Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Crimson Curse Complaint

People don’t like to talk about periods. It seems to make some people really uncomfortable. which I think is a little silly, but I suppose I can understand that to a point, but since I’m not a reasonable person, I’m going to talk about it anyway. Now for some woman I get it, there is incredible pain that comes with their periods, and all around they are super uncomfortable, but I just wanted to address the topic of period complaint for a second, and why it kind of annoys me.

I was recently talking to a good friend of mine who was complaining about her period, as woman often do when that time of the month comes around, and she says to me, “I wish I could just make it go away without losing my ability to have children.” That struck a nerve. I don’t get my period very often because I have a condition called PCOS which makes my hormones all out of wack and al sorts of things that really suck. Part of that is that my period hardly ever occurs unless I take my meds and stick to a pretty strict diet. As a result, when I do get it I am usually really excited. I always have woman tell me how lucky I am not to get it that much, and how awful it is to have them every month. And while I absolutely understand that point of view, let me give you another perspective. This is what getting a period means to me:

Getting my period means I can have children. It means that I am not barren, and I can someday have children with a man I love very much. It means that I don’t have to cry myself to sleep worrying that I will never get pregnant. It means I don’t have to look my future husband in the eyes and say I’m sorry my body is broken. So I will take the cramps, and the bloating, and the inconvenience of it all to be able carry a little life around inside of me someday. Every month I don’t have one my heart breaks a little more. Because I want to be a mother and there is every chance it’s going to be a long, expensive, heart breaking process. So please don’t tell me I’m “lucky” not to have one every month. That’s not luck, that’s the true crimson curse.

Now I don’t want it to seem like I’m getting on my soap box and condemning woman for ever complaining about their period, that’s not what I’m trying to do at all. I just want to bring some light to the other side of things. I just want woman to remember that for ever inconvenient week of you life you have, there are going to be a million tiny moment with your children that matter so much more. So go on and grumble about cramps, and eat a whole roll of cookie dough. Just try to remember what it’s all ultimately leading to. And if you don’t want to be a mommy, then this post is irrelevant and you can disregard it as you please. But if you are a mommy, then you know better than I do exactly what I’m trying to say.

Stay strong all you beautiful gals.

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I Miss Living with Other People, and Move #2

Ok, so I admit it, I miss living with other girls. When my friends read this they are sure to laugh because I’m always talking about how much I can’t wait to move out of the dorms and live on my own. But after living alone for almost  month I can tell you it’s not all it’s crake dup to be. I miss being able to just run next door and share a story, or just sit in my wall mate’s room for hours on end talking about nothing. I miss getting ready with my best friend in the mornings, even the grumpy mornings we spent together. Being alone is so…gloomy.

Today I made my second move from my apartment on the West end to an apartment where a family I know lives on the North end. I now currently reside on te bottom bunk of a fifteen year olds room and I couldn’t be happier. Tonight we went shopping and then made pizza and ate lemon ice and watch a movie. It was nice to be back with girl again. I love my God family but sometimes being the only girl gets a little old. I loved just laughing with them while we tried to figure out how to make dinner with nothing but one knife, three bottle openers, and four spoons. I loved having to lie on the floor because they haven’t moved furniture in yet. It just made me miss my girls bak home and yes, even my old, moldy, dorm. Though I don’t envy them classes starting next week. I’m perfectly happy with my semester off from school work. But with that said I’ll be happy to see them all when I get home with stories to tell and new adventures on the horizon.

