Friday, May 10, 2019

Five on Friday #194

EINS - Random Shit

#FirstWorldProblems: I did not bring lingerie bags to wash my bras in..  Usually, I use lingerie bags to sort my luggage, but I didn't need to this time, so I completely forgot until I considered doing laundry.  FML  (latergram: My host lady had a delicates bag she let me* use.)

*by let me, I mean she put my bras in the bag when she washed my laundry for me.  No, I am not kidding.  I came home to my underwear... and other clothes hanging on the line from the back balcony.  Didn't think I'd ever see my "bloomers" (underwear for you non-hick-folk) hangin' on the line again.. but here we are.


I maybe should have considered that Germany was more in the winter stage of the seasons than the "Charleston spring" part of the seasons.. and by "Charleston spring" I mean full-blown summer.  It's been in the low 40°Fs around here and well.. that's kinda chilly for my unacclimated blood.  When I'm moving or inside, I'm generally fine, but it can be brisk when walking down the street (usually with wet hair).  🤷


Now I understand why Teh German has the house shoes that he has.  I brought my Berks as house shoes, but I cannot wear socks with them, which is unfortunate since it's so chilly.  #MeganFail


I want to buy a prepaid phone in Germany just so I can use it at a wifi hotspot so Alexa will work.  The internet at the house where I stay is a hotspot and I cannot get Alexa to connect to it since it requires a sign in.  When it goes to the sign in page, it just said that it worked and to go back to the Alexa app, but she never actually connects.  I know, #FirstWorldProblems, but I really need Alexa to play my brown noise for sleepy time so I can put my phone in do not disturb mode because East Coast primary awake/respond to text message time is in the middle of my German night.. and when you already have problems sleeping, the last thing you need is your phone going off in the middle of the night waking you up.  TRUST ME.  I KNOW.

Latergram: I enabled the wifi hotspot on my computer and then connected Alexa to my computer's wifi hotspot.  Ghetto.. but fuck if I don't make shit work #LikeABoss

Later, latergram: Since the wifi hotspot on my computer was already enabled, I connected my phone to that as well, so then I didn't have to deal with the disaster that is trying to get more than one device to connect to my host's wifi hotspot.


I was sick for my first days in Düsseldorf and my teacher felt pretty bad for me.  I also felt super guilty for having to blow my nose a millionty times.  It was super gross and it was that or Darth Vader breathing.


I hate trains.  Actually, I hate being inexperienced with trains.  Also, not really knowing where anything is doesn't help when you're relying on public transportation to get from place to place...
Monday, I took the wrong train from Essen to Düsseldorf, but managed to get on the right train with some help from Auntie P.
Tuesday, I took the correct train from the flat to the Institut, but I confidently took the correct train, but in the wrong direction after class was over.
By Wedneday, I had my shit straight.
But really, fuck trains.


When my host lady told me that I shouldn't read any English books while I am here and then offered me 5ish children's book in German, I just accepted them and thanked her.  1- NOT reading English is impossible for me.  Literally.  I have a job to do, in English.  I have friends to talk to, in English.  I have this blog to write, in English.  I know she had good intentions, but Lawd, Fredrich die Mause will not cut it for 4 weeks.  #sorrynotsorry  2- When she said that watching the news was also good because there were photos and the reporters talked slowly, I also kept a straight face.  3- People here SPEAK ENGLISH.  When they realize I am inept at German, they switch over to English without asking while I'm still trying to navigate the conversation.


I didn't post anything about it on May 4th, but it's been 2 year since Phil passed.  I spent some quiet time thinking about him after reading my Facebook Memories from the 4th.  This year a lot was going on, so it was complicated.  I will admit that the days before I left, poor Pax was called Baggins or Phil more times than I can count.  Obviously, I knew what was happening.  I do miss my Baggy boy, but I sure do love my Monkey-Doodle and my Paximoose.


I hate being so frustrated and angry that I cry.  Tuesday after having held it together through all of the strife that has been my last week (plane delays, getting sick, fucking trains), I had to call 9 Rounds to ask why my card had been charged for May and I was told I had signed the form that said I would be charged, I lost my fucking shit on the gym owner.  Even through my cold and headache and rage I was able to logic out to him, "Why would I bother to cancel my membership if I was going to have to fucking pay it anyways?"  Crickets.  I also reminded him about the situation when we signed up when we had checked on prices a week prior and then they changed when we went in to actually sign up.  When we had checked on prices, Teh PT Wife had been with us, but not when we went back, and she refused to sign up because the prices had changed.  This had been sitting with me for a while, and I brought it up while I was on the phone with the owner, who conveniently didn't remember this.  Despite my rage and frustration and dirty mouth, I feel like I made my point (which he tried to negate with a "I did everything by the book."  Yes, yes you did, and you lost a customer.) and I also made the suggestion that forms be signed PRIOR to a workout and not after.  PERIOD.  He didn't even acknowledge this.  I honestly feel like there's something somewhere in 9 Rounds information that says, "If you have them sign after a workout, they are less likely to be paying attention, so this is a better time to have persons sign binding forms."  Maybe it's not actually in writing, but probably someone somewhere has pointed out that behavioral science fact and taken advantage of it.  Either way, I bluntly said that I would NOT recommend the 9 Rounds where we are members (since each 9 Rounds is operated by a different owner) to ANYONE.  The only way I would possibly recommend it is if there were new owners and I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

