Halloween and Since Posted on November 20th, 2010 by

Halloween was kind of a while ago but I did kind of say I would talk about it. As it turns out, it was really fun but not really “traditional” in the more recent American sense of the idea. Basically we had a party at my friends’ place because they have a large kitchen in their building. We had been really wanting to make pumpkin soup ever since that WONDERFUL experience in Salzburg we had. So we got a recipe and got the ingredients, and even though we didn’t know what we were doing, a soup was made. And it was rather tasty too!! We also invited some of our language partners, so Haleigh’s partner Eva was there and Bettina, Annika’s partner. Mine was out of town but Anna had introduced me to her “buddy” Julia, who comes from Cyprus and knows English fluently but needed a buddy to get around the city and stuff. And Sarah came too, even though she apparently had to make the really hard choice to either come to our Halloween party, or one hosted by some guys in our party. Haleigh and I had also bought a lot of candy the night before so it’s wasn’t SO unlike real Halloween. Also, no one dressed up except me. I didn’t really have an outfit so I just came as Purple, since I got those crazy awesome purple pants and all the other purple stuff. It was fun but I had three purple scarves so we had to get create (head scarf, sash and wrap-around skirt? Hells yeah!) Then we went back to AJY (only with a few of us though, the rest had to go) and watched Sleepy Hollow auf Deutsch. It was pretty fun. I ate a lot of candy maybe.

Anyways, so I am now trying to think of other things in my life. For the most part I feel pretty boring because I haven’t really traveled since Nuremberg. But also, it’s kind of nice to just feel like I live here now. I hang out with my Sprachpartnerin (that means language partner) quite a bit, although we mostly talk English. I’m still bad at German PS, but I get by. I’m at a weird point now where I’m looking forward and back. I’m about halfway through my time here and I’m starting to feel both panicked that going home is SO far away, and sad that my time here is so short. What am I going to be able to take away from this? I still don’t feel remotely anything resembling fluent in German. And I sometimes feel like I’ll just start getting really accustomed to speaking more just when I leave. I’m also feeling ambivalent, thinking about going back to Gustavus. There’s a lot I miss about it (free movies! practice rooms! not to mention all my friends!) but it’s going to seem very different after being abroad. Or maybe it’ll be just the same and it’ll be like I never went anywhere. I really don’t know.

My iTunes just reminded me of something else. Christmas. A tricky issue this year. First of all, I usually have a rule: No Christmas before December. No festive store displays (not that I can help that but I can judge!), no Christmas music or decorations. Thanksgiving is a holiday for a reason and I often feel like we just skip over it in anticipation for an event where we not only get a lot of food (Thanksgiving also has that covered–in abundance) but DVD’s and puppies as well. Just cause Thanksgiving colors are traditionally brown and orange, there aren’t really festive songs to go with and on the outside it just seems like an excuse for awkward family gatherings and eating way too much food, people kind of forget about it. I bet even now, there are way more Christmas themed commercials than Thanksgiving themed, even though stores and food products should be going crazy about it. OK, so my point with all this Give Thanksgiving A Chance bit is all due to the fact that I really thought that it was fairly American, to get excited about Christmas, way too early. BUT ’tis not. Outside my door (plus like 40 yards) is the beginnings of an already well-decorated Christmas market…that doesn’t even open until next Wednesday! Christmas is already everywhere which is nuts, not only because it felt like November just started (although apparently it didn’t) but it’s not even cold here. It’s about 39°F here now, which at home is normal for like, Halloween. It just feels weird to walk down Hauptstrasse and see CHRISTMAS everywhere when it’s clearly so far away and doesn’t FEEL like it at all.

Plus, I don’t know what’s going to happen this Christmas. I’m not going home and no one I know is coming here. I have an invitation to visit someone in Italy at some point but I thought I would spend actual Christmas in Germany with other exiled Americans. There are three of us and so far we have no idea what to do. We tried getting host families for the holidays but the program was apparently bombarded with applications this year and had no budget to accommodate us too. I have never spent a Christmas away from home and all my family so I’m not really sure how I’m going to take it. It could be extremely miserable or it could be just different. And be fun, but not really feel like Christmas as I know it. I’m not sure yet. If the altstadt has its way, I’m sure I’ll be feeling the Christmas spirit any time now. Although, I still am looking forward to Wednesday. I think it’ll be really exciting to experience Christmastime here, where they have things like Christmas markets that have been going on annually for centuries and Glühwein. (warm spiced wine–so good! And wine I actually like!)

Anyways, so that’s sort of life right now. I still have a lot of free time between classes but the deadline for all the finals projects I’ll have to do (which will make up kind of my whole grade?) is sort of looming now. Gross.


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