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:

Schwach Dollar

Euro kostet wieder mehr als 1,50  Dollar

Frankfurt/Main - Der Euro hat die Marke von 1,50 US-Dollar geknackt.  In der Spitze kostete er gestern Nachmittag 1,5017 Dollar; das war der höchste Stand seit dem Juli 2008.  Damals hatte der Euro mit 1,6038 Dollar einen Rokordstand erreicht.  Verbraucher und Urlauber profitieren vom harten Euro; exportorientierte deutsche Firmen leiden unter der Dollarschwäche.

 The good news: I understood this article completely.  The bad news: This article.

Italien... ein mehr Fotopost

Italien war shön.

We had this cute little 4-seater car.  It was French, ich denke.



Here's Hannes, Mia, and Friederika, in the Anatomical Museum Florentino.  I would have taken more pictures there, but it wasn't really allowed... it was very cool, though- first was a huge collection of animals, stuffed and displayed, and then was an anatomical wax exhibit, with hundreds of anatomically correct and gruesomely realistic bodies and organs.  Harry would have loved this place.


I never was a coffee fan, but as the saying goes, When in Rome, do as the Romans do.  The saying didn't change the coffee, though.  It was still bad.  Left is Denio's wine cask- I thought that was neat- they made their own wine from their own grapes.  Es war gut!

Hannes, Alex and I helped Denio lay down nets under the olive trees- they had a pretty little grove, and next week they harvest.  The nets catch the olives when they fall.

These things are everywhere.  They're cute.

Gelato in Castelello Nova!

I got a kick out of this- in the airport there was a little arcade, and there was one of those games where you need to line up a cylinder with a tube and push out the prize.  I guess cigs are a wonderful prize in Italy.

Okay, that's all for now!  Bis bald.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

More Fotos

Heute haben wir some fine art from Hannes und Stine.  The Saturn is mine.  Tomorrow I'm going to Italy!  I'll be back on Tuesday.

schönes wochenende!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Foto post!

Mia, Hannes, and Stine's head, flying kites.

Lubeck in the very early morning.  This one was also taken from a moving bike.

The first Hooters in Germany.

Another photo from a moving bike.  Pretty proud of this one.

This is what the traffic light for pedestrians looks like in East Berlin.  In West Berlin, it looks just like the ones we have in the US.


And of course, the Wall.

Sunday, October 11, 2009



My tests are over!  No more SAT for me.  Hopefully I'll have some more time to post, sorry for the absence.


Alex, Hannes and I went to Berlin- we left on Friday and came back earlier today.  The trip was fun!  I was expecting a longer drive, but it was only a few hours.  We stayed with Alex's Bruder, Martin.  We didn't get in until late Friday night, so we had dinner (Thai) and then turned in.

Saturday I had to wake up early for my tests.  It was neat, though, because I met Claire at the testing center- Claire is another CBYX/AFS kid.  You can check her out here, if you like.

The tests weren't so bad.  Math I feel pretty good about.  I could have used five more minutes for Chem, but it wasn't too bad.  I felt like English Lit went okay, but I never have any idea on those- the questions are all so subjective.  But who knows?  Maybe it'll be like my Critical Reading, and be fantastic.  Maybe not.  The way I see it, worrying makes no difference.  I'll find out when I find out.

After the tests Martin showed us the city- we had brought our bikes along.  I have a lot of pictures, I'll post them tomorrow.

Berlin is kind of cool in that it has so many flavors- no only is there East and West, but there's also the French sector, the Russian sector, the American sector, and the British sector.  You can really find everything there.  Touring it by bike was the right way to go, too.  And, what do you know, we ran into Claire again, this time with Jack, who she's staying with this weekend.  Jack is another AFS-USA student.  In a city with 3.4 million people, what are the chances of that?

This week is all vacations for Schleswig Holstein, but I still need to go to my language school.  :(  Too bad.  One of the kids in my class wanted to jam sometime this week though, so that should be fun.  Other than that, I still have all my college apps to worry about, so I'm keeping busy.

