Thursday, April 28, 2011


I spent the first 1 1/2 weeks of Easter Break with my guest family in France. France itself was lovely, and the weather was gorgeous. But I found it very, very frustrating to operate so closely with my guest family. The half hour decision making processes (also known as arguments because one member of the family never listened to or respected anybody else's opinion), the endless leisurely strolls through cities just for the sake of wandering around, the delay after delay after delay before we could just leave when we had decided to leave, only because 'we' 'had' to find the perfect cafe to get coffee, which half of us might not have even wanted, were a bit difficult for me to go with. My guest father's way of operating made me want to scream, explode, and swim the ocean back to my own father as fast as I possibly could. These constantly re-occurring feelings (due to my constant contact with him and therefore consistently re-occurring incidents of his infuriating-ness) lead to homesickness and made for a difficult hurdle to jump over in order to enjoy everything else. Which was really good, honestly!

On Monday morning we left late and spent the day driving to Paris, where we spent the first days. My guest sister and I slept at my aunts house. It was wonderful to see her and my cousin again, as well as some other friends I have in Paris. My guest family did a lot of sight seeing and I chilled for most of that time with my cousin.

On Thursday we all piled back in the car to drive to Tours, where we met the older sister and then spent several days with her old guest family in the countryside near Tours. It was beautiful-- they live in a house which the father's grandfather built, and which has been added on to every generation. The old part is like a museum, and it tore my heart strings to see all the beautiful old books just sitting there and rotting in the inconsistant heat and humidity. During this visit I heard so much strange English spoken that I was afraid that if I spoke English myself it would come out that way too: sort of a mix between a French and a German accent, saying the word 'this' instead of 'that', using reflexive verbs incorrectly, giving nouns genders, and mixing up my tenses like there's no tomorrow. I stuck to German and French, for which I at least have an excuse for being bad at.

From there we drove to Clermont-Ferrand, where my elder guest sister studies. We didn't spend long there, just enough time to look a bit around, get a night's sleep, pack the sisters things, find the perfect place to buy cheese, and drink coffee. At around 4:30 we finally left, five of us squished into this little old red car, and drove (almost straight through) to Frankfurt, where we arrived at about 4 in the morning.

I got a few hours of sleep, showered, and left the stress at home to sleep over at a friends house. The rest of vacation I'm just going to get back into the swing of things, hang out with people, do some paperwork for college, and relax. Let me just say, it's good to be back.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I know it's been a while since I last posted-- the time has been literally flying by. As I mentioned last post, the weekend after I went to Hamburg some AFS/CBYX friends of mine visited me in Frankfurt. It was really fun and really nice to see them again. I'm looking back through my diary to see what I've been doing this whole time... I've been shopping way too much. But I had to, really! I really did. Running out of jeans and underwear is not a happy thing, people. I've also accompanied friends shopping for summer clothes, which of course I no longer have money for. (Where does all my money go!?) Food, most likely, but I figure its worth it, especially now that I only have three more months in this delicious country.

Last weekend was an interesting one: I went to a club with some friends, which I was really excited about because it looks so cool from the outside. But to be honest, the experience was a bit of a let-down. I was there with two couples, one of which was off hanging out with other people and the other of which was sort of attatched at the mouth the whole time. And the best friend of the girl attatched at the mouth. So there was this whole attention competition going on, and I was just sort of there... and I convinced the best friend to leave early, because I was sleeping at her house anyways. And riding a bike thats too big for you in the middle of the night is not a lot of fun. Of course I was pretty tired the next day, which was my guest Grandmothers birthday party. I sat in the car for 45 minutes to sit awkwardly with a family which wasn't mine, and have a stomache ache. It was fantastic, and I was about to have a temper tantrum or something when we finally, finally, fiinnallly left at like 11 o'clock at night.

But Sunday was good, because my guest dad showed me the best way to bike into the city. We checked out bikes, mostly for my host mom since she's thinking about getting a new one. We also saw a great used bike, which he (surprise!) bought for me the next day. I was totally shocked, and gave him a huge hug and said thank you a million times. I honestly feel a bit bad that he did that for me, but it's definitely worth it. I've already ridden it so much, and now that it's getting so warm I will hopefully be riding it more and more.

