Europe: Expectations vs. Reality

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Expectations
Sitting in a cafe for hours on end, drinking coffee, talking philosophy, watching bike riders pass by with flowers in their basket, happy people with free health care strolling down sunny cobble stone streets, staring wistfully out of train windows while fitting emotional music plays in the background.

Reality
Running late for the bus, sweaty, running late for the train, sweaty, climbing four flights of stairs to my apartment, sweaty, lugging backpacks full of groceries on my bike in the snow, cold and sweaty, emptying the food leftovers from the sink to the waste bin because there’s no garbage disposal, sorting my trash into six specific bins, everyone dressed in black from head to to because we haven’t seen the sun in five months.

Funny how life has a way of surprising us, isn’t it? I am somehow who sets her expectations very high (curse you, American idealism!!), and constantly has to check them and reassess.

I complain sometimes, especially in winter, but still have a huge soft spot in my heart for you, Europe. Thanks for being a continent.

My German Television Debut

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetSo I started singing in a choir a few weeks ago. Then one day at rehearsal they said, “Hey, we have an extra spot for this competition thingy. Who wants it?” I didn’t have anything to do that weekend, so I said ‘I do!’ Well, two days later I was sitting in a chair getting professional hair and make-up and rehearsing for my German TV debut! We competed in the semi-finals of the ‘Best Choir in the West’ competition on public TV haha. It was really fun. There was catering and a green room and a tour bus. The high life. We got out unfortunately but I was just along for the ride. It only took me three months to get on TV in this country– a sign that I’m a true star? Perhaps… ;p Then again, I’ve never made it on American television. Maybe that is my next goal!

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My relationship with the German language via GIFs

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For the last five and a half years I have been sitting in German classes with this exact expression on my face. Grammar and syntax and vocab– oh my! Although I keep progressing up the official ‘levels’ of German class, I have yet to wipe this wide-eyed terror off my face. I sit in the back, certain I will soon be found out as the imposter I am, and stare at the blank sheet before me in hopes that the answers will appear before me in magic ink.

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Then I walk out of German class and go to the local bakery to buy a pastry. The interaction starts off well. I am puffed up with confidence from the last few hours surrounded by other on-native speakers, and I ask for my croissant. The lady stares at me as if I have just proposed marriage and frowns. WAS? 

I repeat my question, confidence faltering like a middle schooler at a dance. CAN I HAVE A CROISSANT? Things are rapidly deteriorating. I finally point– THAT ONE! The lady begrudgingly gets it for me and I rush out, swearing to myself I will give up bread from this moment forward, amen.

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Later that night at a party, someone in the group makes a joke. Everyone is laughing hysterically, and I follow suit out of self preservation instincts. I don’t want to look like the dud who doesn’t think their home-run joke is funny. But then they turn to me and ask a follow up question. Busted. My only options now are to admit I was faking it or run to the bathroom.

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In an attempt to broker peace after the joke catastrophe, I begin speaking in German to someone. But a few sentences in, she can no longer bear the pain of my murderous grammar in her ears, so she switches to English. I am both relieved and insulted.

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By the end of the night, I am as dead inside as Michael Scott. I crawl home and Skype someone in sweet, sweet English.

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But hey, at least there’s always copious amounts of coffee to cheer me up and energize me for another day of adventures in German.

Ps. Some people have accused me of being dramatic. No idea why.

Pps. German, don’t be upset. You know I secretly love you very, very deep down.

Little Letter

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Dear “500 Days of Summer” soundtrack,
I’ve always enjoyed listening to you. Music can really make or break a movie in my opinion!

Dear Fulbright,
Can I just find out about you already?! I’m loosing my mind. I guess patience is not my best attribute.

Dear Graduation,
Seven weeks. Let me say it again: seven. weeks.

Dear Coffee,
I’ll never stop loving you, ok?

Dear Screenplay,
Geez, you’re not progressing as quickly as I’d like. I should really get a move on!

Dear Hair,
Not sure what to do with you these days. Maybe a mullet?

Dear Parents,
Have fun in Cambodia, Vietnam and Seoul these next three week!

Dear song “Psalm 23”,
Obsessed with you. Look it up on Youtube, it’s by Reality San Francisco.

 

Made me laugh

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This post “Women having a terrible time at parties in western art history” from thetoast.net cracked me up. The caption for the painting above is:

“hi hey
what are you doing over here all by yourself
i’m just
enjoying the view 
but you’re facing the wrong way
you’re not facing the party
you can’t even see me talking to you
i know”

There are plenty of other funny articles like this  on the site if you need a good laugh.

P.s. this article about female friendship in the show Broad City is spot on

A morning with my little ladies

img_1420Every Tuesday and Wednesday morning, I babysit two little munchkins named Winnie and Piper. Winnie is two and Piper is three, and they continually surprise me with their humor and unending joy for life. Honestly, if you’re feeling down in the dumps, I would suggest spending some time with little kids! They are hilarious. I just want to bottle up their enthusiasm and take it home with me. Below are a few photos from our time together yesterday.img_1425Me: What are you doing Winnie?
Winnie: I’m reading this book of course.img_1428img_1429Me: Winnie can I read that book with you?
Winnie: No, Micah, I don’t think so.img_1445Winnie: Can I take pictures of you?
Me: (Hesitantly) Sure…img_1447img_1483Winnie: Oh my, I need to cook you some food! How about cucumber?img_1484img_1500Lazarus the cat has a love hate relationship with Winnie, who is ultra affectionate (and sometimes picks him up the wrong way) :pimg_1519img_1525We headed down to main campus to explore. Always good to get out of the house and have an adventure.img_1528Piper: It smells like Christmas!img_1529Winnie and Piper climbing on the George Pepperdine statue (the founder of the university)img_1532Piper: Why won’t he turn the page of his book?
Me: He’s a statue, he can’timg_1534img_1537img_1540img_1551^Probably my favorite photo of the day!img_1554img_1573img_1586Winnie: Look at all the Dori and Nemo fishies!img_1594Me: What do you want for Christmas Winnie?
Winnie: Pinkimg_1598img_1601What’s you favorite thing about Christmas Piper?
Piper: Grandmaimg_1602Have a great one friends!