Sunday, December 27, 2009


Hello there!

I want to apologize; I had a really wonderful Weihnachten, but I can't write about it right now.   These last few days have been monopolized by family, friends, and UPenn's app.  And now, we're headed out the door for our Musikweek!  I promise to tell you all about that- and Weihnachten- as soon as I get back... pretty sure that's the second of January.

Guten Rutsch!
Happy new year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening (Robert Frost)

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


For the last two weeks and the rest of this week I've had Informatik as my HKTU unterricht.  I'm actually in class right now.  We've been designing websites and learning HTML, which is pretty cool.  I doubt I'll actually do anything with the website, but I think it turned out nicely.  If you'd like to take a look, you can find it here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

In a fit of productivity, Tim pulls off noch ein post!

So yes, enough with backtracking.  Or at least, enough with so far backtracking.  Yesterday, I met up with Devin, Rachel, and Todd in Hamburg.  Devin, Rachel, and Todd are all AFS USA.  Two other girls- Alejandra and Marethe (or something like that), also joined us, and even Lotta and Mia joined us for a while.  We did some Christmas shopping and sight seeing, and we checked out Hamburg's Weihnachtsmarkt.  It's got nothing on Luebeck's.

Unfortunately, I didn't take too many pictures of that.  I'm waiting for Devin to put his on Facebook, and then maybe I can add them.  We'll see.  What I do have, though:

A relatively epic photo of the Rathaus, albeit a little blurry.

The remains of our dinner.  Merethe's pants ripped, so the girls went off an looked for some jeans.  Us men, meanwhile, had much more important things to do.  Todd happened to have a coupon for a free jar of Bruschetta, from REWE, a grocery store here.  We got the Bruschetta, but then we realized that you can't eat bruschetta without baguette.  So then we grabbed a baguette from the bakery.  THEN we realized that our meal would be that much classier with a bottle of wine, so we found a nice Italian red and a few cups.  Then we figured that we had come this far, we may as well go all out and grab a candle, for effect.  Finally, we shared a very lovely candlelit meal of baguette and bruschetta with Italian wine on the streets of Hamburg.  Pretty classy.

Later, Todd, Rachel, Devin, and Marethe came back to Luebeck to spent the night at my house.  We raided the supermarket, grabbed some quesadilla stuff, eggs, peppers, and a few drinks, hit up the movie store, picked up some badass Viking beer and Feuerzangenbowle, and then came here.  16 quesadillas, a couple glasses of distilled Viking, a classic deutsch film, and some friends together makes for a pretty good night.

BUT this morning is snowed!  I'm not too happy about that, but I guess it was inevitable.  It had to happen sometime.  And I can't lie- while snow is cold, wet, dirty, and not fun, at least it looks nice.

Advent in Deutschland

I suppose now that I'm back on my blog writing stuff down I ought to mention Advent here in Deutschland.  It's   much bigger deal than in the US- the advent wreath is omnipresent (even in school!), people wish you a schoenes Advent as a farewell, and sometimes we all sit and eat cookies and sing advent songs.  It's kinda nice.

In school, first thing every Tuesday during Advent we all sing some Advent songs.  With the exception of a stark few, I'm very impressed with the impromptu chorus made out of the Oberstufe (grades 9-13).

There are some things very specific to Advent time:

The big cookies are called Lebkuchen, and they're pretty much the cookie of the season.  The little round balls in this photo are Marzipan Kartoffeln- translated literally, marzipan potatoes.  There's no potato in them, though, they just look like little potatoes.  They're super sweet.  Marzipan is around all year here in Luebeck, but there's certainly more come Advent.  Also- clementines (here called Mandarinen) are another advent-specific treat.  I like clementines.

Luebeck has one of the most famous Weihnachtsmarkts in Germany- the whole center of town is lined with stalls selling food- usually bratwurst, candy, sweets, or baked goods- drinks- usually Gluehwein or Punsch, fortified with Rum or Amaretto, and handmade arts and crafts things.  It's fun just to walk through the city and take it all in. 