The last week has gone by super fast. I presented my German project, and it went actually really well. I'm proud of it, and we didn't even get eaten out too badly. One thing that I find really cool here, as opposed to in America: after presentations are given or something is read aloud, the peer critiques are real. People say what they liked, but also what they didn't like or what was unclear or could be better. It's not mean or bitchy or snobby like it would be in the US, its just the way it is. After our presentation my American friend and I each got asked a question by a boy in our class, and I went so red answering it but it was alright. A friend of ours was so nice and commented that it was really cool what we did and how well we did it. Everybody ended up clapping and taking pictures, which was a bit funny and awkward but I'm glad to have a record of it.

Also last week was yet again more shopping... On Wednesday I bought a gorgeous spring jacket, shame shame. But it IS gorgeous. And on Friday, after shopping with another friend, the craziest thing that has ever happened to me, happened to me. Read closely, this is the stuff of movies.

The scene: around 4:00pm on the Zeil, the biggest shopping street in Frankfurt, between the U-Bahn Sations Hauptwache and Konstaberwache. After saying goodbye to her friend at Hauptwache, Sorrel walks through the thick Friday afternoon shopping croud to Konstablerwache to take her U-bahn, but is interrupted by a man who runs up behind her out of nowhere saying 'excuse me!'. Sorrel turns around, expecting it to be another one of those random people who ask 'are you from here?' -'no.' -'but from germany.' -'no.' -'oh. okay. nevermind.' BUT no. He says, 'uh, you're really cute, and yeah, I just wanted to.. I'm , whats your name?' I was so shocked, I sort of gurgled out my name and mumbled off that I wasn't really interested. It was obvious anyways that he was too old for me. But we had this whole conversation, what a pretty name I have, oh he was in Massachusets, oh cool I'm from Maine, what I'm doing in Germany, how I get along in school, what amazing german I have, and how old am I, actually? Oh, I'm seventeen? Well, oh, maybe I am a bit too young, but I'm (again) very beautiful, and enjoy the rest of my stay here. I wished him luck finding somebody, we said bye, and walked away. o.o

I. was. in. shock. I called my friend, I called my guest sister, nobody answered. I wrote everything furiously down in the metro, biked in a record 20 minutes back to my house, and told my guest sister. We agreed that it was incredibly gutsy of this man to do something like that, and toyed with the idea that he's just a player who does that all the time, and I know I shouldn't judge people on their looks but he definitely did not look like that type of guy. In any case, if I ever see him again I will say something to him.

That was Friday. That night I slept over at friend's house, and Saturday met up with another friend to go the Music Fair in Frankfurt. It was super incredible... There were so many instruments and so many people who could play them so well. It made me either want to start practicing ten hours a day now, or never begin at all. At some point it will end up somewhere in between. Saturday night I went with my guest family to this tiny concert of traditional classical indian music. The music was beautiful, but the chairs made my poor bum hurt all night, and it was so warm and cozy and the music was so lullaby-y that I just wanted to crawl into bed and fall asleep to it. In the intermission and afterwards I had two completely awkward conversations with random people who were in fact talking to my guest parents which made me feel irritated and as though I'd done something wrong. I swear this man stared at me funny for like twenty seconds awaiting an answer to his completely rhetorical question. Jeez! The walk around the area at 10:30 after this whole ordeal of an evening, which evoked exactly the same feelings in me as the grandmother's birthday party did, made me realize that unless I'm super into it, I shouldn't go anywhere late at night because I just can't handle it.

Anyhoo. It's been so warm lately we've been eating outside on the terrace a lot. I love it, and I love the summer food. I spent all day today getting stuff done, and I'm still not finished. A couple notes about the coming future: just one more week of school and then Easter Break! Next Sunday is my guest sister's birthday, and also the day that we drive to France! I'm excited. It's late now, though, and I still have to read some papers for my dreaded PoWi class. Bye!


These are just some pictures taken to and from school. This tree was so beautiful...

At the music fair. Being from Maine and all, the saxophoning moose was sort of a must have picture.

My group for Deutsch class. (I talked about Menschenbild, Oberegesellschaftsschichte)

Taken today-- grilling in the newly terraced garden.

Turn left at the corner and you reach the driveway.

Please don't think that I waste my time in school. These are just two examples of at least fifty possible one of a kind creations that escape my fingers at a time which is, completely coincidentally, during class. I drew this cartoon during two particularly boring hours of PoWi. If you can't read it, it's called Harry Potter und ein Baum. (For any of you who can understand German, please see Harry Potter und ein Stein).
I would love to post every one of the 24 charming little pages of this legitimately sewn and bound book, but that's too much. It's good though, trust me.