Early Jet lag Morning and the Fourth!

What a great morning. I woke up at 6:30am Germany time. Now normally that would be WAY too early but it was fine today. I showered and had a great breakfast outside in the early morning sun. I had coffee, yogurt, strawberries, and oatmeal. Its in the early 60s but its a great change from Boston’s rainy/cloudy June.

I had to take a nap little later because I was just zonked. Then we had the Fourth of July Party. A lot of my mom’s work friends came and some brought kids. It was a nice barbeque. I didn’t know anyone but I got through haha. Thankfully the granddaughter of the landlady was there. She’s 23, very talkative, nice, and friendly. She and I got along really well. We met at Christmas but I didn’t really get to talk to her too much then.

So after the party we went to downtown Stuttgart. We saw some fireworks so my fourth of July was complete! There are actually a lot of US military bases nearby so thats probably where it was coming from. It was really dark but here is the best picture I got.

Stuttgart

Stuttgart

Stuttgart is a cool city because it is located in a crevise between mountains. It is the place of the first tv signal, first car (a Mercedes of course!), and also home of Hugo Boss. My friend and I had a good time. We saw one view of Stuttgart then went into the downtown to a Starbucks.

It was a little taste of home. Thankfully the coffee in Germany is like the coffee at home- you actually get a full cup of it! In Amsterdam and Paris they just gave you a shot of espresso. Even though the menu had “coffee” and “espresso” they would give you the same thing. I don’t know if it was just because I was clearly American or what the deal was. We sat on the second floor of the Starbucks sipping out of real mugs sitting on some comfy furniture watching the people in the square. Its funny because in Germany it is legal to drink in public so tons of people were just sitting around with 40s, six packs of Becks, and liquer bottles. There were also a lot of bachelor and bachelorette parties that night. There were so many we think there must have been some kind of mass wedding the next day or something. I looked over to the next chair and there was a Blackberry. I thought “ohh someone is going to be very unhappy.” Usually when I find a phone I try to call someone that’s in their phone to get it back to them but this one was locked so we gave it to an employee. A little while later this man rushed in and was patting down the cushions while sweating profusely. We stopped him and told him the employee had his phone. The guy was SO happy. He said we saved his night.

After we left Starbucks (because we got kicked out- it was late), we walked a little way and went to an Irish Pub called Biddy Early’s. I got a Pilsner Urquell. It was good and a whole heck of a lot cheaper than it probably would’ve been in Paris. We hung out there a little bit and my friend got a compliment from a clearly-American guy. Then she showed me a couple other places she normally goes to.

On the way back we saw these three guys performing. They didn’t really have a plan as to what they would play but they were certainly having fun. One was drumming, one was singing, and one was playing the guitar. They didn’t know many of the lyrics from the songs they played. They also didn’t have a hat or open guitar case in front of them so I think they were just performing for fun. They certainly got a crowd. We got a card from them after the show. I tried the link (www.zeitlos-madeingermany.de) but it didn’t work for me today. It was pretty fun to just walk around. The weather was perfect too.

Then on the way back we stopped at another place to check out another view of Stuttgart. Then back home. It was a very fun Fourth of July!

Blogging in a Starbucks

Oh the joys of waking up early and drinking lattes in Starbucks. It is a simple joy. I have a great view of the sky, some trees, about half the store, and a Barnes & Noble across the street. This is a pretty nice place to be. I showered early last night and therefore couldn’t sleep in my bed so I slept on top of my bedspread (not unlike most nights when I sleep on my sheets). I left the window open and was so exhausted that I just fell asleep despite the rowdy young adults outside. I woke up to the cool cool breeze. It was a fantastic way to wake up. Truely like when I was 13 and freezing sleeping in a garden house with my interchange group in Denmark. I had to put my arms under my body to keep warm. I did this until I was completely frozen, then I had to get up.

I’m reading an article in the New York Times about a man who a) collects dictionaries and b) wrote a book about his experience reading the entire Oxford English Dictionary, or OED. Ammon Shea knows a women named Madaline, a fellow dictionary collector, “She taught Shea, he says, “the ineffable joy that can be had in pursuing the absurd.” This particular phrase is quite humerous to me. Another thing that happened, this was when he read Webster’s second edition, was that he had a hard time talking “My head was so full of words that I often had trouble forming simple sentences out loud,” he writes, “and my speech became a curious jumble of obscure words and improper syntax.” Maybe that is what is happening to me, I might have my head filled with French so I am unable to speak as well as I could before. Although, my crazy non-comprehendible sentences have gone down to a minimum.

By reading this article I learned a couple interesting words that I shall bring to the masses: hypergelast- a person who can’t stop laughing, kankedort- an awkward situation, incompetible- outside the range of competency, repertitious- found accidentally, vicambulist- a person who wanders city streets.

I’m a vicambulist. Straight up.

New Info

So it’s been 3 weeks living in East Lansing. I’m taking 3rd Semester French. The class is not that difficult but to really do really well, I’d need to devote a lot more time to studying. I am really enjoying the summer though.

The campus is green and well-paved. This means that I can find a place to just chill in the grass (on a blanket or w/o bare skin because I’m pretty allergic to the grass/fertilizer). I can also ride my longboard everywhere or my bike. Its awesome to just ride around on my longboard I must say. I have even seen 2 other people riding Bustin’ Boards! I’ve seen 2-3 girls riding too (one of them I may have seen twice). Its just so cool to see others who like doing what I like to do. Oh, and they weren’t butch girls either.