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The Great Postage Stamp Journey

Germany doesn’t actually have postage stamps. It’s not like America where I can just go to the grocery store and buy a book of stamps…actually it might be exactly like that, but since I speak little to no German it’s not like that at all. They do, however have postage stamp dispensing machines, but they only take Euro coins and they are a dime a dozen in Frankfurt. Unless you know exactly where to look you’re out of luck. I have 15 postcards I need to send at some point, and  I have been trying to find stamps since we got here. Today I finally decided I was going to find some if it killed me, so I set out this afternoon prepared for anything. I first looked up where the closest dispenser was to me. I took the U one stop, walked to the bus stop, took the 35 one stop in the wrong direction, then walked about five minutes to find one going the right direction, then took that 35 five stops. Then I walked to where it should have been, and there was no postage to be found. So I had two options, I could give up and go home and sit in my hot apartment, or I could go across town to where I know I had seen one two weeks ago when we went out for dinner. I decided what the heck? I had nothing better to do anyway. So I hopped on the U and went six stops to the Hauptwache, then one stop to Konstablewache, then three stops to the Hauptbahnhof, where I got on the 16 bus and went five or six stops to where I knew there was a machine right across from the bus stop. I finally found it, and then discovered that I had enough Euro coins to buy exactly six stamps. So I did, and then bought myself a cheap lunch to celebrate my success. Then I took the U back to the Hauptwache, one stop back to Konstablewache, and then the 18 the two stops back to my apartment. In total this adventure took me almost three hours, and all I have to show for it is a full belly and six stamps. Please, no applause.

The one thing that did come out of this day (other than my stamps obviously) is that when I ordered lunch, I managed to get through an entire interaction without having to ask the man to speak in English, or speaking in English myself. Granted, there were times when I didn’t know exactly what he said, but I could infer enough to get through the conversation. It made me feel really great to be honest, to be able to interact, in German with someone. Because here is the thing, when you love to travel, and you love other cultures as much as I do, you want to immerse yourself as deeply as possible in each one you encounter. I don’t want to force Germans to speak English to me just because I’m too lazy or slow to pick up their language. I want to respect their home and try to adapt to it as much as possible.

Honestly I wish my whole life could be like this. Just blogging, and reading, and traveling, and filming. Maybe it will be someday.

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We’re Having a Heat Wave and It’s Moving Day!

I grew up in Northern Colorado where, on a bad day, temperatures can reach the high eighties, and humidity is at about 28%. So when I moved to Tennessee where 75% humidity is normal and 80s is a good day in the summer, I was totally unprepared for how miserable I was going to be. I typically spend my summers in Colorado, if I can simply to avoid the heat. Well this year I moved to Germany instead where, incidentally, they are having a heat wave. This last week we have held at a steady 95-100 with 70% humidity, in a city where 75% of the housing are tiny apartments with no air conditioning. Yesterday as I sat in my God families apartment which is really just one small room, with five of us and one fan, I was thinking about how hot and unhappy I was when, like an angel sent from heaven, our friend knocked on the door and said, “do you want to go swimming?” I have never heard such a wonderful suggestion in my life. so thankfully we got to spend the 100 degree day in the swimming pool. But that night was a different story.I kept hoping to get a breeze through my window the last two nights but what I got was hot air and a sleepless night. Last night, at about 3am, between the singing drunk men outside and the heat, I was wide awake. I dragged myself to the bathroom, filled the tub with cold water and just sat there until I felt tired. I then put on as little clothing as possible, opened both windows in my living room and sprawled out on my couch with the hope of catching some sleep. Thankfully I got a few hours under my belt before I had to wake up for moving day.

We all know moving is a drag, so today I agreed to help a family I am friends with move their things from one apartment to their new one. I don’t know if you have ever tried to move when all you use is public transportation, but let me tell you it’s an adventure. First there is the challenge of actually having enough people to grab various boxes and bags. Then you have to get it all on the train without inconveniencing other passengers. And the truth is, we already get stared at when we are all together speaking english, you better believe we got some looks as a bunch of Americans carrying bizarre things through various train stations and down city streets. But we got it all done in two trips AND I found a bakery with my name on it, AND I finally found a hand fan so I don’t have to die in the heat during my commute, AND I found a fan to plug in by my bed so I can sleep, AND I got sushi for lunch/dinner. So overall it was a very successful day, but I wouldn’t complain if some rain wanted to come our way.

The one thing I do kind of like about having to leave all the windows open is Germany has every color of ladybug you can imagine, and they all fly in the house and crawl around my bedroom which doesn’t bother me one bit. They are supposed to be good luck, and even if they’re not, they are awfully pretty.

