Saturday, September 17, 2011

So Perfekt.

I know I said I would post after my sleepover but I've been really busy and also quite lazy.  So, last Friday was the going away party for my host brother Fritz who is going to Russia for a year.  The party was really fun and I met a lot of German kids which is great.  Though there was a lot of drinking I only had a few beers. Being responsible and such.  I went to bed at 3am and had to wake up at 9am so I could get ready and go to the sleepover. When I got there all of the others were already sitting waiting to be talked to.  I found out quite quickly that I had sat in the Spanish section.  It turned out that there were twenty-five Brazilians, ten South Americans, five Europeans, and thirteen Americans.  After we got talked to we had lunch where everyone got to know each other. Then we had to get together in our country groups and think of a little presentation for our country. You'd think it would be easy to think of a presentation for the USA but it was actually really really hard! We somehow figured something out and performed it in front of all the parents.  But, like always, the Brazilians topped ours by a huge margin.

After we were all done we all packed up and went to a gym where we were all going to stay for the night.  We first ate then we started our ice breaker games.  I didn't win one game but it was still a lot of fun.  After our games we started our hippie party and they had music and dancing.  It was a lot of fun and it went until 2am.  Since the night before I didn't get much sleep I wanted to go to bed but I couldn't.  If you don't know any Brazilians then you don't know how much they love to talk and have fun.  They were up talking until 5am and they aren't quiet.  But once I finally fell asleep at 5 it wasn't a very good sleep and we all got woken up at 8am.  We cleaned up and groggily ate breakfast then went home.  Sunday was when Fritz left so when I got home no one was there so I went to bed.  I only slept two hours before I woke up then I watched tv.  Since it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11 there were a couple shows that talked about it.  Other than that I just hung out all day.  Monday wasn't spectacular.  Just school then home. 

Tuesday I woke up and took a shower and when I went to the kitchen there were candles and they started singing happy birthday.  It was so cool and they I opened their gift and it was a Werder Bremen shirt.  Werder is their favorite team by far.  It was great! After I went to school and I was late so I kind of went quickly to my seat and tried to hastily get my stuff settled.  Out of no where my class started singing happy birthday which caught me off guard.  But it was a good moment and it was very nice.  Otherwise school was school.  However, after school the exchange students and I had a plan to go to Aurich for my birthday.  Since I'm from rural USA I've never ridden a public bus before so I had to be told how to do everything.  It's a lot easier than I expected plus it's actually very nice.  The bus was very full because they don't have school buses so students ride the public bus.  But it's free because the school gives you a card that says you can go to and from school for free.  After our hour long bus ride, we arrived in Aurich which is the closest large city to me.  We started walking and taking pictures and just messing around. We only had a couple hours to look because we had a Rotary meeting that night and Taina's sister was picking us up so we could be on time. We stopped at a clothing store because Wiesmoor really has no good clothes and it's not like I could bring all of my clothes.  So we stopped there and Esteban and I were just walking around when Taina ran over saying "where were you" "we have to go my sister's here" so we looked at each other thinking we had been in the same spot the whole time how could she not notice us.  When we walked out of the store Paula, Taina, Esteban and Joao (Brazilian friend) started singing happy birthday and they had a card and a doughnut as a cake.  It was so cool and I really was caught off guard.  It was awesome and the doughnut was really good too! After that her sister really did come and we went to the Rotary meeting.  It was boring like usual but Rotary gave me a chocolate bar and a flashlight for my birthday. I think they threw it together last minute but it's the thought that counts right?

Wednesday was a really slow, really long, and really boring day.  When I got home I found out that Fritz might be coming home because he thought he had 90 days to get a visa but he needed it when he got there.  It's weird because they let him into Russia without a visa on September 11th nonetheless, then they're going to send him back because he doesn't have a visa. So my mother was very stressed and very aggravated.  Thursday I started reading a book in class because I don't understand much and by the end of the day I finished it.  It was only 200 pages but that's still impressive I think.  Friday was hectic. Not because of school but there was a party with some of the exchange students in Bremen.  I wasn't going because I was going to a birthday party instead but Esteban was going and he wasn't prepared at all.  He had no one to stay with over night because the buses don't run all night.  So we worked hard to find someone for him to stay with and we finally found Bjorn who would let him stay.  It was actually really difficult.  But my plans fell in because my friend who was taking me had a soccer game that went until 10:30 and I wouldn't have been able to get there until 11:30 and for my mother that was too late to go by bike.  So I stayed in which was nice because I went to bed early and slept in late.  I feel refreshed and energized and ready to sit around all day and watch tv!  I will update in a week or two depending if I do anything or not.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