By far the best part of the Weihnachtsmarkt, though, is Mutzen- think fried dough, except baby-sized, and German.  It doesn't get much more delicious than that.

Also, check out my sweet hat in this last photo.  Thanks to my family back at home for sending that package!  The raisins are all gone, but my trombone is beautifully clean and my ears are warm once more.

Geo and I went and did some Christmas shopping last Friday, and on the advice of Anke we looked in Heilige Geist, an old hospital-turned-Weihnachtsmarkt during the Christmas season.

It was very nice, and there was an amazing amount of variety in there.  From alpaca sweaters to salmon-leather belts to the biggest spoon ever invented, it was all there.

Anyway.  Luebeck is very beautiful!

Heute ist Sonntag

Hallo!  Ich habe leider für zu lang nichts geschrieben...
Some very important things have happened, though!  Very important indeed- shoes, candy, the whole show.  On the fifth, we all cleaned up our shoes for St. Nick.  Mine were particularly dirty- Alex is rebuilding the bathroom and I helped in take a wall out, and half of the wall turned into shoe dust.  From this photo you can see the difference.

Anyway, once we all had our shoes gut-geputzt we stood them all by the door, along with cookies for Nikolaus and some straw for his donkey.

In the morning, the shoes were filled with delicious treats!

Mmyes.  That's pretty cool.  Later that day (the 6th), there was an AFS chapter meeting, and I actually got to meet Nikolaus and his friend Knecht Rubrecht himself!  Mr. Ruby hit me a few times with a stick, but then they gave me a present, so alles war wieder gut.

Here's a nice photo of Vincent and me.  Geo's in the back, too, but I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say it's a nice photo of him.

Monday, December 7, 2009

And now, lots and lots of words of the day!

COMPLIMENTS of ALICIA HULL, another fantastic AFS-USAer.

I'll give you a real update soon, I promise!! In the meantime, Deutsch crash course:

There are a few good words and "special things" about germany you should know, less than a vocab unit in your german class, that would make adjusting here so much easier. here goes.


Ich muss pissen. - I have to piss. I have to drain the lizard. I have to "insert dirty word for peeing."es gibt..... - There is.....
genau - quite possibly the most popular word in deutschland. means "exactly"
echt/ wirklich - really
geil - horny.  Sometimes.  More often, it means awesome.
scheisse - Shit. except grandma's and teachers say it too.  And Germans also say shit.  And shit, but like shite.  They've got all sorts of fun words.
poopsen - fart. not poop.
Wie geil?!? - how cool is that!?!

** Nothing is open on sunday in germany. So if you happen to have an accident involving your arm and a bandsaw, you better hope you have it on a weekday... otherwise...well yeah, you'll be the awkward one-armed person in the room.**

** Everyone rides bike. Get it out of your head that this is a recreational activity. This is one of the main forms of transportation in germany. seriously.**


müssen (must, have to)
können (can)
dürfen (allowed to)
möchten (would like to)
sollen (should)

kommen (come)
gehen (to go)
laufen (to run - medium speed)
rennen (to run - very fast...sprinting?)

machen (to do, make)
glauben (to believe)
denken (to think)
versuchen (to try)
finden (to find - an opinion)

haben (to have)
geben (to give)
nehmen (to take)

suchen (to search for)
erklären (to explain)

aussehen (to look like)
klingen (to sound)
riechen (to smell)
sagen (to say)
schreiben (to write)
lesen (to read)

verboten (forbidden)
weinen (to cry)
sein (to be)
schlagen (to hit)


komisch - weird
seltsam - strange
anderes - other-ish
unterschiedlich - different
geil - dictionaries will say "horny" but every person will say "awesome".
lustig - funny
witzig - comical/funny
schön - pretty
hässlich - ugly
sauer - sour
süß - sweet
chic - chic
jung - young
alt - old
reif - mature
besser - better
perfekt - perfect
normal - normal
schwer - hard/heavy
schwierig - difficult/hard

kompliziert - complicated
einfach - simple or simply
langweilig - boring
interessant - interesting
wichtig - important
hammer - usually goes with gut to mean really cool/ awesome "hammer gut!" or "hammer geil"
schwul - gay.