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Bucket List

1) Solve a Rubik’s cube

2) Leave a Cute Waiter my Number

3) Sing in a Karaoke Bar

4) Throw Tomatoes at La Tomatina
5) Hang from Toronto’s CN Tower
6) Eat at one of the world’s best restaurants
7) Visit area 51
8) Set foot on all seven continents
9) Go white water rafting
10) Go kayaking
12) Go horse back riding in Swan Valley Montana
13) Hold an event in the sky
14) Stay in the Igloo village
15) Learn to sail
16)Go to Purna Kumbh Mela
17)Take the Route 66 road trip
18) Go to Oktoberfest
19) Get my pilot’s license
20) Learn to surf
21) Raft through the Grand Canyon
22) Be an audience member for the Best Time Ever
23) Take the toboggan run in Grindelwald via Bussalp
24) Visit the Red Woods
25) Float in the REd Sea
26) Visit Isreal
27) Watch the sun set from Oia
28) Go to Poipu Beach
29) Stargaze in Atacama Desert in Chile
30) Learn to Sew
31) Ride a hot air balloon in Cappadocia Turkey
32) Do a wine tour in Napa
33) Make my own Wine
34) Get through the Longleat Hedge Maze
35) Go to Mardi Gras
36) Ride a Gondela in Venice
37) Visit Stone hedge
38) Attend the running of the bulls
39) See the Northern Lights
40) Ride all the roller coasters at Cedar Point
41) Go on an African Safari
42) Bathe in the geothermal lagoons in Iceland
43) Spend the night at Myrtle’s Plantation
44) Stay at the Stanley Hotel
45) Spend New Year;s in Sydney Australia
46) Kiss someone on New Year’s in time square
47) Milk a cow
48) Stand in the crown of the statue of Liberty
49) Go to the top of the Empire state building
50) Ride the Rocky Mountaineer
51) Visit Machu Picchu
52) Tour Neuschwanstein Castle
53) Visit the Colosseum
54) Eat pasta in Italy
55) Visit the Pyramids
56) Walk the Great Wall of China
57) Visit the Taj Mahal
58) Ride an elephant
59) Attend a murder mystery dinner
60) Ride a murder mystery train
61) Swim with dolphins
62) Eat at an under sea restaurant
63) Gamble in Las Vegas
64) Eat bugs
65) Stay in an over water bungalow in Bora Bora
67) Go to LEGOLAND
68) Be a bridesmaid
69) Have English breakfast in a pub in London
70) Kayak in the biolumancent bay of Fajarolo Puerto Rico
71) Ride a cable car in San Fransisco
72) Learn to bartend
73) Go Geocaching
74) Stand atop the Eiffel Tower
75) Swim in Devil’s pool
76) Attend the Gran old Opry
77) Visit Hershey’s Chocolate world
78) Tour the white house
79) Attend a drum circle
80) Attend the Ashville Fringe Festival
81) Go to a blue’s bar in Chicago
82) Go to Cheer’s bar in Boston
83) Attend a Red Sox’s vs. Yankees game
84) Attend a game at Fenway park
85) Visit the Vatican
86) Party at Carnival
87) Buy a round for the whole bar
88) Travel on the Bejing Shanghei high spped railway
89) Climb to the top of the leaning tower of Pisa
90) Do a polar bear plunge
91) Celebrate St’ Patricks day in Dublin
92) Take helicopter ride over Kauai
93) Take a submarine tour in Waikiki
94) Visit Pearl Harbor
95) Visit the Ann Frank House
96) Swim in the world’s largets swimming pool in Chile
97) Stay in the Ice Hotel in Sweden
98) Hold a Koala
99) Visit the Lourve
100) Tour Buckingham Palace
101) Attend a show at the Sydney Opera house
102) Go to Texas Sandfest
103) Go to the Breckenridge ice sculpture competition
104) Go to Frankfurt at Christmas time
105) Attend burning man
106) Go to Bonaroo
107) Visit a WWII concentration camp
108) Hike the Appalachian trail
109) Go to Hagia Sophia
110) See Petra
111) Visit Red Square in Russia
112) Visit Easter Island
113) Go to the airport and take the next random flight
114) Go to the Yoga Farm in Costa Rica
115) Take an Amazon Forest expedition
116) Zipline Costa Rica
117) Go to the sloth sanctuary
119) All aboard the Allure of the Sea
120) Fly a kite at Cervia
121) Fly first class
122) Fly first class with Emirates
123) Tour Kiyomizy-dera
124) Visit Tikal
125) Grand Canyon sky walk
126) Put a lock on lover’s bridge in France
127) Eat Croissants in France
128) Saut de Seine
129) Observe from Burj Khalifa
130) Travel the channel tunnel
131) Watch the symphony of lights from the star ferry
132) Attend the Boryeong Mud Festival
133) Play Paint Ball
134) Do aerial yoga
135) take kickboxing
136) Take fencing lessons
137) Visit Versailles
138) Go to the Graham Norton show

