Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Uh oh. The Heimweh is starting in.

While I am loving it here, I suddenly want to be back home, camping or going to the lake, hopping on Mass, sitting in Aimee's Cafe doing homework, walking up the ridiculous hills to campus, snuggling in close to JB's neck, calling my mom on a CELL PHONE, sitting in independent, stand alone desks, being warm in a well lit room, having sunshine for more than one day a week, etc.

I MISS MY HOME. It wouldn't be so bad if someone who I love were here with me. But as it is, everyone who I really, really care about is 4,500 miles away and I want nothing more than to be with you (Ideally you would come HERE, as opposed to me goingTHERE, but I'm willing to negotiate).

I love you and misssss youuu!

Friday, October 16, 2009

HEllo to all. Again.

Instead of focusing on how I've been a lazy blogger, let's think of how nice it is that it's getting cold. Wait. It WOULD be nice if I had gloves. Or a winter coat. Oh yeah, I left those in Kansas when I was packing. WHAT A GOOD IDEA. :)

I've been in Bonn for a month and a half now and I heard a dog bark for the first time yesterday. How pleasant it is that dogs are so polite here. They make it so much easier for their owners to take them everywhere they go, and so their owners do. Even in the ritzy-est department stores (bras started at 67 Euro!), you will see dogs being picked up because they don't want to go on the escalators. It tickles me silly every time.

I had been thinking that I'd been getting pretty good at the whole accent thing, but two sentences out of my mouth asking to be able to take his class, my teacher asks 'Sie kommen aus Amerika, oder?'. Translation: 'you are from America, right?'. Daaaaang.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kulturelle Unterschiede

Cultural differences.

Bonn is in the Rheinland, a picture which brings lots of thoughts to mind. It's the area of German wine, beautiful landscape, tree-ed little mountains, castles everywhere, and has been fought over between France and Germany forever. Everyone wants it because it's so productive and so beautiful. Being in the heart of German wineries, we went to a vineyard/winery on Friday for a 'Weinprobe', or a wine tasting. They fed us a typical meal of buttered bread, cheeses, sliced meats, and potato salad. And then we had the wines. Six of them. What were they thinking? And Asians who didn't want their wine. So they gave it all to us. Once again, what was the international office thinking? We had to split up into our countries, decide on a song from our country and sing it as a group for everyone. It was SO funny to see everyone chanting and doing cute little actions to accompany their song, we were all laughing and getting out of our chairs to see, etc. At the end of the wine tasting, we were making such a ruckus that they ushered us out of there quickly and somewhat forcefully. By forcefully I mean that the leader of the program was giving many stern faces and threatening us with the prospect of being sent home if we drank the wine on the bus that we had bought from the winery.

So, despite how much I wanted to prove the stereotype of drunken Americans wrong, neither I nor the other Americans succeeded. What a mess.

Cultural differences that I've noticed thus far:
1. Germans drink without getting drunk. Often.
2. Chinese teenagers don't date unless they plan on marrying that person.
3. Germans often wear the same outfit for two or so days in a row.
4. Everything is smaller. Ovens, refrigerators, bathrooms, products from the grocery store, streets, coffees, etc. I have the feeling they're less concerned with accumulating stuff. The apartments here are much smaller (I've been riding my bike around at night, looking in...yes, very creepy of me, but enlightening as well), so they have less room for stuff. I have to go to the market or grocery store EVERY day. My fruit goes bad and containers get empty so quickly.
5. Don't smile at people on the street, they will think you're weird..or American.
6. Don't apologize for getting in someone's way, just get out of it.
7. They are very serious about their recycling and about not using plastic bags.
8. Black is the color to wear.
9. They party soooo much longer into the night than we do at home. The clubs/bars are open until 5am or later.
10. Groceries are SO cheap.
11. No matter what time of day it is, you will always be able to see people sitting at cafes, drinking coffee.
12. No matter what time of day it is, you will nearly always be able to see someone eating DELICIOUS ice cream. But no one is fat! They're always eating sweets, but really, no one is overweight.
13. To an American, Germans seem pretty confrontational. It's not nearly as big of a difference as it would be comparing an Italian and an American, but the gap is definitely there.
14. There is much less variety in...well, nearly everything. I wanted to buy a cleaner for the shower...and had something like 3 choices. In America, there's a whole aisle committed to different types of cleaners.
15. I MISS TARGET. A lot.

So, keeping my American mind and adapting to life in Germany is as hard as I thought it would be. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not on vacation, that this is my life now. I can't wait to start real classes at the University and I love love love hearing and speaking German all day.

I miss you all,

Monday, August 24, 2009

My New Phone Number

...as of next Monday. You can call it from your phone and ring my computer. Free for you and also has the coooool capability of voicemail.


Wait, you're not gone yet?

No folks. I haven't left yet. I can't tell you how many times I was stopped as I walked down Jayhawk Blvd., feeling like a foreigner in my own town, people asking me the question , "Wait...Cassie? Shouldn't you be in Germany?". I most often just smile and answer, "Nope. That's next week."

While I thought it would be nice to be able to see everyone start school and hear predictions for the future of their classes and not leave until everyone was semi-settled into their new Fall Semester lives, I'm finding it to be more difficult and uncomfortable than I had imagined. I feel as if I am stuck in limbo as everyone else lurches forward into their new routine.

I want to go. But I don't want to leave everything I know. I can't wait to start MY business as usual just as everyone else already has.

Yes, I am excited to go. Finally.
Yes, I am scared of the new. Surprise, surprise.
Yes, I will MISS YOU.
I love you all and thank you for understanding!