Joanna Spr05

Dickinson Group in a Munich Beer Garden

Above you will see an adorable picture of the group in a munich beer garden. Stollmann took us down to Munich at the begining of the month and it was a good time. We took a bike tour around the city, that didnt turn out too well ’cause Dan kept breaking his bike, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The last day we went paddle boating and row boating on a lake in the English Garten, which was tons of fun. Oh and Stollmann bought us all a huge bag of candy. Tehe.

Anyway last week I went on my trip to Nürnberg and Prague with Becky. Prague wasnt exactly what I expected but it was a beautiful city. It rained a lot while we were there and always when we decided we didnt need our rain gear. At several points I decided to hell with it and strolled through the pouring rain anyway. That was possibly one of the best parts because people then laughed at me, offered me paper towels, and one old man tried to share his umbrella with me. lol.
The jewish ghetto in Prague was also very interesting. I was glad we spent an entire morning going through the syn. there.
My favortite time in Prague was right after a ghost tour, Becky and I along with two other americans we met, went to a bohemian bar with live music. After hanging out there a bit we walked along Charle’s Bridge at night. The city was lit up around us and street musicians were plying their trade along the sides of the bridge. We just sat there in the night air and talked for a good long time. Thats the part I want to remember of Prague, the bridge, music, lit up castle, and good company.

Nürnberg or Nuremberg, however, was the best time ever, but I am bias. My great grandmother comes from Nürnberg and I was totally charmed by this bavarian town. It still has its old city wall up around the city and a stately Burg (castle fortress thing) sits on top of a hill peering down at the rest of the town. Inside the castle is this really deep well that locals claim is where the princess lost her golden ball in the fairytale “The Frog Prince.” I was head over heels in love with the city the minutes I saw all the fountains they have dotting the streets. There is even one called the Ehebrunnen that has a poem on it about how this mans wife is his greatest enemy and his greatest friend. The fountain then has a ton of statues on it including venus rising up from the sea foam, two skeletons strangling each other, a woman helping two children, and a woman dragging a man around in chains. Another fountain is called the Beautiful fountain and has a golden ring that if you spin it around three times its good luck or your wishes are granted.
On our second day in Nürnberg we went out to the old nazi rally grounds where there was a museum on facination and terror or the Nazi rise to power and the aftermath. It was rather eerie to be there because you had this huge track of land that was just being mostly ignored. I can understand the goverments dilemna. What do you do with land like that? You can only have so many museums and monuments… It made me for some reason thing of Bob Marelys “Redemption Song” or whatever its called. I think if they cleaned up the area a bit more it would make a lovely park, but thats up to the german people to decide.
Last day there we went to an old cemetery just outside of town and bought some books. Not very exciting. Oh but the night before we had go to an outdoor cinema where they showed Hitch the Date Doctor on the side of one of the old churches in the town square. I also had found the house in which my great grandmother had lived- well the house where her house use to be. It was at the foot of the castle and was destroyed in 1945 or 43 I forget which.

Anyway, people are starting to leave Bremen now. Dan and Keely left last week and life here without them is rather lonely. I keep wanting to tell one of them something but they arent here. :( Powen left too but he is only in Hamburg and Becky and I are visiting him today. Then, I fly to Ireland for my own private three day vacation and when I return practically everyone else will be gone. Becky, Yigit, Maria, Scott- all gone. I will stick around Bremen for approximately three or four more days finishing papers and putting my affairs in order and then I am gone too. I will visit a few relatives I have in Germany and then fly back home. Its really sad how things end, but I know I will be happy to see Dickinson again. And I am not going to lie- I miss the american educational system.

