I know this will come as surprise, but I have a confession to make. I've fallen deep, head-over-heels into a shameful addiction. I never thought it'd happen to me. I'm not a gambler, a lush or a pothead. In fact, I barely drink at all, and that's my most mindful bad "habit." It started out slowly. I didn't even like it at first, when I tried it a few years ago. I thought it tasted gross and I didn't mind telling anyone who asked that I didn't like it. I think I can safely blame it on Vasso for establishing my habit - although I should really take the responsibility and not play the blame game. She had cooked us dinner and provided everything for us, and it would've been rude to decline - especially since we were celebrating Niamh and her birthday together. I sat there, looking at it for a while, but managed to choke it all down. I had more than I should have, but I would've felt bad leaving any. However, a seed was planted when I realized "You know, that actually tasted pretty darn good..." A few nights later I was up with Meike (a friend of Christian, who is a German who lives on my floor) and Jake and I was once again offered some. Peer pressure. I just haven't had enough experience dealing with it to say no. I was hooked.
A week later I bought my own stash, and I've had some every day. I had to stop keeping it in my room because it looked at me in such an enticing manner that I knew I was courting temptation. I have some left, but I already wondering if I should buy some more. I mean, it's not all I think about, but whenever I have some, it's in the back of my mind...
Damn you, Nutella...
So a week ago today I went to the Christkindlesmarkt (Christmas Festival) in Nuremberg, which is rumored to be the largest in all of Germany. I'll believe it. We (Eric, Claudia, Carol from France and another friend of Claudia's) walked around for over 5 hours and saw less than half of it! It also got super-crowded in the evening, which was not as enjoyable. It's a bunch of booths with everything from Gluehwein to liebekuchen (sort of like gingerbread and supposedly invented in Nuremberg) to any sort of knickknack you might like. The Crepe stands were a huge hit but they also had live music in the form of alpine horns and a full band in one of the squares. The market is open every day throughout most of December, but since it was the second day it was open when we went (not to mention a Saturday) it was SO full by the time it was dark it was miserable to try to negotiate the crowds. I heard so many people speaking American English. It's kind of funny, but the longer I'm here, the more reluctant I am to engage in conversation with American strangers (unless they need help, of course). I've noticed that a lot of other Americans at the University who have been there for a few years. It's not out of meanness, but I think it just makes you feel like you fit in more - especially if you can get by mostly using German.
So today I had a "Zwischenpruefung" - which is essentially a "midterm". It was for my phonetics course, and it was a partner endeavor. So this morning I found myself jolted awake at an hour I'd lost to sleep for over a month at least now. 8 AM. (I know, I know...it's not that early, and I used to get up at least at 7 at home, but my whole sleeping pattern has drastically changed here). Anyhow, Sara had her test (same class) at 9 and I was at 9:15. Things got off to a rocky start when Sara's partner didn't show up on time, and the teacher didn't know my name and thought I was her partner. After we cleared that up, the teacher decided I could take it with Sara for the grade and then do it again with my partner without a grade. It was pretty easy - only a short conversation about booking a hotel room, and it went really well for both of us I think. Sara's partner showed up in the middle, so it was decided she would test with my partner. However, he never showed up and when I got home and turned on my cell (which is almost dead because Eric has difficulty returning my charger to me promptly...hint hint...) and discovered that he'd sent me a text, begging my forgiveness. Apparently his phone had died and since he used it as an alarm clock he had overslept. I'm not sure what happened to him in the end, but I'm glad that I was able to take the test.
Anyhow, I hope everyone's doing well and I'm counting down the days until Christmas!