I'm all about following the rules, but I'm also all about acting in the best interest of the person and not being shady with the full truth.  I would be upfront and say, You can think about this, but if you make the decision RIGHT NOW, you will NOT be charged for another month.  Instead of encouraging someone to take time to make a decision and then them be charged for a month of membership they do not use.

Also, ALSOOOOOO, I really fucking hated it when the owner would "correct" me when I would cuss at the gym, especially when there would be no one else in the gym besides he and I.  NO, just fucking no.


Oh but anyways.. After I got off the phone with the owner after NOT getting my money back (because he did everything by the book, of course), I called Teh German and finally had the breakdown that I've been building up to for WEEKS.  I didn't breakdown over final projects, final exams, about time flying by the week prior to leaving for Germany, about the roller coaster that is Carolina Hurricanes hockey, about my flight delay, about not getting to sleep on the plane, about getting sick when I got to Germany, about the fucking train debaclesssssss, none of that.. but dealing with people who are "doing it right" but are actually shitty?  That'll do it.


Google Fi is everything I wanted it to be in Germany.  The only thing I don't do is make calls when I'm not on Wifi since they are $0.20 a minute.. but I have unlimited SMS and regular mobile data use, which is 95% of my mobile use anyways.  Hopefully, when I get to Italy it will be the same and then when I get back to America it will be good.  If my phone works well in Italy, I will use it as a hotspot for Teh German since I don't think he will have international cell phone coverage, mostly because data is only $10 per GB, so that is ok for me since I rarely use over 2GB per month.


After blowing my nose one night, my ear popped and my equilibrium was off for a solid 5 minutes and I stumbled around trying to get ready for bed.  It was equally hilarious and concerning.


It took me an hour to cook sausages and green beans Thursday afternoon.  First off, the stove took half my life to boil water for the beans (since there is no steamer basket).  Then the instructions I found on the internet said to boil the beans for 3 minutes then shock in cold water.  Know what 3 minutes of boiling green beans then shocking them in cold water gets you?  RAW FUCKING GREEN BEANS.  All the while, the sausages I'm trying to cook are taking forever because the eye I was using had hot spots and the sausages had to be cut into pieces to actually cook evenly.  So after boiling water in the almost instant water boiler kettle, then pouring that water back into the green bean pot... I let the beans boil for another 10ish minutes while I cooked the remaining sausages.

After all that, I asked my host if she had any bowls with lids.. and she does not, because she does not have plastic..... ..... ... When my food was done cooking and I had eaten what I wanted, I set out to the store down the street for some plastic bowls.  I CANNOT with the leaving the food out in the fridge.  Maybe it's common here, as she's had 2 batches of cooked chicken sitting in the fridge since I arrived, but I just mentally can't.  I lucked upon a 1€ store on the corner down the street and purchased 2 bowls with lids and came home, washed them, put the leftovers in the food, then put it in the fridge.

I'll be eating it cold next time since there is also no microwave here and recooking the food 1- does not appeal to me, 2- IDK how, 3- doesn't seem like a good idea.  #JesusTakeTheWheel


Telling Alexa to "Cancel" when she plays your alarm means that you will have no alarm the next day.  Learn from my experiences.  Instead, you can tell Alexa, "Shut the fuck up" and she will NOT delete your alarm for the rest of the week but she will stop making noise.


I have a massage scheduled for this afternoon at the Thai massage place (not erotic, you pervs) across the street from the flat and I am PUMPED.  1- it's across the street, so I don't have to drive through Charleston traffic to get home after getting super relaxed.  2- I haven't had a massage since Pittsburgh and I didn't go to the Chiro before I left Charleston and I've been sleeping on maybe the floor, but people call them beds here (i.e. the beds are SUPER hard compared to Teh Cloud at home), so I'm all out of whack and I'm hoping a massage will help  3- I survived my first week in Germany.


