Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Three Things

Three things I lost my shit over this week
  1. Missing my train from Amsterdam
  2. The underground train stations being closed because of a fire in a tunnel
  3. Not being able to find where my Host put the laundry pods I bought

Three signs I'll never hang in my house
  1. Eat Pray Love/any variation of this
  2. Bible verses
  3. Popular Renaissance artist prints

Three things I neglected this week
  1. Following my Host's rules about unplugging everything when I leave
  2. Photo editing
  3. Sleep

Three things I've tried recently
  1. Boba tea
  2. Beers
  3. Traveling all alone


Three house things I hate doing
  1. Cleaning the hair monster from the drain
  2. Emptying stinky trash
  3. Cleaning the bathroom, but especially the shower/tub.

Three things I wear all the time
  1. Jeans
  2. A hair tie
  3. My earrings and wedding band

Three things I never wear
  1. Hats
  2. Scarves
  3. Costume jewelry

Three books on my kindle waiting to be read
  1. Every Kindle First book ever
  2. The Art of Racing in the Rain (a reread)
  3. Maybe in Another Life

Three things I have to do but don't feel like doing
  1. Go the German laundromat to do laundry
  2. German homework
  3. Study for the B1 exam


Three things I'm looking forward to
  1. Seeing Teh German in a few days!
  2. Going to Italy
  3. Laying in my bed at home, home AND snuggling with the dogs.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Weekend Review {05/20}

FRIDAY

I actually shared what I did on Friday on Friday's blog.
An upside of being in Germany is that my evening is US daytime, which means if I post a blog "late", it's not really late.  Downside is that when I write Friday posts at the end of the day, I usually include the day's activities in the post.  Yolo, bitches.

If you don't remember:

  • I went to school.
  • I got my conch earring switched out since the new earring (from last month) was infected.

  • Teh Deutsch Asien came home with me for Reibekuchen, it was greasy and delicious.
  • We went to the hookah bar down the street.
  • We had Spaghetti Eis
After that, I came home and got ready for bed.  I videoed with Teh German and kinda Teh Running Bestie and then it was bedtime since adventures were coming!



SATURDAY

Up at normal time on Saturday to get started on Amsterdam adventures.  No issues getting ready and catching the train to the main station to catch my bus.  I picked up McDonald's for breakfast, and then searched for my bus.  After having to ask, I found it.  When I had walked by the first time, it wasn't there.. sooo I give myself a pass on this.

The bus took me half way, then we hiked to the train station and caught a train into Amsterdam.  Along the train ride, I saw two cows having sex.. so I mean, seems like a pretty Amsterdam thing to see.  I arrived in Amsterdam shortly after noon and spent a few hours wandering around.



I visited several markets, grabbed lunch, and eventually navigated myself to my AirBnB.

Welcome to Amsterdam.

There was some sort of Asian festival going on.

My hot dog was nearly as burnt as this photo would suggest.
In fact, it was quite perfect.

DAT ASSSSSSS.

#BookHunter

Left: Mini pancakes
Right: Stroopwaffle (w/ caramel)
Made fresh right in front of my face.
THEY WERE BOTH DELICIOUS.

I was very confused about what that thing was in the middle, then I realized it was for bikes!
#AmsterdamLife

These stairs up to the AirBnB had me paranoid I was going to break my leg.

At the AirBnB, I relished in a bed that was extremely comfortable.


I even took a nap with the door open!
Despite a nearby neighbor who was LOUD AF.

My AirBnB wasn't far from the Anne Frank House, but I had searched for tickets earlier in the week and they were already sold out.  Nonetheless, I wanted to go by and at least say I'd been by.  As I was assessing the situation at the house, a man approached me and asked if I wanted to buy a ticket from him, that he had an extra because his friend wasn't able to make it.  I asked how much and he said 10€ and I said, YES PLEASE.

I'm gonna be honest.  Visiting the Anne Frank house was never on my bucket list.  In fact, it wasn't until last week that I even connected Anne Frank to Amsterdam.  But I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity if it fell in my lap like that.

Many years ago, I read that parts of the published book had been edited (a merging of her 2 different versions by her father) and it made me suspicious of what else had been changed.  I'm pretty sure I read the book in middle school, but remember nothing other than the fact that her family lived in a "closet" for 2 years. 

