I'm back, after a wonderful weekend. Just as a note for now and the future, I'll probably reply to comments to which I should reply at the beginning of each blog-post-thing briefly, or something. It's pretty cool to get comments. Even ones calling me a slave, or dirty little slave, or something else Carissa-ish. Anyhoo, so real quick... Prof.-- that meeting in the fall sounds like a great idea! It's surprising how soon the fall is coming. Roughly 6 weeks. Eek. Lil Ellen-- I know :( That was actually the one drawback for me-- a couple of friends and I had made indefinite plans that I obviously can't keep, and I had especially wanted to see you and have coffee and svu-watching glee. Can we reschedule for winter break? :D
Whew okay. So I found out what that flute sound was (or at least, I think). Apparently, farmers have truck things out of which they sell their eggs, and they play flute music (like our ice cream trucks). This is assuming that the flute music I head while at home is the same as that which I hear in Düss, but an egg truck would explain the brevity and infrequency of the music.
So, on Friday I went out biking with my Gastmutti
. It was really awesome. We biked on a dirt road through this huge rose plantation place, and of course the smell was just wonderful. My mom and grandma probably would've loved to see it, although the roses weren't especially big or anything. I think the heat is probably causing problems for them. Then we biked past this Bed and Breakfast kind of place, that was a small farm. They have a pet yard with fawns (awwwwwww) and swans. Then we went to a castle here in Duisberg where a (I think) Graf
lives-- it's been kept in the family since the 1690s. It was gorgeous. There was a draw-bridge, and there were some weeping willows around the moat (or what used to be the moat, I think it doesn't go around the whole castle now). Really incredible. The castle has its own chapel, which actually has services on Sunday and everything. I took pictures when I went out the next day.
Speaking of chapels, my Gastmutti also showed me her church and took me through the cemetery. My first reaction was that I was a little weirded out-- why invite someone to walk through a cemetery? Waaaaay different over here. The cemetery was absolutely gorgeous, even though it feels a little weird to say it (or type it, technically speaking). The grave basically becomes a small garden-- people plant flowers, small shrubbery, and put nice rocks and all sorts of other decorations. Apparently this is done all across Germany, but I don't know if it's just Catholics or everyone. I'd assume everyone, but I didn't ask, so.... But it was really cool.
Continuing with the church theme, on Saturday, Micha and I went to Köln (Cologne) where I saw the Kölner Dom. Wow. It was so amazing and enormous-- it dwarfs the city. Those of you who are getting Kölner Dom postcards will notice that I like that dwarf phrase. The Dom also has the Three Wise Men (Three Holy Kings in German) in its crypt.
After that we went shopping in the famous shopping mile in Köln. Stacie probably has had nightmares similar to it-- I could hardly believe how many people were everywhere. I can't imagine how the store workers could keep up with the shoppers, which might explain the relative untidy state of things. Micha bought some clothes and a book, and I bought 3 books. I have a book about Wittgenstein's arguments against private language... that I cannot read, obviously, and Micha has trouble translating. Then I bought a Kafka book-- I almost bought a collection of 4 Kafka books, but then I would have dropped about 40 Euro in the book store, and I'm a bit too stingy. And I bought Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil and Geneology of Morals for my brother, who loves Nietzsche. I figured he'd like to have it in German because it's the real thing and stuff, even if he can't read it, bahahha. I was surprised at how about half the philosophy section was for just Kant and Nietzsche-- poor Witt :(. Then I bought lunch (yay! a victory for me!). For bottled drinks, places charge extra money, I think about .30 Euro and give you back the money when you return the bottles to the store or food place. It's to strongly encourage recycling. Told you you'd love it here Lil Ellen ;)
Then yesterday I had brunch with Micha, Tanja and her friends by the Rhein, which is why I am sunburnt. We were there for more than 3 hours! I wasn't bored really, but it's just a bit different. I've only dined for even half that long on special occassions and such. Then last night I played Rummikub, which is this awesome game from Israel that Jürgen wins all too often :) I hope I can buy it somewhere. Maybe it's in America too and I just haven't heard of it.
K that's it for my nice long entry for now! I hope yall are having super-duper summers!
These pictures aren't the best in the world, but they give ya a good idear!
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