What is Foreign Exchange to Me?

"A year of of my life. My life in a year."

Google Translate (Google Übersetzer)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

P5100143Come on people with American IP addresses! According to my “flag counter” 1,031 different German IP address have visited this blog while only 1,011 (U.S.) American IP address have! The Germans have 20 IP address on you USA! And while this blog is open to everyone, it was originally intended for Californians, so come on Californians, let’s get “Angie’s Odyssey” out there!

Germany has been in the mid to high 60s all weekend (we had a lovely four day weekend), which of course means that I have been putting my one pair of shorts as well as my bikini to good use by going to the ‘kiesteich’ (like a small lake) for a majority of the weekend. We also had my ENTIRE extended family on my host-dad’s side P5100141over for the weekend… it was very fun finding 17 extra ‘beds’ around the house… and it was fun to meet them all. They met a couple of my friends, and we even set up ‘the pool’ in the backyard. Even though my host-mom slept in until 12 the day after they left, it was nice to be around a big extended family again.


Saturday was simply not my day. While my German actually is pretty good, I somehow managed to ask my uncle if he wanted a kiss instead of a pillow, ask a friend if he meant he almost hit me in the balls or another (male) friend, and best of all, instead of shouting out “Woah mushey!” when the ground inP5090106 the lake suddenly became soft, I shouted out “Woah! Vagina!” and clearly got some unwanted attention. As much as I love German, it definitely makes my life ‘the bad type’ of interesting at times… Especially in English class when I have to switch my brain from German-mode to English-mode… that’s never a fun task.

Sunday I went with my family on a weird biking adventure. Only pictures can describe these strange bike…things but P5090137if nothing else I got lots of exercise, yummy ice cream, and I shocked my host family by telling them organic foods DO in fact exist in the USA. Who ever would have thought?!

“Grillen” (or BBQ) in Germany is a big deal because the weather has to be warm enough for someone to be willing tP5100158o stand outside long enough to grill the food, and because the weather was so spectacular this weekend we got the special treat of BBQ both Saturday and Sunday night. Even the newspaper said in the weather section that it was perfect “grillenwetter.” And speaking of the newspaper, there was an article about my exchange and my mini-internship with the police on Thursday. I was looking at train tickets at the train station when someone pulled me to the side and asked if the person in the newspaper was me because we looked so similar. Turns out it actually was me. ^^ (Thank you random stranger for bringing that to my attention.)

angiebeipolizei_dewezet (2)

*For those of you who can read German, clicking on the photo of the article will make it larger*

A friend of mine has postcards all over the wall in her bathroom, and I saw this one and it simply made my day. I just might have to steal it from her next time I go over (or ask her where she got it if nothing else). Winking smile 

Man: “Excuse me Ma’am, one of your breasts is hanging out.”


Oh, and we mustn't forget how lovely my German P5060079friends are. Last Wednesday I went to my best German friend’s house and we made pizza and afterwards I was tired so I took a nap on the couch. Rather then pulling his little sisters away from playing with my hair (amongst other things), he took out my camera and took pictures of them doing it. (Hab dich auch lieb Leo. Smile with tongue out )P5060084

P.S. In Germany, you can get cheep alcohol ANYWHERE. McDonalds and movie theaters included. I think it’s funny how even this ice cream menu has to specify what dishes DON’T have alcohol.


P.P.S. Congratulations to all the Maria Carrillo 2012 graduates! I miss you all!

Friday, May 25, 2012


(I apologize in advance when this postP5040090 is abnormally long, but to be fair, I do have to make up for all the lost writing due to the strike. Winking smile )

So where to begin? Well, with nothing other than the beginning of course! After miraculously getting to the train station before the train left at 5:20 a.m., I realized the ONLY thing I forget to bring was nothing other than my camera P5161023memory card; but no worries, I somehow had the luck of meeting a girl the very morning the tour began (THANKS KENZIE!) who brought an extra 8GB card along with her which she let me use for the trip. Now, how I’m going to choose 10-15 photos out of the 1000+ that I took is a little beyond me…

I had the pleasure of not only making a P5070444new best Canadian friend for life, but a new best Canadian friend who speaks French. She defiantly made France a lot easier to get through, and with the Spanish that I speak, the only country we really had no clue what was going on in, was the Czech Republic.

So some highlights of the trip include watching the gay French performers do awesome flips and then make out in Strassenburg, France, meeting a really cool guy from Libya in Switzerland… not to mention feeling like I was in a postcard the entire time I was in Switzerland and exploring the third biggest caves in the world (also in Switzerland), getting stared at/talked too/checked out by/followed by almost every Italian man who saw Anne and I(-quick story, two guys were eating dinner and even ran outside to continue watching us walk down the street!-), regaining my tan/blonde hair in a matter of two short weeks (my German friends even told me I look a lot tanner and that my hair looks lighter xD), walking to McDonald's numerous times for milkshakes with only slippers, riding in a gondola in Venice, seeing the Schönburn Schloß in Vienna and only being able to think of my amazing 9th and 10th grade history teacher the entire tour –yes Mr. Emery, I clearly mean you!-, and last but probably my favorite memory of all, going to the club in Prague.

