Monday, 28 March 2011

A day to travel back in time

New Acquaintences

Friday March 25: Es ist Freitag und am Wochenende. Ohh, I forgot to mention, the concert on Thurseday, was being filmed by German Television so that was pretty sweet, and like in May, it will be airing. We had another little test again. After class, I biked to Elke’s and she had friends over so we had lunch and then I went back home. One of the shy Chinese housemates (they all are) had asked if I wanted to join them with a few of his friends from his class and as well on their little soccer team, in the back yard that evening. I agreed. But it was funny because a couple hours before, they knocked on my door and asked if I could help them pick out food to buy. And they really didn’t know what all they should by.  So they followed me around the grocery store as we chose the essentials as pizza, wings, crackers, chips, candy, chips. There were 8 of us, and everyone was either Korean or Chinese except myself and one guy from Kenya and they were already at a much higher level in German (except one Korean from my class) and knew very minimal English so I just kept myself preoccupied with making food, picking music and climbing a tree which pretty much scared the Scheiße  out of them.  One guy is hear in hopes to be  a soccer coach. Most of the others are looking to get their Masters here. They didn’t stay that long; they’re much of the party animal type :p .

I Wear My Sunglasses At Night

 Saturday March 26:  Today took the train to Koln (Cologne) to Julia’s. Her and her apartment neighbour was having a 30th Birthday and it was 80’s Themed so we got all dressed up for it and made food. It was awesome because everyone got very into dressing up, and some people went all out and wore the real thing with the big padded shoulders and the big poofed hair pushed to the side. The place where they had it was in the downstairs of this old pub. And ohh my! I’ve seen such an incredible place!  There was a Dirty Harry pinball machine, a wall of a Pulp Fiction and the room me had was all sailor/ pirate decked out so it was exactly like you were on a boat! It was incredible! It was original sails hung around it, oil lamps, sweet old furniture, even a painting of this picture I know picture because my Opa had painted the same one and...even came with this old bowling alley down the middle! I didn’t really care that I couldn’t really be part of conversation, I was just happy to be there. A few people and I did most of the dancing for the evening to of coarse 80’s music.  His friends bought his the awesome of awesomest present ever; and electric drum set!!! I cannot wait to see it next when they have it all set up!    
The Same Drawing My Opa Painted!

Dirty Harry! GO Ahead, Make My Day

Pulp Fiction

Land Ho!

Sunday March 27: I went back to Bonn in good time because Elke and I had planned to go to the museum. The collection focuses on Expressionism and  of contemporary and modern art, which included works by Arp, Beckmann, Munch, Kirchner, Warhol, etc. Yoko Ono even had a piece there; footage called The Fly. I have to admit I don’t really understand her art. But she had said that this was one of the most beautiful museums. It was commissioned by German entrepreneur Rudolf-August Oetker (like Dr. Oetker). We watched for a bit these really cool short videos. One had old clips of men and women in film and mirrors with eerie music in the back ground. It at times made you feel uncomfortable but thats whats so great about it, and the fact you could see old famous actors. I think my favourite piece was Dame und Tasch by Konrad Leug, artwise. Later in the day, Elke and I went to this church in Kessenich-Bonn because Joseph Hayden’s composition Stabat Mater  was playing there. It was so beautiful. I don’t believe  I’ve actually seem operatic pieces  before. There was orchestra, a large choir, and  Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass singers. They sang it in Latin. The acoustics in there were very nice and the ceiling was incredibly high. Unfortunately the church itself wasn’t old and grand but it still still did the job! I was very  glad I went to that.
Dame und Tasch by Konrad Leug

Monday March 28 : Word of the day is treffen which means both to meet and also to hit or punch. We were confused by that because we were all like, how  would you said Am Wochende treffen ic h meine Freunde. (This weekend I insert word my friend.)
Today was sunny but cooler because it was windy. I sat outside and did homework, then for a bit went over to Elke and alphabetized my records.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