Mmmkay.  That's all for now.  Berlin pics tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

ich bin exhausted

Today was really tiring, and I have a feeling all week will be tiring.  Don't expect to see too many posts this week.

My SAT II's- Chemistry, Math, and English Lit- are in Berlin this weekend, and every day I'm studying Chem und Math a lot.  I've also been trying to finish college essays, but that's on hold for now.

For the last week I've been trying to get mein Monatsfahrkarte, and every time I think I can get it it seems I run into another problem.  A Monatsfahrkarte is basically an unlimited-use bus ticket, for one month.  Except I'm buying twelve months worth, because it's cheaper to do that than ten months separately.

Anyway.   I need to print another picture for Stadtverkehr Lubeck.

Today after the language course I had sport!  There's a funny thing about sport- not only am I one of only six kids in the class (and the only guy), but our teacher is Ms. Penny.  They're like the same person.  They look the same, they talk the same (albeit in different languages), they dress the same.  It's weird.

Sport is also much more of a workout that gym in the US.  By the time it's over, I'm exhausted.

Oh!  And today was Stine's Geburtstag.  She also got a bike.  Anke and Alex gave me a light and some fenders to put on my bike today, too, so now I'm all set.  Alex was worried about me biking to school, because here in Germany it's a law that you have a light when you ride at night.

Camera batteries died again.  I still have some new ones, though, so I'll change them tomorrow.  Batteries here are expensive, though!  They're very pricey.

Also today I had bigband- we played I Wish, Birdland, Thieves in the Temple, and Spain.  If anyone from the LHS jazz ensemble reads this, suggest Thieves in the Temple to TC.  It's a really fun song, and not too hard.  It would have been amazing back in the days of Bone Power (it has a trombone feature), but I'm sure that you'll make it sound wunderbar.

mmmkay.  Back to studying.  We'll see when I get to post next.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tut mir leid!

Sorry I haven't been posting- I had gone to an AFS Post Orientation Orientation camp this weekend, and there wasn't internet access.  I wrote posts anyway, but couldn't put them online- I've back dated them, so you can check them out, if you so please. 

This morning Alex and Anke picked Vincent and me up from the camp.  We stopped at the beach on the way home, and it was kind of funny- the tide was out, and all over the beach were jellyfish that hadn't swum out fast enough, stuck in a little puddle in the sand.  We didn't stay too long, though, because it was a little cold.

It was nice to come home- I was really exhausted, and it was nice to take a nap in my own bed.

That was kind of weird to say... my own bed is in Germany.  Go figure.

Alex, Hannes, Mia, und Stine and I all went flying kites after I woke up from my nap.  I'll post some pictures later.  It was pretty good, but the wind was inconsistent- when it was good it was good, when it was bad it was bad.  It sprinkled a little, but then there was a nice rainbow.  They have nice rainbows here in Germany.

Dinner was ziti and meat sauce!  Nom nom nom.

But now I go back to college essays and chemistry.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

AFS Late Orientation Camp


Camp was not bad.

Bad timing.  It would have made more sense to do it last weekend- this weekend kids are finally starting to get busy, last weekend there wasn't much going on.  Also, this weekend was the only weekend of the extremely small Okotberfest here in Lubeck.

The camp was in English!  I don't know why, but there was very very little German spoken at the camp, even by the leaders.   I would have welcomed the chance to practice my German, but... oh well.

Dinners were very small.  Most of us bought candy bars after dinner.

I didn't get much sleep, but that's to be expected- it's not really a con, it's just the way things are when you put  a bunch of kids together.

Many of the workshops focused more on our home countries than Germany- I feel like I learned more about Italy and Canada from the girls in my group than I learned about this country.

We all got to meet each other- everyone from the Lubeck chapter and the Kiel chapter  was there, 17 kids total, so we have all have a bigger network.

The leaders were all kids, 17 or 18 years old, which was nice.

The location- a Jugundherberge (Youth Hostile, and I'm sure I spelled that wrong) was very nice.

