WHAT'S MY F***IN' NAME??
Ethnicity. A European Medley!
Location Radomyshl, Ukraine
School. Seattle Pacific Univ
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You Can Dance If You Want To
or im me
July 30, 2011
Wednesday. 7.31.13 12:45 am
(Part 2 of ?)
Two years ago today, I woke up in a small Bavarian town and had tea and toast with a near perfect stranger. Jochem suggested we take bikes into town to buy my train ticket to Munich and have a little tour. I will just pause and say now that I love the Deutschebahn. I wish that everything was as easy and reliable as German transportation. You can look everything up on their website, then buy a ticket from a little kiosk at the station. We decided an afternoon train would be best because tickets are less expensive, and I'd have some time to explore Memmingen.
Unlike most of my bike experiences in Europe, I wore a helmet. Lucky I did, because I wasn't on that bicycle for 30 seconds before I fell off and cut my shin (the seat was up too high, ok??). Jochem laughed at me.
"Are you sure you know how to ride a bike?"
I assured him I did, put a band-aid on my war wound, and got back on that Teutonic beast. We pedaled down some very sterile-seeming suburban sidewalks before crossing a stream that provided extra defense to the old city wall, which is still in place today and largely encloses the town center. The center looks both new and old, as many European cities do. There are chain stores and kebab shops built right up next to old pubs and bakeries. Everything seems to have just gotten a fresh coat of sandy yellow or rose-colored paint. We stop by some historically significant places that I have already forgotten about. You could probably find out about them here (http://memmingen.de/92+M52087573ab0.html).
Then we went to a bakery. Jochem said he was going to present me with the regional treasure of Bavaria. It was a delightfully warm pretzel, sliced down the middle with butter inside. I kept my mouth shut about how we put cheese or mustard on these puppies at home. I figured that might just be offensive.
Strength replenished, we cycled back to the house, and I had an hour or so to bask in Jochem's sunny back garden with the cat. I tried to learn a few German phrases from the Ukrainian school book my friend had sent with me. When it was time, Jochem drove me to the station and escorted me onto the correct train. Not that it was hard to identify, what with the track schedules clearly posted and an electric ticker counting down the minutes, but I was grateful none the less. I gave Jochem a big hug and a positive referral. Cold bastard never wrote a return.
Monday. 7.29.13 11:45 pm
So this is slightly lame and pathetic, but this is my slightly lame and pathetic corner of the Internet, so I'm going to run with it.
I've been back in the United States for 1 year, 12 days, 11 hours, and 29 minutes, give or take. While there have been lots of happy moments (BFF's wedding and baby, family trips, eating real spring rolls again after almost 2 years), I have by-and-large been miserable. I returned to my frequently unpleasant job, I've gained weight back, and I miss so many people all the time. Mostly, I feel unfulfilled.
Yeah, there are proactive things I'm doing to change the what I don't like about my life. Most importantly, I start work on my Master's degree this September. However, I've often looked back at my photos and thought,"Remember how much happier you were on this same day, just one year ago?"
Today I looked at the photo file from July 29, 2012 and I was not impressed, so I went back TWO years, and I remembered it was the beginning of my month-long travels in Germany, Poland, and Western Ukraine. Since I didn't blog much during that time, I'd like to take you back with me and re-live some of the craziest and best moments of my life. I'm particularly excited for August 21st ;)
This is an old warden's house in Memmingen, Bavaria. I arrived in Memmingen on July 29th, 2011 at around 10pm. Jochem was there to pick me up, but he didn't recognize me at first, because my hair was blonde. I guess it looked more brown in my Couchsurfing profile pic. I recognized him right away.
I picked Jochem as my first Couchsurf out of two or three active hosts in Memmingen, because he had many referrals... and a cat. He was an older man of medium build with white hair, glasses, and three grown daughters. One of those daughters was home from university for the summer. She was watching season one of Dexter when we arrived. He asked me if I'd eaten, and I said I wasn't very hungry, but I'd like a shower. I was starving, actually, but I wasn't sure how this surfer/host interaction was supposed to go.
When I'd finished in the shower, Jochem had me sit down at the kitchen table, and with a perfectly Germanic expression of amusement masked as annoyance, he pushed a basket of bread slices toward me and retrieved tub of fleischsalat from the fridge. From this night on, fleischsalat has remained one of my favorite things.
Tuesday. 4.2.13 8:00 am
Waiting for Poppy!
Monday. 4.1.13 8:01 pm
Blessed, anonymous corner of the Internet, I seek your solace once again!
Formerly Flakey BFF is in the hospital, tiredly trying to pop out out her first kid, and I'm right there with her. I call the baby-girl-to-be Poppy.
This is hands-down the worst experience to which I have ever been a party. It is scary, boring, and there is nothing I can do to improve the situation except be present, keep my mouth shut, and cry out to strangers. Her husband pretty much has hand squeezing and encouragement on lock, but there's no way to leave at this point. I will feel like a total dick if I'm not around to pass the Chapstick and grab ice chips.
My advice to you, NuTangers: if you're not the baby-daddy, STAY OUT of the delivery room so you won't have to stay in. If you are the baby daddy, you'd better spoil the fuck out if that cunt and do everything her crazy ass says, so she doesn't need anybody else. If I ever do this again, I'm bringing my own emotional support.
So, I also do a travel blog
Wednesday. 6.27.12 9:04 am
(awkward self promotion)
I recently repurposed one of my blogs to talk about my experiences with budget travel. When you are a Peace Corps Volunteer, you don't exactly rake in the dollars, but you are in a great position to travel, so I've picked up some tricks over the years. If this topic interests you, check it out in the links module to the left. Hopefully, it'll be updated every Tuesday.
(/awkward self promotion)
Twenty-Two Days until AMERICA!!
Monday. 6.25.12 3:00 am
Hoorah! It's triumphant return #24870298! I just don't know how to quit you, NuTang. Hopefully, I will never have to, because it's back to the United States for me, a land replete with Internets! My Peace Corps service ended 2 months ago (HAHAHA, I can finally name you, former Federal Employer!), and I've been hanging around Europe just soaking up the lovely spring and summer weather.
In other news, I volunteered with UEFA to help make Kyiv fabulously friendly for Euro2012, which was totally awesome. I'll do a full run-down before the final.
Also, my friend did some awesome glamour shots of me at the local beach. Check out the less risque ones in the gallery.
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