A couple exursions at least


Schloss Falkenlust, Bruhl

Tuesday March 22:  Dear Germans, Why do you have to make things so complicated? :p Today we discussed reading the clock and that was confusing. From 5 after to 25 after you use nach (ie: Zehn nach eins, or Zwanzig nach drei). On the other side of the clock, you use vor . If you were to say 4:40, it would be Zwanzig vor funf, and 1:30 is halb Zwei and 1:35 is Funf nach halb zwei, which is opposite to what the “rules” say because nach is for the for the first half of the clock.....
After class I carried my bike down to the subway and went to Bonn then hopped on the train with the bike to Bruhl again. I was interested to see what else I could see.  Clemens August, the Archbishop who had them built, as I said before loved falconry, and had a hunting palace/retreat built not far from Schloss Augustusberg called Falkenlust. It was a ten minute bike ride away, including the last bit over really old and uneven cobblestones, very bumpy. The Schloss was a smaller version. I was the only one around for a tour so they gave me a sheet of paper giving a brief description of the rooms. I hate to put on these big felt slippers to protect the floor (which was very fun to slide around in) and the man just kept watched as I looked at the different rooms. And I found that I was actually alot more impressed in this one than the other. Augustusburg left you in awe but in comparison, there were a lot of the same symbols and not as much variety to say. Well, this one surprised me, it had very different themes and symbols! Of course there were still many images of falcons and hunting (since that was what it was meant for) but it surprised me to see beautiful Oriental paintings and themes on the wall in certain rooms, a room full of huge mirrors great satyr statues, other Greek gods and goddesses, lots of gold paint, etc.  It was a short and quick look but my eyes were widened and more intested in the variety. Up the stairs though, I befriended the other security man. I recognized he had a tinge of an Irish accent and asked him if I was right, and I was. He was very nice and we chatted for a bit and I told him about home and such.  He’s been her e for like 17 years now. So that was very nice to have a nice chat. There were walking trails all along the area, so strolled around for a bit (but you weren’t allowed to bike on them). I biked back to the Bruhl Centrum, looked at the shops and had a peffermintz Eis (ice cream) and hopped back on the train back to Bad Godesberg  home.
Wednesday March 23:  Today was 18 degrees and apparently it was almost minus 20 back home... that’s ridiculous!!! Well Happy Birthday to my mother! I didn’t do a whole lot today. I visited Elke and we had pizza and went for an Eis. After I was back home, I rewatched Cabaret, which I absolutely love! Plus it actually has a little bit more meaning since it’s based in Germany.

Beautiful Cemetaries
This is IT!
 Thursday March 24: After class I went and visited Elke and today she was getting new windows so all the installers were there. I did my homework then we went out for a Doner. After that, we walked to the cemetery where she lit a candle and added flowers to her past relatives. German cemeteries are much more wonderful and peaceful. You have to lease the area, but every stone area is taken care of and gardened (it’s a bigger deal and I love the idea). We also stopped at the burial where the man who invented eierlikor (egg liquor) so that was a very interesting fact. After, that we parted because I went home to get changed for the concert at the Harmonie. I took the bus there. WOW! They were better than I had ever expected! I had just by chance bought The Flying Eyes album in Bonn a few weeks ago, only to find out they were playing not far from where I live. They’re a psychedelic rock modern band; the singer sounds so much like Jim Morrison and they can be compared to the 13 Floor Elevators.  They had lots of energy (since I had find out they had a crappy flight here dealing with cancellations etc, I had found out from someone who knows them :p ) They’re from Maryland. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! And it was all the better that I knew already some of their songs (I think I knew more than anyone else there, and the fact I spoke English... since I found out later, they were more into the next artist). And also, It was such a wonderful treat when I realized they were playing Yer Blues !!!!!!(by the Beatles of course...not many from what I  saw realized that). After they finished I realized they were out signing so as I made sure I brought my record, I got it signed by the vocalist and he had already hear I was from Canada and told me we should keep in touch, because they’re coming back home later in the year! I also talked to the drummer and then when I went back in to see Beth Hart, the drummer almost scared the shit out me when he went and stood next beside me to watch Beth! (which he soon after left because his band members called him back). The crowd was much fuller for Beth Hart, the Germans seemed more interested.  She herself, was incredible! She reminded me of a modern Janis. But she really got me because they’re all real songs about real things (like about the crappiest house on the block that she bought in LA). She was also a real performer and a crowd pleaser and she had awesome tattoos! She definitely has wonderful talent and she deserves to be credited! Well after it ended I rushed outside to see when the next was coming (at 10:30) and so I just decided to stay there waiting. I was kind of disappointed in myself for leaving so quickly but I didn’t want to worry about missing the next one since it was late already and anyways I have class in the morning of course.