Xmas in the US

Okay, two fake posts, and then I'll put up a real post later tonight.

FIRST:  a short presentation I wrote (and then gave in German) for an AFS meeting.  For all of you in the US, it may be quite boring.  It's basically just what you do every year.


Christmas in America.

Before we start, let’s get one thing straight.  Mr. Santa Claus, the celebrity among celebrities around Christmas time, ISN’T EVEN AMERICAN.

He’s a poser.  In fact, he’s not even real.  He was invented by the Spaniards, right after the developed the California coast.  San Louis Obisbo, San Fransisco, Santa Anna, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, BAM!  Santa Claus.  They couldn’t stop at making cities, they had to make a magic man that flies around the world and sits in chimneys, too.

Actually that’s not true.  Mr. Claus actually originated a little closer to here- his legend stems from the story of the bishop Nikolaus, aus Turkei.  But with a title like Santa, we need to extrapolate these things, you know?  Anyway… Mr. Claus is the symbol of Christmas in America- his jolly face, button nose, fat belly, sack full of goodies, and his reindeer-driven sleigh are omnipresent come the Christmas season.

But we’ll get to that later.  First, there are a few things you should know.

The US is more than 75% Christian.  We also have Jewish people, though, so the Christmas season is never limited to just Christmas- for every couple Christmas trees, you have a menorah or two.  Also, Christmas Caroling isn’t complete without the yearly rendition of “My Dreidel” or “Shalom Chaverim”.  I’m pretty sure “Shalom Chaverim” isn’t a Hannukah song, but I’m not totally sure.  Maybe it is.

Anyway, you know it’s Christmastime when the electricity bills start to rise.  Not only do the heaters start coming on for the winter, but every house also puts a bajillion and fourty-four Christmas lights outside their house.  Lining the gutter, draping the roof, along the walkway, in the massive stuffed reindeer out front- Lights, lights, lights! 

You can also tell it’s Christmas time when people start putting up Christmas trees.  Like here in El Deutschland, we have Christmas trees- usually pine, conical, and decorated with loverly ornaments, lights, popcorn, and topped with a star or angel.

Christmas starts with the day after Thanksgiving (okay, who am I kidding.  It starts the day after 4th of July) and culminates on the 25th, Christmas Day.  Usually, small children across the country unwrap their presents the morning of Christmas.  Santa Claus, the aforemention fat chimney-raiding man, distributes these presents underneath the Christmas tree and in stockings, which are hung by the fire with care.

Oftentimes, families either go to the Christmas Vigil Mass, at midnight of Christmas Eve, or to a Christmas Mass the morning of Christmas.  Afterall, Christmas originated as a celebration of Baby Jesus’ birth.  Usually churches have nativity scenes set up during the advent season, and on Christmas the baby Jesus is placed in the manger.

While not widely observed, the official end of the Christmas season is Epiphany, 12 days after Christmas.  Auf Deutsch, Epiphany heiBt Der Tag der Heilige Drei Konige, and it celebrates the arrival of the Three Kings to Jesus.
And to close up this presentation, I think it would be just fantastic if we could all sing a Christmas Carol or two together.

(Now we sing Jingle Bells)


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day

Hey guys, I just logged onto Facebook and found out it's Thanksgiving... sooooo....

Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Weird stuff...

So I'm mostly writing this down for my sake, but you can read it too, if it pleases you.

