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Montag, 2. September 2013


You're probably shaking your head at me, thinking "she's been back for more than two months now, and now she's writing more than she did in the last two months in Canada?"

Well, yeah, I'm sorry!
Honestly, it's just been pretty stressful then, but now that things have calmed down, I have more time again.

And I'm caught in writing fever. My project has grown to 35k and it might even get longer--I always thought editing means cutting scenes, but I'm writing twice as much in as I'm taking out! And I'm through the first eight of 48 scenes and gained 1k--and I love writing so much!

Anyway, the reason I'm writing:
I ordered Aeropostale stuff! And it arrived within 5 days (last Wednesday/Thursday to today) and it's so cool!

You'll get pictures in a bit, I'm just so happy I got it right now.

And here they are:

I was trying to model, but I think you can see why that's not a job option for me?
Anyway, They're really comfortable! And the hoodie ... *.*

See ya round!

Mittwoch, 28. August 2013


And here, finally, are some pictures... just a random assortment, since I cleaned out my pics and even though I deleted more than 3.5k (three thousand five hundred) pics, I still have 1.6k. Not kidding. I had 5,202 pictures. (okay, 1k were San Fran only since a couple friends shared their pictures with me, but that still leaves over 4k pictures... You can imagine that sorting them is slow going :) )

Here they are, in no particular order (since it got screwed up while uploading)

Montag, 19. August 2013

What happened :)

Hey guys!
After an eternity, I finally post again! Can you believe it?

I am sorry that it took me so long. In my defense, it was really busy and it’s really easy to fall into the habit of just not posting after a while.

So, to recap the last ... 8 weeks or so...
Well, I wrote from Vancouver, didn’t I? Vancouver and Vancouver Island was awesome, and I promise to upload some pictures the next couple of days. Anyway, so I stopped saying we would head down to Toffino... that was a bit of a bummer, to be honest, since the weather wasn’t accommodating at all and I wasn’t feeling very well, but the drive was amazing. I’ve never seen that much green in my life.
It’s hard to imagine if you haven’t seen it with your own eyes, but wow. So much forest!

That evening, Stanley Cup game 6 Blackhawks vs Bruins was on the TV, and I think I almost died. My heart certainly constricted painfully more than just a couple of times!

I was sitting perched on the edge of the sofa, almost biting my nails—which I don’t usually do—since the Hawks were in the position to win the Cup that night.

It started alright, but then the Bruins got the lead, only to have Toews, the Captain (and my favourite player) tied the goal up in the dying seconds of a penalty kill (right in the second in which his teammate left the penalty box). It was only his third goal of the playoffs, which made it so much sweeter.

Unfortunately, the Bruins got the lead back in the third period, and I was already like, “No, it’s going back to Chicago, don’t get your hopes up for OT, don’t because you might be disappointed” and right in the moment my parents came back from Starbucks (they couldn’t watch me fret over the game), the Hawks scored. With 1:16 left in the game, Kane got the puck, passed it to Keith, and Keith gave it to Toews who set up his linemate Bickell with a nice pass through a Bruins defenseman’s legs, and Bickell just tapped it in.
I was—I couldn’t believe it! I was close to screaming, because suddenly they were back in the game!
And they showed the replay so I was like whispering to myself, “Omg, omg, keep it till OT, keep it till OT” and then, like in a dream (or nightmare, for Boston fans), the Hawks scored again, SEVENTEEN SECONDS after their other goal.
They won the Cup, of course.

It was pretty amazing. My tumblr dash exploded first, and then it got really quiet while fans all around the world celebrated the win.
I think I was close to crying, but wow. That was certainly an experience, following a team for a full season (I think I missed all of two regular season games)

Anyway, this of course made my day—my week, even, and we travelled back to Kelowna without any incidents.

The days in Kelowna were amazing, and even though my parents were skeptical whether it would be so great with all of us and my host family in such close proximity, they were pleasantly surprised, if I may say so.

The reverse culture shock wasn’t as bad as it could have been, although I’m strongly considering making another post just dedicated to that, because there are some things that, in my opinion, are important if you want it to be smooth.

