Friday, May 31, 2019

Five on Friday #197

EINS - This Week

TUESDAY: School, lunch adventures with Teh Deutsch Asien at a Korean place, then shopping for a flask, then back to the flat to pack and do work things and wait for Teh German to arrive!!!

After Teh German arrived, he talked with my host lady for a few minutes, where I she talked about herself more to him in the 5 minutes than to me in my entire month there....  After we got my bag to the car, we walked to Schalander for dinner with Teh Running German and Frau Always Cold.

After dinner, we went to the Eis Cafe down the street for one last dessert.

Then we drove back to Essen.  When we arrived, we sat with Papa G and Stepmom G and chatted until it was bedtime.

WEDNESDAY: FINALLY.. after over a month, a sleep in, relax, do nothing day.  I didn't get out of bed until 1030.  After I went downstairs, I started on some work stuff and ate breakfast with Papa G and Teh German, who finally came downstairs with some prompting.  After my work stuff, I finally wrote my weekend blog and started on this post.  I also did laundry.  *Disgruntled noise*.. but at least I know THIS Laundry Fairy won't turn my shit pink.......  Also, I rewashed my pink clothes and most of the pink came out.. so ya know.. small victories, but I still know she turned my shit pink.

In the evening, we had dinner with Auntie P.  Sehr lecker (very tasty)!  We sat outside for a while enjoying the sounds of the loud ass birds singing and the neighbors yelling and our Deutsclisch conversation.  At almost 11:00, we went back home and it was bedtime.

Dessert was strawberries with homemade cream.
You should be jealous, I won't... sugar coat it.. HA!

THURSDAY: We slept in until around 9, then had breakfast with Papa G and Stepmom G.  They left around 11, which meant that Teh German and I were allllll alllloooonnneeee.. So, of course, Teh German got one bathroom and I got the other and we had Teh German/Teh Megan Time (aka, we had our separate alone time in the bathroom for how ever long we wanted).  Then I repacked my luggage since we are mailing a box back to the US so we don't have lug an extra bag through Italy, and then it was finally study time.  While it was sweet when Teh German came into the same room as me while I was packing, it wasn't so sweet when I was trying to study and he was listening (abet quietly) to YouTube videos.  I finally had to ask him to leave.  After studying for several hours, I took a break and went downstairs to socialize and scavenge for a snack.  Instead of coming back up to study more, we ended up taking a nap.

When we woke up, we got ready and then headed to visit with Opa.  Auntie P came later and we all had dinner together.  After dinner, Auntie P, Teh German, and I headed to an Eis Cafe for dessert.  #NoRagrats.

This is the library at Opa's living place.

Fried potatoes, pickles, messewurst, and eggs.

Spargel, Kartolffeln, and Schenk.
white aparagus, potatoes, and ham

Family time!

Translation: Ice cream fries with strawberry sauce (as ketchup) and whipped cream.

Spaghetti Eis (right): Ice cream that looks like spaghetti with strawberry and raspberry sauce with white chocolate flecks
Speigelei-Eis (left): Ice cream that looks like a soft egg, but it's really just vanilla ice cream with whipped cream and a peach.

Silly selfie.

On the way to the ice cream place, we passed by this gem.  We HAD to walk back and get a photo to send to Teh Running Bestie.

After we got back home, I did more laundry, wrote this post, and should have studied.  #YOLOMFS

FRIDAY:  Today is exam day.  I'll save that fun story for the weekend review... mostly because.. I'm writing this on Thursday night and my future predictions aren't so great.

ZWEI - Random Shit

-On Tuesday morning when I left, I only unplugged my phone charger, not my computer, when I left for the day.  Of course, my computer was unplugged by the time I got home.  It was the last fucking day dealing with that shit, but I definitely noticed.  SOOOOOOOOOO glad that shit is over with.