The Flying Eyes, Bonn

The Flying Eyes Tour

The Flying Eyes in Motion

Entranced, The Flying Eyes

Beth Hart, Bonn

Monday, 21 March 2011

Pleasant Finds

Schloss Augustusberg, Bruhl

Looking out at the Panarama

Love and Locks, Koln Bridge

The Bridge heavy of Love

 Thursday March 17:  Word of the day is: Schwestern, which is plural for Sister; because everytime I hear it, I think of Western, and want to get out a gunslinger belt and stand alongside with Clint Eastwood...Rawhide!!

Today was very crappy weather outside; wet and cold so I was in for an inside day, so I just did homework, translating of words, and so on. But I did forget to add, later on Wednesday (since I was too preoccupied on writing what I had done earlier that day), as I was making some dinner, one of my house mates, A really polite Chinese,  asked me if I wanted to go watch the nationals in Football (soccer).  So of course I said yes. But I thought he meant we were going to an actual stadium, so when we got to Bonn, I was a little confused, because we sat and watched it in this sports place with all these TVs, playing two different games (like a sports bar, but no beer, just vending machines, TVs and Chairs).  The two games were, Real Madrid vs. Lyon (won 3:0), and Chelsea vs. Copenhagen (0:0).  It was neat just to watching the game, but made me miss actually playing!

Friday March 18: Word of the day is: Teppich, which is carpet, and because it made me think of the song Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf, then of Aladdin and how much I want to watch it again.

Today was another cold and wet day L So I was in for another inside day. I was considering going to another museum, but I considered to spread it out to another day and to save my money.  I was trying to meet up with a friend living not too far from here (she lived with us on the farm for summer to ride our horses) and to go see Equitanna  Horse show in  Essen, but unfortunately the last day is Sunday and that won’t be possible to make, so thats unfortunate, because it would have been awesome to actually attend. I watched Night at the Roxbury and believe it or not, I enjoyed it!

Schloss Augustusberg with friends

Travel through Time

Saturday March 19:  I met a classmate and her daughter in Bonn in the morning and we took the train to Brühl to visit The Schloss Augustusburg, which is listed as a UNESCO cultural World Heritage Site. I had gone and taken the tour already previously 4 years before, but it seemed more beautiful than before! It was built at the beginning of the 18th century by the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, Clemens August of Bavaria (1700–1761). Every room is so wondrously furnished and decorated it leaves in you in complete awe. Every room has murals and painting of people and scenes. The person it was made for loved hunting, especially falconry, so some rooms have that theme. We were not allowed to take pictures inside so that is of course very unfortunate. After the tour, we walked to the Bruhl Centrum and stopped for lunch. We parted as I was moving on to Koln to visit Julia. She met me at the station and as we were leaving, I was very interested to see a protest march by about the Energy issue (ie: Japan). We went on the other side of the Rhein in Koln and went up this really tall building called the Panarama, where you go to the top and sight see. It was awesome being able to see so far around. You could even see Drachenfels and The Post Tower by my school. I had been to the top of the Koln Dom four years back, so it was nice to see the Dom itself from up top. After that, we walked across the Koln bridge and there was a very intriguing sight. Along the whole bridge are thousands of locks. Each one is unique with couples’ names and messages on them. People do this, to profess their love, lock the lock onto the railing then throw the key into the Rhein. Some are simple while others are wonderfully decorated, small or very big. We walked along the Rhein which was very nice because all the people were out, including kids doing tricks with Roller Blades and soon to be brides trying to give out gifts to the people on the streets (a German tradition apparently).  Julia asked if I liked Sushi; hell yes I do!  So we met her co-worker at this lovely all-you-can eat sushi restaurant! MMMMM! She took me to a cool place called the Underground, she used to hang out and excitingly, there was a sort of battle of the bands going on, so we got to see some live performances! 