We did a lot of stuff in Kelowna itself, and the weather—omg, it got so. Hot. I thought I was going to melt!

I did the Knox Mountain Trail with my parents—we saw an eagle or a falcon or something circling high up over our heads—and we did some sightseeing in Kelowna on our own.

I picked up my report card and said my final goodbyes, and it was sad but exciting. I got to meet the parents of another German exchange student, and it was pretty cool.

With my host family and my parents, I did the Kettle Valley Railway Tour again because my dad is a huge fan of old trains and the view was so nice again—we were more lucky with the weather and Bob was kinda laughing at me for taking a sweater, but damn was she glad to pull it over her head when the wind came up… I could remember pretty well how chilly it had been on that train!

One night, we went grilling at the beach with hotdogs and swimming and too much chips and Doritos and it was so delicious… Although it got pretty chilly the later it got. Just writing about it makes my eyes sting with how much I miss it! But more about that later on.

I started packing on the 29th, and let me tell you, that was chaos pure. Do you know how much stuff you accumulate over ten months? A TON, I have to say.

We went to see a parade in the afternoon, kinda the ‘Pre-Canada Day Parade’ over in West Kelowna and… it was alright, I guess? It’s more for smaller kids, but it was cool to see all the different vehicles and stuff!

The best day anyway was Canada Day, which was one of the days I absolutely didn’t want to miss.
It was in Waterfront Park, and it was—there were so many stands, and we got a turban (which I had to leave in Canada, unfortunately :( ) and pins and tattoos with the Canadian Flag on them and it was a lot of fun.

Bob didn’t feel so well and it was almost too many people and too much new stuff, but all in all, I thought it was great.

In the evening, there was a huge firework from down near Waterfront, with accompanying music coming through the radio.
We had blankets with us and it was pretty nice.

The day of our trip back came far too soon, and we said goodbye to Andy the night before and then to the rest of the family in the morning before the girls left for camp, but the girls surprised us at the airport!

It was heartbreaking saying goodbye, even though I couldn’t deny that I was looking forward to home.
I didn’t cry, but I don’t think it actually hit me that it was over until much, much later.

The flight back… I would describe it as a nightmare, but that kind of suggests ‘sleep’ and that was… nowhere near our minds.  It was horrible. Seriously. There were crying children in front of us and the Lufthansa seats were too small and it was so uncomfortable.

I slept for maybe thirty minutes—if even that much—and as soon as we touched down at got our luggage, I called Doro, and we talked for half an hour.

The closer we got to home, the more excited I got, until I was basically vibrating on the backseat, going ‘home home home home home home home’ and I was soooo excited to be back home…

We got our dog first, then stopped by my best friend and then I was home for all of two minutes—our neighbours who had been sitting our house had decorated with a Bavarian Flag and had put some cake and Brezn into our dining room—before we already left again to say hi to our other neighbours.

It was the most amazing feeling to be back in my own bed after almost a year, and to have my piano back…

We unpacked our stuff over the next couple of days, and I went straight back to school—something which I regret immensely.
I was looking forward to it so much, but I was met with disinterest and outright hostility, which made it easy for me to choose what to do next year: I’ll go to a different school. Because I don’t have to put up with the way my classmates treat me and each other.

I got a leave of absence for the rest of the school year, and we already talked to the one in charge of grades 11 and 12 at the other school, and now it’s certain that I’ll go to school there next year.

I’m also in contact with the representative from the University of Regensburg about starting uni next year, but we still have to find a date when to meet up.

My ‘Hey I’m back’ Party was super nice, too, and I made fudge and cinnamon buns and hotdogs and burgers and it was Canada themed and awesome!

We didn’t have internet for a week—which was horrible—and then I went to Frankfurt with Dorothea during the first week of actual holidays (where I also didn’t really have internet, which wasn’t so bad). Now I’m on vacation with my mom for a workshop on how to dye yarn together with two friends of hers and the husband and dog of the one friend, and Dusting of course loves that he has a companion—he and my dad are also there J

I really don’t have internet and only a very sketchy connection on my phone, and to top things off, first my headphones and then my iPod stopped working: my right ear bud doesn’t work at all, and the button to switch my iPod on and off broke or something, so I can’t really use it.