I had just finished writing an essay and was about to submit it to on an online essay forum for peer review, but then the forum told me that before I could submit another one of my essays I had to make corrections on two more essays- it's a good system- you only get feedback if you give feedback.  Anyway, I corrected one, and then read another one.  It was about dreaming, and very intriguing.  Anyway, I was wandering through Wikipedia, following links, and I came across sleep paralysis.

I had forgotten until now, which is partly why I want to write it down, so I don't forget again, but last week I had a funny dream.

When I do dream, I always know that I'm dreaming.  Always.  Usually I don't remember them, but when I do, they're pretty cool.  With full consciousness, I also have full control:  If I don't like you and you're in my dream, poof!  No more. If I don't like where the dream is, poof!  it's somewhere better now.

Anyway, last week my dream was at a high school reunion, 10 or 15 years from now.  It started off pretty normal, chilling with the guys, etc.  Then I saw the father of one of my friends, but my friend wasn't there.  I asked his dad where he was, and he responded by saying he had died, and invited me to follow him.  I followed him, and he led me into a smaller conference room, where there were six or eight other people I hadn't seen before, in suits, gathered around a table.  The father of my friend explained to me that his son had died after experiencing something very popular, and he was trying to expose that very popular thing and demonstrate its accountability for his son's- and, he said, other peoples'- deaths.  Anyway, he then handed me an ipod and asked me to put the headphones on, so I obliged.

Now, keep in mind that this whole time I was totally aware that I asleep and dreaming, and totally in control of my dream the whole time, and intensely curious what this guy was about to show me.

Anyway, he played a song that I know very well, and for the first eight or ten seconds nothing happened.  Then I was totally paralyzed- I woke up, and was aware that I was awake, but was completely paralyzed.  I had full waking consciousness (not really any different from dreaming consciousness, except I wasn't in control of my surroundings any more)- the only things abnormal were that I was totally paralyzed and I could still hear the song playing.  I panicked- it's scary to not be able to move- and started to hyperventilate.  I was lying face up on my bed, looking at the ceiling, arms by my side (sort of like the Petrificus curse in the Harry Potter movies).  I was really freaked out- I think it's the only time I've ever hyperventilated from fear.

Anyway, then the song ended and I could move again.  It was some weirdass stuff, though.  Very weird.  I didn't like it.


Hey everyone.

On Donnerstag I had a concert with the Luebeck Swing & Fun Band. That was pretty sweet. We played some great songs, here are my favorites:

"I Wish"- richtig fantastisch, with some fantastic Bone parts. LHS Jazz band could take this on for the last concert of the year, if it's feeling daring. Really a fun song.
"Spain"- a very cool song, with cool Sax & Bone parts alike. Very catchy.
"Thieves in the Temple"- Also very cool, and a little simpler.  Sweet bone parts.  LHS Ensemble really should play this, it's very cool.
"Summertime"- A standard, and fun to solo on
"Chicken"- Fast and catchy
"Sam's Boogie"- another really simple one, would be great for solo practice for the Ensemble.

These songs are really great, check out the links if you've got time.

The set was very long- like, two and a half hours.  I don't think I could have played much more, my lips were pretty numb after that.  Anyway... some photos to follow.

I should be finishing up my USC and UCLA & USB apps today or tomorrow, and then there's only UPenn, but that can wait til January.  Of course, then there's scholarships.... :(  it goes on.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Munchen II


I had some free time Friday night, so I did some wandering around the city, looking for something to do.  There was a poster on a wall by the subway that said there was a Jazz Jam, so I followed the signs and ended up at the University- which, Nelia, happens to also be called LMU, except it's Ludwig Maximilian Universitat, not Loyola Marymount University.  Fast, though.

Anyway.  There was a strike and a student demonstration, there- Christian told me later that it was because the Stadt wanted to raise fees for going to university, and the students didn't like that.  I can see why.  Anyway, the building was totally taken over by students- I don't think I saw a single person over 25 there that night.  There was a big central hall, with maybe 200 students in it, and they had a big demonstration in there talking about their rights and their plan of action and their objections and all sorts of fun stuff.  It was funny, though, how absolutely un-American that was: every single student had a beer in hand, and ninety percent were smoking.