Fun fact, it was not a closet.  It was actually a pretty large space, in my opinion.  They could move around freely and had furniture and kinda lived like normal except for the part where they had to be super quiet and never leave the house.  There was more than just the Frank family (4 persons) in the attic, so I'd imagine it was cramped, but they had a bathroom and a kitchen and a fully functional living space, just on a super small scale. 

But, for sure, the worst part is that they survived in hiding for almost the entire war and then almost everyone died shortly before the war actually ended.


After Anne's house, I headed to dinner.  Everywhere was slammed, so I ended up eating a burger from a place where I could find a seat at the bar, and then went somewhere else for dessert, also sitting at the bar.  I wasn't impressed with my dessert at first, but when I put it in my mouth, the hassle of not getting a menu for half my life and then waiting the other half of my life to order was forgotten.  I wanted to lick the plate... I did not.  But I wanted to. 


After foods, I headed back to the AirBnB.  I watched a few episodes of Friends From College on Netflix, which I don't think I'll continue on with.  I struggle with the over-dramaticness of Keegan-Michael Key.  Maybe 2 episodes isn't enough, but I just learned they cancelled the show, so apparently it wasn't so great anyways?

Since it was GEGR Picnic day, Teh German was occupied, so I went to bed fairly early since I had an early wake up the next morning.


SUNDAY

For all of my photography loving life, I've wanted to visit the tulip fields of Holland.
Quick education:
Holland is the name of the province where most of the tulips are grown.
Holland is located in the country: The Netherlands.

I dreamed of their spectacular glory and ALL THE PHOTOS I could take.

More education:
Tulip farmers DGAF about the flowers.  In fact, they remove the flower right after it blooms, which makes the bulb (in the ground) healthier or bigger or something beneficial for selling them.  Soooo all the fast fields of tulips aren't really a thing for very long.  When the bulbs are harvested, the plants are used a fertilizer (kinda) for the fields.  It's like a whole process.  Anyways.

I went to Keukenhof (a popular flower garden) on the last day of the season.  I didn't know what this meant.  The tour guide said, "Despite being the last day, there will be still be plenty of flowers to see!"  I imagined my fields of glory.

There were no fields of tulips.  There were a lot of beds with tulips (and some other related varieties of flowers), but a LOT of the beds were just green, with no flowers, because the blooming season is over, despite how cold it has been there.  That's not to say I didn't take 500 photos, I did, but I expected something different.

I had scheduled an Uber the night before, because I didn't want to deal with the train and getting a ticket and blah blah blah that early.  Annoyingly, you have no idea if the Uber you've scheduled will actually show up or not, it depends on if a driver accepts it, which you don't know of until a driver accepts it, which is generally when they are on the way.... Soooooo, that was stressful.  But the Uber driver did come, dropped me off at the meeting point for the tour, I found the tour office, checked in, got my ticket, and we were loaded and on the bus in due time.

100% glad that no one was with me for my flower garden session.  At first I was like, "Meh, 4 hours is going to be way too much time."  We had to be back at the bus by 1.  At 12:30 I had to tell myself that I was not allowed to stop for ANY.MORE.DETOURS.MEGAN.LYNN.  It was difficult.  I kept finding flowers and I'd ask myself if I'd already shot that variety or not.. but maybe not, so maybe I should get another, just in case?  Yes, I know I'm ridiculous.  If someone had been with me, I would have felt guilty for all the time I was spending with different angles and focusing on different flowers and taking both landscape and portrait oriented photos.  I know that flower/macro photography is not as interesting for others as it is for me, which makes me feel like I need to just skip some stuff so I don't torture the person I'm with.

Shitty breakfast to start the day:
Cold dutch apple pie (it would have been INFINITELY better if it was warm) and hot chocolate.



I won't lie.  I didn't really enjoy the smells.
Also, there was a LOT of lilies in one of the buildings I was in and I could feel my head start to hurt.

Top: Expectation
Bottom: Reality

x250ish on my camera.

I did make sure to take a few selfies, because.. why the fuck not?

