Tag Archives: observation

(not-so) Handy

For the past 8 months I’ve been the proud beholder of a Blackberry Bold. Email, BBM, Twitter, Google search, all at my fingertips and available at the spur of the moment.  I’ve loved most of my time spent with this great pocket-sized piece of technology. However, the life of a grad student in a foreign country doesn’t lend itself to fancy phones and data plans.

Introducing: my ‘new’ mode of cellular communication.

Hello, Nokia 1662

A certain friend of mine (*ahem* LAC) thinks her phone is straight out of 1996. Well, dear friend, does your phone have Snake preloaded on it? I didn’t think so. Only a phone with the original cell phone game can be categorized as ‘old school’. Not only does this phone not flip, it also doesn’t have T9 capabilities… back to taking 10 minutes to type out one text message for this girl.

On the plus side, the phone does have a flashlight built into it and a great feature called “speaking clock” (take that, Blackberry).

So while I may not be Tweeting or emailing anywhere near my former capacity, just know that I may very well be in contention for the Snake Champion of 2010.

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Things I Had Forgotten About Germany: A List

1: They recycle like fucking crazy.

Bins everywhere for “Restmüll”, “Altpapier” and “Bio”. For now I’m just putting everything in one bag and hoping no one notices I’m not recycling or composting.

2: Pillows are twicce the size as American ones.

I’m still trying to figure out if there’s an ergonomic reason for this, or they just like their pillows abnormally large and square. Either way, there’s no way I’ll be using the pillowcase I bought today anytime after this year.

3: Open Container Laws.

(Or lack thereof) I saw some people casually drinking beers outside the train station today, and that’s when I remembered why I love Europe so much.

4: Corny Bars.

Uncontested, my favorite German snack. Like a Quaker Chewy granola bar, only with a strange, more German flair (aftertaste?) to it. And of course I have to get the Corny Free variety (half the calories!), as I am apparently watching my weight now.

5: Many people actually do smell very stongly of B.O.

No elaboration needed… Smelling a person before you see them is never good.

6: Kids wear those square backpacks.

Though I haven’t seen many of them because it’s not the school year (right?) I have seen enough to believe that they’re still in style 4 years later. While they may be better suited to holding books (due to their boxy shape) I can’t imagine them being either comfortable or stylish to anyone.

7: No one wears flip flops.

And I mean no one. I guess my plans to fit in as a German were foiled when I put on my $1 flops from Old Navy before leaving the apartment this afternoon.

8: Eis is 1000 times better than ice cream.

I wish I felt bad that the first thing I ate when I arrived in Germany was one Kugel of Erbeer Eis im Becher [one scoop of strawberry ice cream in a dish]. But it was so good, I chalked it up as a prize to myself for arriving in Germany in one piece.

9: Bike lanes.

Though I haven’t been run over or gotten a bell rung at me yet, I’m sure its only a matter of time, as I’ve caught myself walking too far to the left of the sidewalk many times already.

10: Döner.

I haven’t had a taste of this Turkish-German delight yet, but there’s a restaurant a few blocks away, right across the street from the Eis Cafe, and cattycorner from the Strassenbahn station I need to go to to get to and from school everyday. It’s only a matter of time.