-My host lady talked more to Teh Deutsch Asien and Teh German than she did to me the entire month I was there.  Both my visitors were with her for a pretty short amount of time.  Maybe I didn't ask the right questions, but I also feel like she didn't like me much..   I mean, she told me she was going to Israel to visit a friend, but when Teh Detusch Asien came to visit, my host told her she was going to Israel with one daughter to visit her other daughter who lives in Israel.  Whatever.  Let's just say, I wasn't sad to leave

-I'm on vacation and cannot eat enough dessert and delicious heavy foods.  It's gonna be a real struggle when I get back to America, lol.

-I've also been eating on a weird schedule here.  I will eat lunch after my class ends, so generally from 1:30-3, then if I eat lunch that late, usually no dinner.  But if I don't eat a big lunch or any lunch, I'll have a big dinner.  For breakfast I was eating a piece of toast with cream cheese (since Leberwurst and I had some intestinal disagreements) and it wasn't lasting long enough.

-When I get back to Charleston, I'll be signing up for our community gym again.  I'm excited and scared that I won't go at the same time.  It's been a millionty fucking degrees in Charleston the last few weeks, so I definitely know I won't be outside running unless I get my ass up at stupid early to go in the dark.

-My poor credit card is weeping.  #VacationLife #StudyAbroadLife

-Teh German was going to sleep in the room without a window shade and I managed to talk him into moving into the bedroom in the attic with complete window coverings.. and I have ZERO regrets.

-I finally figured out how I burned the screen on my laptop.  Sometimes, when I close my laptop, it doesn't go to sleep.  I didn't realize it the first few times and didn't associate the burned pixels on the screen with what was happening.  I confirmed the cause and effect event on Tuesday night after I had closed my laptop to put it in my backpack.  When I unpacked my laptop to upload stuff over night, I opened it and it was still running and the burned area on the screen is now even bigger than it was.  I think the heat generated from the computer trying to cool itself in my bag, which doesn't work well, causes the computer to get super hot, and then the metal of the keyboard gets warm and then the screen gets too hot and the pixels are fucked up.  Thankfully, I have the complete warranty and the computer needs to be sent in for repairs when we are back in Charleston for T key repair anyways.

-When Teh German comes to me after trying to troubleshoot something with his dad and tells me that he saw his own reactions to stuff from his dad while trying to help him.. the same shit that I have to deal with from Teh German all.the.fucking.time, I lllaaauuughhhh and laaaauuugggghhhhh.  He did comment that, "Knowing you have the issue is the first step to fixing it."  So, there's hope, loooooool.

-I'm always torn when in eating in Germany between trying something new that sounds delicious or ordering what I know is delicious.  It's a rough life I lead...

DREI - From My Phone Shit

Just because I'm in Germany doesn't mean I've stopped checking in!
I'm pretty pleased with myself being the Baroness of a German area.

I saw a sign for strawberry Raffaello, but maybe it was actually raspberry..
Either way, these are delicious.

I forgot to ask for milk tea, and ordered regular tea instead.
This wasn't disappointing though.

Dear Google,
NO.  I do not mean "Thank you for offering your SKIN to me."
WTF, Creeper.

If you are ever in need of a tour via photos, I know a guy who can do a VERY detailed photo tour (Papa G).
But also, can I just say how pleased I am that someone noticed the bathroom baskets at our wedding?

America: TJ Maxx
Germany: TK Maxx

Bought some gin made in Düsseldorf.
Hopefully it's not shit.

VIER - From the Internet Shit

And here you are, after everything you endured far too long.
You did not know you could be this strong.
You did not know after all that went wrong, you had this courage and strength all along.

Not everything will be easy, but not everything will be hard.
Many things will happen in this life but they will not define who you are.

FÜNF - Things that made me happy this week

  1. Snuggles with the Teh German.  And hugs and kisses and just being with Teh German.. ya know, cheesy, spouse-y shit.
  2. Mezzo Mix
  3. When servers ask, "English or German?" and I say, "Beide (both)."
  4. SLEEPING IN.  Especially, sleeping in, in a DARK room.  *all the praise hand emojis*
  5. Family time.
  6. Doing my own laundry.
  7. It finally spring in Germany and I didn't need a jacket this week, which meant cute outfits!
  8. Speaking German with Opa and his partner and they could understand me.
  9. Leaving all my shit plugged in and it not being unplugged every day.
  10. Understanding German.  It's weird, but it's a thing now.

