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Monday, November 29, 2010


1. Pub Life

We went to a few pubs and a club in Dublin and had the times of our lives.  The drinks, of course, were not the cheapest, but we drank anyway.  I discovered the most wonderful concoction: cider.  The one that I drank was Bulmer's Irish Cider and it was so good, it is basically just carbonated apple cider with some alcohol, very tasty.  This picture was taken at The Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Ireland dating back to the 12th Century. We always encountered fun characters and good stories in the pubs and had a great time.  We also had some great Irish food.  The girl in this picture is Raquel.  She was in my Freshmen Orientation Club and is studying in Galway this semester so Maria and I went to visit her and she met us and hung out with us while we were in Dublin.

2. The Guinness Brewery

Although I can not find it within myself to drink beer because it always make me sick, this was one of the coolest places I've ever been.  And yes, of course, I drank some Guinness while I was there, what kind of Irishman would I be if I didn't take up that opportunity?  We learned about all of the ingredients and where they all come from in Ireland, that's right almost all of of what they put into Guinness is grown in Ireland.  The only ingredient that is not Irish is the hops that cannot be grown in the Irish climate.  One thing that I found to be VERY interesting was that they have been using the same crop of wheat since the beginning of the company.  They have been taking some of the seeds from the line and saving them and replanting from there.  If anything should ever happen to that strain of seeds, the president of the company has an emergency back-up of wheat in the safe in his office.  Interesting, right?  We also saw all of the cool advertisements from throughout their history, and it was fun to see how those evolved.  We then went to the top of the building and were able to look out over Dublin.  Unlike Cologne, Dublin was wonderful to look out on.  The Liffey was clearly visible as was the Dublin Spire (the artwork that my friends from Ireland call the most worthless thing they've ever seen)  It was a really great way to end the tour, but we weren't quite done.  We went back down  a few levels and were able to pour our own "perfect" Guinness.  I poured mine and, yes, had a few sips of it.  I just can't  keep it down.  I have to say, it was fun though!

3. The Kilmainham Gaol

Alright people, what is that word?  It's a common enough word that you've all used before.  I encountered it when reading the British version of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". Any Ideas?  It's jail.  That is just one of those words that we have completely changed in the United States!  Interesting, right?  So was this prison.  It was build in the 18th Century and held people from all ages and walks of life.  During the Irish Potato Famine it held a lot of children and adults alike who realized that if they were in prison they would get a ceiling over their heads and food, something they were not able to get on the streets.  There was one story of an eight-year-old girl who had to work doing laundry and in the kitchens for 6 months because she stole a woman's scarf to stay warm during the winter, and she was here all alone the entire time.  However, when the Irish people really started to rebel from the British Empire, the prison had a much more practical use: against revolutionaries.  Many men and women stayed within these walls before they were executed for crimes against the British Crown.  Some of the most famous names in Irish Independence have their names in a plaque above the cell they stayed in before they were killed.  The history of this place was absolutely amazing.

4. The National Leprechaun Museum 

THIS WAS SO COOL!!  We went here just to kill some time before dinner and I think it was one of the coolest places we went.  We learned about how Walt Disney single handedly destroyed the proper image of Leprechauns.  They are supposed to have pointy red hats, for example. We had the coolest tour guide who even took time to tell us a real story of the history of Ireland.  There was a giant who could turn people into stone with his one eye!  A real story of Irish history to be sure. : ) I loved the room that was there where everything was 1/3 times the size of actual furniture, so we were the size of Leprechauns.  It was just so cool. We then made a wish in the wishing well and went through a rainbow to a pot (in Ireland they say "crock") of gold.  If you ever go to Ireland...go here.

5. The Liffey

OK.  It's just a river...but it was so cool seeing it in the morning, night, afternoon, whenever.  I just loved it so much and couldn't stop taking pictures of it.

Dublin was amazing and one of the best places I've visited in my entire life.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Two Years

Today is mine and Braden's two year anniversary.  We have been through so much together and I couldn't be happier.  Regrettably, I am in Italy and he is in Germany right now and we cannot be together.  However, we still love each other very much and I am so grateful to have him in my life.  After all, we did start dating on Thanksgiving in 2008.  He has done nothing but improve my life.  Thank you for everything Braden, I love you.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1!!!!!!!! (A super amazing movie)

This will be my first post with exclusive pictures that are not on Facebook.  I need something special for my loyal readers, right?  Well, unlike all of you lucky people residing in the States this year, we did not have the luxury to go to any theatre at any time and see the original version of Harry Potter 7 in English.  We could have done that if we wanted to see it in German, but that is clearly not the same.  So after much deliberation, we decided to go to Frankfurt am Main to see the premiere of the movie.  When we looked, there was not a midnight showing on Thursday in English, so we decided to just go the day it cam out.  We took a train and left early on Friday morning so that we would not be late.  It takes about 3 hours by train to get there from Jena, so Braden took a little nap.

Our first stop was in Eisenach on the outskirts of Thuringen (the German state that we live in).  It was cheaper for us to buy tickets from there to Frankfurt and it is free for us to travel to Eisenach, so we saved some cash that way.  We had a little bit of a layover, so Yvonne and Braden decided to start the day off right with some Becks beer that it is completely socially acceptable to drink on public transportation, which they promptly did.

We then checked into Frankfurt Hostel right by the Hauptbahnhof.  If you've read my post "Yeah" then you know what went down there that night, but it was not on our mind at this point, we were so excited to see the movie.  We had my new British copy of the seventh book with that I had finished reading the Monday before the premiere.  Reading the book the second time really made me appreciate everything so much more, and I also like to read the book right before I see a movie so I can quickly compare it and know what was missing and what changed.

We took the U-bahn, which is like an innerc-city subway system, to the theatre.  This is Maria and I outside of the English theatre in Frankfurt am Main.  They show movies in their original English versions here, so obviously this was a safe haven for people like us.  That is, Americans.  I was, of course, wearing my Bellatrix Lestrange shirt that I brought with me just for such occasions.

When we got inside, we saw that there was a place to pose for another great movie that is about to come out, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Tredder.  Yvonne and I are both huge fans of the movies and the books, so we wanted out photo taken with this set up.  I'm VERY excited for this movie!!

Once we had our tickets checked, (that I apparently did not need to pre-order because the theatre was not full. I guess I didn't think that it wouldn't be sold out.  I must have forgotten the primary language is not English...huh) we immediately went for the cardboard characters.  The first, naturally, was Hermione.  She has always been mine and Braden's favorite.

Maria's favorite is Ron.

Here is the woman that I love to hate, Bellatrix Lestrange herself.  Her poster reads "Der Jagt Beginnt" which means the hunt begins.

April, always the classic one, posed with our hero, Harry Potter.  His poster, "Es ist Nirgendwo Sicher" would mean "Nowhere is safe"

Finally, Yvonne's love for Snape could not be overlooked.  I love that for this movie he is still a bad guy and therefore has the same text as Voldemort and Bellatrix.  I still don't think I'll ever really like Severus Snape.

We got to our theatre and sat down in our reserved seats (that's one thing that I like about German Cinema) and bought our treats and buckled down for the long haul.  I was very sad a couple of times, but tears fell for Dobby.  I like the change they did with Hedwig dying defending Harry instead of stuck in a cage.  I appreciate how the movie moved VERY fast and if you weren't a die hard fan you probably wouldn't have understood the whole thing.  Stuff like that makes me very happy.  It was a wonderful movie that I very much enjoyed and marveled at how well they followed the book.  I'm so anxious for the last movie to come out, though sadly, I will still be in Germany when it does and will have to make yet another special trip somewhere to see it.  I, however, will not ever be returning to Frankfurt am Main unless I have to after what happened that night in the hostel.  For more information on that, only look a few posts earlier.

Thanks to all my faithful readers, and don't forget to comment with your thoughts, I like knowing I have an audience! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010


1. The First Sight of the Kölner Dom

This church is just absolutely breathtaking.  I can't explain to any of you that haven't seen it how incredibly huge it is.  According to Wikipedia (which is a completely legitimate source in every way) it is one of the top 5 highest churches in the world.  The tallest church is also in Germany, the Ulmer Munster and I will probably be visiting that, too.  But, after having read "Fluch über dem Dom" in German 212 I have wanted to come to this magnificent Cathedral to see what all the fuss was about.  The fuss is right.  You feel so small when standing next to this church in a completely different way than when you're standing by say the Sears Tower or the Empire State Building.  The magnitude is overwhelming.  Braden and I spent a lot of time just standing in front of the church and looking at it.  We walked around the entire building and there was never a moment when it lost its grandeur.  And then we went inside.  This was equally as magnificent.  The stained glass windows were reflecting with the setting sun and there was so much room in there!  There was one stained glass window that I really liked that was  a bunch of squares and the sun was hitting it just so that it made the floor look like a disjointed rainbow.  It was really cool.  We also got a look at the reliquian (relics) in the Church.   Apparently the bones of the three Wise Men are in this church inside a golden structure.  It was pretty far away and looked up for the day, but I could see it and it was cool being able to see something that has been in the possession of the Catholic Church since it began.  Overall, the church was amazing and really big and very tall.  After we had explored the interior and exterior it was time to make the huge climb to the top.

2. Climbing the Steps to the Top of the Kölner Dom.

OK.  I don't really need to say much here except that...OMG.  There were SO many stairs.  It was very hard.  There were also so many people that we were constantly touching someone and constantly moving up.  My legs HURT.  But, we got to the top.  I wish I could say the view was breathtaking, but it was just high.  The city of Cologne is not THAT pretty.  But, the river was pretty and just being at the top of one of the tallest churches in the world was cool, especially when I thought of how each stone was laid by hand well before any modern technology.

3. The Dom at Night

Here is where the magnificence really became apparent.  This monster of a structure dwarfed everything around it and its light can be seen from all over the city.  The church is just wonderful.

4. Breakfast

I know, this is kinda lame as one of the Top 5 Moments, but it was really nice.  We were in a little gay café and we had a great time just sitting and people watching.  I had eggs with some ham in them and Braden had a typisch deutsches breakfast.  It was really a nice way to relax and hang out.  It was here that we decided that Cologne is one of those cities that would be great to live in, but is not the best tourist destination for anything really except for the Dom.  And the Dom is worth coming to Cologne just to see it.  

5. The Roman Museum

In the shadows of the Dom lies a museum dedicated to when the Romans occupied Cologne.  I must say, this part of history was VERY interesting.  The picture below is made of little pebbles and is a mosaic dedicated to Dionysus. They found this completely in tact when they were building bomb raid shelters during World War II.  Imagine digging and finding something so beautiful and old!  They continued to find more objects every time they built a new station for their subway system.  The museum has jewelry, pots, coins and much more.  There was even a well that was built before Jesus Christ that we could touch.  It was a really good way to spend some time while we were waiting for our train.

There were a few other random things we did like take artsy pictures buy the river, and eating some eis by the Alt Stadt (Old City), and even trying to see one of Braden's favorite German artists (but none of her paintings were on display).  However, we ended up hanging out in the Hauptbahnhof waiting patiently for our train.  There is enough to do in Cologne for exactly one day.  Arrive in the morning and leave at night.  It is amazing and beautiful, but there just isn't a ton to see.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


After returning from a night on the town in Frankfurt around 1:30 AM, I went straight to bed.  I slept just fine until about 2:45 AM when I noticed the lights were on and I heard someone digging around in change.  After that I couldn't really get to sleep and I heard that a man was speaking to Yvonne in the bed kiddy corner from mine.  He was speaking a language that none of us would understand, Yvonne tried to speak to him in English and German  to no avail.  He then got up, turned the light off and said, "Schlaf gut (Sleep well)".

Yvonne immediately jumped out of bed and asked where her phone was, and she could not find it.  She went out into the hallway and luckily the man was still standing there.  She asked him in both languages for her phone, but instead he showed her an iPod, Maria's iPod.  He had taken that from right next to her pillow.  Yvonne took that and returned to the man and again asked for her phone, instead he waived MY student ID card in her face.  She grabbed that and returned it to me.  I then was worried and looked through all of my things to see what was missing.  It turns out he had emptied my pockets, that was the noise that we had all heard and assumed that he was just taking off his pants to sleep.  He had also taken my phone.  Thankfully, he did not seem to look through my jacket that had my camera, iPod and wallet in it.  However, Braden's jacket was missing and so was 15 Euro from his wallet.  So, Yvonne went back into the hallway to ask for her phone, but instead was presented with mine, she responded, "This does not belong to you, this does not belong to me," and gave the phone back to me.  Braden then went out into the hallway and saw that his jacket was on the floor next to the man's red plastic bag and grabbed it from the floor.  He returned to the room, threw his jacket on the bed and said that he was so pissed he was shaking.

Braden went down the reception area to ask them to call the police and the man and Yvonne followed him down.  I threw my pants on and followed because I did not want just Braden to have to hold the man if he tried to run.  Thankfully, the man at the desk was capable and fairly level-headed.  He called the police and the man sat at the bar.  Braden and I were guarding the door with our arms crossed looking like proper security guards.  This made the man upset and he became very aggressive.  He started to come up into my face and mocked me with my arms crossed and balled up his fists repeating, "boxing? boxing?"  I am not going to lie, I was terrified and shaking, but I did not let it show.  Yvonne returned from upstairs and immediately got out of the mans, and harms, way and sat in a chair.  The man started yelling and calling someone on his cell phone.  The man at the desk had to grab him and repeat "Tranquillo, tranquillo," and the man seemed to understand that.

And now a description of the man.  He had a swastika on his earlobe and devils horns on his forehead going up into his scalp, he was very much a skin head.  He also kept waiving his Romanian passport.  He was shorter than Braden and I and smaller, but also intimidating.  We still have no idea what he said, at all.

He started to get really angry after about 5 minutes and made for the door to leave.  The reception was on the third floor and he would have to go down three flights to make it out, so he wasn't exactly right at the door out of the building.  But, the worker, myself and Braden all tried to stop him from leaving.  This resulted in Braden getting punched in the face.  He broke through us and started going down the stairs.  The receptionist followed him down the stair and then so did the three of us (Braden, Yvonne and I).  I was closest to him and he started up the stairs a few times when I got too close to him like he was going to attack me, but he never did.  He then got to the exit and the receptionist held the door shut, but the man opened it anyway and went out into the street.

I was right behind him with the receptionist.  Thankfully, there was a police van right outside the door for an entirely unrelated reason (though the police had been called about 10-15 minutes ago).  The receptionist and the Romanian went to the police and the receptionist explained the situation.  The Romanian did something to the policeman (i'm not sure if he pushed him or spit at him), and soon he was in cuffs and led to the police van.  Yvonne and I then went out to tell the police the story.  We had no shoes on and the sidewalk was SO cold!!  We waited by the van and while we were waiting the man spit in the face of the other officer and tried to run away and he got punched in the nose.  He tried to walk away again and got shin kicked and tackled.  When more police came, he tried again to escape and (this is from April's point of view in the room, I think) he was hi-kicked in the chest.

We were waiting to talk to the police and Braden was holding the hostel door open.  People from every window were looking at the scene and the balconies were filled with people.  Of course, none of the other people in the reception helped when the man ran for the door.  However, we were waiting and explaining what was going on and the police officer said we needed to get our IDs.  We went back to room 502 and got our IDs and SHOES!  We filled in Maria and April what was going on and went back down to the police.

Yvonne told them the whole story and he took down all of our information and what was taken and returned. He then told us that Maria also needed to be interviewed because she had an iPod taken and returned.  This took about 45 minutes and then he told us that Yvonne needed to go down to the station and give an actual written/spoken statement. (Remember, this was all happening in German).  I was not going to let her go anywhere alone so I volunteered to go down to the station with her.  We walked over to the police van (the Romanian had since been taken away by another police car) and looked inside to see more than a little blood on the floor and the seat.  They had put a mask on the man either because he kept spitting or because he nose was bleeding everywhere from having been broken.  A woman, I think the girlfriend of one of the officers, was talking to us and helping where she could, she was very nice.

I got into the front seat and Yvonne sat in the back with the blood and another officer.  The officer in the back examined his fist and shook it in pain.  We arrived at the station and had to sit in the waiting area while they discussed what needed to be done about us.  We were, after all, exchange students and our German was not perfect.  We got seated with a woman in the precinct and she took Yvonne's statement (with some embellishment from me every once and a while, of course). We were at the station until it was past 5 in the morning.  I had only had about an hour in the bed and had not really slept.  We then had to walk back the 5-6 blocks to the hostel.

While we were at the station, Braden sent me a text informing me that they had found a 10 inch knife in the bathroom on our floor and said, "we need to leave."  And leave we did.  As soon as we got back to the hostel.  We went first to the reception so the man knew we were back and took look for Yvonne's phone.  While we were down at the station, an officer who had searched the man gave the battery from her phone to her.  She was very sad because that was already her second phone since being in Germany having lost one already.  We thought though, that since he only had the battery maybe he had hid it in the reception area.  Sure enough, Yvonne found her phone outside on the balcony behind a potted plant.  Wonderful.  We went upstairs and reunited with everyone and we shared our different perspectives of the nights proceedings.  Apparently there was a second man and while the four of us were with the police, April had been terrified that he would come to the room while she was alone.  Braden had met a man from England who was very nice and helpful and another person who said their stuff had been gone through earlier that day.

Overall, we were just exhausted from the entirety of the night and felt much safer going to the train station and being in public.We went to check out and told the man about the knife and he said, "Oh, don't worry that's mine."  That. Was. Enough.  The Romanian had left his room key in the room, and that was a 5 Euro deposit, so Yvonne was able to get 5 Euro out of the deal.  I was expecting him to comp our room and I think I will write an e-mail to them asking for one.  We were in the room for maybe an hour before we were terrorized by an Eastern European Skinhead Neo-Nazi.

We then went to Hauptbahnhof and got some items at the bakery.  While there, a man came up from behind Braden and slapped him fairly hard on the back and started to make sounds with his mouth.  He was mute, and I think asking for money.  We were all just like, really?  Yvonne dealt with it and we just stayed together as a group until we could leave that God-forsaken city.

We were then on a train for over 5 hours and finally got to Erfurt to say goodbye to Braden.  While in Erfurt, the police in Frankfurt called me on my cell phone and asked, "Do you remember being in the police station last night?"  I was like....of course.  They wanted me, Maria and Braden to come into the station and give our statements now.  They could have done that last night, but they only asked for Yvonne's.  I also think it would have been funny to all go to the station and leave April alone at the hostel.  And, by funny, I mean terrible.  I told him that we were already in Erfurt and on our way to Jena and he said he would call me back.  Still waiting for that call.

When we got to Jena, I never thought I'd be happier to see the Maxe-Kade-Haus, my aparment, as I was when I got off the tram.  Now, I think I will finally sleep.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


This week is not going to be as fascinating as some of the other posts I've had or as long, but this was a vacation, so it gets included in the Sunday post.  We went to Leipzig on a cold and rainy October day and the weather was a signifier of what was going to happen.  We maybe should have just stayed home. Something exciting about this trip was that it was the first time Yvonne came with us on one of our excursions.   The actual highlight of this trip for me was lunch at a really nice Irish pub, but we didn't take any pictures there, so it is not included in the Top 5 Moments.  So, here we go:
Picture 1: St. Nikolaikirche

Of all the churches I have seen in my time in Europe, which is not too many but still quite a few, this one had the most original interior except of course the Bone Church.  It is very light inside of it and the arches kinda look like palm leaves.  The pews are cream.  It was just very pretty.  Not spectacular or breathtaking, but pretty.
 Picture 2: Bach
 Johann Sebastian Bach worked his entire life in Leipzig in the St. Thomaskirche, and although we went twice, it was closed at both times.  Not the best at organizing on our part. However, this was a nice statue.

Picture 3: The DDR
 In this picture is a real piece of the Berlin wall.  It stands right in front of the Stasi Museum in Leipzig.  That museum was interesting, but all in German.  Though I can speak it decently, I cannot understand it enough to read plaques in a museum, so...a lot of the interesting stuff was lost on me.  I recognize that there was interesting information in there because Braden told me there was.  After this museum we went and had a lovely lunch.
Picture 4: The Town Hall
 Apparently Leipzig has one of the largest town halls in the world with over 600 rooms, so we went to check that out. It was indeed very large, but it was closed because it was Saturday.  So, we just went and saw it.  We then walked through the mall that was pretty big and worked our way back to the Hauptbahnhof (which you should all know my now means: Main Train Station).  That was when the trip got really interesting.  There was a huge crown in front of the doors to get into the Hbf and we didn't know why.  There were people in front of my wearing all black and the only thing I could hear them say was "Neo-nazi"...that is when I got scared.  I was in the lead, naturally, but I turned to Braden and said, "You're going first," and when he objected I responded, "I don't speak German."  I thought maybe they were checking tickets to make sure no one that wasn't supposed to be there got into the Hbf, Braden was also scared, though and made Yvonne, who has the best German, go first. She and her broken leg plowed through the crowd and the group of Polezei didn't give us any sideways glance, so that was good.  We then found out there are apparently a series of random protest planned throughout the city during that day.  We had seen a lot of police all day but hadn't thought anything of it.  We had assumed that it was just a futball match or something, but no, it was riots.  I guess both sides, right and left, were rioting and the black was the left.  We worked our way up to our train to Halle and then at the platform Braden was questioned by the Polezei, but he showed him the ticket and all was well.  Here is a picture of the Polezei in their helmets outside of our train.
There were Polezei in Halle, too.  Because we had to wait for passengers in Leipzig, our train was late in Halle and we had to wait an hour for the next train.  So, we explored the Halle Hbf and then hoped on our train and got back to Jena and went right to our rooms to relax.

Thanks Yvonne for coming with us, sorry your first trip with us wasn't super fun!

Next Sunday? Cologne  (Köln).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Kutna Hora Incident

For this Sunday, I am going to relive something that is perhaps better left in the past.  However, at the same time I never want to forget this day....not that I think I could if I tried.  First of all, the day did not start out right because we could not have breakfast with Christina and Gastone, too bad.  We did, however, make it to the main train station at just the right time.  That is when we saw the train that would be taking us further into Eastern Europe:

Oh yes, that wonderful relic from the Iron Curtain days was here just for us.  We were so excited.  The trip there was nothing too special and nothing too eventful happened.  Then, we got to Kutna Hora which is in about the middle of the Czech Republic.  Walking around at first it seemed just fine and then we found the Bone Church with no problems at all.  We got into the church and the man at the front desk even spoke really good English. The day was looking up.  We then turned around and saw one of the most interesting things ever, a church decorated with human bones.
 There is a chandelier made of all the bones in the human body.  These bones were all gathered by a man that used to work at the Ossuary at the time of the Great Plague in Europe.  There were just so many bodies that he didn't know what to do with them all, so he decided to get creative.  He may have gone a little overboard, but the result is really quite astounding.  This is the coat of arms for the local royal family at the time:

This was a very interesting excursion.  We then went across the street to a large church that April and Braden continued to argue over which type of style it was built in and they ended up both being right.  The church was pretty but nothing overly spectacular.  One of the cool parts of this church, the Cathedral of our Lady, was that we could go up into the rafters.  Really, just play in them.  Here is a picture of Braden pretending to fall down into the rafters:
 After leaving that church, we started the walk to the much more regal and beautiful St. Barbara's.  What we didn't know was that this was about 1 mile to the town and another .5 from there.  It was a very long walk, but we finally made it to the right area.  This is where the day started to go downhill just a little bit.  I decided, with the support of Maria and April, that we should take a stroll through this random gate and get to the church that way.  We walked all the way uphill and found that we were at a dead end.  Yay.  Well, at least I got a decent picture from it.
 We then turned around and went all the way back to the main road and followed the sign correctly.  Then we got to this beautiful promenade that led up to the church.  It was autumn and beautiful and I took a lot of pictures of the town and the great view from above.  This picture obviously does not do the beauty justice.  After finally getting here, though, none of us were in great moods.  We just wanted to get to the church and see what we paid for.
 Braden, however, decided that he wanted to jump over then stone fence pictured above to get the grapes on the other side pictured below.  I told him that he would never do something like that.  I was right, he didn't.  He says because there were too many people, and I say that shouldn't have stopped him if he really wanted to do it.  The fact remains, however, that he did not jump over and get the grapes.
 We finally got to the church and went inside for a look and then walked around it because it was such a beautiful day to get some external shots.  The church itself was very pretty inside and had all the coats of arms for the neighboring regions in the Czech countryside painted onto its huge ceiling.
Then the walk back.  That was not fun.  I was in a bad mood and Braden wasn't helping it and I was mad that we had such a weird amount of time left.  We hadn't really eaten all day and I wanted to stop and eat but we didn't know how long that would take because we still had to walk the almost 2 miles back to the train station.  However, if we left town there wasn't really anywhere we could eat.  A predicament.  I decided I was going to stop at a grocery store and buy some Cookie Crisp and some water to solve the problem for myself.  The others opted to wait until they were back in Prague.  To each his own.

We were set to be very early to the train station so we slowed the pace and tried to just enjoy the lovely weather...well that is when it started to cool down.  Great.  We got to the station and had about an hour to wait for our train to come.  So, we played rousing games of "Watch that Leaf Fall" and the like but it turned out to be too early in the season for those particular trees to be changing colors, so that game was a flop.  It was great. We made the best of it, though.  We then went over to the tracks that had sunlight to warm up a bit and wait for the train.  There were a lot of other Americans there including a group of four jockey guys that surprised me with their ability to survive in Europe.  Maybe they only appeared jockey?  The train came and we boarded with our printed off tickets in hand.

Getting the tickets was quite an ordeal.  We had to navigate the impossible website first of all and that was not fun.  When we finally got that all figured out we had to enter our student id numbers in order to get the student rate.  Mine and April's ID numbers are the same for the first 10 numbers and they would not allow that, so Maria entered the last 10 digits of April's ID.  We then found out we couldn't print at the hotel so the girls had to go to an internet cafe and print it there.  But, at the end of the day we had our tickets and all was well.  They worked perfectly on the way to Kutna Hora.  However, it seemed, this was not going to be the same.

When the ticket checker woman came to our train, she first took care of the Australian couple and then the Asian girls and moved on to Braden.  For his ticket, she asked to see his student ID.  Keep in mind this was all in Czech.  She then asked for my ticket.  At first she couldn't find my number, but then she did and all was well.  She moved on to April's...uh-oh.  She started to yell at April that the numbers did not match and then April in English tried to explain that it was the last numbers and the woman kept rolling her eyes at April and looking to me and rolling her eyes and everyone in the cabin was just beside themselves because the situation was so funny and yet serious.  The woman gave up on April and checked Maria's...all good there, too.  Back to April.  It was just not going to work so in a fit of frustration she threw the stuff at April and slammed the cabin door. All of our tickets were stamped except April's.  Immediately after the door closed, the entire cabin began to laugh their as*es off.  I was crying.

Soon after, the train began to slow down.  I looked out the window and said, "April, there is nothing out there."  She looked terrified and we all began to laugh again, hard.  It was so funny.  We were all just at the end of our ropes and this is exactly what we needed.  It turns out we were slowing for a stop, but April was not kicked off.  When we arrived back in Prague, we all ran as fast as we could off of that train and thanked God we were back at least in a big city where people spoke English.  That will forever be referred to as The Kutna Hora Incident.
Thank God April is safe and in Germany now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Leave for Ireland Tomorrow!!!

I have only one more class today and I am so excited for classes this week to be done.  I have waited my whole life for this weekend and I can't wait any longer!  I'm SO excited!  At the same time I am very excited for Travis and the wolves who are going to be taking on Virginia in the section finals this weekend in Duluth!  GO WOLVES!!  Also, Braden and April will be going to Munich this weekend, so that is something that I will have to do sometime before I go as well!  I wish everyone a great weekend and I will leave you with this picture of where I am going to be!