Sunday March 20:  I came back in good time from Koln because I wanted to hit the Flea Market in Bad Godesberg! And boy was it heaven! I was in awe! It’s endless, and apparently this is one of the smallest ones (they’re starting every month now). The stands were endless, with so many antiques and treasures; old clocks, china, tin boxes, cloths, shoes, jewellery, books etc! It was actually a huge tease because there were so many wonderful antiques I would have loved to bought but of course do not have the money and room to buy. But I did buy some records; Eric Burdon: Fire Dept., Santana: Moonflower, Steve Miller Band: Fly Like An Eagle, Pink Floyd: The Wall, and this sweet lookin’ yellow vinyl called DJ Pascal Dolle. But then I was in for a huge surprise! I biked over to Elke’s and I run into her neighbour and I mention that I had just bought some records. Well she says she has a bunch that she has no use for and asks if I would like them! So I come over, and what a collection and she gives them all to me! So I’ve just inherited 80 records, and good ones to!!! We’ve got: lots of Joe Cocker, Stevie Wonder, haa both Pink Floyd The Wall and Wish You Were Here, a bunch of Supertramp, a whole lotta Yes, Genesis, The Police, Fleetwood Mac, T-Rex, Electric Light Orchestra, Deep Purple, Cat Stevens, Leonard Cohan, the list and the beat goes on! The issue now is well transportation back to home....well thankfully I have the ability with the Wolters because they go back and forth to Canada and Germany so hopefully we can work something out :P I’m gonna have to have a specific room dedicated to my collection for sure now!
Monday March 21: Word(s) of the day are: Flohmarkt und kaufen, which mean Flea Market and to buy, words which we covered and dedicated to the previous day.

Today was a nice sunny day again! I love it when the sun beats down it feels like its burning your jeans! I decided to spend the afternoon outside in the back yard at the house doing homework then after did some grocery shopping. Sweet a head of lettuce lasted me like two weeks even though I was using it like every day with a meal! So far, I’ve been surprised; I come out with a heavy bag full for like $10, seems definitely reasonable.

Artwork is Everything

Thursday, 17 March 2011

A Mouth Full!

Up on The Drachenfels

Top of  Drachenschloss

Sunday March 13: Today, I went to Konigwinter and I invited two to the guys from the house to come. We took the train across the Rhein and stopped at the Konigwinter station and walked in the direction. Once we got to the base of the Drachenfels mountain, we decided whether to use the little train or to walk up it, but I made the decision that we would walk it, and yes it was long and steep. After about an hour, we arrived at the top, and ohh it’s a beautiful sight. (Oh, forgot to mention, I have already been there, but 4 years ago). First, there’s the Schloss Drachenburg and the tour into it was amazing, with so many rich colours, carvings and riches. It’s known for occurring theme of dragons and hunting (ie: deer). It also has everywhere wonderful murals on the walls and ceiling. We climbed to the top using very winding, steep stairs and looked out. At the top are the Drachenfels Medieval Ruins which is also an incredible lookout. Once walking all the way back down, we were really hungry so stopped for a phenomenal Doner (Turkish wrap). MMMMMM! Excellent!  
Tree Hugger (to the same tree 4 years ago)