Happy Friday, Gentle Readers.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Weekend Review {05/27}

Weekend review coming to you on a Wednesday means exactly what you think it means.. Life has been insanely busy.  I'll show you why...


Since my Friday post was written at the end of the day, all my Friday activities were already posted.  Moving on...


Saturday morning, I tried to sleep in, but was unsuccessful.  That's what happens when it's daylight a millionty fucking hours per day (approx 0530-2230) and the room you sleep in doesn't have ample light blocking devices (curtains/shades).  I laid in bed on my phone for a little while and eventually got up and started doing some video editing for my Citadel German class requirements.

To get credit for my study abroad, I took 2 classes at the Citadel.  For my Citadel classes, I was required to take the Goethe-Institute course in German and then complete a "diary" of 10 entries (200 words per entry) and record 10 vlogs (2-5 minutes each).

I had such unrealistic dreams for my vlogs that I didn't start them until a week before they were due (today).  Also, as I mentioned, I'm camera shy.. Sooo yeah, that was stressful.  In addition, every program I downloaded to edit the video came with it's own set of complications.  The first free one that I was using worked well until it started to crash over and over and over and I had to download a 2nd (free) program.  The 2nd program worked great.  I finished editing the video and exported it and there was a HUGE (like 1/3 of the screen, huge) watermark that covered the bottom of my face... FOR THE ENTIRE VIDEO.  Sooo, that was shit.  And then, finally, I broke down and installed a free 7-day trial of Adobe Premiere Pro, which is great except it's SUPER complicated when you're an amateur.  #FirstWorldProblems, I know.

I ended up only recording 8 videos and left the one with the watermark as it was.  Oh well.  The 10 diary entries was no problem for me.

Anyways.. back to Saturday.. I got up and did some video editing, which I really do enjoy, so I had to force myself to get off the computer and go get ready to leave.  Earlier in the week, it was discussed that I would spend the night on Saturday with Teh Running German and Frau Always Cold.  This way, I'd already be with them on Sunday morning and wouldn't have to worry about taking the train from Düsseldorf to Duisburg.  After showering and packing my big suitcase (which I planned to leave at Papa G's house) and my backpack, it was time to catch a train into town.

I thought that since it was the weekend, I'd treat myself with a boba tea and took the train to the exit where the boba tea place was... Not that I had forgotten, but I didn't REALIZE that because Saturday was Japan Festival in Düsseldorf, there were people EVERYWHERE.  LOTS AND LOTS OF PEOPLE.  People in all kinds of anime costumes.. annndddd the boba tea place happens to be in the middle of Little Tokyo... did I happen to mention that I was lugging around my big ass suitcase?  Because I WAS... through lots of people, on crowded streets.  If you're looking for a new workout plan, I would highly suggest rolling a 50+ pound suitcase behind you on crowded streets.

ADDITIONALLY... know what people of Japanese Festivals like?  Asian shit.  To include boba tea.  The line at the tea shop I wanted to go to was no less than 30-40 people long.  That was a big NOPE for me.  Sooo, thinking I was clever, I knew of another place close to the train station.  Rather than go back to the platform where I came from, the walk wasn't so long, so I just walked to the tea place since I knew it was by the train station I needed to be at to go to Teh Running German's house.  DUMMMMBBBBBBB.  So here I am, lugging my huge ass suitcase behind me through these huge crowds of people that make my blue (now green) hair look normal, and I finally get to the other tea place... and feel ultimate defeat.  There were more people in line at the 2nd tea place than the 1st!  And the 2nd tea place is notoriously slow, so I just gave up my boba tea dream and headed to the train station.