There are two kinds of music; German music and bad music - H. L. Mencken

Sunday didn't have too great of a start.  I was woken up at 11:20 and I hastily had to get ready because we were going to their grandparent's house.  However, my host mom reminded me that I was going with Taina's, another exchange student, parents to the crowning of the Königin.  I didn't know where or even when I was meeting them so I was calling around to find out but no one was answering.  Finally, I found out we were meeting at 12 at her house though it was already 12:20. Oops.  But when I met up with them it turned out everybody forgot.  It wasn't a big deal to the others, but Taina's parents are my next house so I looked pretty silly.  Once we arrived we sat down in the open arena where it was 30 degrees already.  The one day it's hot in Germany and we have to sit in the sun with pants on.  We sat there for two hours in the scorching heat, but the program was really good. The floats were all very good, but, unfortunately, I forgot my camera.  I remember it when I don't need it and forget it when there's something good.  After that we went to get something to drink. I swear, it is hard to find a place to get something to drink that isn't beer and when you do it's 1.20 euro for a little dixie cup size.. it's mad. 

Then Taina and Paula went home so Esteban and I went to Tulipano an Italian restaurant.  Esteban wanted pepperoni so he order peperoni and yes it's spelled peperoni that's not a typo.  When he got it, it turned out to be peppers not pepperoni so he asked for salami.  But when he brought it back they had taken all the seeds from the peppers and put it on top.  Esteban is from Ecuador where food isn't as spicy as in Peru or Mexico, so after the first bite he was on fire.  He somehow finished the whole thing after three cups of orangen saft.  Then we parted ways and I went home. 

Monday's classes were like usual. Boring. However on Mondays I have music 7/8 hour so I get an hour lunch after 5/6 hour.  The school food is just as unappetizing here as it is in the USA so I suggested we go and get döner which was a great idea. So Paula, Esteban, Svenja, and I went to a restaurant in the marktplatz and ordered.  We sat and talked for thirty minutes but noticed we didn't have our food yet.  We finally got our food with only fifteen minutes to eat and if you've ever eaten döner you know it's messy.  We didn't have time to worry about that so we took it and ate it on the walk back to school.  Thankfully, it started raining so the food got soggy and we were drenched.  Now it wouldn't be a big deal but when we have school we aren't supposed to leave the campus. So we were soaked and now we had to go blend in with a bunch of dry kids.  Music class was a little better today.  I asked the music teacher to play something different because a dog could play the congo so he gave me the bongos so the same thing but smaller. Thanks.  But he started off with something easier then showed me a harder beat and said to try and learn it by the end of the class. I learned it in five minutes so I just sat there staring at the ceiling.  Hopefully next time he'll give me something more fun like keyboard or singing because those are fun groups.  After school I went with my brother and mom to get some things for his year in Russia.  We also picked up my bank card that has my Rotary allowance on it.  I bought some gloves because in the morning my fingers get bitterly cold. 

When we got home I had to quickly eat because I had a Rotary function that evening.  I just got done with my sandwich when Herr Hinrichs rung the doorbell.  I got my jacket and went to the marktplatz, which is on the river where our boat was.  I had some curry-wurst which was delicious and we went onto the boat.  Only Esteban and I remembered we had the boat ride so we were the only kids on the ship.  It was fun because everything was free and we just sat and talked.  Again, they gave us Schnapps but this time I played it safe and mixed it with coke.  We're not supposed to drink unless they allow us to which seems to be always.  The ship came to a lock where me and Esteban helped open and shut one side of the gate.  We were on one side and the mayor and some guy were on the other.  The mayor, who seems to be in his 60s, got his open twice as fast as me and Esteban so we were embarrassed but it was an experience.  One of the cool things about the boat ride was the Königin and princesses were on board.  Once it got dark there were fireworks which were pretty cool, then we got off the boat and went to the marktplatz.  The whole night I had been trying to get a picture with the princesses and queen but they were always doing something or running around but I finally got them and they actually gave Esteban and me three free rides on the bumper cars with them.  I will say that German bumper cars are a lot more intense and less safe than American bumper cars.  I about fell out of my car a couple times.  After that we went and got a beer which made me really sleepy.  So we went home and I went to bed. 