Monday March 14: Unfortunately it’s humid/rainy.  After school, I went did my homework then went over to visit with Elke and her friend. During that time, I went out and bought groceries and schemed where I was going to put all of it for my bike home (I managed to fit all the delicates in my backpack and the rest in the bike basket). We had a lovely dinner and I biked home. My heart goes out to everyone being affected by the Japan disaster, for everything: the earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear fear. God, It makes you feel so damn lucky to live where we live, to see how much power and devastation mother nature can cause!
Tuesday March 15: The morning started out humid again which was not nice, and I get to school (by bike of course) only to be very confused because there were no cars in the driveway. I look at my watch and I’m an hour early! I must be really confused with home time and here time (I’m using my blackberry as an alarm but it’s still on home time). Though, it was beneficial, because one classmate from the UK came early(because she had just dropped off her kids) so we went across the street and had a coffee. I noticed during class that it seemed to be getting hotter and hotter (I don’t think anyone else was effected, because no one else seemed to be bothered...guess its that Canadian blood, not used to heat). Well when I stepped outside, I couldn’t believe it, it was REALLY warm! I was overjoyed; I could bike around in a Tshirt. Everyone else thought me crazy for having bare arms, but I found out it was a crazy 20 degrees and sunny! I started to panic though, because as I had not really planned anything for the day, I felt terrible wasting the day away, and I seemed it to be a waste to be indoors, so I decided to go for a roundabout bike ride; and a circle at that so I wouldn’t lose any positivity. So (possibly looking at a map to understand) I stayed on the lovely bike path all along the Rhein, crossed the bridge to the other side of the Rhein  till I got to the next bridge from Beuel to city Bonn and then back down the path to home again.
Wednesday, March 16: Word of the day is: Hell, which in German actually means Bright which for us English speakers, is the very when having to say it, it is uncomforting!

Today we had a little test, but nothing big. We learned words for things inside a house (ie: Abeitzimmer (workroom), der Herd (stove), der kuhlschrank (fridge) ) After class, I biked over to the Kunst Museum which is right near the school and bought my ticket to go see The Flying Eyes and Beth Hart at Harmonie on the 24th and then went  to see the Napoleon Bonaparte exhibit, which was called Napoleon and Europe: Dream and Trauma. It had everything about him, gathered from all around Europe!  It fully portrayed both the positive and negative effects of Napoleon’s power in politics, war, propaganda, art theft, administration and cultural prosperity across Europe.  The exhibit was lush with many artefacts including the stunning artwork of him, his family, and the rest of the Napoleonic Era. There were many statues, his Emperor robes, his famous hat and jacket, artefacts from St. Helena (where he was exiled  and there died), locks of his hair, his golden crown wreath, breast plates, tools for amputations (during battle), the Napoleonic Code books themselves, blueprints for roadways and bridges, papers and artefacts of  his metric system, his spyglass, the many propaganda drawing from around Europe mocking Napoleon,  his death mask and of his only true son (who only outlives him by 11 years), the many of his symbolic banners and medals, and even the scripts of Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made (he wanted to make a movie about him but it never worked out....that was very intruiging).  

Another artefact, I was very interested in was the original music scripts of Beethoven’s 3rd (Eroica) Symphony, which was originally called “Bonaparte Symphony” in dedication of Napoleon and his sweeping military campaigns across the continent. But when Napoleon crowned himself Emperor in 1804, it outraged Beethoven calling him a tyrant for doing so. Thus Beethoven, as you can still visually see, how he vigorously scratched out the title, in his obvious anger. I found that most interesting to see (to actually see in front of me, the results of Beethoven’s anger of the impact Napoleon had on this famous composer).  Another thing I learned that I did not know before was the mass transportation Napoleon ordered of entire art and cultural collections and libraries all over Europe to Paris to be the European Mecca of the arts and sciences. He found this incredibly important to him, and had everything carefully and precisely documented, and then allowed to the public to come and view.
 He was truly an intriguing man  who left a great legacy: who as a boy, excelled faster than anyone at 16,quickly climbed up the ranks (became captain in 1792), stunned the world, for winning so many battles and taking over so much land so quickly, with brilliant battle tactic, (including being known for their quickness and known as a man who stressed for simplicity and tactfulness, even as a commander in world campaigns),  installed himself as First Consol in 1799 at 30, crowned himself Emperor at 35, in 1804 (all of this without real force or anger from the French people), and then exiled in 1815 after losing the Battle of Waterloo, then dying in 1821 (born in 1769 in Corsica). That’s just 16 years and to have gained so much in such a short time!  He had also done this by securing his family as leaders around Europe; managing his conquest of Europe like a family business............pheww! Just thought I’d get that out of there....sorry if I bored anyone. Learn Lots!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Keep Your Sunny Side UP!

