

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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.

THESE ARE NOT PRETTY PATTIES

THESE ARE NOT PRETTY PATTIES

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?

AND NOW IT IS JUNE.

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?

Guys?

I love me some Google image search.

Google Image Search kills me.

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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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Erdbeer Fields Forever: Rostock, and other tales

This is me, right now, in a photo I’m calling “Chelsea, Who Is Bored.”

I'm also wearing what I've decided to call my "German Power Outfit."

I’m also wearing what I’ve decided to call my “German Power Outfit.” Note the large infinity scarf.

So, what better to do than write a blog post? Surely this will help alleviate the tedium of my day between the hours of 2 and 8 PM.

Luckily, it’s not all just the daily grind here in Deutschland. I had a fabulous weekend in Rostock! Visiting my dear friend and fellow ETA Ashley, as well as the other ETAs posted up in that North of all Northern cities (not counting anything in Schleswig-Holstein, of course).

I spent a lovely three nights and four days in the good German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, something I’m sure no one has ever heard of, but we’re gonna roll with it, because it’s real. For some reason, I’d heard less-than-positive things about Rostock from people here in Oldenburg, though I now can’t imagine why. It was an absolutely lovely place.

Though not quite this bright and sunny, it being mid-September, and all (damn, time flies).

Though not quite this bright and sunny, it being mid-September, and all (damn, time flies).

Not to mention the myriad of attractions surrounding the place! Not only did I get to enjoy the various ethnic restaurants and communist ice cream shops that line the streets of Rostock, oh, no. I also had the pleasure of visiting this place:

STRAWBERRIES EVERYWHERE.

STRAWBERRIES EVERYWHERE.

Karls Erlebnisdorf/Erdbeerhof! A MAGICAL WORLD OF FRUIT AND WONDER. I ate cake! Went through a corn maze! Slid down a giant slide! Spent way too much money on strawberry-related souvenirs!

The best part: The Probier-Bar. Free samples of strawberry wine, blueberry wine, cherry wine, sea-buckthorn wine (huh?), plum wine! AND– the kicker, free samples of various house-made liquors! Drop a coin in the little metal bank and SAMPLE, my friends, SAMPLE. It’s supposed to be 50 cents, but we figured as long as a metallic clanging sound was heard, it was all okay.

Speaking of strawberry souvenirs, these are now in my possession:

Red wine for KINGS.QUEENS).

Red wine for KINGS.

And! The Erlebnishof also houses the world’s largest collection of porcelain coffee pots! Guinness Book of World Records Certified! So, there’s that.

If you weren’t sure, I love this place. It is absurd and whimsical and delicious.

Another magnificent Ausflug made during the weekend was the jaunt up to Warnemünde, a beachy-resorty-touristy-town a bit more north and on the Baltic Sea. It wasn’t exactly “beach-weather,” but we had a nice time walking around, eating fish-type-foods, and drinking beers in the sand (and sand in our beers).

Best moment: Old German man walks up to our group and asks if we’ve been in the water yet. Like sane people, we say no, and recommend that he also avoid the freezing waves of death just a few yards away. As we start walking back toward the town, we turn and observe said old man stripping down to his underwear and galloping into the water, all while his wife and daughter look on and take pictures. He got in all the way to his chest, spent a little time doing whatever-the-hell one does in a frigid sea, and retreated to the safety of shore amidst our applause. His family was so delighted by the showing of support from confused onlookers that our efforts are now forever documented in their vacation photos.

And don't forget the harsh winds. YOU CAN'T FORGET THE WINDS.

And don’t forget the harsh winds. YOU CAN’T FORGET THE WINDS.

I had a great time, and I’m looking forward to visiting those Northern Peoples again some time. If for no other reason than I’m bound to run out of this strawberry wine by tomorrow over the coming months.

I made it back to Oldenburg safe and sound in the wee hours of Monday morning and have been enjoying being home after such a hectic few days. Ate some Nordsee with Alice, bought some pants (10 Euro– sweet deal!) and am starting to begin to consider thinking about planning my trip to Salzburg and Oktoberfest in two weeks.

In closing, I leave you with these remarks.

  1. Rostock is a very nice place.
  2. No matter how many people think it’s “so capitalist of you (quote),” go to Karls Erlebnisdorf/Erdbeerhof and get your buzz on at the Probier-Bar.

You never know what awesome photo-ops will rise from such merriment.

Perhaps one probier too many.

Perhaps one probier too many.

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