I’ve been in a strange town for the last five months: Munich. I liked it here. I had the possibility to work around many awesome people. This city is much bigger than Bamberg. It sometimes felt too big, but most of the times I was just happy wandering through unknown streets. Right now, I am in a plane across the Atlantic.
I’ve been in a strange town for the last five months: Ithaca. I did not only work with many awesome people, I also lived with wonderful people that I can proudly call my friends. This city is almost the same size as Bamberg. It sometimes felt much smaller, and it sometimes felt much bigger. Right now, I am in a plane across the Atlantic.
I have prepared this trip for a long time. Not only did I apply and manage to get into graduate school, I also had to find a house, book a plane ticket, and say goodbye to most of my friends. It was rough, but also exciting. I am not sure if I feel prepared what is ahead of me.
The last months were different from most of what I had expected. People were much nicer than I thought. The classes were easier but the research consumed much more time. There was almost no time to travel, but still I have seen so much. I have so many things to tell as soon as I get home.
Toronto airport is almost empty. Going through customs went faster than I thought, so I spend most of my time just wandering around. There is the music in my ears that I picked out with a friend before I left. It is the only connection I have to Germany right now.I am tried but too excited to be remotely asleep. All that is between me and my new life is a quick plane ride to Syracuse. I am almost there. America here I come.
I did not sleep much in the plane although I wanted to. It is not only excitement but also the jet lag that kept me awake. In a few hours I will land and see my family again. My new life is still there, I am just leaving it for my bit to share it with my old friends. Germany here I come.
One of the people in my cohort told me nightime is the best time to work. In fact, I feel a lot more productive in the nights or on the weekends. There is almost no distraction and the empty hallways feel magical.
Ithaca is the annual host of the Rutabaga Curling world championship. Of course, nobody knows of this wonderful sport outside the Tompkins area. It is interesting to watch because each rutabaga has its own special shape. So you never know how the root vegetable will move when you throw it.
The event took place at the farmers’ market. Of course, we couldn’t go there without having the famous breakfast burrito from Solaz.
Who could imagine there could be even more snow? But this one day we had over 10 inches of snow in just a few hours. This is probably more than we have all winter in Germany.
I am still enjoying the cold weather
The Saturday on Thanksgiving weekend we decided to walk to Farmer’s market again. i had not been there in a while and it is nice to explore the city again now that the seasons have changed it so much.
It is amazing how places can transform in the Fall. Walking to farmers market in the cold is rough, but the awesome breakfast burrito and the view on a half-frozen Cayuga lake is worth it.
ThanksgivingFriendsgiving was on a lovely and super cold day. When I looked out of the house there was just so much snow. The impressive thing was that it pushed down the branches of all the trees, so our garden looked completely different.
For lunch we went to Salvation Army to help feed the less fortunate. The absurd thing about the American society is that there are actually people that cannot afford to cook dinner for their family. There is almost no social security. Even worse, most people only volunteer on Thanksgiving. In fact, there were more volunteers than people in need.
In the evening we went to the house of one of our housemate’s friends. The dinner was completely vegetarian and it was the best (and most) I have eaten in a long time.\
It still new. It is still sunny. And it is still kind of warm.
We all love the first snow. Let’s see how I feel about it in a few weeks.
(Both pictures are taken from my house.)
Every year, my co-op (I will post about what cooperative housing is another time) hosts a Halloween party. It was new experience for me, not only because I have never attended a big American Halloween party in my life, but also because it was amazing to see how the house transferred into a dance floor.
Of course, it left a huge mess in the house. Then again, this was a reason to finally do a proper cleaning of the first floor. I was able to observe that people — even though they were drunk — put there beer cans in the recycle. It seems like alcohol can enforce environmental friendly behavior, but I wasn’t able to collect enough data to confirm this hypothesis.
I attended my first Diwali celebration. Still not really sure what they are celebrate but spending time with all my friends was wonderful.
Also, there was a birthday the same day and we were able to surprise her with a self-made cake. We made the cake the day before. It took several hours but the result was worth it. At first it looked like a giant Oreo, but the cream cheese frosting made it just awesome.
It is one of theses traditions you have never heard of when you come to the states. Basically, Homecoming is an opportunity for alumni to return to their school and celebrate their college days. It is (as many other festivities) also a chance for anybody else to party.
I wasn’t sure if I like it. The fireworks were pretty impressive though. I just wonder how many students could have been funded by the money spent on this.