Monday, September 22, 2008

Mickey D

So I set foot in a McDonald's for the first time since I've been here in Germany. Im generally opposed to fast food, but it was still morning and I had a hash brown craving.
The menu in McDonalds here is different than the menu in the US. For one, it omits certain foods of hash browns! I tried to explain (in Germlish) to the girl, in this surprisingly clean establishment, that hash browns were like Kartoffel pancakes. She had no idea what I was talking about. Saddened about the news I ordered bacon eggs and coffee. I paid and she said if I would sit down she would serve it to me when it was ready. I was a bit confused by that, 1. because I thought all food at McDonalds are hot and ready to eat immediately and 2. that I would be actually served in McDonalds. Anyway it was a nice experience and I didnt even get a stomach ache afterwards. Amazing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


It took me awhile to realize why everyone was walking around with their right pants leg rolled up. Is this a new fashion trend? Is half of Augburg part of a gang? Nope. The pant leg is rolled up to avoid getting caught in the gear wheel of the bike. My gear wheel has a covering on it so I was never inducted into the club. This fashion tend has yet to take off in America where most people go by car.

Monday, September 15, 2008

wildlife in Germany

You know the thing that is disappointing or a challenge depending on your perspective is that there aren't as many animals to see when hiking around as in America. I went on a hike with my Dad and Jurij in Pennsylvania a couple weeks ago and the trail was crawling with baby toads. Sooo cute. Like you would see 3 over there and 5 to your left. They must have just hatched. I saw a Garter snake slither by and we saw a white-tailed deer and without looking very hard.

Now I haven't been going out searching for animals, or turning over many rocks like my brother does, but just walking around Augsburg seems to have an abundance of crows, slugs and a couple of jack rabbits here and there.
I rescued a hedgehog from being roadkill one night a couple years ago but rarely do I see a squirrel.
I saved a few mating toads from being roadkill with official toad rescuers outside of Salzburg on a late Summer evening
One day this spring I saw a couple of European Jays outside my window, but never to be seen again.
This summer I actually caught a lizard while bike riding in the Alps which was very exciting. Matt and I saw the poisonous Black Adder near KuSee. And last weekend I found an Alpine salamander on a rainy hike in the AllgaĆ¼ which was also very exciting.

a bruise or a beard

So while I was in PA visiting my folks I went on a bike ride with my Dad. I was testing out my Moms mountain bike when after only 8 miles I stopped short and flew over my handlebars. My only injury was a small cut on my chin. It didnt hurt so much but it was a real bleeder and the sight of my own blood makes me pass out so we had to wait awhile before I was back on my feet. Luckily a man in a red pick up truck with a confederate sign on the front of his truck that said redneck loaded us into his truck bikes and all and took us home. He was patient, didnt say much and didnt smile. He was our unfriendly good Samaritan.

For one week I had a small cut on my chin, no big deal. But then on our way to the Alps for a nice hiking weekend, I bumped ever so slightly my chin on my bookbag. Bam! Extreme pain and a big blue bruise to follow. We hiked to the top of the mountain and had lunch at a mountain lodge. There I was made fun of by a picnic table full of drunk Germans. They said I looked like I had a beard. In fact they were so drunk that I think they did think I actually had a beard.

People were really staring at me and some asked questions. I began to empathize with cirus freaks. In America, you dont stare or at least youre not obvious about it. And I think this is where American and German differ. My German friends and collegues immediately asked me what happened and were giggly about it. My American friends didnt say anything but waited for me to volunteer the information.
Luckily after 2 long weeks the drama is over and Im back to looking just peachy instead of having a blue moon.