One of the games we played, Ein Apfel und ein Ei, was really fun- they split us all into groups and gave each group one apple and one egg, and then dropped us off in Scharbeutz (which I also spelled wrong), a nearby town.  There, we were told to trade the apple for something and cook the egg.  This was problematic, because it wasn't very nice weather, so nobody was outside, and only one or two of us spoke any considerable amount of German.

Anyway, we did pretty well.  My group, which was me, Kita, and an Italian girl, ended up going to twelve houses- we traded our apple for three candies, we offered to trade our three candies for two pens, but the man just gave us the pens, we traded the pens for a shell, but the lady told us to keep the pens, we traded the shell for some honey, we gave the candies to a lady and she cooked our egg, we traded the pens again for a candle, and then traded the candle for the lamp.  By the end of the day we had turned an apple and an uncooked egg into a jar of honey, a lamp, and a hardboiled egg.  Not too bad.

The other houses told us to go away.  But in general, people were very nice!

And the last pro- Vincent.  Or Phat V.  Or Vince the Prince.  Vincent is a student for China- he's in my Fremdsprache course- and he's pretty cool.  Spending the weekend with him was fun.

Friday, October 2, 2009


So.  We have an AFS Late-Orientation-Camp this weekend.  That’s why you’re getting this post and the last one and maybe the next one very late.  Blame it on AFS.

Anyway, Fremdspracheschule in the morning, and then Cesar, Bruna, Vincent and I went to the ZOP were we were supposed to meet Geo, but he was MIA.  Anyway, we went into town and got some delicious food before we left for Ponitz, where we were picked up by someone from the camp. 

So far, the camp isn’t really anything new.  It’s just the rules again, and ice breakers, and talking about how we feel.  I’m a little disappointed, though, because it’s almost entirely in English- I would have really appreciated the chance to practice my German.  It’s getting better every day- I’m starting to understand more- so I think it’s a shame that they don’t use it so much here.

Anyway.  It’s fun, although I can’t help missing what I would have been doing in Lubeck- I had been invited to some things this weekend.  Oh well.  Next time.

Sometime I need to talk about Vince the Prince, but now I need to go to bed… hopefully if I forget, I’ll see this post and talk about him one day.

Until then!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Thursdays mean no Waldorfschule, so it was only the Fremdspracheshule today.  The Fremdspracheschule is kind of cool- yes, it is a little slow, but it’s neat because the class is really Deutsch being taught in Deutsch.  There’s more than a dozen languages in that class, and not even half of the class speaks English, so the teacher can’t teach in another language.  Surprisingly, though, it works.

Before taking this class- and living here- I always wondered how on earth people like Cleopatra and Squanto ever figured out enough English to speak with the settlers and Mrrs. Lewis & Clark.  I mean, it’s easy to conceive learning nouns- point and name.  But verbs, especially more abstract ones, always seemed hard to learn.  It’s possible, though!  I promise!  We even manage to have some interesting conversations- we talked, in Deutsch, along with some Greek and Latin queue words, and lots of charades, about mythology for more than half an hour.  It was fun.

After school today I went into town.  First stop was Karstadt (I hope, last time I spelled it wrong).  I had to buy some new Federballe, and I also picked up a squash ball.  Here’s a pic of the racket selection- probably nobody will appreciate this except maybe my dad, but it really is impossible to find nice badminton stuff in the US.  This isn’t even that big of a store, either!

I also bought a book of short stories- English on one page, German on the other.  We’ll see how I do with that.

My last stop was at Wandels Apotheke, a drug store.  I haven’t needed it yet, but I picked up some Vitamin D- I’ve been told that I’ll need them in the winter.  Then it started to rain, so I went home.

Also!  I tried to teach Hannes the baseline of Chameleon today.  Hannes likes everything, so he had fun.  Maybe if he gets it good we can play with it a little more.  It’s a lot of fun, playing with Hannes on his Cello.

Okay, enough for today.

Gute Nacht!