A nice couple offered to take a photo of me in my new kicks.

I made it back in time. 

We made it back to the city before 2, which meant I had time to go into the Central area and grab something for lunch... and by something, I mean fries.. and then head back to the train station to catch my train and get back to Düsseldorf.

Fries w/ "garlic sauce" are officially my new favorite thing.
And "garlic sauce" seems like the European version of ranch dressing.

I was at the correct platform waiting on the train about 25 minutes prior to it's arrival.  And then.. a train came early and left before the time that my train was supposed to arrive (per the board)... and I missed my train because I thought it wasn't the right train.

Which meant I also missed my bus back to Düsseldorf, since there was only an 11 minute "layover" between.  I almost called Teh German in tears.  But I knew he couldn't do anything and I knew the longer I waited to solve this problem, the longer it would be before I was back in Düsseldorf.  So I used Google Maps to find the way home... and only proceeded to get more frustrated after I went to a different station to look for the Flixbus and couldn't find it after walking around the station 2 times.

Finally, I went into the station and asked for help.  I explained what had happen and a super cool dude hooked me up with new train tickets to get back to Düsseldorf and he even printed out the route and reviewed the platforms the trains would be at for me.  Like, I wanted to hug him, but I'm not a hugger and he was a stranger, but I was just relieved that someone helped me and that I would get back Sunday night.

As I'm walking around trying to find a particular bus stand, I spotted this #TooSoon sign.

When I boarded the train, as directed, I looked over and saw the fucking bus stand that I had been looking for.  Soooo, overall, I paid for 2 trips to/from Amsterdam.  You're welcome DE Bahn system for my monies.  It didn't take much longer to get back via train and while I was relieved to be at the Düsseldorf Hbf, finally getting off the train at my stop was like a weight had been lifted.

My host lady had already left for her vacation week, which meant I had the flat all to myself.  That meant setting up Alexa and jamming and putting my shit away and getting settled in.. and writing this post.  Then it was chat with Teh German time, and sleepy time.

______________________________________________

My trip was SUPER great... until I missed my train.  Teh German tried talking me down (I did start texting him after I got on the train to the 2nd station to look for the bus stop) and telling me not to be so hard on myself, but I'm my own worst enemy.  I finally broke and there were tears.  But it was also a relief.  I've been frustrated so many times over public transportation and I've not let it get to me.  I've quickly moved on from being frustrated and got shit done.. But this time, it cost me 50€ (if you don't include the 30€ that I paid for the original ticket back).  Obviously, I'm ok, but sooo much build-up finally cracked me and I had some leaky eyes on the train back.  I even posted my crying pic on FB, because it is part of the journey.  I was really appreciative of all the encouragement/cheerleading from my friends. 

There are now 500+ more photos to edit.. sooo that's a fun "one day" adventure.

So far this week is kinda quiet:
-School, duh.
-Meet with Auntie P on Tuesday for hanging out and dinners.
-Sunday: Run with Teh German Runner ANNNNDDDD TEH GERMAN ARRIVES!!!!


Friday, May 17, 2019

Five on Friday #195

EINS - Random Shit

-Remember that one time I was like "I'm glad you're selling shit but don't sell it to me?"  Well, in the same vein... I'm glad you ___________ (do crossfit, went Keto/Paleo/whatever fucking fancy diet you want to be on, are vegetarian (unless a food decision is being made), what the fuck ever special thing you do because you choose to do it), but I really don't care.  #SorryNotSorry

Maybe I was that way about running/getting out of the Navy/kick boxing/blogging/everything I do and I annoyed you.  If that's the case, I am super sorry.

______________________________________________________


Dear Alexa,
I went/go through a lot of judgement for bringing you to Germany, so if you could get your shit together and stop forgetting my alarms, I'd appreciate it, you fucking bitch.

PS. I'm sorry that Host Lady unplugs you every day.  It's equally horrible for me too...

______________________________________________________


Last week I posted a Morgan Harper Nichols photo that said:
To the one far away from home:
It is ok if it takes time to get into the rhythm of things.
-MHN

I selected that photo without actually reading it.  When I upload the photos to the blog, it's difficult for me to read the images since the print is so small in the preview (even at XL size).  But could I have picked a better "letter"?  No.  No, I could NOT.

