Various Things

Hello, blogging fans.  I'm going to be one of those annoying bloggers who apologises for a hiatus in writing, as if his audience were demanding an apology for the withdrawal of his soul-nourishing prose stylings.  So, sorry guys.  I've been a bit busy.

So it occurs to me that Mother's Day is in 10 days, and I'm still not entirely sure where the post office is.  Here's a promise: I hope to go shopping this week-end and pick up some nice things for you, Mom.  And I apologise for the poor quality of that promise.

I got a Finnish one-Euro coin to-day in change.  Man, the EU is pretty great.

What has been keeping me busy?  Class and socialising, mostly.  It turns out that I am taking seven classes, which is really not so bad, as only two of them have large final projects, and most of them just involve two tests.  I plan to use this relative lack of activity to get some travelling in, and to learn the material in my courses rather more thoroughly than I might if I were at Harvard.  I will be happy if I achieve one of these goals, but I consider it possible that I might achieve both.

It turns out that I speak better German than a couple of my professors, and that in fact only three of my professors are native speakers of German.  I'm not going to pretend this is ideal, but it does make things much easier to understand.  Also, since all linguistics articles are written in English, most of the things I have to read are in English.  This means that I am actually at an advantage here.  It just doesn't seem right.

I sort of wanted to go to the Netherlands to-day, as to-day is Koninginnedag, or Queen's Day.  It turns out it's a pretty good thing I didn't, as all festivities have been cancelled, following one maniac's decision to ram his car into a group of people watching the Queen's parade.  Four people are dead, and many more are seriously injured.
I keep going to cultural events all the time.  This is a real demand on my time.  I went to a concert in Potsdam that turned out to be a movie about Bob Dylan.  I went to a film festival called sehsüchte that featured the complete failure of the sound system in the middle of the fourth feature.  That was all right, though, because only the second feature was actually interesting (Schlaraffenland by Sarah Judith Mettke).  I also went to the Baumblütenfest in Werder, or Tree Blossom Festival, which is apparently the second largest Saufparty in Germany (after Oktoberfest).  It is a real, authentic piece of Prussian culture, and it has been going on for 130 years.  According to the group of Germans I was with, this year's incarnation featured rather fewer individuals who had enjoyed an inordinate amount of the ubiquitous fruit wines that make Werder famous, and was therefore not nearly as entertaining as in years past.  I enjoyed it though; there was fair food.  Fair food is a concept I can't really explain to Germans--I have tried--but it is delicious.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and don't have pictures.  I might go back this week-end.

To-morrow a goodly number (at least 4) of us foreigners are heading to Berlin Kreuzberg for the May Day festivities.  Kreuzberg is overwhelmingly Turkish and overwhelmingly awesome, so I promise to take pitures.



  1. You better remember to take pictures tomorrow!! I want to see them all! :) Glad you're having a great time though and that you weren't hit by a car today. I feel bad for those who were though..