Anyway.  In all the hallways kids had set up little booths either with information on the strike or with food, so I have some nice literature now.

In the other end of the building the jazz band was setting up.  Check out the guy's sweet bass in this picture... it was very cool.  Anyway, they weren't ready right when I got there, so I left and bought a beer, and talked to some of the students in one of the main halls.  Anyway, by the time they did get going they were really good.  It was these three in the photo, but later a trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and another guitar came.  They played a lot of songs I knew, too, which was cool.  They opened with Chameleon!

Anyway, they were literally playing in a hallway- it wasn't a concert hall or anything.  After they started playing, kids started flowing in.  By 10:30 it had gotten sort of crazy- not like, out of control, but just in the sense that I had no idea what was going on.  I mean, everyone was still smoking and drinking, but all the sudden there were dogs running around, and everyone was dancing, and some guy was yipping into a portable microphone, and then the lights went out, and there were fire dancers, and then fire dancers with more fire... I have no idea where all of the stuff came from, but it was a really good time.  A really great night.  I took a video, here's a link.

From Munich

Munchen I

Sorry guys, I meant to post Monday about my weekend in Munich, but it just didn't happen. Sorry.

Anyways.  I'm not going to lie, Munich was pretty sweet.  South Germany has a totally different character than the North.  Based on my short and sweet three-day visit there, I'd say it's more like the US.

We stayed with Anke's sister, Ina, and her husband, Christian, and her children, Oskar and Olivia.  They live right in the city, in the student district.  I really liked their neighborhood- filled with small niche shops and cafes, and just a few blocks away from the university, it had a very cool character.

The first day Ina treated Lotta and I to a traditional Munich breakfast, and it was fantastic.  White Wurst with sweet mustard, Brezeln (pretzles), a cheese dip, meats, and vegetables.  I was surprised to learn that the White Wurst is traditionally only eaten for breakfast, and even more surprised to hear that breakfast is served with beer.  Go figure.

Ina made it very clear that food is very important in Munich.  It seems like every ten minutes is Brot Zeit (bread time), and it's time to stop and get a snack.  Sounds like a good way of living for me.  Anyway, Ina showed us some of the city, and we got a brief tour of some of the most important things.  We were treated to a beautiful blue sky, and it was warm and sunny almost the whole weekend.  There's a goofy picture of me below, when we stopped for a drink after a little sightseeing.  My hair isn't red, that's just glare.

The Rathaus

I thought the poster above was funny... everything you need, right?  Upper left is Lotta, with Oskar, and left is just hilarious.

Okay!  I'll make another post for the rest.  Ciao!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hey guys, I'm going to Munich.  Be back Monday.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Que pasa?

I think it's really funny- in the US, I think just about everyone would know what you mean when you say "Que pasa?".   Here, though, I say that and people look at me in wide-eyed horror.

Okay, that's a slight exaggeration.  But it really goes to show that the US is a veritable mischmasch (our German word of the day) of cultures and languages.  Here, only Jochen has any idea what I'm talking about.

Today I finished my suesses klienes schaechtelchen!  It's ganz pupsiges.  Maybe tomorrow you can have a picture.

I was thinking about New England the other day- I don't really think that our leaves are brighter than anywhere else, I think that it's just the quality of light that makes them so famous.  The leaves here in Germany get very bright, but because it's a perpetual fog they don't appear so.  New England's unique indian summers are why we're famous for foliage, I think- we have sun!  Or, at least, a little more than some other places.

That being said, all the leaves are gone here, now.  We've had snow, too, but it only lasted for a day, thank goodness.

German weather this time of year is a little depressing.  It rains almost every day and gets dark around 4.30, if not earlier.  I just need to keep in mind that it's always dark this time of year, though, regardless of whether I'm in Germany or Boston. And it's not too too kalt yet, so that's good!