The train station was more busy than the streets had been.. anddd the suitcase.  In case you were worried, the disaster that is me was well maintained while I've been in Germany.  Before finding my suitcase, I knew I needed to eat.  I was planning to stop at a bakery kiosk, but they all had long lines, so I just went to McDonalds instead since there was no line.  While I was trying to figure out which platform I needed to go, someone in a Louis Vuitton scarf approached me and asked for my food.  Uhhh, wut?  I said no and she got pissy and finally walked away.  I finally found which platform my train was scheduled to be at.. and there was no elevator in the immediate vicinity.. sooooo I lugged my heavy ass suitcase up 2 flights of stairs.  It was a delight.  I considered whatever workout I hadn't done for the week complete after that debacle.

At the platform, I found a seat and scarfed down my cheeseburger and fries.  I heard an announcement go off a few times and saw people leave my platform, but didn't think anything of it until a few minutes before when I comprehended that the announcer was talking about MY train.  Fortunately, people that looked like they understood/spoke German happened to be walking by me with their suitcase, so I decided to follow them.  I had kinda comprehended that I needed to go to platform 9, but I wasn't certain, but I figured that following someone from my platform after the announcement was probably a safe bet to get where I needed to be... and they had luggage, so they would probably use the elevator which meant NOT having to lug my suitcase up and down the stairs again.. #WIN.

My hunch was correct and they were also going to the same train as I was.  After switching elevators, we made it to the platform right as the train arrived.  (All the praise hands emojis.)  I boarded the train, found a seat, and checked for my next stop, since I knew I had to switch trains.  I managed to switch trains, find the correct platform, and board the correct train to get to Teh Running German and Frau Always Cold.  #ItsAMiracle.  Since I had a 45 minute ride, I managed to complete some homework.

When I arrived at my destination, Teh Running German was waiting for me while Frau Always Cold ran an errand.  We chatted about the disaster that could have happened due to the platform switch and about evening plans and then Frau Always Cold arrived.  We headed back to their house to chill for a little while, sitting outside while watching it "snow".  By "snow", I mean that the little white wispy things are blowing all over the place and there were so many of them, it kinda looked like it was snowing.  It's just another type of tree jizz, so 2019 is my year of never ending spring.  It's lasted from March through May.. although in different places/countries.

Later, I went shopping with them rather than staying home and doing homework.  I bought some gummy bears for my coworkers and some reusable bags (one of my fave things to bring back from places I've visited).  After shopping, we brought everything back home and then we headed back out to a park that had just opened since there was an opening festival going on for the entire day.

At the park, we met with some people Teh Running German and Frau Always Cold knew, to include her sister and his friend who would be running with us on Sunday.  We grabbed a drink from the Cocktail Ambulance (like a food truck, except an alcoholic beverage truck, also why can't we have shit like this in America?) and a bratwurst and fries to share since we were kinda hungry but our dinner reservation wasn't until 6:30.

Translation: The doctor has said more drinks!

Art in the Park.
This is a wall of sticks and water runs down the sticks which cleans the air, so the air under the porch thing is very fresh and clean.  It was interesting and kinda cool, and the air did feel fresher in my lungs, but maybe because it was wet and not pollen filled?

With "mayo", because Germany..
And by mayo, I mean salad dressing, like Miracle Whip, not mayo like Duke's.

We chatted with friends and their kids who sat with us while we all snacked.  Eventually, it was time to head to our dinner place, so we said our goodbyes and walked to the dinner place.  I do find that walking to places in Germany is awesome.  Most everything, especially in a smaller village, is close enough to walk to and that is super convenient.

At dinner, Frau Always Cold and I split 2 different entrees (asparagus and steak) and we had a beer with Teh German, who was having a beer at the airport at the same time we were at the restaurant.  After dinner, we walked to an ice cream cafe and got ice cream for dessert.  Super stuffed, we headed back to the car and went home.

Back at the house, we watched the end of a fußball (soccer for you Americans) game and I tried to do homework, but mostly just scrolled through Facebook (since everyone was awake) and watched the game.  The team that Teh Running German wanted to win, did win, so that was good.. And then it was super late and we had an early start, so we headed to bed.  I didn't get to talk to Teh German since he was in flight, but it was ok since I knew that I'd get a hug within 12 hours.


