Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Hello! In case you have been curious, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. My family and I recently moved into a new house, and we haven't had the internet. Evidently, it takes the phone company (yes, DSL) 10 days to change the internet account to a new house. I'm not sure if that's how long it takes the company to find the button to push to switch it, or if the button takes that long to send the signal to the house.

Here's a teaser of things to come (whenever I get the internet)...
New house video
Mosh-pit with 13-year olds
Oma and Opa
Outlet shopping and Ikea
My real family replaced me with a dog

Oh...this is coming from a McDonalds. Good 'ole America.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

From Bras to Taxes

This blog has 2 main purposes. One, to keep people updated on my life. And two, to share my observations and experiences. This post is dedicated to the 2nd reason. Here are some random things I've noticed over here:
  1. Bras. I'm sorry to make you blush, Mom, but I think this is interesting. Its not like I've been staring or anything, but I've really noticed womens' bras here. In America, it seems like women want to wear smooth bras that aren't noticeable under a shirt. Key word: smooth. Here, its like the women want people to see that they are wearing a lacy bra under their white shirt. You can't really see the bra, but you can definitely tell the material and the style. I've tried to describe this without being a pervert. I just think its interesting.
  2. Ice. There is a lack of ice here. I haven't seen any ice makers in fridges, and there are no bags in stores. Its been very difficult to get used to life without ice. Think about the best Coke you've ever had...warm, without ice. It doesn't happen. Martinis don't happen.
  3. Air conditioning. There is no residential air conditioning here. It really hasn't been bad, though. Even the hot days don't get that hot in the house. It helps that the walls here are probably 5x thicker than the American style. It keeps the house rather cool.
  4. Bugs. Because there isn't air conditioning here, you cool down your house by opening doors and windows. That would be fine, but they don't believe in screens here. Therefore, its quite common to have flies, mosquitoes, spiders, etc. crawling around. Its not out of control, but its a nuisance. I don't like it.
  5. Mirrors. For my hundreds of readers who've read my blog on driving, you know about the car on the right having the right-of-way. Always. Well, to assist with that, they installed mirrors at many intersections. Imagine driving straight down a road, and a road on the right T's into your road. The driver turning onto your road has the right-of-way. Even though you are going straight. So to know if you need to stop for that car, you look to your slight left at a mirror that's about 3'x3' to see if a car is coming to your right. Stupid.
  6. Wine. Cheap as dirt. Even getting a big glass at a bar can be about 2 euros.
  7. Crepes. This is their fast food. You can find many stands or small stores that sell crepes for a couple euros. They cook it right in front of you and then slap some Nutella on, roll it up, and away you go. SOOOO GOODD!!!
  8. Taxes. Greg (my host dad) informed me that the sales tax comes out to about 20%!!! Its included in the price, but this is amazing to me. I didn't do any research on this, so it could be wrong. And without getting too political, this sucks.

One final note. Thanks for all the supportive words I recieved after my last post. Its nice to know that I have such a fantastic support team behind me. It really makes things a lot easier for me.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My State of Being

Fair warning, this isn't going to be all that interesting of a post. I really haven't been doing many interesting things as of late, but I just wanted to give an update on my state of being.

This last week was a particularly hard week. Wednesday through Saturday, Aiden was sick. He was throwing up on Wednesday and ran a fluctuating temperature on the other days. It was good news/bad news for me. The good news was that I got paid more to stay home with Aiden. The bad news was that I had to stay home with Aiden.

Typically, I would think a kid who is throwing up and running a fever would want to relax all day and not do much. Nope. Aiden acted like his normal-self for 80% of the time. So it wasn't like I could plop him in front of the TV or read books to him. I had to play with him. I know...how horrible! But really, he doesn't play well with others. And he just wears me out. And on top of that (and I don't know whether to contribute this to the sickness or not), but he was a HUGE pain in the ass. We ended up having several "disagreements", with one leading to me screaming at him like I've never screamed at anyone in my life. Was it bad that it felt good?

Aside from Aiden, I've been kind of morose lately. I'm really getting to the point where I'm missing home. I REALLY miss my family. I think its espeically hard during the summer because I'm used to spending every second with them. And I never thought I'd say this, but I miss working with my dad. I'm also missing my friends, and Butler, and America, and living indepentantly. I know that being in the situation I'm in, its normal for me to feel this way. So I'm not panicing or overreacting. There's just a part of me that wishes I was working at Butler right now. I guess the grass is always greener.

This has been a little depressing, hasn't it? I don't mean to paint a picture that I'm having a bad experience or anything. I'm not regretting this. I mean, no one goes through an entire year without having some difficulties.

Oh...on a lighter note, I bought a train ticket to Paris for early July. I'm going to meet Ben there (former Butler foreign exchange student who lives in Paris). And then I guess he's taking me to his summer home. I'm SOOO excited about this. And I've been tentatively planning a vacation in August to visit my friend Rene in Austria and then checking out Budapest, Prague, Munich, and maybe some more. Pairing those with the vacation I'm spending with my host family close to London...I have a pretty exciting summer ahead of me.

Monday, June 1, 2009

This is what I look like without a shirt, too

This was the scene at the Geneva Beach on Sunday. There were 2 other men with this group that looked just like he. Lauren (Aussie Au Pair) and I watched them for hours trying to figure out what they did for a living. Here's our top 5 choices...you pick.
a) Circus folk
b) Ballet dancers
c) Synchronized divers
d) Cheerleaders
e) Au Pairs

Oh!!! I got to see my first topless sunbathers (not as great as I thought) and my first thongs (as great as I thought).