I already skyped with my host family, though, and it was so great!
Although it made me miss Canada so much, I can’t even describe it. I made the mistake of listening to a playlist on my laptop I haven’t listened to in a long while, and now my eyes are stinging. I wanna go back…

I especially miss the school system and the general niceness of the teachers and people and I miss my host family and the girls and just ugh.

I wish I could just beam myself back… But we’re thinking about going to Canada next year; I said I wanted to go during the winter holidays, since I really want to see another hockey game, and maybe if I’m lucky, the Hawks will be playing up there, and if not, I hope I can go see the Oilers or at least the Canucks (I draw the line at the Flames, to be honest) since we’ll be up there anyway, and of course a Rockets game!

But that’s not written in stone at all—not even in sand, if I’m being honest. But I really, really hope I can visit Kelowna again…

Anyway, there will be a post with pictures—I have 5,202 altogether, but I already managed to delete a couple, so now I’m down to 1,600, roughly.

Huh, what else I did was check what I missed about Maths, and it seems to be nothing more than a single topic that I need to take a look at, which is a great thing to hear.
So now I need to take another look at German and Chemistry, and then I should be able to wing this thing otherwise :)

Montag, 24. Juni 2013



Well, not really, but almost--except for those two weeks or so I have to go in Germany (or is it just one?) just for the shit and giggles...

Anyway, so right now I'm bored and not tired and my parents are already in bed, so I decided to write up what we've been doing...

Time is running together, I'm telling you, and I'm really, really, really looking forward to home, to my piano, my friends, my dog, my bed, our house...

Ten months is a stupidly long time, and I can't deny I'm glad it's over. But I will miss a lot in Canada :( (I will give you specifics once I'm back home, I promise)

Anyway, so my parents touched down close to midnight a week ago, and we'd been chatting over skype for a while.

They picked me up after school on Monday and met Mr Kletke and Ms Snuggs, two of the San Fran trip teachers and Entrepreneurship and Internationals teacher respectively, and then we left for the mall.

I got new runners (in stunning red <3 and had to pay by myself even though my parents are here -_-). We got some cinnamon buns from Cinnzeo (omg, they are the most delicious thing I've ever eaten... There is nothing more delicious than these buns, I swear) and ... yeah, went to Starbuck's.And I guess that was it...

Afterwards, we went to my host family's for dinner--beef dip--and had a nice evening at the shore (even though it was grey and almost raining). I started my endeavour to take as many pictures as possible, and as of now I am at 925--just in the last week!

Tuesday, my parents picked me up again and we said bye to Mr Murphy--who insisted I'd been a great student (thanks... I guess? I mean, all I did was not pay attention and not interrupt the lesson...) and told me I had to work in a field that would use my knowledge of Math...

Saying goodbye to Mr Manderioli was a bit tough because he's retiring and that's so sad and going into his room is so weird because it used to be decorated with his Rock History stuff and now it's bare and that's just no :(

And then we said goodbye to Mr Derksen, but I'll probably stop by his room again when I'm picking up my report card.

He told me I missed out on 'Best English 11 student' 1%. ONE Percent. >.<

So I'm runner up... because this other guy had one percent more on the Provincial than me. Sucks.

But hey, I'm glad enough as it is, considering I'm not a Native Speaker :)

He also told my parents I had to work with language later on... :)

Once we were done in school, we headed for Vancouver, and I even managed to sleep a bit (as usual... All three times driving to Vancouver I've slept on the drive for at least a couple of minutes).

The house we were at was really nice and cozy <3

The first day, we went to see the Botanical Garden of UBC, and I guess it was nice?
It was a lot of walking on trails high up between the trees and learning about different cedars and hemlocks and stuff :)

We spent a couple hours there and then my parents dropped me off at our house and went shopping... for groceries, I mean.

Of course we our first falling out that day... but what do you expect? I haven't lived with anybody that emotionally close or who could see through every one of my deceptions (even though that probably is too hard a word) for ten months, so thinking it would be totally smooth would be almost delusional :o
I am not an easy person to live with, I am sorry...