139) Go to La Mercia

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God Bless the Apfulwein Mann

I speak German poorly. This is just a fact that I have come to accept. That’s not to say I don’t try, I always try to speak properly and to learn new words, but my retention for languages is just low. Now I talked in my last post about the market that is in Konstablewache square every Thursday. It’s like a giant gathering of food trucks where people sell pastries, flowers, fresh produce, beer, and of course Bratwurst and Rindswurst. There is also a stand that sells Apfulwein or Apple Wine as well as apple juice.

Today, after work, I was wandering the market talking pictures when I decided I would have a glass of apple juice. So I walked over to the little stand and I said “Ein glass Apfulsuft bitte” (My dad always says as longs you can order food in a foreign language, you’re fine) So the man nods, pours the glass, and takes my money. This stand, like many, gives its costumers real glasses, so one has to stand or sit around and drink their drink there so they can return the glass when they are finished. So I set my glass down and went to grab my phone so I could do some reading while I drank. Well the man who had sold me the juice started talking to me and smiling and obviously I have no idea what he is saying. The only word I got was glass.

So I ask him:”Sprechen Sie Englisch

To which he replies: “English? Nein.”

So right away we are at an impasse. I don’t speak German and he doesn’t speak English.

In the spirit of full disclosure I told him: “Ich Sprechen Dutch Nit”

Which by the way is not the right way to say that. I don’t even speak german well enough to say I can’t speak German. The proper sentence is Ich Sprechen kein Dutch, but of course I couldn’t remember that at the time. So he just laughs and the other man who worked with him selling, (and drinking, welcome to Germany) Apfulwein begins to speak to him. I’m not sure what they said exactly, but from what I could make out the second man was asking the first man what we were talking about, and the first man informed the second that I spoke english. So this turns into another conversation.

“Du Sprechen englisch?”


“Spechen dutsch?”

“Nein. Ich sprechen englisch, unt Ich sprechen Dutsch…nit?”

To this he laughed and made the little bit sign with his thumb and pointer finger. gLad that one is universal in Germany. I nodded and he laughed again. And then he told the biggest lie he may tell all week;

Sie sprechen gut!”

Which means you speak good. We have already determined that I do not speak German well and here this man is complimenting me on the three or four words I do know. We laughed and smiled and I moved on. So God bless the little Apfulwein man for being kind to me and trying to make me feel better. I also encountered, at the market, several different groups of Americans which was really bizarre. You know you’re growing accustomed to living in a foreign country when your own language sounds foreign to you. I’m so used to hearing people speak in Arabic or German, that to hear Americans speaking English was actually kind of shocking.

One more quick story and I’ll call it quits. Yesterday I went with my friends to Liebeighaus which used to be the villa of Baron von Liebeig, but is now a museum with art, mostly sculptures, ranging from Ancient Egypt, to the Middle ages. They had some truly beautiful works, including two alter models, and some beautiful Baroque pieces. It was only 20 Euro for five of us which is really quite good. It is a beautiful house with lovely gardens and very nice staff. I would definitely recommend it as a little museum in the river museum district.