Monday I woke up with swollen tonsils and throat.  I stayed home and slept which was a great feeling because I'm always tired here.  I think it's because I concentrate so hard on trying to understand and speak.  Now, on Saturday is my orientation/sleep over event with all of the other exchange students.  Herr Hinrichs said there were about seventy to eighty so it will be fun.  The theme is Hippie/flowerpower which is dumb but hey, it's interesting.  Unless something amazing happens at school, highly unlikely, I will post after Saturday.  Tschüß!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Blutenfest is definitely the best part of my exchange thus far!!  But starting where I left off, Thursday was pretty boring.  Friday after school Esteban came over because he was going to help decorate Bluten wagen with my family.  We didn't leave to decorate until 6 so we had time to mess around in Wiesmoor and at my house.  When we went to decorate it turned out we were just too late.  However, we helped clean up and things just so we could say we helped.  After we were done with that we walked around and looked at all of the wagen.  When you see them you will know that it took a town to make them because they are very detailed and well done.  Tomorrow they are driving them through the town and I will get pictures of that.  After we were done with the wagen we went home and Esteban stayed at our house because it was already dark and he isn't sure where he really lives.  So we watched the Germany vs. Austria soccer game.  Of course Germany won and now they are qualified for the Euro 2012 which I hope I'm able to see while I'm still in Germany. 

On Saturday we got up like usual at about 10 and Esteban biked home at 11. I had a couple hours to mope around before I had a soccer game.  at about 1 I got picked up by my teammate Florian and we drove to Wiesmoor Stadium to meet the rest of the team.  After they were all there we had to drive to Westrhauderfehn which is 40km away almost in Leer.  We got lost several times but once we got there we only had 20 minutes to get changed and warm up.  I didn't play and I won't because it is very expensive to be on the team and I only need to do practices.  After the game, which ended 4-2 with Hinrichsfehn losing, we got packed up and headed back to Wiesmoor.  I got home about 6 then ate and was off to dämmer shoppen by 8.  Dämmer shoppen is a big party that takes place in Wiesmoor Stadium.  It has food, dancing and fireworks.  When you went in to the stadium they gave you a wristband.  Green meant you could drink anything, yellow meant you could only drink beer, and purple meant you couldn't drink any alcohol.  I of course was yellow and I will say I had a few beers but not to many because I wanted to show I am responsible.  I met Esteban and Paula there, and we found others that we knew and just messed around, cracking jokes, and much laughing.  Once the fireworks started they turned all of the lights off and I will say it was one of the coolest firework shows I've ever seen. At about 1am we all went to get something to eat, so we went into the big tent.  As I was standing a guy came from behind me and grabbed my shoulders.  I turned around and expected my host father, but it turned out to be an absolutely hammered man who couldn't even tell which way was up.  I tried to push him but I froze because I'm not used to drunk behavior so my friend pushed him hard away and he left then.  I felt very emasculated but she just laughed it off.  After that we went back out into the open and talked more until 2 when I left.  I would say that that was the best night of my entire exchange so far.  I had so much fun and I wish it happened every weekend.  One thing that I will say about Wiesmoor or Germany I don't know how it is in other places, but many kids who aren't even sixteen yet were smoking at the party.  But here they said it's normal which surprised me even more.  Now back to the Blutenfest.  On Sunday there is the crowning of the Blütenkönigin or queen of flowers.  There is no king but one queen and two princesses.  After that they have the wagen ride around the streets and it will be a lot of fun.  Next Saturday is my sleepover in Oldenburg so I will may have one before and after but most likely just after.