The next day, we went wool shopping for my mom in a shop that dyes it's own wool. Paradise (for her).
It took us ages to find it because Mom hadn't written the address down and neither of my parents would believe me when I said it was in there instead choosing to check out every single other entry way before ending up where I had suggested and it was correct. Big surprise there...

In the after noon, we proceeded on to Metrotown mall (Metropolis at Metrotown) in Burnaby, where we'd been with the Internationals.

I got a new hoodie and a shirt <3 from American Eagle.

We also got another couple cinnamon buns for desert. <3

Day three started with us going downtown in the morning and seeing Canada place (where the Olympics had been) and the Olympic torch and exploring a path about the history of Canada, and going back to Capilano Suspension Bridge in the after noon.

It's so beautiful there! <3

Day four meant traveling--by ferry this time.
We took the ferry from Tsawwassen to Nanaimo, where we are right now.
Yesterday we couldn't do much more than unpack and (in my parents' case) go grocery shopping, but today we spent the whole day at 'Butchart Gardens', which is breathtakingly beautiful. And it made my mom happy.

Tomorrow we're driving down to Toffino, and on Tuesday we're gonna start the journey back home...

And that's it from me, there might be a couple pictures following at a later date, but rn I'm super tired (after all)

Thanks for reading <3

Sonntag, 16. Juni 2013


It's over.
Can you believe it?

I most certainly can't.

My parents are in Vancouver right now, almost on the plane to Kelowna, and I have two more days.
I feel dizzy with it, with the promise of going home, being able to relax completely, and the dread of leaving this life behind forever.

I'm still sure it was one of the best decision of my life, and I'm also certain that I've made enough of it, but there is this niggling doubt in the back of my mind that I can't switch off.

We got our Yearbooks on Thursday--they're beautiful and awesome!--and had time to get them signed Thursday and Friday, and ... that's it.

Today was Father's Day, tomorrow is Entrepreneurship last day and on Tuesday we have Math Final Exam (I haven't really done anything and still don't remember how to solve a sinusoidal function) and pot luck in Creative Writing, where we'll get back our longer piece, have chocolate, pizza and pop and take home our port folios with everything we've done this year.

It's over, and that feels so surreal.

Dienstag, 4. Juni 2013


... we wrote an unannouced Math quiz (we don't do that often). I had to write it, because it was about Thursday/Friday's stuff, and I was there for that.
... I got my result from the last Math test—97%, 39/40. For guessing as much as I did, that result is terrific (the average was 80.3%).
... we wrote 'Similes and Metaphors' for Creative Writing class, which is harder than it may sound.
... I was shocked at Mr Manderioli's Rock History room—it used to be stuffed with memorabilia, the walls covered in posters and really nice, but when I entered today, I was greeted by mostly white walls. Sad, but true: Mr M is retiring after this year, so he has to free up his room :(
... I actually went to the wrong class—or more accurately, I went to the library when I should have been in Entrepreneurship, so I got an absent there (I didn't see CiCi's messages on my phone -_-) hasn't happened in a long while, and was of course super embarrassing, but there's nothing I can do now...
... I was particularly disappointed by how poorly one of my old-time favourite Harry Potter fanfictions was written—my expectations have become so much higher, it is hardly funny anymore.
... Mr D photographed my tiny handwriting for our Arts Magazine (in one line I had managed to squeeze four lines of text :) ) as some kind of back-drop
... I finally managed to write my introduction to the internationals yearbook :)
... Still haven't managed to do my own page for that same book
... I have gained my 85th follower on tumblr!

And now I'm super tired, so I'm signing off :)

Montag, 3. Juni 2013

Kettle Valley Railway Tour

... and other small things

Okay, so today was... an excursion!

We arrived at school, boarded the bus, and drove to the Kettle Valley Railway station past Summerland and Peachland :)

The weather was super nice, but Ms Snuggs had warned us to dress warmly, as the carts would be open.
In the end, I was glad I had taken my sweater, because it did get chilly on the train.
But the view was beautiful. There's a reason why Kelowna/the Okanagan Valley is considered one of the nicer cities and it very popular as a retirement place.
I took about a dozen or so scenery pictures, just because it's so beautiful.
The train was pulled by a real steam engine, and it was kinda cool.
Real steam!