Anyway.  I can't find the song of the day!  It's Desengano, by Los Panchos... maybe you can find it on iTunes or something.  Sorry folks.  In the meantime, this is pretty cool.

Okay.  Bis Morgen!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Was ist eine Zicke?

Zicke ist eine woman-goat.

Song of the day is Wonderful World, by Sam Cooke.   I oughta say though, that I haven't been watching the music videos that I've been posting- Anke thought that the video with the fat man was hysterical, and I had no idea what she was talking about... anyway, I only know that I like the music, the videos may or may not be terrible.

Speaking of videos, here's one for you that I have seen: Wurstfachverkaeuferin, by Helge Schneider. 

You know what's richtig schrecklich?  I have school tomorrow.  And it's a Saturday.


Oh!  The word of the day can be Wurstfachverkaeuferin- it means Specialized Sausage Shop Assistant.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hokay, so here's the plan...

Word of the day is Streichholzschachtel- it means matchbox.  I think it should be a minus point for Deutsch, but Anke likes it.  We're keeping track of which words are better and English and which are better in Deutsch.  So far it's tied 7-7, with a -1 for the Netherlands.  Streichholzschachtel didn't score, but Schaechtelchen was a point for Deutsch.  Another good one is Blümchen- a small flower.  But it's not bloom-chen- it's a brighter oo and not a ch like chop but a ch like Blümchen.  Get it?

I said I would talk about my school, so here goes:

Rather than a quarter, semester, or trimester school calendar, the Waldorfschule has an epoch system; one academic concentration and one handcraft or technical concentration is taught for two and one half hours daily for four to six weeks, twice a year. Core classes, which are listed below, are taught throughout the year. At the end of the year, Timothy will have a three-week work-study with a local industry.

Freie Waldorfschule Lübeck Core Classes:


Freie Waldorfshule Lübeck Epoch Classes:

(4 weeks/year)

Kartonage (paper/box making)
Political Economics
Web Design
Microscope Science

(8-9 weeks/year)
Math (12 weeks)

Mmmkay.  Song of the day is Slam, by Pendulum.  It's a fantastic song to work out to, to run to, to bike to, or to drive to, but it's no good for just sitting down and listening to.  Anyway... you can find it here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Le Petit Prince

I just realized that I forgot to talk about Le Petit Prince!  For some reason I thought I had already written something, but I guess not.

Anyway, it was very, very good.  It was done in a very modern sort of style, with a minimalistic set.  There were four actors, three from France.  I was very proud of myself, because I understood most all of it- of course, it helps that I've read it before.

Le Petit Prince especially did a very good job, I think.  It must be a terribly hard part to play, considering that the Prince isn't a human.  He's not even a child.  He's a symbol- he must represent innocence, trust, and at the same time wisdom.  That's a tough role to play.  Nonetheless, the actor did a great job.

Throughout the play there were little musical bits, oftentimes accentuating pantomime.  In the beginning, for instance, when the Prince asks Saint-Exupery to draw a mouton, Saint-Exupery responded by drawing with his finger in the air.  Another player was backstage, and as Saint-Exupery drew, he mimicked his penstrokes with the violin- as Saint-Exupery drew a line up, the violin got higher, and vice verca.  I suppose it's hard to explain.  Anyway, it was very effective.

All in all, a fantastic play!

While we're at it, you can have a second song of the day: Le Vent Nous Portera, from Noir Désir.  You can find it here.  I should add that if you do listen to it, don't watch the music video- I like the music, but the video is pretty doof.

Lotta ist zuruck!