______________________________________________________


After speaking all day in German on Sunday, it was difficult to switch back into English.  All my thoughts were in German and I had to put them in English before I told Teh German about my day.  Obviously, he would have understood the German, but he was speaking in English, so I went with that.  Granted, my German wasn't totally correct German, but it was passable enough that I was understandable.  My listening skills really need some work though.

______________________________________________________


Monday we got a new teacher and I explained I was taking the exam for the B1 level and she made it seem like I have no chance at passing it (at all, even with a low score) unless I take the B.1.1 class and the B.1.2 class. Uh, NO. Not an option.

So I borrowed a study book from the "Media Library" with practice tests and I'm going to hopefully be able to work myself up to at least passing.  I have considered asking if I can move into the B.1.1 class, but I don't think they will let me because I'm not always so good with my German grammar.  Truthfully, it's a LOT of rules to remember to construct a single sentence, so when I'm speaking, I will often just say it, even if it's wrong, because the words are usually correct, even if the endings aren't perfect.

By Friday, I had only opened the books twice and decided to return them instead of carrying around the extra weight in my backpack.  #ComeWhatMay.

______________________________________________________


When the Germans send me messages on WhatsApp checking on me, it warms my heart.  I love that my family has extended.  Like, in my mind that's what having a husband meant, but you always hear stories of in-laws from hell.. and I just don't have that problem.  #LuckyMe

______________________________________________________


The Hurricanes were swept by the Bruins and I'm super sad.  We had a good run.  #LetsGoCanes

______________________________________________________


Uhhh.. sooo.. I bought a train/bus ticket to go to Amsterdam this weekend.  ALL BY MYSELF.  I almost chickened out, but I was in the middle of reading You Are a Badass (meh) and I told myself that if I didn't go, I was being stupid.  I had no valid excuse NOT to go, so I bought the get-there and get-back ticket and then planned everything else.  In fact, I ended up buying TWO get-there tickets after I realized that lodging was going to be a millionty dollars per night, so I chalked up the money for the Friday night ticket I had originally purchased to save myself $150 and bought another ticket for Saturday morning.  #YOLOBITCHES  #EverythingWorksOutInTheEnd #EvenIfItRains


_____________________________________________________


After my first boba tea experience, I want to make my own boba tea, which is completely doable.  Except, I must find the boba without tapioca.  #TheSearchIsOn

Even without the boba, I bought a cheap water bottle and have enjoyed a tea latte each morning.  It's my new favorite thing.



ZWEI - This Week's Happenings

Being back at 100% health meant ALL THE ACTIVITIES!  

I mixed up the days (#LanguageBarrier) and I ended up meeting our German friends on Tuesday in Duisburg for an evening of adventures (Duisburg Love Parade Memorial, Turtle and the Tiger, Duisburg Innenhafen (Inner Harbor)) and dinner (mexican).  I won't lie, I love being a solid excuse for people to do touristy things they've always wanted to do!











On Wednesday was Stammtisch and I talked my new friend, Teh Deutscher Asien, into coming to Stammtisch with us.  It was a good time, even though it took half my life for the food to be delivered.  To make it up to us, they gave us a free basket of bread with a dip.. soooo I guess it was worth it?  IDK.


My newest friend.
I love that you can have dogs on the train here.

First Altbier experience.

But, this Radler was better.
Like, in terms of being as better as another beer can actually be.
I'm still not a beer fan.

Something something soup with ground beef and mushrooms in it.
It was delicious.
I ordered it instead of a cheeseburger because it had mushrooms and it was warm.

Blutwurst (blood sausage/pudding) with pureed potatoes.

IDK what this was, but it looked like some shit I would not eat.
Not just because the meat looks raw but also because those onions.
NOOOOOPE.

Thursday was lunch at a new place with Teh Deutscher Asien at Brauhaus Schumacher.  The evening consisted of game night at school where we played Mensch Argere Dich Nicht (aka, the German version of Sorry).  We got to make our own pieces and then decorate our part of the board and then we played one game, since one game takes a long time.  Much funs was had.