Isn't is beautiful? Aren't you jealous, dad?

I'm wearing my white Stanford shirt--can you tell the sun was shining real hard?

Sarah and me at the Railway Station :)
Thanks to her for the picture!

It was really, really nice, and it was almost sad it took us only 90 mins!
Then we drove back and stopped by Summerland Sweets, a candy store, so we were late for Block 4--my Entrepreneurship class had already left for one of our field trips, so I just went to the library.

I read a couple of NHL blogs, all saying, "Yeah, the Pens are gonna bounce back after last game's 3-0 shutout on the hands of Tuukka Rask, they're gonna be real strong" and so you can imagine how much I was laughing at tonight's final score: 6-1 Bruins.
It was awesome, because I'm friends with this girl from Boston and we talked a bit about hockey on her wall, and yeah... tomorrow's gonna be the real test for the Hawks--they haven't won any game threes as of yet and the Kings are undefeated at home, so it's gonna be exciting!

Countdown is running, guys!
14 days till school ends!
Have a great night!

Freitag, 31. Mai 2013


This is a school day you love!

It starts out with a spare you can waste away, then you have a 'field trip' to walk to a street intersection to count cars (seriously--we have the hypothetical scenario of buying a food truck and we had to scout locations) and on the way back, Mr K bought us all Dairy Queen ice cream!

Now I only have Creative Writing--handed in both my projects already and have about 4-9 times as much as we needed: We had to hand in our edited first project (done) and 5-10 pages (double spaced) of new stuff (I have 48 pages double spaced... seriously. 10k words :))--and Math. Math is halfway interesting, because while we had done last lesson already in grade 7 or 8--factorials: 7!=7x6x5x4x3x2x1--today we're gonna do new stuff (I think). But we might have done that last year already, too, because he said that's the first step towards probability (with the tree diagrams) which we did last year for sure.

Anyway, Creative Writing! :D

Donnerstag, 30. Mai 2013



Without lying I can say that the number looms over me.
It induces both relief and dread—relief in that I will finally be able to go home, to return to where I feel most comfortable, where I can relax and not think, not keep myself in check at all times.
And dread, because my exchange year will definitely, finally over then, irretrievably and completely.

The exchange year… before I left, I would have said without hesitation that it’s the best decision anybody can make.

Now, almost nine months later, I can’t do that anymore.
I would still say it’s amongst the best decisions in my life, no doubt, but I have learnt, too:
Being ten months away from home isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, and I cannot generalize.
Even with my own year, I can’t.

In parts, this year has indeed been the best of my life. I’ve had the chance to do things I couldn’t at home—try new foods, have a very different school system, take classes they don’t offer at home, and there are countless more examples—and I’ve taken advantage of a lot of them, travelled to Vancouver and San Francisco, took part in challenges and lived with a family different from my own.

There were however moments I would count amongst the worst of my life.

Sitting alone in my room during two months of long, lonely afternoons, being scared of my host mother, later missing my parents and friends and people who understand me seemingly effortlessly, to whom I don’t have to explain myself, who don’t bat an eyelash at some of my quirks and who answer my apparently endless barrage of questions—that was tough. That was hard.

Both have changed me, the good just as much as the bad, and that is startling.

It’s not that I didn’t think I would change. I didn’t know how, but I expected some sort of fundamental change, something blatant, obvious, a new person.

Instead of becoming somebody new, I feel like I have become more like myself. I feel different and yet the same—which seems to be a contradiction and yet is my feelings in a nutshell.

I am still the ‘old’ Julia—irritable at times, with an insatiable thirst for knowledge, an eye for detail, and an inability to say ‘no’. I’m still eager to volunteer knowledge and don’t mind helping other people, explain things to them. I still enjoy solitude, as long as I’m not lonely, prefer reading books over crowds on most days.