It doesn't really make sense for me to say "Lotta is zuruck" because I had never met her  before,  but nonetheless, Lotta is back home.  We haven't talked too much yet, but I'm sure we will and I'm sure she's a perfectly lovely girl because all of this Baake family is pretty fantastic and it would be very strange if there was just one terrible child among a crop of good ones.  So, that being said, it's nice that she's home!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while- I've been trying to finish up my Stanford applications, and I've been really busy... anyway.  All is submitted now!  Fertig! Hoorah!

Song of the day is In the Cold, Cold Night, by the White Stripes (you can hear it here, wenn du willst) I love this song, and I love the White stripes.  Most of their stuff is so simple, but very nice.

Anyway.  On Halloween I went with Anke, Mia, and Friederike into Hamburg where we saw Mendelssohn's oratory "Elias" performed by quartet, choir, and orchestra.  It was really fantastic- a very good piece.  I ended up scrapping one of my Stanford essays and rewriting it, talking about Mr. Mendelssohn.  Or at least mentioning him, anyway.

Today I split some wood.  I kind of like splitting wood, though- it's a very rewarding thing to do.  It's nice to feel self-sufficient.  Besides, splitting wood is just about one of the manliest things that a guy can do.  Maybe splitting wood with an axe shirtless would be manlier, but it's too cold to be shirtless and after a few logs with an axe I'm sure that I would really rather have the wood splitter than those last few manliness-points.

Anyway.  Tomorrow I'll tell you about my school schedule.  I was going to tell you today, but this post is finished now, so that won't be possible.

Bis bald!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Tomorrow I'm going to see Le Petit Prince in theatre!  Pretty excited about that.

The song of the day is Hey You, by Pink Floyd, because it's an awesome song.  I've never been a huge Pink Floyd fan, but this song is one of my favorites.

The German topic of the day is the Autobahn.  Everyone's heard of the autobahn, and we all associate it with Germany, so I think it's worth talking about.

First off, there's not just one Autobahn, contrary to what some people might believe.  Saying "autobahn" in Germany is like saying highway- it literally means "motorway".  And not all of the autobahns are speed-limit free- many of them, or parts of them, are sub-100 km zones.

While I've been told that there are larger ones, the autobahns that I have been on so far are actually smaller than most highways in the US- usually they're two lanes in each direction, divided by a barrier.  The lanes are narrower, too, which is sometimes a little nerve-racking.

Driving is much, much more active here.  In the US, you get on the highway and might stay in your lane for 200 miles before you need to do anything.  Here, driving always has a direction- it might sound strange to say it, but driving in the US almost has no relative direction- of course, the car is moving in a direction, but in comparison to the other cars your car is essentially still.  In Germany, every car is a different speed.

The left lane is explicitly for passing, and that rule is followed exactly.  When you wish to pass somebody, your path looks like a C- you merge left, move forward, merge right.  When you wish to pass several cars that aren't all bumper to bumper, you merge left, pass, and merge right for every car, making a nice half-helix trail.  I think it's more common to simply switch lanes in the US than to actually pass and then move back.

Again contrary to popular belief, not everybody goes very very fast on the autobahn.  120 kmh- a little more than 70 mph- is probably about average, with many people going 100 - 140. That's not to say people don't go fast, though- I recently rode to Gromitz with Bruna's mother, and we probably hit 165 (103 mph).  Even at that speed, there were a few cars that veritably zoomed past, completely disappearing out of sight in seconds.  They must have been going at least 220, I reckon.

Anke drives a big blue Opel Vivaro.  I think it would be pretty funny seeing that car going 220, but I don't think Anke would be willing to see.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lundi lundi

The word of the day is Krizelkrazel, which is wonderfully fun to say and it means scribbling!

J'ai eu mon premier classe de Francais aujourd'hui.  J'attendais ce classe pour longtemps; j'ai voulu savoir si je peut encore parler en Francais.  Et je peut!  Mais c'est beaucoup plus difficile; maintenant quand je cherche pour un mot, le mot en allemagne vient premier, et il faut que je pense pour longtemps de trouver le mot en Francais.

