How the EU makes dishes:

^ …such was the title of a recent class presentation by one of my students.  Granted, he did mean to say “decisions”, but the laugh he gave us all was worth the slight mispronunciation.

School is continuing to be a source of amusement; I decided it was time to start singing again and joined the weekly choir workshop.  We’re working on “Caresse sur l’océan” from the (wonderful) French movie Les Choristes, “You’ll Be in My Heart” courtesy of Elton John/Tarzan, and a few other non-German pieces.  When we eventually perform, I’ll try to have someone record it so I can upload it here.

Other academic pursuits have been successful: I’m waiting to be formally accepted to the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen (huzzah for being a student again)!  I figure this semester I won’t actually take classes for grades…just for self-improvement.  They’re admitting Kyra and me as exchange students, but they know that we’ve both gotten our Bachelors and that I don’t intend to start a Masters program anytime soon.  The key advantage of having student status is the student ID card that acts as a pass on all regional public transportation in Hessen.  So, I pay 240 Euro for tuition, get 100 Euro back from the city of Gießen when I register to live in my new apartment in November (more on that below), and end up being able to travel everywhere in Hessen for 140 Euros.  With the price of a one-way bus ride between Laubach and Gießen at 3,80 Euro, and a one-way train ride to Frankfurt at around 17,00 Euro, it’s definitely going to be worth it.

So, that apartment that I found? Definitely took a while. I didn’t want to live alone, so I checked out a very handy website (WG-Gesucht) and emailed/called a bunch of students looking for flatmates in their Wohngemeinschaft (apartment living community).  I made four Besichtigungstermine (viewing appointments), which are short interviews to see if I would fit in with the people already living in the flat.

WG #1
Four students, three girls, one guy.  All very nice, sporty, smart, chill Germans.  Great location (for me), right by the train station, extremely low price of 165 Euro per month rent.  I wasn’t “accepted” by this WG because they wanted to find someone who would definitely be living there for at least 2 years, and I obviously couldn’t promise that.

WG #2
One student, one “real world person”, both guys.  Both extremely courteous, very fit, from their looks they definitely embodied the German version of our beloved “bros”…meaning they weren’t douchey and had (some) thoughts of things other than Bier and Ladies.  One of them had even worked in Racine, Wisconsin  (of all places, honestly?) for a year.  Good location, rent was pricey at 300 Euro.  Again, I wasn’t “accepted” due to the length of my stay.

WG #3
One student, one “real world person”, both girls.  And one 14-month-old child.  Also a girl.  Cute, but when your job is to spend the whole day with kids, you might want a kid-free-zone to come home to.  The girl’s mother was really nice, served me dinner during the interview and we talked about Buddhism.  Great location, decent rent at 250 Euro.  Technically, I don’t know if she wants me to live with them or not, but it’s sort of irrelevant now, because…

WG #4: we have a winner!
One student, a guy named Alex.  He’s almost done studying to be a lawyer and wanted to find a flatmate that wasn’t going to be bothersome and loud.  Pretty good location, 250 Euro (for rent and everything else: internet, cable, heat, electricity, water).  I’m lucky to be able to buy a bed, closet, table, and dresser for only 150 Euro from the guy who is moving out.  The WG is atypical in that it has a living room — most students choose to forgo having a common space in favor of having another rent-paying flatmate.  I personally am a fan of having the option of being social at home, so it’ll be nice having that extra space as a luxury.  Actually, I secretly think Alex picked me for the potential dance lessons he’ll probably get out of this living arrangement…

Oh goodness there’s much more to tell.  I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while, though you can take that as a sign that I’m not bored!  Quick run-down:

-the Argentine Tango scene in Gießen is alive and well
-I’m getting a bicycle for free from my school
-autumn vacation will consist of a Mitfahrgelegenheit/covoiturage/ride-sharing road trip through parts of France, main destination Toulouse to visit Erika (!)
-Kyra is having an art exhibit in Cafe Amelie in Gießen featuring a painting of me (among others)
-the castle in Laubach has one of largest private library collections in Europe (more than 120,000 titles…weird stuff like old medicinal texts and beautiful stuff like hand-colored pictures of roses from 17th century botanical texts)
-the castle restaurant serves excellent wild mushroom soup and venison meatloaf
-my school’s headmaster is officially the nicest German man ever (he organized the library tour, lunch in the castle, and the free bike)
Mett tastes surprisingly good.  Pigs, please don’t hate.

More pictures of Laubach have been uploaded. Enjoy!


5 thoughts on “How the EU makes dishes:

  1. Hey, great entry as always. I loved the photos, the detail about your adventures re: apartment searching. Where are you singing? nd what course/s are you taking? Love the dishes comment/interpretation. Love,Mom

    1. Thanks! I’m just singing with the kids at school — it’s pretty chill. I’ve not started with uni yet, but I’ll have to decide mid/late October what I’ll take. I’m thinking Spanish…maybe something with theatre if that’s available too.

  2. Hey Ginger,
    Nice to hear that you are fine and enjoying your time in Germany! I just stumbled over your blog and your Mett post made me laugh. Do you know what they also call it? Bauarbeiter-Marmelade. Hits the nail on the head.

    1. Tobias!! Excellent to hear from you! Glad you’re enjoying the blog too…like I wrote, I’ll be in France (not in Paris, unfortunately) in a little over a week. Check your Facebook messages later today; I have a couple questions for you. Liebe Grüße, G

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