Saturday, July 08, 2006


Pictures have been posted of the 4th of July/German soccer game. See below:-)

Bonjour Madame

Well my French adventure has just about ended, so it is time to start sharing the stories from my fascinating three-day trip. I experienced and saw so many new things that I think three entries will be in order.

As I alluded to in my quick post on Thursday, I had a bad Charles de Gaulle airport experience. By 12:30 on Wednesday, I almost had myself convinced that Paris (and therefore all of France) was as terrible as I thought in college and that I should just go back to Germany. But not wanting to let the Frenchies win, I persevered-- through ticket machines that only except French credit cards or coins, through the broken change machine that would give said coins and through a crazy long ticket line due to problems a and b. I eventually found my way to the St. Lazare station and caught my train to Bayeux.

Luckily, my problems seemed to be more the result of French inefficiency and stubbornness than rude French people (as the stereotype goes.) French people were actually surprisingly nice. My general experience was that the following worked very well:
1. “Bonjour madame/monsieur”
2. Flash friendly smile
3. “Par le vous Anglais?”
4. Flash another friendly, hopeful smile
5. Throw in “merci” and “si vous plais” as often as possible

Using the above battle plan, I got myself to Bayeux and from that point on, had only positive experiences.

Louis XVI built the B&B I stayed at for his botanist. The room had wooden beams in the ceiling and stonewalls and the garden/park in the back was filled with interesting trees and flowers. There was no phone or internet, but I guess if I wanted that I could have stayed home:-)

I hadn’t really expected much of Bayeux, so its delicious food, quaint streets and window boxes overflowing with colorful flowers were quite a pleasant surprise. For dinner on Wednesday I had a salad with warm cheese, an apple tart and a glass of cider. The area is known for cheese, apples, pears, cider and caramel. DELICIOUS! After dinner I did a bit more exploring. In some ways the town reminded me of Leland-- cozy but a bit touristy; great ice cream and even a water wheel!

I watched the soccer game later in the evening and then headed to bed so I would be ready for the Tour de France the next morning.

Cathedral of Notre Dame in Bayeux

More tomorrow…

(p.s. As I type this at the airport, a guy just walked past wearing a GIANT cowboy hat. I guess that he is either from Texas or Germany, but he certainly is not blending in with France.)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

4th of July

Well I have now spent my second 4th of July in Berlin and I hope there will not a third. This feeling has nothing to do with Germany and everything to do with America... it is just not normal to not be in the good ol'US of A on the 4th of July! I was actually in Berlin on the 4th when I was in Germany during high school. On that trip, I remember all the girls singing America songs as we got ready for the day in the bathroom of the youth hostel--funny how you remember little things. But I don't remember being that upset about not being in the States. This time around, I had a great day-- shopping, got my nails done and met up with friends, but it just didn't feel right not being with a city full of people celebrating the day.

Americans get serious about German soccer!!

Erin gets serious about German soccer. I might just wear my groovy hat when I get back to Washington!

Actually, Germany was all abuzz, but it had nothing to do with Independence Day. Germany played Italy in the semi-final of the World Cup on Tuesday. Unfortunately they lost:-( I am still excited to see Berlin after the final game on Sunday, but it would have been 10 times cooler had Germany been one of the final two teams. Now I am cheering for France because...

I am currently in France and it was exciting that they won their game last night! I am here to watch the Tour de France race through Caen today and then tour Omaha Beach, Point du Hoc and the American and German cemetaries tomorrow. Bayeux has already exceeded my expectations! But let me put this nicely... In the two hour it took me to get from the airport to the train station, I definitively concluded that I will NEVER be a francophile and am very happy being a Germanophile. More on France later (when I cqn find q keyboqrd aith the correct key plqce,ent 111)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

German "issues"

Please pardon the rant... but I am &*$$@%!

DVD players are set to a certain region, based on where you live. You can change the setting 5 times, but on the 5th time, the player locks on whatever region it is currently set. THIS IS TOTALLY UNFAIR! The purpose of a laptop is to travel. If you are traveling, you might be abroad. If you are abroad, you might legally buy DVDs and want to watch them. But noooooo!

PC users can easily get programs to get around this little (big) technical (legal) problem. Unfortunately, a similar program for Apple users doesn't work on new-ish laptops. I didn't realize this until after I bought 2 German DVDs. So now I am stuck with 2 chickflicks with the wrong region code and I just realized that I only know one girl German. (That's strange too!)

In other news, I have decided that I need G.O.D. Of course in a "higher" sense, I have always known this. But the GOD I need is a German On Duty. This would be a helpful German who at any point could answer my questions about all things Germany; who would help me avoid the international incidents that I know are just waiting to happen. Preferably, my friends could coordinate their schedules so GOD would always be around;-)

Tonight, as an example, I was thinking about writing a cover letter in German. But do Germans even write cover letters? If they do, I doubt they are as "yea me" as American cover letters. Does "I feel I am uniquely qualified for this position..." translate? I also can't find the direct translation for "skill set." Germans have "qualifikationen" (qualifications/skills) but is this really the same as a skill set? I like the word "skill set!" The Germans who I thought might have been home are not, so blogging about this matter seemed to be the next best solution:-)

Wooo, I feel much better now that I have gotten these highly important issues out into the blog-o-shere.

Have a good night!