Anne: “I’ll have 2 strawberry milkshakes please.”

McDonald’s Employee: “Oh are you on a diet?”

Anne, being the kindhearted Canadian she is, agreed to get my milkshake while I went to the bathroom… the employee there however didn’t seem to see her act of kindness.

Being the strange person I am, I took a picture of every meal on the trip (mainly because it felt like something my mom would do actually) so I’m sure at some point there will be a ‘Special Post’ dedicated to just the food, but until then, there was one special salad that my newfound best Finnish friend Akseli decided not to finish in Italy where it’s considered rude to not finish P5060349your meals because it’s seen as insult to the chef’s cooking. Akseli put the salad bowl in the middle of the table, and not only did the waiters refuse to take it away, but they continued to all give him death stares at every meal for the rest of stay in this particular hotel. The funniest part of the story is it was Anne’s salad to begin with that she gave to Akseli.

Touring Europe with a group of people I met the day the tour began was a little strange, but I wouldn’t have it any other way… I have so many memories and new friends I’ll never forget, and through the whole tour, despite how much fun it was, I couldn’t help but feel more and more thankful that I’m having my exchange year in Germany. Germans may be cold at first and have to knock you onto your feet before they say “Excuse Me,” but that doesn’t change how much I love Germany and how thankful I am to be living in it.

Getting back into the swing of things, especially enough to be motivated to write a blog post(and especially ESPECIALLY after having a five day weekend on top of a two week Europe tour) was a bit harder than I expected,  but words cannot describe how happy I was to be back in Hameln at the end of the tour. I remember sitting on the final train to Hameln, almost squirming with joy that I would soon be back in my little, beloved town seeing my family and friends again. If I was like that after only two weeks, I can only imagine what a year or two away will be like. Red heart

P.S. Look what the post did to my Cheese-It’s!?!? Snapshot_20120522_4

And now, a few of my favorite photos:

And a special congratulations to all of California’s Seniors who are graduating tonight! Sorry I can’t be there with you, guys! Red heart

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


P3071395Seeing as it's a strange week when I DON'T see or a hear about a strike, I figured I'd go "European style" and have a little strike here of my own. That's right, Angie's Odyssey is on STRIKE for the next two weeks. But don't worry, once this strike is over, I promise there are going to be lots of fun pictures from magnificent places such as Switzerland, Italy, France, Austria, and the Czeck Republic. I'm hoping English is widely spoken in these places, because aside from Switzerland where German is also spoken, I'm kinda screwed.

Of course, I originally intended to do a normal post for this week and THEN go on strike, but we all know how 'intentions' don't always work out quite as planned and seeing as I need to be on the train tomorrow at 5:20 a.m., I'm kinda thinking getting some shut eye might be a good idea. However, while I'm here, I'll do a 'quickie' post, then the strike can officially begin.Snapshot_20120502_4

So, the first of May in Germany is Labor Day (so the first of September back in the U.S.) and therefore EVERYTHING is closed, and at least in my beautiful town ofP5010031 Hameln, it’s tradition to get a couple hundred people in the town together and  go ‘wanderen’ with beer in hand until we get to the ‘Kiesteich’ (basically a little lake). I feel like everybody thinks I’ve been lying to them when I tell them I’m from California because I got so badly sunburned while most of my German friends (despite not wearing sunscreen!!) didn't. I’m going to fly back this summer, burn like a crisp, and then melt down into oblivion from the heat.

P4280009I really have to say, I have a serious issue with underwear shopping here in Europe. I don't know if it's a Europe thing, a Germany thing, or simply a Hameln thing but I cannot find 'normal' underwear to save my life. "Normal underwear" being defined as underwear that doesn't make at least half my butt hang out, and what's even more annoying is the less fabric there is, the more expensive the underwear becomes... I really don't understand that. I have nobody to show my underwear too and I generally avoid stripping down in front of people P5010033(well, at least when it can be avoided) and therefore I would honestly be much happier with normal underwear that actually 'covers' so to speak. Not necessarily 'granny-panty' status, just a LITTLE BIT more than nothing. And honestly, even if I did have somebody to eagerly show my underwear too, hopefully 'said guy' would like me for me and not my underwear. Just saying. 

Also this past week seeing as the sun no longer ceases to exist in the beautiful country called Germany, most everyday a group of friends and I have been getting together and sitting on the Wesser P5010058Riverside simply enjoying the sun. It's pretty sad that I can wear short-shorts in 55 degree F weather now and still be too warm, but in California I wouldn't even wear them with 85 degree F weather.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was my rant for the week. Tune in next time to hear all about the Europe Tour and until then, LET THE STRIKE BEGIN!

P.S.Look what I found on the way to a friends house!


Days in Germany