I went to the Schreibwareladen (stationary store) for a notebook to take notes in and a folder for the handouts we get and I found a spiral notepad (yay for my left-handedness!) and I indulged and got a new green pen for myself since the green pen I have is almost too light to see.  When I got back to the flat and was rewriting my notes in my new handy-dandy notebook with my new pen (THAT ERASES!), I loved it so much, I stopped what I was doing and went BACK to the store and purchased 4 more colors of the pen.  #NOTSORRY.  I really do have a weakness for pens.  I'm not sure if Teh German has noticed but I have an embarassing amount of pens/writing utensil in general in our house.  Some of which, I've had since I was in high school.  Probably gel pens that have since dried up and need to be tossed, but they are lurking in drawers.  I used to have all my pens/non-colored pencils in a single container.. but now.. I have a house and pens need to be EVERYWHERE!!  They are in the kitchen and the office (obvs), there one in the downstairs bathroom (for the word search book and guest book), there's a few in the bedroom... there might be at least 1 in the loft.  Timo has some in the garage.  #ObsessedWithPens

ZWEI - Money Shit

-Groceries, mostly breakfast items.
-First day bretzel (no photo because I was also buying fancy croissants for someone who asked if I spoke English then asked for food.  She wanted somewhere specific, but I didn't have time for that since I was on a class break, so she made do with her second choice, a place that sold a pretzel for ME and 2 croissants for her.  Even if I was being ripped off, at least I did my good deed for the day.)
-Brunch for Auntie P and I as a thank you for hosting me over the weekend.
-Train pass for the month.
-Doctor bill from March.. Only $50 so far... I imagine there are plenty more bills coming in from LabCorp in the near future....
-Water bill
-First Google Fi bill for $25 dollars.  Down from the $75-90 that was my Verizon bill?  KKKKTHXXXXXXXX.
-Cash for places that don't accept cards.
-Stammtisch dinner (I'll let you look this one up)
-New notebook and pens and more pens for school.
-Burger and milkshake
-2 plastic bowls WITH LIDS.

DREI - From My Phone Shit

When the sickness hits and you just make stacks of tissues.
This is normal, right?

German breakfast, SC style.

Bought lots of tissues for the faucet that is my nose.
They TEMPOrarily replaced Teh Running Bestie.
I know she understands.

Single lady dinner: Hummus with the closest thing to flatbread/naan I could find at the store.

It's a Radler, but it's as much beer as I will tolerate.

You'll prob have to click this photo to see it, but I'm so fucking dry and scaly.
Just call me Drogon, Rhaegal, or Viserion.

I'm a white woman and I acknowledge my privilege, but being left-handed is a minority category and the world doesn't care about lefties.

Differences between Germany and America:
Where the holes are punched.

VIER - From the Internet Shit

FÜNF - Things that made me happy this week

  2. A massage place right across the street from the flat where I live.  You better believe I'll be making an appointment soon.  The last massage I had was in Pittsburgh... and that was like, a millionty years ago.
  3. Being able to call Teh German whenever I want/need.
  4. Not having to be the Laundry Fairy for a WHOLE MONTH.
  5. Speaking understandable, although still relatively poor, German.
  6. Finally figuring out the motherfucking train situation.  FUCK TRAINS. 4eva.
  7. Getting to talk to Teh German every night before sleepytime.
  8. Getting into a routine/not missing my train all week!
  9. Figuring out how to use bathe without the shower head being attached to the wall.  #FirstWorldProblems
  10. 1 week down.  16 days until Teh German arrives in Germany.  35 days until I'm back with Teh Cloud.

Happy Friday, Gentle Readers.


  1. I'm not sure where in Germany you are but this is not normal weather for the time of year. Last May was much warmer. It's definitely not normal to be wearing winter clothes at this time - except maybe in the mountains. It was really warm at Easter though so I have no idea what's going on!

    1. Ha, ok I somehow managed to miss the bit where you literally talked about Essen and Düsseldorf? My comment still stands though - this cold weather is not normal !

  2. Mad crying is the woooorst! Also, I will never forget the time that we went to Germany in HS for...well German class... and for one day our mission was to only speak in German. My friend & I went to a restaurant to eat & before we could even open our mouth the waiter took one look at us & started speaking in English.

  3. I actually really want a clothes line to hang clothes up again, haha! I'm super confused about all trains/subways/etc, let's blame the South and how spread out we are :-p Asking someone not to speak their mother tongue seems...unrealistic...but okay. The gym stuff probably would have made me cry too. I angry cried for the first time in a long time...while having a fight with my MIL. FML.


YAY!! I love comments! Please be aware that I reply to comments via email; please have an email associated with your account so we can chat!