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A Romantic Interlude

There are a lot of people writing about the romance of Paris, and London, and Rome, but there are few people writing about the romance of Frankfurt, Germany, so if you’ll allow me, I would like to take a moment and step into that gap.

Frankfurt is a big city with all the charms of a small village. Life starts at 6am, when I can hear the bicycles and cars rushing past my window. Which I leave open because it is August and heat rises, so you can imagine, being four stories up, that I am kept nice and warm in the heat wave they call summer. The commuters of Frankfurt start the day, probably with a pastry, which can be found in any of the hundreds of bakeries on every corner, definitely with a cup of coffee, and perhaps even with a beer depending on how seriously they live by the, “5 o’clock somewhere” rule. The buses begin to fill with people on their way to work, or school, or just to run errands. Perhaps they are off to the market in Konstablewache square that brings fresh produce, flowers, and Bratwurst each Thursday. Perhaps they are going to the river to stroll by the water, or sit with a friend and talk in the cool of the early morning.

As the day progresses, and the sun gets higher in the sky, hundreds of people walk the streets, or ride down them in search of french fries, or curry, or more bread which seems to be a main staple here. They may take a stroll along the lock bridge where hundreds of locks with the names of hundreds of lovers are hanging from it’s metal siding. Or they may take their lunch to the old part of town and eat surrounded by buildings that could only be found in fairytales of old, inhabited by child eating witches, and little pigs.They pass the fountain with the lions heads, and the statue of David atop the severed limbs of Goliath. They meet each other, (one is always running into people they know on the streets of Frankfurt) and they stop to chat, seemly forgetting where they were headed in the first place, as if they had always full intended to meet this person and have this conversation.

After a long day the people pile back into the trains on their way back to their families. Or to Friedburger Platz where on Friday people gather with their friends, beers, and cigarettes, to sit, stand, and lean until someone finally says enough and goes home. Or maybe to the street lined with cafes filled with people drinking wine, where on the corner there is an ice cream shop that people travel from all around the city to eat Mango Sorbet and laugh at some joke I’m, unfortunately, too American to understand. As the sun begins to set, I sit in my windowsill and listen to the bells that ring out and seem to hover on the still, hot air like an angelic chorus. And finally by 10pm the sun has gone to bed and the stars have taken its place. The people have retired tot heir homes and just one or two stragglers wander the streets on their way to their own little flats on their own little streets.

I live with the awareness that I have never been to Paris, or London, or Rome, but that I do live in Frankfurt, if only for a little while, and it seems so wonderful I can’t imagine a place I could possible like better.

I began to feel a bit sad today when I thought of all my friends starting school again without me. And I’ll admit it does hurt a little bit every time I see a post about term starting up in a few weeks. Although it doesn’t hurt as much as the posts from old flames about new girls while I sit alone in my apartment and watch Netflix. And it’s not a real hurt, just a dull ache to think of my life back home and of time gone by. But then, as I began to pity myself I looked around. I realized that I am in Europe, living alone, serving the Kingdom, making new friends and new memories. Why on earth am I thinking about silly things like school starting up and old boes I don’t even have feelings for anymore? If I were there I would be wishing I was here, but I’m here and perfectly happy that I am. So the world can take its fall semesters and new romances and stuff it in a box. I will think about such things when I get home. I will start studying books when I stop studying architecture, history, and language. I will fall in love with a man when I stop falling in love with travel, and new friends, and God’s creation. And it will be a very long time before that happens. In the movie Sabrina one of the repeated lines is, “I found myself in Paris” well perhaps I am going through the process of “finding myself” in Frankfurt, if I believed in such a thing. I am becoming increasingly aware of my own independence, and more importantly of my own ability to thrive in such conditions. I no longer fear the unknown or the terrifying silence of being on my own. I embrace and welcome it as a chance to know myself better.

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