Wednesday, May 21, 2008
One Day at a Time
I'm discovering that habits help keep me going, so I now present you with my latest on-goings and adventures.
Castles do indeed deserve an exclamation mark. This Tuesday I had my first fieldtrip in my castle class (which is exactly what it sounds like). We went to two castles...one in Kallmunz and one in Wolfsegg. This would sound more impressive if they hadn't been more than 10 km from one another and less than 50 km away from Regensburg. We went to Wolfsegg first (which was still pretty much intact), but since I am lazy I let Eric take pictures. The castle had a lot of history, beyond warfare. In the basement they discovered cave paintings and also the remains of prehistoric bears and other animals. It was also home to one of the acclaimed "Weisse Frauen" - which literally means "white women". In other words, it was haunted. There are several versions, but the most popular is that the Lord's wife took on a lover and her discretion left something to be desired...so they both felt the blade. Another version was that she killed her children, but that's somewhat lacking in romanticism.
Wolfsegg was a little bit of a hike, but absolutely NOTHING in comparison to the long, tortuous, switch-back laden route we got to take for Kallmunz. Then we got to go down the easy way. Apparently it would have been stupid to take the easy way up, walk 20 meters down the long/hard route to see the earth wall fortification. Obviously.
At any rate, Kallmunz was more of a ruin, as you can see. It was a lot more gorgeous to walk around in and is, as I unfortunately found out, home to "brennnessel" (hurrah for 3 n's) - or "stinging nettle" as we refer to it in English. Surprisingly, it stung. And then I got a nice little crop of welts for 45 minutes. On the other hand, I did get a rather cute (?) picture of a snail. Better than poison ivy! Which, yes, they do indeed have.
On Sunday Kim (South Korea) made dinner. He warned us it would spicier than we were used to, and said he cooked the food to a level 2. I found it on the very edge of my edible spectrum - a first since Nate's first attempt at making curry (which WAS inedible, by my standards - even after a quarter cup of sour cream!). However, the food was all excellent and a nice change from the ordinary. I made the mistake of asking Kim what level he usually ate at, and he said a 6. The highest level is 10, and apparently the chefs have to wear face masks to prevent bodily harm from accidental inhalations. Yikes.
I certainly seem to be on an exclamation kick, but seem to be doing better with my ellipses. At any rate, I'm sure that almost everyone has heard the "Numa Numa" song - it's the techno hit with the "Wally wah-hee, Wally wah-hi" (phonetically...) introduction. At any rate, we even rode to it in the partner drill team at Special Olympics last year. But to my point. I always assumed the song was nonsense words, until I discovered an article somewhere that explained it was in Romanian. My fixation might of ended there - except for the fact that I now know someone who SPEAKS Romanian! One of girls on my floor, the one who took Russell's spot for this Summer semester is Romanian. Her family won the green card lottery when she was about 8 (so old enough to remember it) and so she's fluent in Romanian and English, and pretty darn good at German. Sure enough, Stefana (yes, there are 2 Steph(f)s on the floor...) was able to tell me all about the song (typical girl-leaves-boy so boy pines poetically through techno music lyrics set-up). If you aren't as excited about this as I was, don't worry, it probably just means you're closer to normal!
For whatever reason, a conversation came up about the Czech Republic and what the Czech word for "hello" is. I knew that it was "Ahoy", because we'd played a game in our Phonetics course first semester. However, various friends (including 2 who were in the class with me) denied having heard that. It was ridiculous (or at least highly ironic) they claimed, that a land-locked country should have helped establish sailor lingo. Tonight though, I happened to be riding the bus home with 2 girls in my theater class who are Czech. So I asked them...and I was right. I knew that the Germans spell Ahoy, "Ahoi" and I wondered how the Czechs spell it. Turns out it's "Ahoj". Makes me glad I'm not learning Czech, as I think I'd fail miserably. Still, one does wonder...land-locked!
At any rate, that's about all I've got right now...I'll be uploading some pictures of Kallmunz shortly to play on the slide show. If you missed the birthday pics - they are accessible through the link I added last time.
Hope all is well,