Sunday morning, my alarm went off at normal time (0700) and I got up and brushed my teeth and got dressed for the run.  I ended up not really needing the warm toss clothes that I had purchased, but I wore the ridiculous sweatshirt anyways since it was kinda breezy.  Our ride (who I'd met at the park on Saturday) was late to pick us up, as we'd anticipated and then once he finally arrived, I thought he was going to kill us with his insane driving.  We picked up Frau Always Cold's Sister and then we headed to Duisburg.  We picked up our packets and then we waited in line for the bathroom and then we headed to the start line.

It was only 5€.  The cheapest thing I could find.

A govt building.

Running Buddies

The blue kangaroo is the masco.

Our start time was at 1000, but they were only releasing 10 people at a time, so the line to start was super long.  We didn't realize that so we waited until closer to 10 to get in line and we ended up being almost at the very end.

This run was different from any other run I've ever done.  Most of my races are flat and the course is outside on the streets.  The Duisburg Big City Race actually takes you through buildings, which is pretty cool.  That said, some of the places were go in and come back out, and that was less cool.  One of the most interesting places on the course was a table dancing place.. and we wasted soo much time for that.  Not only was it an in/out place, they only let in 10 people at a time and we waited for over 30 minutes to go in.  There were actual dancers dancing, but for me, I would have rather not wasted so much time for such little reward.  I think all my running partners agreed.

These ladies were from the table dance place, but they sat at the finish after everyone had went through the space.

The other thing about this race was that when you run through buildings, there are LOTS of stairs.  No shit, every building had at least one flight of stairs.. and llllaaawwwddddddd I was NOT prepared for all those stairs.  I've NEVER trained for stairs.  It didn't even cross my mind to train for stairs!  IDK why.  I wasn't really worried about this race since it was only 5 miles, but I didn't anticipate the stairs.  I didn't die.. but almost.

I did record the whole race (except for long ass waiting time) on the action camera, but I didn't finish editing the video because Premiere Pro took half my life (understandably) to stabilize an hour long video and then there was an error after stabilization was complete and I haven't bothered to go back and try to work on it since I've been busy.

After the race, we grabbed our food and then sat for a few minutes and ate.  Then Teh Running German, Frau Always Cold (who met us there), and I headed to breakfast.  Teh German had arrived in Düsseldorf before we even started running and Papa G had picked him up from the airport, so he was doing his thing.  Earlier in the week, it had been arranged that after our race, we'd go to Papa G's house and hang out for the afternoon and then have dinner.

Before we headed to Essen, we stopped for breakfast at a place called Alex which had a really good brunch buffet.  I had to stop myself from overeating, knowing that we'd be having a big dinner in a few hours.  After breakfast, we headed to Essen.  I could feel myself getting anxious the closer we got to Papa G's because I was so excited to finally get to see Teh German again.

Translation: Life is beautiful.

The last few weeks have been very stressful and without Teh German around to hug me, I missed him extra.  When we arrived at Papa G's, we went to the flat and the door was already open and there was Teh German.. waiting for me.  I had already warned him that I was probably smelly and he said he didn't/wouldn't care.  I got a reaaallllllyyyy long hug and several kisses and the stress from the last few weeks melted away.  Teh Running German showered first and Teh German and I took my HUGE ASS BAG upstairs and chatted/caught up on things since we'd last talked.

After my shower, I felt muuuuch better and went downstairs to socialize.  It was very difficult not taking my post-race nap, but I managed.  We sat and chatted (mostly in German) about all the things.  Before dinner, Teh German's stepsister and stepbrother and step-Oma arrived.  We had a complete German meal for dinner, to include Leberkäse (I'm not really sure how to describe this, so you'll have to google that on your own), 2 different types of potato salad, salad, and bread.  Everything was super delicious.  I didn't always understand everything that was being said, but I did ask questions when I didn't understand or would ask for a summary from someone if necessary when I wanted to keep up.

It's been very distracting this last week that my brain no longer has to translate the German words into English to comprehend what is being said.  I comprehend the meaning of the German word without mentally translating, and it's very distracting because I'm so used to mentally translating the things that are being said to me so I can understand.  It's awesome (because I understand) and annoying (because it's distracting) at the same time.