Bonn Centrum
Wednesday March 9: Bike ride to school was good; again there were the rowers on the river. Class was good of course. After I went over to Elke’s for lunch/super, then biked back to apartment, which it was raining. Internet connection really sucks here.

Thursday  March 10: There was a little test today but no biggie. After I mailed a parcel, and then decided to head to Bonn with three Korean classmates as they were heading homewards. We stopped for lunch and I cannot believe I’d be actually saying this, but we went to Pizza Hut, but they had never heard of the place, so I just went with it. After, we parted and I went my separate way and did a little shopping and looking around. Now this is a shopping haven. I caught the train back then biked over to Elke’s and she invited me for a lovely dinner and she had my all time favourite dessert Rote Grutze, which a friend of the family used to always make when I came over.

Friday March 11: School was of coarse good. On break, a couple of us got a coffee and looked at a German information book and talked about where we would be interested to visit. After, I went back to my apartment and then after biked to Elke’s to drop something off. Then I biked back because one of my apartment mates, had invited me have some of his Chinese chicken. Ohh, that was good! During that time, I showed them my pictures of home until I wanted to go back and watch a movie. I watched The Boondock Saints, and that was incredibly good, surprising I don’t like movies with pointless gunfighting etc.
Rolandsbogan ruin

Saturday March 12:  I managed to sleep in a little bit, but my body is trained to get up early now. But then I biked to Elke’s for breakfast, and after that her and I started our

Kaa; Arp Museum
 wonderful bike ride along the Rhein, to  Bad Honnef-Rhondorf. There were so many wonderful, old buildings and the weather is so wonderful today; almost 20 degrees! We even passed the Rheinhotel, which Elke told me, that Hitler used to go there. Once in Rhondorf (which took about  an hour biking), we stopped at the Arp Museum. We will be going back later in a couple of weeks, though because a Claude Monet exhibit will be there. The little bit of the Museum I did see was incredible and there was a lot of really wonderful modern style art. After that, we walked up a very steep and old cobblestone path through a vine-wrapped forrest to the Rolandsbogan ruin, which is the last remnants of a Medieval Castles, with the last of what remains is a stone archway. We stopped for a Fanta and cappuccino and headed back. For 18:00 I met Elke’s friend Susanna at her apartment, because she said she would go with me to this 60’s United concert in Endinich at the Harmonie (where Elke had gone for a bite to eat one other night.) This place I see now, is absolutely wonderful and they have many different people play there, for such a small place. I couldn’t believe it when I saw Dana Fuchs’ picture (See picture) signed on the wall! (For those who do not know, she plays Prudence in Across the Universe, the women with the phenomenal voice). Lots of folks were dressed up for the occasion, but I was definitely the youngest one there. We made sure we went early to check out the “Hippy Market” and there I am so happy to announce, bought Janis Joplin, Pearl vinyl album! The band was all from the Bonn area, but they played all the classics, and man, they did an outstanding job!! Outstanding! They played the numbers so perfectly including: Roll Over Beethoven, Hey Jude, With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker version), Hey Joe, Black Magic Woman, Wild Thing, You Really Got Me, My Generation. The whole band was incredible, well, they were playing Santanna and Jimi Hendrix perfectly. There commentating of coarse I couldn’t understand but that didn’t really matter, it was the music that was important. It was just so wonderful hearing all these outstanding songs live and played by really talented musicians! PEACE 
Sixties United, The Harmonie