The changes are more subtle than I anticipated, more subtle than the book worm undergoing metamorphosis into a ‘party animal’. It doesn’t work that way. Or at least it doesn’t work that way for me.

If I had to describe it, I would say the exchange year has chipped away some of my childishness, leaving ragged edges behind I will have to polish once I’m back home—a process that won’t be easy or short, but rather painful and full of setbacks and feeling misunderstood and angry.

But nobody said growing-up would be a cakewalk, and that’s the change I’ve undergone here. I’ve matured, faster than my friends back home, faster than my peers here.

I had to learn to make decisions, to handle my money, to organize my time. There is no mother who says, “Close your laptop and go to bed.” There are no parents peering over my shoulder to see how far I’ve come with my homework.

What it has taught me is that I am definitely not ready to live on my own. I make the wrong decisions; read books when I should go to bed, write my own stories when I should be doing homework or be learning.

I miss my stable schedule, the rationed time. It has taught me that if I have too much time at my disposal, I will waste it, by reading, writing, playing games.

But it has also taught me that even if I don’t pay attention in school, I will still get above average marks, that I should trust my mind not to let me down. It has taught me to relax and just let some things be, accept them as things I can’t change.

I have learnt that sometimes it is better to swallow down your own opinion, even though that definitely is something I still struggle with a lot of the time, that sometimes it is better to remain quiet. But I have also learnt that nothing will change if I don’t speak up, that my situation will remain unchanged unless I seize control and actively try to change it.

Instead of the radical change I expected, I got what I needed:
Insight into my own mind, into how I tick, how my body reacts.
I know now that my mind rebels at stagnation, it turns on itself, making me miserable and lethargic.
I need entertainment, constant action where my mind has to perform, where it is pushed to its limits.

I have also learnt that there is only so far I can push myself out of my comfort zone—but that that limit is a lot farther away than I assumed.
I have learnt I can accomplish almost anything as long as I try and don’t give up, as long as I believe in myself.

I may not have found the closest of friendships here, but that is not the way I work. I need a certain degree of freedom, and I am happy with the friends I have found.

The time I had here was amazing, the good definitely outweighing the bad, but I am ready to go home.

And I may not have made the most of my exchange year, but I have gained enough to be satisfied, to say, ‘Yes, for me it was worth it.’

There is no easy way to determine whether an exchange year is the right thing for you. All you can do is try, and be confident enough to admit it if it’s not working out.

There is no harder decision, no situation more complicated than deciding to go back home. I was too scared to call it a day and return after two months, and for me it has worked out. But I admire the people who can do that, who can ‘man up’ and admit that this is not their thing, because I can’t.

If I had the choice, I probably would do it again. But first, I have eighteen more days to enjoy.

Dienstag, 28. Mai 2013


Soooo, camping.
Have you seen my last post about Cancer Week?
It's just below, but I wanted it to stand alone.

So, camping.

Yes. I mean, camping last year was fun; driving with our camper through Germany and having vacation at different locations, but it was also being cramped into a small space with my parents and our dog, hanging on each other 24/7, and that's not so much to my liking.

So you can imagine that I was more resigned than enthusiastic when I realized camping with my family here would mean all five of us and the family that shared the double camping space with us, with four people, and no internet, no electricity nothing.

The internet part wasn't so bad--I loaded up my kindle, and that was it.
I also charged my iPod and phone, and I am proud to say I managed to keep both alive for all three days.

So we left on Friday afternoon after school, car packed with firewood, pillows and small bags, and Tanya's father had already set up his trailer. It was huge. My dad would probably have said: "It's bigger than our first apartment." It really was, especially once Tanya slid out the 'slides', two parts of the trailer where we sleep in that you just slide out so you have more space, and then we waited for the other family to arrive. I don't think we did a lot that day; we had burgers for dinner and s'mores at the campfire, and Oh My God, s'mores are so unbelievably delicious.

 The rest of the weekend, to summarize, was reading, hiking and eating. So. Much. Food. Unbelievable, I'm telling you!
But it was really, really nice!

So have a couple of pictures! :)

S'mores! :D

Freitag, 24. Mai 2013

Cancer Week!

