Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Chocolate Museum

In celebration of Thanksgiving, Sean and I took the train to Cologne -- only getting slightly lost in the process -- and went to the Chocolate Museum. I don't think it entirely replaced turkey, mashed potatoes, and football (ah, football, I may need to binge when I get back to Chicago), but they give you a piece on chocolate when you enter and there's a working factory in the back and someone hands you wafers dipped in their chocolate fountain there too. I'm sure that Sean will blog all about Cologne and the dehydration that seems to accompany Germany (he took a bunch of really nice pictures and we were both very thirsty).

Anyway, as long as we're talking things that they don't have in Germany which I crave, here's my short but sure to grow list: Hershey bars (why are they so addictive? why don't they have them here?) and popcorn (I've seen no sign of microwaveable popcorn and only occasionally bagged, already popped popcorn).


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Busy Week

Now that Sean's winging his back back across the Atlantic (to get back to Hawaii, he has a 2.5 hour flight to Madrid, followed by a 9 hour flight to Chicago, followed by a 9 hour flight to Honolulu), I've suddenly realized that I'm a very busy person who's leaving the country in a week. But rest assured, I haven't forgotten about the blog; in fact, I have a whole list of ideas for posts which I hope to get through before I hop a plane myself. I've added Sean's blog as a link -- maybe he'll update sooner than I will.

Just to start off, I realized a few weeks ago that one of the buildings on my block houses a violin maker and I'm constantly trying to peek in the windows. The power of Google got me his website, though.


Friday, November 17, 2006

A Quick Vocabulary Quiz

Quick, someone asks you a question -- in English. But what is he/she really saying? (For your convenience I've put the vocabulary word in quotes. Unfortunately, I don't know how to spell anything and maybe they have some special German spelling. But I don't think so.)

Q: What's your 'handy' number?

A: In Germany, no one uses the term 'cell phone,' its always a 'mobile' or a 'handy' (hmm, that one seems a little dirty to me).

Q: Where is the 'tacker'?

A: A stapler is a 'tacker.'

Q: 'Do you need a 'beamer' for your talk?'
'Hmmm ... (looks around nervously) ... yes?'

A: 'Beamer' = projector

Q: And my favorite: I have to go to 'exercise class' this afternoon.

A: 'Exercise class' = section


Thursday, November 16, 2006

My First Visitor

Sean will be in town to visit me starting this weekend, so be prepared for future posts on things to do in Bonn and how two Americans in Germany spend Thanksgiving. To tide all of you over (since I know you're all breathlessly awaiting updates), here are a couple pictures from a while back that I never got around to posting. This is the interior of the Cologne Cathedral (K├Âlner Dom), the largest cathedral in Germany:

Also, since I warned of future posts on Lush shampoo products, this is me in front of a store in Cologne (it's very busy),

and in front of a store in Bonn:


Saturday, November 11, 2006

So ... you must be getting a lot of work done ...

So this has nothing to do with living/working in Germany or anything relevant, but if somehow you didn't know this already, YouTube is like crack. Except more awesome and with less Nancy Reagan.

If you didn't quite catch the '80s reference, maybe this will jog your memory:

Of course, the best anti-drug PSA is this classic:

I can personally attest that "I learned it by watching you!" has endless uses.

The point is that YouTube is for video what Google is for websites, what Wikipedia is for ... just about anything, and what the iTunes Music Stores could be for music. You need to find it or something like it, you search for it, you find it, you watch it.

Didn't quite catch that reference on the season premiere of "Veronica Mars"?

No problem.

While illicit "Daily Show" clips is probably my most frequent use of YouTube, the most awesome use is finding the old and obscure. From this "" article, I watched a clip from R.E.M.'s first national television appearance on David Letterman's show. Dave talks to Peter Buck and Mike Mills while Michael Stipe hides behind Peter like he's one of their roadies, then they exhibit the kind of stage mannerisms that seem so '80s.

Tonight, I'm thinking about looking for clips of Nirvana performances.

Next on the blog: how much I love iChat file transfer and solid shampoo and conditioner from Lush.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Travel Plans

It looks like I'll mostly be in Chicago from Dec. 6 to Dec. 28. I'm going to get some sushi; who's coming with me?


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Nothing is Open on Sunday

I haven't posted this week because I found a new place to live (blogging material) but was paranoid that it would fall through -- among other paranoid thoughts (not blogging material). Since it's Sunday and nothing in Germany is open on Sundays (seriously, you can't go to the grocery store on Sunday, it's closed and people are impressed that some grocery store is open until 8pm on Saturday), I thought I'd bite the bullet and post some pictures of my new street:

Cute, huh? Here's the front of my building. Sadly it's kind of plain:

The apartment itself is hilariously small. Work is a 15-20 minute walk (about the same distance as the place across the field I had been staying). This the street I walk along:

It crosses a highway:

And here's the street that work is located at: