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Subject:time to start
Time:11:12 pm
Need to find what makes me happy... again.

Last year was the best year of my life... and the first half of this year has paled in comparison. I thought leaving Bangkok would give me some clarity and happiness, but I'm just as unhappy in Berlin -- which had been my favorite city. It all goes back to me... and that's the hard part to fix.
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Time:01:55 pm
sooo... my year studying abroad (for my master's) is nearly over. in the end, i'm leaving bangkok a month early and coincidentally my new flight is for april 14th, exactly a year to the date that i left berlin to go down to start the master's program in freiburg. i like when things are round like that. ;-) i'm also very happy to have experienced this year and to have it behind me. i met a lot of amazing people, saw very different corners of the world, learned a lot about globalization (not just in theory, but also how it plays out in reality). it was very hard being away from philip for months at a time (this time nearly 3 months), but i'm glad we got through the distance. it's really tough and i think most guys (speaking from past experience) wouldn't be so trusthworthy, loyal, strong and determined. i had many weak moments, but it was really philip that carried us through.

bangkok was alright. i think in the end, i prefer buenos aires far more-- though they can't even be really compared. it was pretty tough here with the food because nearly all dishes are fried and most apartments do not come equipped with kitchens, so you're really forced to buy food on the street. i was never so into asian cuisine before coming -- though i did enjoy thai food once every 6 months or so. :-p so in general, the change in diet was just a shock for my system. salads are very uncommon here and veggies are definitely much more expensive (not to mention the lack of regulation of pesticides here), so wasn't really satisfied on that front. in mid-march i got a really really terrible stomach bacteria infection (which i'm pretty sure i got from street food) and after 6-7 days of intense pain and bowel issues, i finally had to take antibiotics... the thing is, the antibiotics killed all the good bacteria in my stomach/intestines, which left me prone to more problems. i've been eating a lot of papaya and tried to avoid fried foods, diary, and spicy foods this week and it's been helping a bit. this kind of diet gets very expensive here, so subway and vietnamese spring rolls have pretty much saved my life.

other than the stomach problems, it was really hard to enjoy my time here because the city is ridiculously chaotic, huge on consumerism (ridiculously luxurious shopping malls on every street corner that suck up all the energy/electricity and leaves homes on the outskirts of bangkok with no electricity), AND the sex industry is just sooo huge and pervasive in every aspect of society here. in bangkok it's very clear that most girls sell their bodies/services not to support themselves or feed their families, but in order to afford new iphones, cosmetics, designer heels and handbags. so walking down the street it is very common to see these ridiculously unattractive, old and obese men holding the hand of a very young, pretty and stylishly dressed thai girl. after a while it just gets really gross, and it's hard to find a bar where this shit isn't going on. the government does nothing to regulate and in the end a lot of shady shit goes down (trafficking, underage prostitution, violence and exploitation). some NGOs estimate that there are 2.8 million prostitutes in thailand, and that their main clients are actually thai men (sex tourism only accounts for a fraction of visits). a couple of weeks ago, i did a group project/presentation on buddhism and prostitution in thai society... learned a lot about both, but mostly that buddhism doesn't necessarily reinforce or foster prostitution in society, but that it promotes no sort of active moral value in trying to prevent it. for example: while buddhist teachings hold that you should not be attached to worldly things or succumb to lust and desire, some teachings encourage men to have multiple wives or sex partners, and other readings put forth the sole role of a woman as "servicing" men... so one of the things we looked at for our presentation was the gender inequality both in buddhism and in thai society.

only two days left here and there is nothing i really want to do. hopefully i'll get some inspiration soon. will spend the next year (last year of my master's program) mostly in berlin (commuting ocassionally to freiburg for conferences and stuff). have to finalize my thesis topic AND find an internship. my dream internship is with transparency international in berlin.. but i already applied to three internship positions and haven't heard back, so i'm very pessimistic. otherwise, i'll spend the summer taking german courses and researching for my thesis... and then try again for an internship in the fall. can't wait to stay put for a little bit and be with philip again!
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Subject:life
Time:10:28 pm
so i'm in berlin... it's in the negative degrees (celsius) and snow is everywhere. it's beautiful here, really. and this is still my favorite city. i landed thursday evening and it's been a jam-packed few days... homemade pizza and beer evening thursday, unpacking/laundry friday then shopping a bit with philip and celebrating because he got a new job (for post-january). we were at a christmas market here drinking our first gluehwein (hot spiced wine) when he got the call from a job interview that he did 3 weeks ago (position: press secretary for the finance minister of berlin) and they told him that he got the job! it was great news because he has been job-searching for over a year. so we celebrated with another gluehwine, then went out to dinner at a chic german/austrian restaurant (we had the typical german christmas dinner: duck, red cabbage, potatos). later we went to a small, alternative bar and had some whiskey, and then finally we ended up at this amazing club (icon) to see my favorite DJ from the US -- treasure fingers! i was ecstatic. it wasn't packed for some reason, maybe because of the weather or because it was a last minute show. we talked with treasure fingers (ashley) before the show and he was such a down to earth guy... really cool... and really impressive DJ. i'll be seeing him again at u-hall in DC... really excited. somehow i spent 50 euros on drinks friday night (and philip sent A LOT more), but it was a celebratory night for philip's new job... so all good. saturday we chilled a bit at home (hung over) and then made an amazing mexican dinner w/ tacos. and today we had a chill morning reading newspapers, drinking coffee, and then spent some time outdoors at the christmas market. in the evening philip had his last night at his internship (a political talk show here in germany), so i got to go to the studio and attended the last talk show. veeerrrryy cool experience, even though it was all in german and i didn't understand everything. the topic was about "bossing" and "mobbing" -- basically when your boss puts lots of psychological pressure on you until you quit your job (since there are labor protection laws here that make it so that bosses cannot fire employees easily). the owner of the most successful drugstore here, rossmann, was by far the funniest guest. he would get angry and scream really loud at the other guests and at one point he yelled (translated from german) "NO MAN IS A LAZY EGG!!! THAT REALLY BOTHERS ME THAT YOU SAY THAT" to another guest. really, REALLY great. there was a small after-party for the guests of the show... and yeah, these people are definitely living the life. made me think a lot and i've had quite the reverse-culture shock coming here.... from the second i stepped out onto the frankfurt airport, i really noticed how nice things are here... how nice people dress, how clean everything is, etc. parts of buenos aires are nice, but there are also really really poor areas and that is the reality for most/a lot of latin america. it's sad. and while i had a good time at the talk show tonight, it really made me think of children i saw living on the streets in BA... children who have absolutely nothing, and yeah.. it sucks to see such a stark contrast in living standards. pretty tough. and it's hard to talk to philip about it because he isn't in my head and he hasn't experienced what i have.

so now.. time for bed. waking up in 4 hours to travel to bonn to visit philip's family. then we're traveling to the US in a week.....
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Current Location:buenos aires, argentina
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Time:02:11 am
Current Mood:inspired
" in mallorca (spanish island) and am so infinitely happy... not only because of the landscape, but also .. " (last draft of an entry i was going to make last march when i was with philip & some of his family in mallorca!)

so it's been a while since i have updated LJ, but i felt the need to now since so much has happened/changed the past month. each year of my life gets better and better; it's truly amazing and i feel very blessed. in april i started a master's program based in the south of germany (freiburg)... it's called "global studies" and is a mixture of sociology, politics, economics, georgraphy & anthropology to study global governance and globalization. everything is a bit broad and my academic interests have not been narrowed down at all, but i've still taken some very rewarding classes and have had to do sooo many presentations, that i'm finally starting to feel a bit more comfortable w/ public speaking (though not completely). i finished the semester in july, stayed for a few weeks with philip in berlin and then headed to buenos aires in the middle of august for my second semester.. now i'm wrapping up with my semester in buenos aires and will be heading to berlin, then DC for christmas and new years (with philip!) and then i'll be heading to BANGKOK for my third semester. i'm infinitely excited for what awaits.

buenos aires has been quite a life-changing experience. most importantly: i got engaged in montevideo, uruguay! philip visited in september and we traveled a lot (uruguay & the wine-region of mendoza near the andes). we had spent the weekend traveling around uruguay and on saturday evening, sept 12th, after a nice home-cooked dinner at the breathtaking antique house we were staying at, philip took me outside and proposed to me. it was a very beautiful moment and we were surrounded by the dogs that lived at the house and also the housekeeper had put on a CD (as philip asked him to ;)) from an uruguayen folkloric band that we had seen earlier that day at the streetmarket and fallen in love with. it was very romantic, and i'm so happy to be philip's fiance. he makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world, and now i really know that i believe in soulmates. it's been 2 months since we last saw each other, and i can't wait to be reunited in a few days!


i'm a bit nostalgic and sad to leave (i'll be leaving december 1st), but at the same time, i've had such a well-rounded, rewarding experience here. i feel like i've seen everything i wanted to see in this city, but at the same time, i'm not exactly "ready" to leave since i feel that i've finally become comfortable/familiar with the city (especially navigating it) and i've finally fallen in love with all of the rough sides and edges of this city. i lived in a very middle class neighborhood my first two months, but after some issues at the house i was staying in, i moved out closer to the university and am living with german, dutch, irish, brazilian, and mexican/american students... very multi-cultural and everyone is so kind... i've had the best time in BA since moving here and feel much more safe/secure in this neighborhood. that's not to say that i don't feel unsafe; every tourist i've met while traveling has gotten robbed in buenos aires, and a few people in my program also got robbed. it's very common here, especially if you're a tourist (but i've also met a lot of argentinians who constantly get robbed too), but it's better to just always be guarded and not carry around too many valuables.

while the violence and crime can be pretty high here (as in every part of the world), i'm most fascinated by how resilient the people are here and how they have a passion and thirst for political and social mobilization. from riots on the streets in front of the presidential palace asking for justice/transparency in the assassination of a 20-something year old protestor, to the occupation/taking over of a closed factory (a lot of factory workers here refused to stop working even if their factory was closed down), to the public trials of human rights violations from the dictatorship-period (1976-1983) where 30,000 were murdered, to the social cooperatives that are formed to work against slave labor/sweatshops, to the outpouring of people in the streets to remember & mourn the death of the ex-president kirchner, and lastly (what i'm especially moved by and most thankful for), the people who come into the city from the rural areas and work day and night on the streets scavenging for recyclables from the trash (doing the dirty work that the state does not take care of) to make an honest living. the way things work here is so different, especially in contrast to germany (the last place i was living). 2 specific differences that stand out the most: there is no consistent city collection of trash, so the trash piles up on the streets, there is no recycling (except for the cartoneros whom i just mentioned -- ranging from young men, to little boys, to old women); the buses run all night but don't have a schedule, in order to get a bus to stop you have to run out into the middle of the street hailing it and hoping you won't get hit by a speeding car (never seen crazier drivers in my life, except for in montevideo).

also, this past week i saw, for the first time, someone die... i'm still shaken up from this experience. basically, i was saying goodbye to a friend at my doorstep, when i was distracted by a guy on a moped going RIDCIULOUSLY fast passing by (i'd say 60-70 miles per hour, or more) on a small city street. while i've gotten used to crazy drivers here, this guy really shocked me and i stopped the conversation with my friend and said "FUCK that guy is going fast," then not even half a second later we heard a loud crash. i didn't connect what happened right away because it was so surreal (with the timing), but my friend immediate ran over and other people had gathered on the street. basically the intersection i live at is one of the only really busy intersections here that does not have a stoplight, and the guy was going fast (and while he had the right - of - way), the car on his left must have not seen him coming and they collided. the guy was flung out onto the street and died right there. the thing is... we were all waiting for an ambulance to come, but it took over 20 minutes for an ambulance to come... in the meantime 3 different police cars had arrived, and there was nothing they could really do to help him. the man still had a pulse.. but by the time the ambulance came, he was gone. i was happy to see the ambulance arrive and was trying to be optimistic since i heard the man still had a pulse, but then a few seconds later, the ambulance drove away and i noticed the man was still lying on the pavement, but now with a black cloth over his face. it was all so surreal and so so so sad. the guy wasn't wearing a helmut and was speeding so fast, so i'm not sure if he could have been saved anyway... but it sucks to feel so helpless and to just wait for an ambulance, even though there was a hospital 2 blocks away. i saw the last couple of seconds of this guy's life as he rode by, he was young, wearing all black (adidas sweat pants that were later ripped off after the impact), and his facial expression seemed fine (not scared, not worried, just normal)... it was strange because when i noticed him, he had put out his right arm (it almost seemed as though he was signaling to someone that he was going to turn right onto the next street), but he went straight through the intersection, only in the end, he ended up going right since the car hit him in the intersection in that direction. really strange. really sad. why was he in such a rush?

aside from this shocking experience, that i still can't get out of my head, i feel very fortunate to have the chance to be here. i've met some of the most positive, brilliant & caring people in my program. this past week, i had a nice thanksgiving dinner with some other students (very non-traditional with mashed potatos from holand, chicken dish from iran, latvian dish, etc... though i made my first pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin!), then the next night we had our farewell party on the rooftop of an apartment building in the most charming part of buenos aires. then tonight, we had a spokenword/poetry night where we all sat in a circle and created poems together and just discussed life/things in general. i've met some of the most inspiring people in this program.

could write a lot more, but just wanted to write a brief summary of my experiences the past months now that the buenos aires experience is coming to a close. it's been a CRAZY past few months -- a good kind of crazy that makes life 100% worth it. i hope to be able to come back here (maybe can do some thesis research on the human rights trials here and compare it to what is going on in chile -- chile is one of my top countries to visit! definitely have to the next time).
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Time:02:36 pm
SMILING--

i finished work, moved out of potsdam, and am finally living IN berlin... no longer in the outskirts surrounded by huge mansions & unfriendly people. it's funny though because just like when i had finished studying and was leaving berlin back in the summer of 2008, last night, my last night in potsdam, i had another close encounter with a wild pig! the roads were terrible (ice, sleet, snow), so luckily the car didn't swerve too badly. it was a bit different in 2008 when i was biking and this pig ran out into the middle of the street, cutting me off and grunting loudly as it ran away. anyway, funny coincidence.

i met this guy at an apartment party on saturday night. i had seen him earlier on in the evening (when i asked if he could take a picture of my friends and i with a jesus look a like), and his cuteness was overshadowed by my drunken ADD and my lack of enthusiasm in meeting more guys since i'm leaving berlin soon. anyway, i was talking a lot with a random guy and told him i was moving to freiburg to go to school and he was like "OHHHHH, my friend here just finished studying in freiburg!!! here, let me introduce you." turns out his friend was the photo guy. it was a nice surprise and we hit it off. we went out on a date monday night, which was wonderful, and we're hanging out again tonight to make dinner and watch movies (the motorcycle diaries). he's really charming, attractive & intelligent. it probably helps that he's older (27) and isn't in a punk band or into punk rock. i think the last 5 or so guys i've gone after have been in punk bands here... hasn't proved to work out for me.

anyway, i'm feeling optimistic. i don't really care that i'm leaving soon; i think it's better to just enjoy the present and let love happen.
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Time:01:46 pm
tomorrow is my last official day of au pair work AND the weather suddenly went from -4 degrees fahrenheit (-20 celsius) to 37.5 degrees fahrenheit! it seriously feels like paradise; i don't think it has been above freezing for weeks now. and and and i can hear the snow & ice melting outside. haha, really, such an amazing feeling. also, it definitely helps that i will be out of here soon. my friend chris invited me to stay at his apartment for a little bit, so i'll be moving out of potsdam and INTO the city/berlin. living alone (in a basement) has been a bit rough, especially during the winter, so it will be refreshing to have a change of scenery.

i'll be traveling to the US soon... dc & california, so i can't wait to see everyone again. i'll be studying in germany, argentina & india this year, so i think the next chance i'll get to be home will be next december :(

leaving the au pair job is a huge relief, but definitely bittersweet... i will miss the kids for sure, but i'm so ready to move on in life. i've never felt so low, cold & alone. i pretty much just felt like a servant everyday for the past 8 months... but there were good moments throughout and other beautiful people that showed up (like the family that i dogsit for, who are actually my landlords too... or my friend chris who has always been there). i'm actually not too sad to leave berlin... i did finally get to know a really cool guy recently, but i've accepted that it won't work out because of me leaving... and there is no reason to push it/force it to work out. i'm down with just enjoying our time together before i leave, but apparently he can't handle that/is afraid he'll get too attached. it's alright tho because he's probably right. i'm sure i'll meet some cool people in freiburg... but i have to find a WG (shared flat) first! i've contacted about 15-20 people so far, and have only really heard back from one.

i also recently purchased some deepak chopra audiobooks and it has brought a lot of peace, calmness & optimism into my life. i hope it sticks around :) i'll try starting yoga once i start school, and i really wish i could go vegan, or at least try it out, but the last time i did that, i caved in after 2 days and ate a large cheese pizza... it was just too difficult (mentally). haha
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Subject:every beginning and end is the same
Time:10:29 am
Current Mood:disappointeddisappointed
my mom just left to go back to the states... i can't help but to feel terrible and guilty for being a not-so-ideal daughter. we clashed a lot during her month-long stay here, but got into a horrible fight her last night and didn't really spend the last couple of days together because of me having to work and me not wanting to go out touring berlin during a blizzard. i know that she was disappointed and deeply hurt when she left, and i wish i could have been more patient and avoided the fights/treated her with more respect. blah blah blah. i hate the silence/emptiness that is left now... it's weird to come back home to someone & cook meals with someone else for a month, then go back to being completely alone. hopefully i'll finally learn from this. there was so much more i wanted to show her in berlin, but this weather really fucking blows and all the snow makes getting around so much more difficult... plus all the beautiful green parks are all frigid and hidden.


so i only have a month or so left of au pair work... i'm ending the contract early so that i can enjoy a little bit of time in berlin (maybe move in with and help out my old host family) before i have to start grad school. i'll be studying in southern germany for two semesters, buenos aires for another, and new dehli for another... i can't wait! i'm still not sure how i got into the program, but there is no point in dwelling on that. i'm studying with people from all over the world... one of the guys is from berlin + drums in an indie rock band + was on ethiopian idol. i love that!

the past month was pretty great overall, despite the constant fighting with mom and her yelling at me for still going to punk shows. we toured berlin & potsdam a lot, went to a lot of the AMAZING christmas markets, drove to prague for new years, etc etc. i also went to a few really great shows & parties... i saw strike anywhere at this small club here & had the time of my life (even stage dived for their last song, sunset on 32nd). the band dead to me from san francisco opened for them, and the guitarist looked REALLY REALLY familiar. turns out it was NATHAN GRICE... small fucking world and amazing band. we caught up a bit.. and then i stayed at the club dancing to good punk and rock music until 2-3 am.

so far i haven't strayed tooo far from my new years resolutions. though i did meet one guy from mutual friends and he seems pretty cool, very nice & is an amazing kisser... though, it won't go too far since i'm leaving in a couple of months. hopefully i can just hang out, not freak out & enjoy the moment(s).
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Current Music:gas light anthem
Current Location:potsdam
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Subject:and i lit a fire and it wouldn't go out...
Time:09:54 pm
Current Mood:cheerfulcheerful
01. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Went couch surfing through switzerland (traveled alone), went hitch-hiking (not alone), completed a poetry manuscript, got my wisdom teeth out/laughing gas, got into grad school! oh yeah and streaked the lawn at uva! haha

02. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last years were: 1) get a job 2) go back to berlin 3)stop falling in love with everyone ;)
sooo i did 1 & 2, and have finally made huge progress on #3.

Resolutions for this year= 1) spend less time online (read news instead of celebrity gossip ;) 2) drink considerably less 3) don't kiss someone unless it means something 4)go to more cultural & art exhibits 5)work on self confident & respect (for myself & others). 6)improve german & spanish language skills (get to the advanced level-- whatever that means). whoosh.


03. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nadine in Berlin (Oct 31st-- Keats' birthday).

04. Did anyone close to you die?
My baby girl/ puppy Kuda. Definitely a tough moment.

05. What countries did you visit?
Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic

06. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
good sleep, less stress, a puggle puppy (which won't happen just yet).

07. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Getting back together with Flo in March, Wisdom teeeeth extraction & Graduation in May.

08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Completing my poetry manuscript & all of the poetry readings, getting into a good master's program, getting over Florian.

09. What was your biggest failure?
Dwelling too long on both Florian and Steffen. Falling for guys too fast & too many drunken hook ups.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Usual allergy shit... That's about it.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
20 euro boots! 20 dollar ipod nano!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
All of my close friends at one point or another. Kenny's strength during/before/after Kuda's passing.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Lots of boys, but mostly Steffen... it's hard when someone changes or was never the person you thought they were... but I've accepted it and moved on.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Plane tickets.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Finishing my last undergrad exam (in Satire), Coming back to Berlin for a week in March, Concerts (Strike Anywhere, False Friend, Broadway Calls... etc), Couchsurfing in Switzerland.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Treasure Fingers' mixes, Mstrkrft "Bounce," Chromeo "Fancy Footwork" & "Cross the Dance Floor," Broadway Calls "Bad Intentions" & "Call It Off"

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? maybe the same? definitely looking forward to the future, and not letting insignificant things get me down as much.
thinner or fatter? maybe fatter ;)
richer or poorer? i WAS richer w/ all my euros (not much), but they're pretty much gone somehow.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Writing more & playing more guitar, TRAVELING a lot more, studying german.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Same as last year.. haha "gotten hang overs, kissing people that i shouldn't have! ha"

20. How will you be spending Christmas/Eve?
My mom was in Berlin for Christmas.. Christmas Eve was spent going to a Nativity play with the kids I take care of, a very typical East German Xmas dinner, and a surprise visit from Santa (one of the Grandpas)... oh and my mom and I went to a lot of the Weihnachtsmaerkten (Christmas Markets) all over the city-- sooo fun.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009? I thought so again with Florian in March (and Steffen later?). I've become more pessimistic and confused about love.. so I think it'll be a while ;)

23. How many one-night stands? Oh gosh.. nothing too bad, but a few times are questionable.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Don't really watch TV... so probz Gossip Girl. :-/

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No.

26. What was the best book you read?
Camus- The Plague

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Dead to Me & Broadway Calls

28. What did you want and get?
Good grades, Berlin, Trip to PRAGUE!

29. What did you want and not get?
loooove

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Lost in Translation (I've only seen it once)

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Pretty uneventful birthday... but hung out with the family/went to dinner at bus boy's and spent time with the neighbors (it was lisa's birthday party).

32.What was one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Less hangovers, less regrets, less hook ups, giving away less kisses. So not just one thing, though all have something to do w/ each other.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
boots, skinny jeans, scarves... dresses for going out. pretty much the same. lots of reds, black & neutral colors.

34. What kept you sane?
My friend Chris. Calling my family via Skype. Czech beer, DANCING, & punk shows.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Always Britney... but somehow I've gotten into 17 yr old Disney Starlets (Demi Lovato especially)... baaaaaaah. I spend hours dancing & singing with 9 year old girls that I babysit, so maybe that's why.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I wish I could say. Something has happened to my heart & passions these past months. I think it's my mind-numbing routine here, which will hopefully change once I start school in the spring.

37. Who did you miss?
Family, Friends at Home, Kuda.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Chris (thought I met him in 2008-- we only started hanging out this year), Deidre (au pair from Canada).

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
Relax, take steps & put everything into perspective. Most guys I'm hung up over won't matter in weeks, months, or next year.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"I've met some people along the way, some of them split some of them stayed, Some of them walk, some walk on by... I've got a few friends I'll love til I die.."
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Time:09:07 pm
things have gotten much much better here. i'm not sure if it has caused me to have a significantly more positive outlook/mood, or vice versa. either way, i'm looking forward to the future & hopefully getting into graduate school. i've only been looking at schools in germany, but not berlin in particular. the only program that i'm really considering in berlin is a master's in english literature and translation, otherwise i'm looking into global studies programs.

weekends have been a blast and i've been enjoying the single life/meeting guys as usual. i've made big steps in putting my feelings into perspective, and realizing that the majority of the time that i am heartbroken has nothing to do with my actual feelings for the guy or who he is. it's just the chase. i'm picky as hell though, and don't see a future with about 99.999% of guys that i meet. maybe i'm just not in the right mindset? either way, i've met some cool people. this weekend was spectacular; i had a friend visiting from switzerland, so a bunch of us went out to a punk/indie/alternative music night (called college rock) and i ended up meeting up with this hot brasilian boy again. we drank a bunch and danced; i didn't let any bull shit drama get to me-- like stalker guys or some random dude that is friend's with steffen who called me a bitch in front of a bunch of people. some shit just isn't worth my time and the only reason i slightly cared about the "bitch" comment was because the guy is apparently best friends with steffen, and to me that said a lot. i think i've met more asshole guys here than anywhere else, i guess i'm just hanging out in the wrong scene?

anyway... saturday night was equally as awesome and i had my first run-in with the german police. there was this huge party organized on the train (s-bahn, subway) and hundreds of people showed up. everyone was drinking in the streets and electronic music was blaring. the plan got foiled though because the cops showed up and actually shut down two train lines... though we managed to get on one of the underground lines. the cops stormed the train station and there were over 20 police wagons with sirens & lights. i definitely got pushed around by some angry german police officers, but i had jack & coke in hand and could not have been happier. the police reaction was a bit over the top, but in retrospect, the train party was probably not the safest idea. later i followed a group of people, ran into the brasilian boy again and ended up going to his place in the very east of berlin. the "hip" & artistic east parts of the city that are more central = my favorite part of berlin, but when you get further east, it still looks like part of the DDR-- all the buildings are gray, uniform and run down. seriously looked like his apartment building was surrounded by barracks. oh also, after the train party failed to happen, i was waiting around with some friends at another station and an old man punched me in the back... for no reason. he walked away fast, but turned back to me and gave me a really bitter look. again, german guys don't seem to like me. hahaha... then some other german guy was trying to justify that old man's actions by saying he was probably just angry at kids drinking and hanging out in the streets. def does NOT justify the violence, or why he chose to punch the only girl in a group of 7 people.

the christmas season is the best here.... and my host family got me my first advent's calendar, so i look forward to opening up a new door every morning for chocolate. i feel like such a kid, but the christmas markets here, lights, music, and festivities really excite me. everyone celebrates the whole month, and it really makes things much more brighter against the waning daylight. i wish my mom could visit to experience this, but i have a feeling her flight plans will not work out. oh well.
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Time:11:05 pm
i can't listen to your old music because it is too melancholy and invokes too painful of memories... but i wish i could tell you how beautiful your new track is and i wish i wasn't remembering the good times, when i know the bad times were too unbearable.

never, never repeat.
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