By 9:30, everyone had left and it was FINNAAALLLY bedtime.  I stayed in Essen on Sunday night rather than go back to my empty bed in Düsseldorf.


Monday morning came way too soon for my liking.  Saturday night, I had slept in a completely dark room, for the first time in a month.  But Sunday night, the room was completely dark AND Teh German was there, which was the best thing ever for my sleeps.  Teh German brought me to the train station so I could get to school.

School was school.  After, Teh Deutsch Asien and I went to lunch at the Asian market, since I really wanted eel again before I left, and then I went back to the flat to do homework things for the entire evening.  I stayed in Düsseldorf because I really needed to get shit done for my GI class and for my Citadel class.  Monday was a holiday in America, but I barely even acknowledged it since I had too much shit to do.

I really wanted to go out and get ice cream for dinner since I'd had a big lunch, but I really didn't want to leave the flat, so I had toast instead so I could continue working.  I didn't go to bed until almost midnight, but I did complete all the homework I had.  I really wanted to get it all done by Monday for multiple reasons:
1- This way my Citadel German teacher could review it all on Tuesday instead of early on Wednesday morning since grades were due on Wednesday morning.
2- I knew that Tuesday was going to be busy since we had dinner plans with Teh German Running and Frau Always Cold.
3- I was fucking over homework.

My host lady had washed my laundry and when I went to put it away, I discovered she washed a pair of red.fucking.pants with the rest of my laundry (to include stuff with white in it) and all the whites were now pink.  Gentle Readers... SO MUCH GODDAMN RAGE.  I can't even describe it.  Like, I know it's not that big of a deal, but the actual specifics of the entire situation make me want to punch an old lady.
1- She insisted on doing my laundry.  INSISTED.  If you're going to insist on doing something, do it right.  Period, always.
2- She didn't even say anything.  Either she is color blind or thought IDGAF since she's leaving tomorrow.
3- Teh Running Bestie has the same shirt but with a different sleeve color, so it's not a sentimental thing, but it kinda is.
4- I don't like pink.
5- I really liked this shirt.

It's not so easy to see in a photo, but it's definitely pink.

I know I can buy a new one (probably) since I got it on Amazon, but it's the fucking principle of the matter.  I didn't bother to call her out on it because there's probably nothing that can be done.  The shirt honestly doesn't look obviously pink or look bad, but I see RED (no pun intended) when I look at the shirt, so it's a struggle I've got to overcome.  Also, black and white polka dot underwear and blue and white stripe underwear are now black and pink and blue and pink.. and I just really don't like it.  I'm hoping that a few washes will pull the red out.. but I don't fucking know.  I know that it makes me almost irrationally angry and I think that when I talk about it, people think I'm overreacting.  I'm not.  I'm fucking angry for a legitimate reason.  Teh German's Stepmom was going to try and treat the shirt to remove the pink on Tuesday night, but we agreed that bleaching it was a bad idea since the shirt has black stripes.

I shoved the clothes in the armoire and tried to forget about it.  The next day when I packed, the rage washed over me anew.  Super late, I talked with Teh German before bed, and then it was sleepy time.


A super fantastic weekend... not just because Teh German arrived in Germany, but also because I managed not to kill anyone or myself while toting my big ass suitcase through Düsseldorf, I managed public transportation on my own while making it to my destination at the expected time with only a single ticket purchase, I got a German race medal for my medal rack, and hung out with friends and family the entire weekend.

Today (Wednesday) is actually my first vacation day.
Thursday is also a vacation day, but I really should also do some studying for my exam.
Friday is my test... since I couldn't fucking change it.  Grrr.
After my test, we drive to Southern Germany to meet with the rest of the fam (Mama G, Brother G, etc).  We will be in the Stuttgart area until the 5th, when we depart for ITTTAAALLLYYYYY!!!!!

And now.. you're all caught up.
Hopefully, my Friday post will be punctual.  We'll see, lol.