Dana Fuchs

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

New Places

Parade in Bad Godesberg

Karneval Parade

Mmm...Kartoffeln Pancakes

King and Queen of Karneval; Bad Godesberg
Saturday March 5: Today feels gloomy outside, it is overcast and foggy, so I’ve been cleaning and repacking, and unfortunately the internet is down. I decided to make this a down day so I re-watched Taking Woodstock and then Elke arrived back at around 6pm. We had a lovely dinner with great Oldies playing in the background, and after watched James Bond’s Goldfinger in German.
Sunday March 6: Today was a Karneval Parade in Bad Godesberg, so Elke and I went there for 1pm. Boy was it incredible! It was so much more enjoyable then the previous one I had gone to in Beuel (which is supposed to be bigger and better). First of all, I was able to see it perfectly due to the fact that the surrounding area is smaller and it was more evened out with people. As well, this was more family based and so you were able to watch all the incredible time and effort put into these parades.  The floats, the costumes, and the marching bands were incredible (and the amount of Candy handed out). There was just so much spirit and happiness and everyone was so into the occasion. In particular, I got excited to see was, how they paraded the new Karneval King and Queen, and each sounding areas would have their own specific theme and colour (for example: Freisdorf was white and blue), and I was excited to see Worms as an area included (if you don’t understand, look into Martin Luther and the Edict of Worms). We stopped to eat a potato pancake with apple sauce on top (mmmmmm! My dad loves em’). On our walk back, it was amusing because we had caught up with the parade and so for the rest of our walk we were walking behind one float (because the streets were so narrow), so we were kind of part of the parade. After we got back, and had some tea and I talked to my parents and how the Eric Burdon and the Animals concert went (which had been incredible to watch him still perform so well), Elke and I headed to Koln to meet with Julia, since I would stay for Karneval Rosenmontag. Ohh, we went to this incredible Italian restaurant with Julia and her incredible apartment neighbours; it was so perfect and delicious (the dough for the bread was so sweet). I had this incredible Spinach and Gnocchi dish.  

Krazies in Koln
Monday March 7 (Rosenmontag): Since Julia had to work, Nadine (Julia’s flat mate) and her neighbours took me to the parade in Koln (Karneval is most celebrated and popular). Nadine was dressed like a lovely elf, which included the ears, and the neighbours as Super Mario and a Top Gun pilot. The amount of people watching was massive and seeing the parade itself was pretty much impossible, but it was a nice day and there were a lot of costumes to look at. There were so many wonderful ones, but one in particular I was fascinated by; one guy had dressed up as Alex in his Droog outfit from A Clockwork Orange. After the parade, we went and visited Julia at the pub she was working at, which was celebrating Karneval, so everyone in there was all dressed up and they played only traditional German (Koln) Karneval songs. This in itself was very culturally knowledgeable for me as my friends would translate what the songs were about and why all the people around me were singing so proudly. What I learned, is that in particular, Koln is a very happy and inclusive city and they are proud of it. They have a lot of pride in who they are and look for the best in life.  For me it was very interesting as a foreigner (and as I like to watch and analyze) to see how the people behave and what cultures and traditions they enclose. 
What a Droog

Rosenmontag with great friends

Tuesday March 8: Today, since I was in Koln, I had to get up early to return home to Bonn with the Train. I was perfectly on time for class. There was a new teacher today, and he more or less, shocked us all. He is very expressive and boisterous and made everyone laugh even though we would not always understand what he was saying. After school, I headed to my new apartment in the Rungsdorf area (Elke is in the Freisdorf area), since I had moved my bags over Sunday morning.  After buying groceries, unpacking and actually being able to hang my cloth up out of luggage bags, I pre-biked to school to time how long it will take me. It is a further distance away from school but my time is wonderfully cut short because I am able to bike all along the Rhein on beautiful trails, and only taking me 20 minutes to bike. Here, people are jogging, biking, roller skating, rowing in teams on the river, and even having picnics at the shore. There are also so many old, beautiful buildings and structures, huge old trees and perfect green; all looking across the River.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Karneval and Such


