after a riveting hour of religion (actually, now that i'm starting to understand, it is pretty interesting. from a third party stand point-- today we debated over whether or not parents should 'force' a child to be religious. my sentence was something like "it is better when children find religion themselves so that they themselves can believe." i was pretty proud of myself), i found myself with two delightful free stundes. these seem to be cropping up pretty frequently since my teachers don't want me in class when the class is writing a test. so they sort of just tell me to scram.
today, i headed for the libary. i'd seen the outside and it looked beguiling and fascinating, but i'd never had the chance to see inside. it is big and lovely and sunny and smells like old books.
while i was avidly pursuing the children's section, who should arrive but mich-ai-yell! we hugged and made awkward conversation for a while (if you guys think I'm awkward in english, wait until you hear me in german. it's an... experience.) We talked some more, and then he told me about an author. He got really excited and I had no idea what was going on. He asked the librarian and she pointed. It turned out that he was talking about...
Which I can actually read! For the most part without a dictionary! So we sat down at the table next to the window. He showed me his book-- he's reading Eragon. (oh, lulz). After a while, I made the monumental task of actually going to talk to the librarian.
I managed to introduce myself. as soon as i said that i was from the usa, she knew who i was. apparently, the man who interrogated me about my clarinet playing has been singing my praises, even though i taught the aforementioned 8 year old how to play the tequila song. i was in. i got the library card, even though i'm pretty sure i wasn't supposed to. and i got to bring home my new book! it isn't due until january, which is another thing i love about germany.
so, i read for two hours in the watery sunshine and then i went to biology. except, you know, there was no biology teacher. so we waited for a while. about half the class just wanted to go to meccas. (mcdonalds). we talked about new years. then we sat in the cafeteria and, with fifteen minutes left, the biology teacher showed up. he asked me if i was going to write the test with my class-- and that he was supposed to give me a grade?
news to me. off to the counselor tomorrow, i suppose.
last week everyone missed entertaining stories from sport land, since i didn't have it. but this week, it's back, and with a vengeance.
right now we're playing basketball in sport. that's not so bad, right? okay, let me tell you how we're graded.
first off, we had to learn to do lay-ups. and you have to count your steps. so you step right. dribble once. step left. then you can run, but only sometimes. then you have to jump and throw the ball. i have to do this step by step-- i can't make it look fluid and even remotely practical and the ball normally goes over backward, instead of trying to hit the basket. yeah, it's ridiculous.
and for making the grade: we're allowed to shoot twenty baskets. in order to get a one, you have to make 19 of them in a variety of different styles. likely, right? and then we played basketball. i was told to guard the defense area "like a dog". which is pretty much a fail. i kept getting shuttled around with one other girl as the fourth player of the team. pretty depressing. but still fun, i suppose.
so after sport i hopped on the strassenbahn and headed for braunschweig. while i was waiting to cross the road, i bumped into scruffy spaniard i, from my first language class! apparently the class is worse now than it was, and they've hit a virtual stand-still. it was really kind of cool to see someone i knew in the city.
after wandering around for a bit, i finally met up with mika. we had an hour or so before the markets opened, so we went and nommed falafel and talked about our feelings. it's always really nice to speak with other exchange students, since it's kind of isolating when there's no one who knows what you're going through and the tremendous awkwardness of living life in a language that is hard to understand. (we've changed now from don't understand to hard to-- i'm understanding quite a bit in day to day conversation).
then, we went to the christmas market! it was full of bright lights and a ferris wheel and lots of warm, spicy wine, that i did not drink today. instead, we ate warm almonds and these amazing chocolate-marshmallow puff ball things. the marshmallow is fresh and they are so. good. i didn't get pictures because the light was gross and it was raining, but next time i go i will.
after we walked around for a while and got coffee. we talked about planners and haircuts and the stupid things i don't have the vocabulary to talk about in german. it was really lovely.
you might notice that i talk a lot about food. that's because i eat a lot. today:
half of banana/apple
bread with cheese, marmalade
reis-milche, handmade, so good, with cinnamon sugar
sandwich with cheese and lettuce!
(that was a lovely unintentional switch into german. sorry-- milk coffee, almonds, that chocolate thing).
normally substitute the lunch with something hot (noodles, potatoes) and dinner with bread and cheese. add in afternoon tea, coffee and cookies or cake. and it's a lot of good food.
so, we were sitting drinking coffee and mika was like strassenbahn? and i was like oh, yeah, and i totally had to book it to not miss the strassenbahn. it was early. running in the rain with a school bag is not fun. and at the bus station, i told an old woman about america (eating, school, driving, working)-- she was really impressed with my german. i actually understood her. i was impressed. i continue to be impressed by my progression-- it doesn't seem like a lot sometime but the sentences that i used to have to force now come easily and it's pretty amazing. i think.
in other news:
i think i am getting sick. it is sore throat and swollen gland times. i'm drinking lots of salbei tea and vitamins, so hopefully that'll kick this. we'll see.
also: those who know me know that i'm a fan of amanda palmer. she's just released a relatively brilliant solo album and is currently releasing a series of videos to compliment the cd. leeds united is the latest and she got flak for her belly. amanda palmer is amazingly beautiful and the perfect size-- i find it really, really sad that her record label wanted to cut out shots of her because she wasn't 'thin' enough. Videos on youtube, I'm pretty sure.
now, i love bellies. i sport a buddha-belly of my own and i hate to hear girls moaning about their bellies and hips because they're too wide or too whatever. hips are wide for babies, loves. your body is structure and function and it is lovely.
and i find it really, really depressing that this twisted world is preaching a tiny waist without chubs-- be healthy and be lovely. etc.
that's all for now,