Yes, I'm back!

Sorry it's taken me so long, but my wrists are perking up again, so I was trying to limit my writing (still to impatient, which is not conducive to healing, I know, I know)

This week was Cancer Week here at KSS, starting on Tuesday after the long weekend (Victoria Day; Queen Victoria's birthday) with a info meeting in the gym--the whole school was present, all ~1,600 Students, and we heard some emotional accounts from teachers with experience--through spouses or children--of cancer, and one student who has had cancer since she was five, and then they called upon us to shave our heads.

Mom said no, so I did what I could: I sponsored another International who shaved his head.
Wednesday, there was a drive-thru breakfast somewhere (I don't know where exactly) and something else yesterday, and today at lunch, there was (okay, they're still going) the head shavers.

It's a pretty big deal; some twenty or thirty students are shaving their heads and most of the school is outside watching people become bald... I was outside for a bit, before I decided squinting through the student mass just wasn't worth it.

But it's pretty amazing how it unites the whole school to raise money for cancer!

Donnerstag, 16. Mai 2013

I'm not crying...

**Warning for swearing under the cut--too tired to censor myself**

Montag, 13. Mai 2013

Still keyed up

... and not in a good way as yesterday.

Must have been the 12 hours of sleep I got...
Tonight it's gonna be 7. Tops.
Which is not good. I'd love to sleep more; don't ask me why I don't...
Okay, tonight I was writing, and it felt good, but it keyed me up even more...

Mother's Day was nice; I skyped with my mom and the grandparents came over, so yeah.

That's like, literally all that's happened.

So, I guess I'm gonna try to go to bed tonight; I'll be back tomorrow with a riveting description of my day, I guess.

Yeah, so, Good night! :)

Samstag, 11. Mai 2013

Keyed up

I feel so keyed up, I can hardly describe it.

It's like there's energy thrumming under my skin--like I want to write something, but I just shot out almost 11k (10,988) words and I'm still waiting to hear back from my beta-readers (okay, I already heard back from the German one, but I'm still waiting for the native speaker; but she said she'd get it back to me by mid-week, as she's in Banff right now and can't edit on her phone), so I don't really know what to do with myself...

It's still so hot outside :(
I mean, actually that's a good thing, but I had to walk to Tai Chi today, and that was really, really hot.
Plus, I'm only wearing Flip Flops at the moment, and I've never before worn them as actual shoes, so I've got blisters on my feet (maybe wasn't the best to start out with 4km)...

Tomorrow is mother's day--or rather, it's already mother's day in Germany, so Mama:

I wish you a very happy day!
See, my present for you is I'm not bothering you!
I would love to stay up to skype with you, but I think I'm just gonna head off to bed--as I said, there's nothing to do, and it's 8 pm and I'm insanely tired... Been awake since 8.30 a.m, even though I could have slept till 9.30! I don't even know what woke me up!

So, there's a bit more than a month left here...
At least until my parents come over.

A bit less than two months till I come home... I can't even believe it!
Can you?
I've been here for more than eight months, for more than 250 days already, and it feels both very, very long and incredibly short.
It's a weird thing, let me tell you.

I'm gonna go and brush my teeth now!

Good night!

Freitag, 10. Mai 2013

San Francisco Pictures & Wrap-up

Okaaay, so here are the photos!
Shirt I bought in the Fisherman's Wharf Area
awesome view! My phone doesn't make the best pictures
and there was a lot of fog
but it was AMAZING!

Alcatraz Island

The ship that got us to Alcatraz

One of the cells
once of the cells from the outside

A hallway with cells

The abandoned/broken down guard house

View from Alcatraz

more view from Alcatraz

A tower--a lighthouse on Alcatraz

San Francisco as seen from Alcatraz--maybe my favourite picture
of the trip!
So that's what we did on day one.

The Golden Gate Bridge as seen from the other side
looking towards Sausalito
The next day, we walked to the ferry station and took a ferry to Sausalito, where the Golden Gate Bridge is, and then the public bus (it was a horribly tight fit to get 50 students and 5 teachers onto the public transit, let me tell you) to the beginning of the Golden Gate Bridge, from where we walked across.