When in Germany, beer must be drank.
So.. they didn't have a Radler and I accepted a Weißbier instead.
It wasn't so bad....

Frickadellen (like meatloaf but in ball form) with an egg and the most delicious potatoes and some rabbit food.

Making our game pieces.

My Mensch (people)

All the Mensch.

Friday was FRIYAY BITCHES and Teh Deutscher Asien and I hung out for the afternoon.  My host lady had agreed to make Reibekuchen for me (I asked if we could make it together, but she purchased ready to make mix and just fried up the patties for us) and I asked if I could bring a friend and she agreed.  So Teh Deutscher Asien and I had our first Reibekuchen experience together.  It was super delicious, but super greasy.  I'd do it again.  After lunch, we did our homework, then decided to check out the hookah place on the corner of the street where I live.  Also awesome.  Finally, we ended the night with Spaghetti Eis, which is ice cream that looks like spaghetti.  The red part of the "spaghetti" is actually strawberries and strawberry sauce and it was 1000% worth every fucking calorie.  We also tried a chocolate Spaghetti Eis with bananas.  I liked the strawberry version better, so I had most of it while Teh Deutscher Asien finished off the chocolate one.










DREI - From My Phone Shit

My downstairs flatmates unknowingly too sooned me.
I used to have this bag until right before I left for Germany when I discovered my bag (from Scotland) had a hole in it.
It kinda made me laugh.

English: I'm lovin' it!
German: Ich liebe es!

I went on a run.. finally.
I ran to a nearby-ish botanical garden that completely disappointed me and made me glad I went there for a run instead of making a special trip there with just my camera.
I will visit another garden in the south before I leave and hope that it is much better.
PS.  Only the 2 flower pics are from the garden.  There were very few flowers actually at the garden.

An Aldi experience... because I was shopping when hungry.
I tried these and ended up bringing them to school to put in the free for all area.

The best flavors of ramen are at the Asian market.  ALWAYS.

I FOUND A GREYHOUND IN GERMANY!
Of course, during my sneaky pic, she decided to pee.

So tabs are kept in German bars.

This ridiculousness outside my flat at 10pm almost had me freaking out.. but after 10 minutes of loitering, they finally moved on.  This was actually a night time rollerblading event, complete with police escort and safety people (those blurs in the yellow vests beside the cars).  While kinda cool, it's good that I wasn't in bed yet, because they definitely disturbed the peace.  All sorts of people were peeking out the windows to check out what was happening.

Many flats/living places have fun little numbers and letters over the entrance doorway.
I've been told what the letters and numbers represent, but I can't remember, but I do remember that it's cool.




VIER - From the Internet Shit







Pay attention to the things that no longer consume your mind in the way they used to
This too is part of your growth.
-MHN

Do not think less of yourself if you do not feel fearless.
Doing it afraid is just as brave.
MHN



FÜNF - Things that made me happy this week

  1. Being 100% healthy again.  Despite what my host lady says about my lingering cough that has DRASTICALLY improved since Saturday (but not by her standards apparently.  For her, ANY cough is sickness....)
  2. All the activities.  I didn't want to sit at the flat the entire time I'm here.  I'm glad I've found someone to have adventures with and have options through the school to do things.
  3. My chats with Teh German.  Even if sometimes we don't have as much to say.  I think the presence is important too.. although he was whistling during the quiet times during our last phone call and I almost reached through the phone and strangled him.  So ya know.. balance..
  4. Pictures of the beasts from Teh Running Bestie.  Teh German has made his trek north with the beasts, so photos of the gang were sent, much to my heart's delight.
  5. Knowing that I'm going to Amsterdam on my own.  It's super scary and super exciting at the same time.  It's some strong, independent, woman shit.
  6. Boba tea latte.  The tea latte has actually brought me more joy than the boba, but the boba was super awesome.
  7. German things.  Spaghetti Eis, Reibekuchen, Bier, potatoes... German things.
  8. Being able to use public transportation without getting lost.
  9. Friends who are willing to drive 30 minutes in the opposite direction of home to bring me back to my house so I don't have to wait half my life on a train.
  10. 9 days until Teh German arrives in Germany!!!!!!



Happy Friday, Gentle Readers.