I’ve pretty much gotten bored of going around in the campus. There are just a bunch of buildings and pathways and trees everywhere. Wahoo… pause, not. I’ve driven around a bit to find places to work. Also, I know the main strip really well. It has lots of chain restaurants that I like so if I feel the urge, I can go there.

Last weekend, in Lansing, there was “Be a Tourist in Your Own Town.” All you had to do was buy a “passport” for a dollar and then you got into all the museums and attractions in the city! I went to the Michigan Historical Museum (it was exactly like I remember it from elementary school), the State Capital building (really cool 45min tour), I walked down Washington Ave to see the center of the city, I toured The Paramount Coffee Company (really cool with samples of delicious roasted coffee), and then I visited the Lansing City Market (a farmer’s/craftsmen’s market). The market was cool because I can’t remember ever going to a farmer’s market with fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade sweets, and local dairy products. I think I’ll visit there often for lunch (they have 3 small restaurants that use only fresh, local, organic ingredients) if I end up working in Lansing.

That gets me to my final piece of info. I had an interview with a State Senator’s Aide. Finally someone responded to my email with good news. I sent all the democrats in Lansing, the Representatives and the Senators, my resume and a cover letter expressing my interest in working for someone as an intern this summer. I must say, I think it will be a great way to spend my summer. Its better than not working. Its a heck of a lot better than doing Grassroots Campaigning a.k.a. canvassing in the hot, humid Michigan summer. Also, government agencies do not work weekends or nights. So, basically all I’d have to do is probably 5-6 hours every day (12:30 or 1pm-5 or 6pm) and a full day on Wednesday. It’s not that I want to do the absolute minimum, but, I do have to study, do homework, go to the gym, and do some relaxing. If this works out, this could be a better summer than last summer. I was almost going to say a better summer than in the last couple of years but then I was like, hello! CISV. So I guess this summer has the potential to be the best summer in a couple summers if you set aside my experiences with CISV.

Today I went to the Eastwood Towncenter Mall, an outdoor mall like Rochester Crossing, that is north of Downtown Lansing. I could actually ride my bike there if I wanted to take a bit of a trip. I went to DSW to find appropriate interview shoes, Starbucks to drink liquid happiness and to do some workbook pages, and then to JCrew to find a better substitute to my white polo shirt. I opted for a navy vneck slimfit tee. I also bought a hot pink one because I was feeling especially good saving $10 on the deal.

Anyway, it was an exciting day. Oh, also, when I went to my interview today, I really had to use the restroom so I went into Biggby Coffee. On my way out I heard people talking about “The Representative” this and “The Senator” that. It was like I was in the middle of something truely exciting. This Biggby is in the same building as the Senator’s Office so I think I’ll be making a lot of trips there haha. Also, to the left of the building, across the street, there in all its glory is the State Capital Building!!! This means that I might actually get to see it everyday. It sounds really awesome to me. I love that American style of Architecture, the type that is like, everywhere in Washington, D.C. I have to figure out what that style is called.

I don’t know if I’d want to live in a house that has that style, unless of course it was The White House.

Sometimes I think about transferring to American University, but then I think, I’m going to end up in D.C. anyway. I need to just bide my time in Boston. Maybe a summer here will quench my political thirst. However, it might just leave me incredibly parched and slightly dehydrated. Maybe I’ll want to work for some political person in Boston. I do know that next summer I want to either study abroad next summer or fall. Maybe, my grand plan could be to have a paid internship in Washington D.C. in the summer and then study abroad that fall in Geneva. That would set me up to have worked in 3 political environoments as an intern. I’d be on my way to success.

Destination: Rochester

So I went shopping today. What a thrill. Actually I took a trip to explore the Village of Rochester (MI). It was a bit nip outside. I took some photos and shopped a bit. I picked up a nautical necklace with an anchor and a steering wheel, a royal blue and white rugby t shirt (jadore!), a blue 16oz nalgene, and a splash guard for my regularly sized nalgenes. Everything (but the silver necklace) was blue. I am obsessed with blue. 50% of my clothes are blue. And then, I look at one of the shopping bags and it says “Change your favorite color.” Can you believe that? No one changes their favorite color, the whole point is that it is a favorite. Um, ok, people do change their favorite colors but not this far along in life.

Then I went to Starbucks and got a Dulche de Leche Latte. It was really sweet, the carmel equivalent to the mocha. I proceeded to sit down in this small Starbucks to write in my Moleskine. It was a very rewarding experience to sit in a Starbucks and feel artistic. However, two teenage girls came in with their little Louis Vouiton and Abercrombie bags. They were rather obnoxious so I could only stand to sit there and write one page.

(while reading this I heard “It is a shame, it is a pity” by the Futureheads, what a coincidence)

Anyways, I then picked up dinner from Quiznos and picked up another drink from Starbucks. This time the baristas were friendly and even though I ordered a mocha light frappacino (they were out of light frap mix) they helped me decide on a Tall Nonfat Almond Mocha. It was absolutely delicious.

I wish I worked at Starbucks or Caribou. I love coffee and espresso so much. Too bad none of them are actually hiring! Maybe I could work at Cosi. Although the local TOPZ Healthier Burger Grill called me for an interview today. I should call them back tomorrow. It would serve as a good transition job, plus they pay $7-8/hr.

So basically my exploration to Rochester proved to be good for the soul. It got me out of the house. I am satisfied by the results of this mini retreat.