It was beautiful--the scenery is stunning and our group was stretched out so we were almost all by ourselves, and I took lots of pictures of the bridge.

The view of Sausalito from the Bridge

About half-way through, though, my throat started hurting; later on it turned out I had caught a cold from the air conditioning on the bus!

We then went to Amoeba Records, which is a CD and Vinyl store and was incredibly boring, but well, what can ya do? It was a Rock History Trip, too!

Half of our group proceeded to the Haight-Ashbury corner, a famous street intersection for Rock History fans (I don't know what happened there, I am sorry), while the rest of us went downtown San Francisco for shopping.

I am not a big shopping fan and my feet hurt terribly from the special soled I have in my shoes, but even shopping was more desirable than ambling around the streets--there were obvious drug addicts (one guy was rocking back and forth, trying to eat his own foot!) and strange people (one woman stopped me and my friend and wanted to sell us something, and we were both in shock until I touched her arm and said, pretty unconvincingly, "Hey, we gotta go and find our group, it's time already" and pulled her away.), so we spent our time actually looking at clothes in Forever 21.

I bought a shirt and some earrings:

I really like those!
Go Owls!

The traditional one is a must-have!

We took a very ancient tram home, and then it had been planned to eat dinner at the hard rock cafe, but we decided to simply buy some shirts and then go to Subway (incredibly cheaper).

Facebook address
The next day started at 7 a.m., but I had spent half the night awake because my throat was sore, had written something on my phone and submitted it to tumblr, who simply ate my post--my one hour of writing gone and I can't remember what exactly I wrote, because I was pretty tired :(

Because I had only gotten 4 hours of sleep, though, I managed to forget both my wallet and my sunglasses in the hostel, but my teacher let me borrow some money off her.

We went to see facebook headquarters and took pictures in front of the sign (it's very unexciting) and then had a walk over Stanfort Univeristy campus, where I also bought a hoodie and a shirt, because the logo has German in it--Der Wind der Freiheit weht, or in English, the wind of freedom blows.

After that, we went to an outlet mall, but I a) didn't have any money and b) was feeling very sick and c) it was incredibly hot outside (my guess would be around 35 degrees Celsius; I wore sun screen with SPF 50 and still got slightly burnt!) so I just sat in the shadows (I also couldn't really talk that day, because my throat was very scratchy)

The AT&T Park

And the inside!
After that, we went to a baseball game, which was both cold and boring--baseball simply isn't my sport.

I had a real baseball hot dog, though, and the atmosphere was quite stunning--especially hilarious was the guy sitting on the empore next to us.

He was already tipsy when the game started, exuberant but surprisingly coherent, and it just got worse more hilarious as the game went on.

He kept starting chants, for example "Let's go Gi-ants" and our students body answered that chant with the same words, effectively drowning out the lone Dodger's fan next to that guy.

In the end, our students (some of them at least) went up to him and got photos with him!

I could neither shout (because of my throat) nor see a lot (it was very far away), so I was miserable and cold and bored and desperately wishing I had brought my kindle.

I did not break out my kindle until the airport! But everyone was tired and a tiny bit cranky there, so I thought it would be best to keep myself occupied.

The Giants won, 10-9 in (fortunately) the first extra-inning; it had been tied after nine innings, even though the Giants had been up 6-0 at one point.
And they even scored a home run!

Still, four and a half hours for that outcome felt almost like we'd been cheated. Baseball definitely is not my sport.

We arrived back at the hostel at 11:30 pm, and had to leave the hostel at 5 the next morning, so we put our alarm clocks on 4 am and packed up our luggage (It was a tight fit! I've never before bought so much clothes in one trip!).

I woke up the next morning to somebody saying, "Wake up, Julia, it's already 4:30"--we had all overslept!
Nobody had heard the alarms! (As in, multiple alarms)

We took the plane back home, and it was a nice trip--and I was even able to catch the first period of my team playing hockey, it was awesome!

So yeah, and that's it.

I hope you enjoyed my description and the photos!

Have a great night,