Monday, March 31, 2008

Look who's getting two thumbs up with his new haircut, while chilling on a ferris wheel at the local carnival

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rot Weiss Erfurt

Rot Weiss Erfurt, our local soccer team, did some major butt-whooping today against Rot Weiss Essen. Showed those West German who the real RWE is. 4-0, with a rocking, rowdy crowd, loud music and sunny weather.

The best part about the game is when a goal is scored. The anouncer shouts Rot Weiss (Red White) and the crowd shouts Erfurt. This goes on for between 3-5 depending on how pumped the announcer is. Then he shouts the first name of the player and the crowd shouts the rest, again about 3 times. Then some more hollering back and forth regarding the score ending with the announcer shouting Danke! with the crowd answering Bitte! Gotta love the German formalities, everywhere you go.

The video shows the stadium, which is on the same level as a junior college, as well as the routine after a goal.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

The heart of Germany

I spent today exploring more of the German state of Thuringen, where I live. We have a ticket called the Hopper Ticket which allows to you to travel to another city within 50 km and back for just 6 euros, quite a bargain. And I went to two cities on the same ticket, getting off at one and then getting on a later train to continue to the other.

Bad Langensalza, the first town, had a couple churches and a lot of gardens which are a big tourist draw. Lots of cobblestones and of course the local butcher shop selling fresh Bratwursts outside on a grill. The Japanese Garden was pretty sweet, although they could've used some fish in the water. The city built a creek around the old city walls, making a nice entry to the gardens.

There are approximately 15 Muhlhausens in Germany. The one in Thuringen, has the 2nd largest church to Erfurt, a good brewery, a large city wall around most of the city and an impressive church that Bach played at for several years. Pretty sweet place with lots of sights, lots of people out an about enjoying the warm weather (over 10 degrees Celsius today) and some sweet streets.

Muhlhausen with the Church of the St. Mary and city wall

Church of the St. Mary, 2nd largest in Thuringen

Bad Langensalza Japanese Gardens

On a side note, yesterday while discussing ways to agree or disagree in my class, Gernot, a 60 year old man came up with "bullshit" as a good way to disagree. Let's hear it for the people from Siemens.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blue skies, warm weather and the Eiffel tower
Along the Sein

Cool Parisian building

My French friends, Caroline and Fred

The little arc that was triumphant

Tip top weather in Paris

The famous Notre Dame


Spending 4 days in Paris, and being able to relax and enjoy everything was triumphant. Quite nice to be able to go at a leisurely pace, seeing everything I wanted (one or two times) and explore the city, seeing new places off the beaten path.

Paris is known for tourists and being super expensive. With the help of my friends in Paris, I was able to often avoid this. There are bikes all over the city available for use, being checked out at racks and returned in some other rack in another part of the city. It is cheap to ride and free if you ride for under 20 minutes. This meant that we rode for 15 minutes and then found a place to rerack the bikes and then check them out again, for free.

If you look at Notre Dame long enough to fully see the church, you will notice that the three entryways are not the same.

Friday and Saturday nights, one bar gives free Indian food with cous cous to customers. Quite large portions and very tasty, along with a one drink purchase.

The line up of people at the Eiffel Tower is ridiculous and more fun to take a picture of than to go up, something I have already done. Having been to Paris before, I was able avoid doing all the touristy things and just enjoy the monuments and sights.

I made two trips to Montmarte, always a highlight, at night and in the day. Great views of Paris from the church, and tons of people there. Drinking super expensive chocolate and watching everyone in the daily action on the hill made for a good time, despite everyone wanting to draw me, saying I have a beautiful nose. I have to agree.

Now I am back in Erfurt, cooking and teaching, with snow flurries on and off the whole time, not really sticking, just getting blow around in cold weather. Missing the blue skies of Paris with warmer weather.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Paris and Montana

What could Paris and Montana have in common? Pretty much nothing, other than that I'm going to Paris tomorrow morning at 6am and that I met a German who was in the US for the first time last year, and it was to Montana. Poor guy.

The Paris trip was a spur of the moment thing, once I found out that I had the weekend free, I figured to do some traveling and I have some friends in Paris to visit, so it works out perfectly. And I asked for Monday off of work and got it, so now I'll be there Friday through Monday. Pretty sweet deal. Got some cheap train tickets, allowing me time to catch up on sleep as well as enjoy the scenary. I'll be in Paris tomorrow at 1pm, ready to take on the city, eat pastries all day long and take photos.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

German toilets

Something most people would not think about is the toilets of Germany. Most of the time they are the normal toilets that we have in the USA, quite easy to use. But in my new apartment, we have an older toilet, something a bit more of a challenge to use.

Here is a website discussing German toilets, of which mine is exactly like he describes:

Hope the flushing is going well.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Another good weekend in Erfurt. Two other participants in my program were in town and crashed at my place. Always good to have visitors and catch up with old friends. One is lucky enough for his internship not to have started yet due to his boss being in America for all of February. I gave them a tour of the city after I got off work at my restaurant on Saturday and then had a good night out at a good bar.
Sunday morning I cooked up a 10 egg omlette for all of us, along with some rolls from Stefan, quite a tasty brunch feast.

On Friday night, Stefan, his cousin and I had a large dinner together. I grilled up Argentinian steaks and made a salad with homemade dressing. Stefan cooked potato croquettes. Quite tasty and filling. Tomorrow should be a apartment dinner together to keep the good food and company streak alive. Speaking of streaks, the Lakers had a 10 game winning streak lately, and I, along with all of Germany, is loving it.