Beuel Parade

Tuesday March 1:  Class was good again today; we are learning different noun and verb tenses like ich komme, Sie kommen, du schreibt, and so on, as well as going to square on pronouncing the alphabet. One thing that bothered me though is the word, entschuldigung, which means, sorry/exuse me....why do they have to make things so difficult...sorry is like one of my most frequent used doesn’t even flow when you need to use it....
 Even though I have a train/bus pass, I much more prefer biking because I suppose no matter how unsure of where I’m going I can always stop and look at the map and scenery. Plus, learning transportation routes and stops are not my strong point and having to ask a bunch of questions.  After class, I decided to bike the Bad Godesberg route and to try another road and see what I could find without panicking and getting lost. Well I tried one road, and then I was astounded to find something deliciously familiar; The Haribo Candy Factory Shop, and that’s all it is; isles and isles of candy! So I chose a couple bags, which only amounted to a cheap 1.38 Euro! After that, I went back the way I came and parked the bike at Bad Godesberg square again, and strolled  around, stopping in such stores such as a gorgeous and rich fabric store. I found a nice looking antique store and went in and well didn’t come out for almost an hour. It’s amazing how addicting looking through records are, I just can’t stop because you’re worried you’re going to miss the good one, and I did find some, but you  cannot buy them all....:( The man was very nice and I know he gave them to me cheap. After making some dinner, I am going to re-watch the grooviest musical ever, Hair! since I was delighted  to find the vinyl soundtrack.
Wednesday March 2: School has been good. Since this is my first time actually being able to learn a 2nd language, this is all new for me, so it is funny “relearning” verb tenses and the alphabet all over again. After class, I went and saw the potential room I would be renting at the school, then a few of my classmates took me to the other possible room in another place owned by an elderly woman. I have chosen this and will move in on Sunday. It will be 300 euro per month. After a break back, I decided to go for a bike ride again. In hopes of getting to the Endinich area, but only made it to the Poppledorf when I decided to turn back because I did not want it to get to late. (I know I was very close to a castle, so it was a bummer turning back.
Thursday March 3: Happy Weiberfastnacht! An important day for Karneval! Met early in the morning at the school, got face painted then walked altogether to the River Rhein to take a ferry to Beulel where we would watch the parade taking place. Oh, the many different costumes are so incredible! It is so neat just to see both the young and old dress up in costume and to get tonnes of candy just thrown at you! There were many marching bands, and all different sorts of costumes. The Karneval season actually begins in November but it is not really until the first two weeks of March, do the celebrations start such as today, where one tradition is where the women are able to cut off the ties of any man they see with one. Karneval itself though, is only really celebrated in the Western part of Germany, which consists of many parades, parties and entertainment for the Germans in their surrounding area. For me, it was more people watching with the other students from my school. After the parade had finished, myself and two other Korean friends walked back across the bridge back to Bonn and stopped for lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Then, walked to the Haupenhauf train station because they wanted to go back home. I came back to IFS with them, but realising home quick and easy it was to get back to Bonn I decided to go back myself, since it was such a nice day and it would be a waste of a day to go back to the apartment. So, not really sure where to go, I just stopped and waited in line to this one pub, where I befriended the man in front of me. (He was actually at a time, a German soldier, and had actually come to Canada for a bit at the time). This pub was very crowded and you could not move but it was amusing watching all the older German celebrate while listening to traditional German folk music. One other good thing was I never had to pay for any beer myself; they all bought it for me. Everyone was very warm and welcoming.
Friday March 4: School was good as usual. CJ, the girl my age was not here today because of some music practice in Aachen. After school and stopping at the apartment, I went for my daily bike ride, this time down this park area all along the  Rhein then circling back home. After looking at the paper trying to decide if I should find a place which was having a parade for Saturday, (which for all this feels like a wild goose chase for me as a foreigner since I do not know where to look), I watched this great movie  Charade  with Aubrey Hepburn. It was very good; witty, as her and others race to find this missing money of her late husband, who wanted by the CIA, as she threatened to be murdered like her husband, and so, can trust no one.