The German language and I are getting along a lot better lately. I am by no means good at german but I am getting more comfortable with spitting out strings of german words. So I would like to take this oportunity to bring our relationship closer together by publically declaring the reasons I adore german. Because lets face it- it not my major, its not my minor- it must be love.
As anyone here can tell you my most favorite thing about the german language is their ability to stick a bunch of words together to make a totally different word. And somehow that combination of words works perfectly. zum Beispiel- Fingerhut= finger hat= thimble Really how cute is that? I am also a fan of Minderwertigkeitskomplex= less worth/significance complex=inferiority complex
Second, I adore how germans like to add -chen or -lein to the end of words to make them cuter… even words in which it is completely silly to add this cute little ending too. Ok, take a word like Maus (mouse). You add chen to it and get Mäuschen, meaning little mouse and this is sometimes used as an endearment. This is the usually usage of the chen. Now take a word like Tschüss (goodbye). Not normally a word you would want to “cutiefy” if you will. But the germans will take this work and make it tschüsschen. Which just sounds ridiculous and yes just a lil bit silly which is why I love it.
Third. I love how on the trains the call all the passengers Fahrgäste, which for those of you who don’t speak german is directly (and roughly) translated as Riding/driving Guests. Now isn’t that much better than passengers?
Of course no statement of my love of the german language would be complete without the word Überraschung (surprise). This word may have been our favorite word for the first month here. When its said just right it has a cartoony flambouyance to it that just can’t be beat. Plus when we were all in Vienna Stollmann said he had an Überraschung for us and it turned out to be a snow globe museum.
Continuing on, we come to the ch sound. This sound in both its forms is something I just can’t quite master. There one form that is like this cat hissing noise and the other which is this harsh “hocking up a loogie” noise. I suck at both.
Lets see what else do I love? There are lots of little phrases like “Es freut mich dich kennenzulernen.” That I adore but there are no particular reasons for it. Oh, and believe it or not I like how german sounds, especially when spoken by the right people. Lots of people say german is an angry sounding language, but come on these people came up with fairytales… oh wait… hmm not a good example considering how bloody they were. Ok well here is something- they did a search for the most beautiful german word and what did they come up with? Habseligkeiten. That’s it? Come on people, you gotta see the humor in this. I do. But in a seperate contest with children they picked the word Libelle meaning dragonfly. Now that one I like. If you wanna read about this contest here is a link for it.
And another before the contest results were in from the BBC.
Lastly I like how the oddest words sound just like English with a german accent. Or how they turn english verbs into german verbs. For example gerockt (rocked as in the band rocked) and getippt as in typed.

Now there are many more things I love about german. But unfortunately I have to fly off to my sprachkurs now. Maybe next time I am procrastinating I can enlighten you all to why I love Germany or Germans.

Today we are going to have a Grill Abend… this means I have to play nice with the other children. :P But an amusing sidenote is Dan has a giant bag of Wurst in his fridge, I can’t wait to see the kind of stuff Keely is storing in her room. She planned out this shindig. And it couldn’t be a more beautiful day. Plus I am starving for some odd reason right now- hehe Powen and Keely are starving too and they are in the Dickinson room with me.
If you can’t tell I am avoiding work. I was working on film summaries for my german film history class. But I would rather play around on the internet.

So I babysit for two german ittle bittles sometimes. They go to an English kindergarten, so I was hired to speak english with them. They have the cutest accents. I take them to the park all the time, and the little boy always wants to go on the bus. Which is funny because there aren’t that many buses and you think the tram would be more exciting for him. Freaky children. And the lil girl just learned how to ride her bike without training wheels. I find it amusing when they ask me to read their german story books to them. Half the time I have no idea what I am saying or if I am pronouncing it right- but the kids seem to understand me.

Umm. Sidenote- went to London and the Tower of London? Not a Tower! What a rip off. But my friend Amber studying in London spoiled me rotten. She baked me a cake- it was chocolate. I even met some British people.

So does anyone out there know what Prague is like? Becky said she would go to Nürnburg with me but we’s most likely also go to Prague and I don’t know if I wanna see Prague or not. I only read about it in a book once and it was only referred to in the fact a stripper once lived there. That is not a very high reccommendation. Ok I should go back to work now.

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