Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Week Three: The Cemetery

Gotta say guys, not much happened this week. Not much at all, but that's okay! Next week looks to be an exciting one. This week I mostly worked on scholarships, and getting the job situation settled. Speaking of the job situation, I now have one. Yay!

I work for....Burger King! That's right, Burger King. This is the glorified job of a college student who will one day be an aerospace engineer. I'm going to stick to it of course. It's going to be tough, because my dislike of fast food is pretty up there, but at least it will be a job. Supposedly I'll be working in the evening, huzzah.

Let's see. I also took two walks throughout town this week. I managed to get only marginally lost on both, but I quickly found myself again. The first one, I was admittedly exploring where we live. I think I may head in the opposite direction next time. We seem to live somewhere on the outskirts. I can't tell exactly.

The second walk I took with the little sis. We headed up the the graveyard nearby for about an hour. Let me tell you, American graves have nothing on German graves. In fact, in comparison, American graves are weak and puny, with certain notable exceptions. These graves had flowerbeds, bushes, trees, statues, garden statues, and were for the most part incredibly well tended.

They almost all had a spot for a candle on them. There is some significance to this, for religious reasons but I don't quite understand what. According to the little sis they stick a candle in and light it every 5, 10, and 15 years after the death, but when my dad's wife tried to explain it to me it was a no go. Didn't understand at all. Anyone want to weigh in on this one?

They had family gravestones as well. One that we say had five people buried there. They all had the same last name, and we were a little confused.

Have to say though, these people know how to treat a dead person right. The graves were gorgeous and it was more like a walk through the park than it was a walk through a cemetery. Either way, it was an alright way to spend a day. The oldest thing we say there looked to be some sort of memorial stature. A soldier on the back of a rearing horse, with the dates 1914-1918 listed. The words were too faded to read, but I'm assuming it's a World War one memorial to soldiers who died in battle.

Amusingly enough, the soldier seemed to be spearing an alligator or a crocodile. No I could not tell which, erosion had seen to that. I'm still not certain which it was.

There were no super old graves there. The oldest we say were from the seventies. Apparently, the local tradition is that you rent the burial plot and once the rent is up the bones are dug up and crushed, and the gravestone removed as well. This makes it available for another burial.

My inner historian gasps at the lost history of course, but it would rather explain a lot. Besides, I can almost understand this. Otherwise they might have more graves than they did people, considered the age of Germany.

But it has taken away my home of seeing any really, really, really old graves. Oh well. I can always go back to the US for that one, or perhaps to another European country.

One Final Byte: I wouldn't mind flowers planted over my grave.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Castles and Bonn

Wow, what a week this second week has been. So much has happened, I do not know where to begin. Normally, I prefer to begin in the middle, but perhaps chronologically, I should begin at the beginning for once.

So last week was full of the chaos of getting settled into a foreign home. This past week was—also full of that same sort of chaos. I have so much to talk about.

Firstly, I shall begin with what I did after I posted my blog last week. That is to say that I went out a finished up getting my dependent ID card. As a government brat, mine is only for overseas installations, and nothing in America. Having not lived overseas previously, I didn't really have one or need one.

I should like to note that I was informed by a friend that on dependent ID cards they ask you not to smile. Apparently, this meant not to show your teeth, because I do have a small smile on my card. I also have the most quizzical expression on my face I have ever seen. I had one eyebrow raised. I kid you not! An eyebrow was raised, and I reminded myself of Spock.

One should never look at one's ID and see Spock. It's terribly discombobulating, especially if you are female, and not male.

After the whole ID fun, we didn't do too much until Saturday, when we did an awful lot in a successful attempt to get the thirteen year old and I out of the house. We spent the day at a nearby castle! I kid you not, I was inside a castle. It wasn't a very well perserved one of course. All falling apart, and broken stone work everywhere. We had lunch there for about an hour and a half, and I spent probably the next three hours taking pictures of a castle and admiring the stone work much to the annoyance of the thirteen year old.

I think my dad was mostly amused. Mostly.

After the castle, we watched the Adjustment Bureau which was a romance, but an action-romance-drama, which basically just means they ran a lot while professing true love to someone they only had met a handful of times and didn't really know much at all about. I know right? I mean, really? I don't get that about romances.

But despite the cheesy romance bits, it was a decent movie. I heartily recommend you watch it...when it comes on TV. Not worth the price of tickets.

The next day being Sunday, I went to church. There are a surprising number of English speakign baptist churches around, but none of them claim to be Southern baptist, so I am tentatively going to try them out until I find one that suits. This one was a decent church, but I forgot about my height, and arrived a little late, so sat in the back. There were three tall people, all in a little colum, in front of me, so I couldn't see a thing. My heels haven't arrived yet, but it did say up to 15 business days, I think, so I'm not worried.

We also watched Thor. This is my second time seeing it. I would so watch it a third time. I highly reccommened this, and my recommend it in the 3D, if only for the credits. The credits in 3D would be superb. Truly superb. The acting was great, and I admit, the first time I saw it, I expected it to be dorkier than it turned out to be, because no matter how awesome Mjolner is in myths, it's still a hammer.

Then on Monday, I pulled up a second dresser to use to store my things in from the basement with the help of my dad. Dads, by the way, are great at moving furniture. Other than that, I didn't do all that much. Tuesday though, we traveled all the way to Bonn on business for the thirteen year old, and got to eat lunch by the Rhine. It was a gorgeous lunch, and the river was absolutely beautiful. On the other side of the water I was bikers, runners and traisn go back. Cars were rare. In the watere were something called boatels (a boat hotel) and of course barges.

That brings us up to speed on Wednesday, which is today by my counting, but probably not today by yours.

One Final Byte: Katze is hard to say, ask Rosetta Stone.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First Post!

Well, it is.

And I claimed it! Mwahahahahahaha!

This is the first post of my blog. I suppose I should layout exactly what it's about here, so that you know, and I should probably say who I am. Allow me to jump right in!

My name is Marie, and I'm an aerospace engineer student. In layman's term, I'm learning rocket science. Only, university is a bit expensive, so I wanted to get all my pre-reqs and the general education classes out of the way.

Only here's the thing. I'm determined to take out zero student loans. Which means for the first two years, full of pre-reqs and general education, community college looks mighty spiffy, and is affordable on a part-time long as I have No. Other. Bills.

So I moved in with my dad. And his new family. In Germany.

By the way, did I mention I am American? My dad works for the government, and is stationed in Germany for his work. For safety, and you know, the creepy factor of the Internet, I won't ever say where in Germany, or List any real names.

So here I am. I've finished my first year of community college. Or rather, time wise, I've finished a year. Credit wise? Not so much. I'm 7 credits short of a full year, but you get what you can afford. So I'll be affording a college on base, and if I'm lucky, and become super fluent in German, than I'll apply for a German school, which will save me so very much in money.

As it is, I'm settling in now, having just arrived Monday morning. I'll find a summer job, maybe longer, and I'll go to school here. In Germany.

Did I mention we don't live on base? We're in town. I'm not certain how I'm going to survive it. I suppose I'll just have to practice a lot!

One Final Byte: Someone painted lovely sunflowers on our backyard wall.