La difficulte de mon classe est plus ou moins egal avec mon classe aus Etats-Unis.  Nous practiquons plus l'accent und grammaire ici, mais je crois que j'ai un grosser vocabulaire.  Maintenant, nous lisons Sous le Ciel de Marseilles.  Il faut que j'acheter un copie.

Excuse my schreklich French... I really think that in a few more classes it will start flowing again.  It's really hard for me right now- I still can remember my french, but I need a trigger, first.  My teacher was impressed with my use of the subjonctif, though.  I had forgotten what the subjontif was, but I guess I did something right.  Props to you, Madame!

Today I baked Curbiskerne from my pumpkin.  Anke didn't believe that they could be eaten, but they really are still delicious, even here in Deutschland.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


So! Ich habe eine Kurbislaterne geschnizt!  It's the same as last year's, nearly, but it was good last year.

Mechtild, the regional AFS contact, invited all of the AFS kids for the Luebeck and the Keil to her house for some phat pumpkin carving action.  We also made apple juice and sang Elvis songs and played chess.  It was pretty sweet.

It's kind of funny, seeing some of the Germans and the South Americans and the Asians- well, everyone except the Americans, really- try to carve pumpkins.  America really is the only place in the world where pumpkin carving is really common, I guess.  Some of the kids were terrified at the idea of actually reaching into the pumpkin guts and pulling out the phlegm  I guess that is sort of intimidating, though.

Geo, Vincent, Hans, Mechtild's husband, and I played Chess.  Vince the Prince came out on top against me two games out of three, but I fared well against the others.

Oh!  And today we made Kastanienmaennchen!  They're kind of cute. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I'm going on a weekend-long pumpkin carving adventure.  So... later.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

in this post, I actually say something!

HOKAY.  So here's the plan:

In this post I'll tell you what I've been up to, because I really haven't recently.


When we went to Italy, we flew into Pisa.  We did see the leaning tower, as I'm sure you saw from my photos.  It was kind funny- as soon as we stepped out of our car in Pisa a half dozen scalpers started trying to sell us Rolex watches and Coach purses and other fun things that were more than likely not Rolex or Coach.  We also got a parking ticket... souvenir!

We stayed with Denio and Almuth, who are family friends of the Baake's.  They lived in the mountains, quite literally, in a town called Castello Nova.  Almuth used to live in Germany, but from what I understand she married Denio and they lived in Germany for a few years and then went back to Denio's native Italy.  Anyway, they both spoke very good German, and Almuth had pretty good English.

It was very neat, staying with them- they were so stereotypically and wonderfully Italian.  They had a little vineyard, and an olive tree grove, and grew all their own herbs and vegetables.  The first night Denio made pizzas, with fresh mozzarella cheese, rosemary from the garden, and thin Italian crust, and it was served with rot Wein. 

The next day we went into Florence.  Florence is a very great city- we wandered through some of the more touristy places, as we also went into the anatomical museum I mentioned in the last post.  We had mozeralla and tomato panini for lunch und es hat geschmeckt sehr gut.

The next day hannes, Alex and I helped lay out nets under the olive trees- in about a week, when the olives are good and ripe, Denio will harvest them, knocking them off the branches and into the nets.  Then he can press and process them into olive oil.  I thought it was very neat- half of everything we ate came was selbst gemach- homemade.  The olive oil, the vegetables, hte nuts, the mushrooms, they had wine, but it wasn't yet ready, the bread was made at home- it was all fresh and delicious.

Italy was warmer than here in Germany, but not too much warmer.  It was brisk.  Mia, Hannes, and Alex swam in the pool, but they're crazy Germans.  Eleven degrees was too cold for me.

Anyway.  Tuesday we got back and celebrated Anke's mother's Geburtstag, and I got to meet her.  She's a very nice and very interesting lady.  The cake was good, too.

Yesterday I worked on college apps and cut wood, and today I made quesadillas!  Here's a pic: