Having the same first name as the German chancellor while living in Germany and BEING American at the same time sometimes makes me feel like I’m trying to commit social suicide. Luckily enough, I go by my nickname and pronounce it the English way (in German, it would be pronounced Onn-Gaay, so ‘Angela’ is pronounced like On-Gaay-Lah) and have lost my American accent enough when speaking German to where people don’t even assume I’m from the states anymore, but rather England, and after saying certain words, some people even think I’m German. Being associated with Angela Merkel, especially at the beginning of the year, has gotten me into some interesting political conversations that I couldn’t really respond to because I didn’t speak German. To give you an idea of the opinion of the German chancellor, the title of this week’s Time Magazine is “Why Everybody Loves to Hate Angela Merkel: And Why They’re Wrong.”
This past weekend I had my formal going away party/my host-brother’s coming back party/ a ‘lets-get-everyone-we-know-together’ party called ‘Bratwurst und Bier.’ All my extended host-family relatives, three of my host families, my friends, and the Rotarians from my club where there (not to mention some other people as well) and we got to enjoy some of the only sun we’ve seen this summer while eating delicious German food and playing ping-pong. Trust me, it was a lot more fun than it sounds.
Angie: Blegh. I speak German like a teenage boy.
Leo: Well, if I come to California, I’ll speak English like a teenage girl.
My best friend Leo always knows how to make me feel better. Due to the fact that most of my friends are teenage boys, I speak German like one, but at least if Leo ever comes to California and learns English from me, he’ll speak like a teenage girl.
Being an exchange student opens so many doors. From Sunday to Wednesday a friend of mine from Belgium who was an exchange student in my home town in California two years ago came and visited me and stayed with my host-family here in Germany. He doesn’t speak any German, and switching from German to English and then back to German again made me beyond exhausted, I took a two hour nap everyday he was here, but it was still fantastic to see him and to catch up. It’s cool having friends on just about every continent. I always have a place to sleep!
Angie: “Hey Mom! What’s up?”
(Biological) Mom: “Oh hey Deanna, give me a sec, I’m putting some things in Angie’s room.”
Angie: “Mom… it’s not Deanna.”
Mom: “Well then who is it??”
Angie: “Well lets think. Who else calls you Mom?”
I decided to be a ‘good daughter’ and call my mom this week because I have only called her once since coming to Germany (though we have skyped on occasion) and I couldn’t remember the last time I had actually talked to her, but not only did she confuse my voice with her best friend’s, but she couldn’t even guess who it was at first! Maybe I have a sister I didn’t know about…
Tuesday my friend came over and we backed American cookies with my host-family. I somehow got five boys to all cook in peace and harmony together, and to actually look like they were enjoying themselves at the same time. I would give you my secret, but even I don’t know what it is. Even one of them openly admitted that “Men love to cook.” We even got it on video.
Wednesday my host-mom and I took a trip to IKEA. I don’t really know why, but going to IKEA in Europe always seems to be a big deal to people, they wander through the store and afterwards eat the ‘American-style hotdogs.’ There was a special, you could buy one hot dog for €2, or you could get a coke, ice cream and a hot dog for €2. Don’t ask me how that worked out, but nevertheless it was a good deal.
Not only is Germany behind on their music scene, but the music that actually makes it here is generally speaking… quite terribly. A perfect example of this song is the new Carly Rae Jepsen song “Call Me Maybe.”
Now, my friends and I always fight about whose better, Elmo or the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. I have and always will be an Elmo lover, but this next video gave me a soft spot for the cookie monster as well.
I should probably go back upstairs and help my friends, they really have no idea how to prepare and cook a turkey, but until then, have a great week, and everyone who was somehow a part of me becoming an exchange student, thank you very much.