Thursday, August 17, 2006

Back in Lawrence

I'm back in Lawrence and moved into my new apartment. I'm living in the same complex I was before but not the same apartment. The complex is under new management and they remodeled all the apartments. I have to say it's much nicer than the one I had before -- new carpet, floors, countertops, fresh paint, and a nice ceiling fan in the bedroom. Here's a few pictures:

And here's some of the nice furnature my parents donated.

As part of the remodeling they tore out the bookshelf and counter that ran across the living room wall. I thought I was going to miss them but I think it really opens up the room without them. But I still needed somewhere to put all of my books so I bought a couple of big bookshelves.

Here's the bedroom:

And finally here's my big wall o' postcards. I collected a postcard from every city in Europe I've visited and posted them on the kitchen wall.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I finally got to see my nephew Martin in person. He's the cutest baby and has a lot of energy. Here's a few pictures.

Here I am with Martin:

And here he is with Jill:

And Jeremy, the father:

Here's a few more pictures of Martin and I:

Here he is in his jumperoo:

And lastly here's a short video of Martin in his jumperoo:

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Abschlussparty Videos

Here are some videos from my last couple of days in Mainz.

Because of the high winds the night of the BBQ the grill became much hotter than normal and as a result our first round of food was a little too well done. Here's Esther talking about her charred steaks... "es schmekt wie scheisser".

And then Esther had a special message for my mom concerning the bird flu. I had told her that everytime I call my mom she asks about the bird flu situation and worries about it more than she should.

And here's Dennis doing a little rap.

Here's my friend Adine telling a really bad Pamela Anderson joke.

Here's my indian friend Aznish telling a very funny anecdote... apparently he didn't realize I was taping him.

And finally here's a video from the end of the night (4:00 am). I guess it speaks for itself. René seems to have just finished off a very strong drink and everyone seems to have forgotten what languages they speak.

So that's officially the last of my Germany stuff. On saturday I move back to Lawrence. In the mean time I'm hanging out in Des Moines. I'll post some fotos and videos of my nephew martin soon.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Abschlussparty Teil 2

So after the BBQ we headed down to the bar for my big farewell party.
Here I am with Dennis:

And Peter:

And René (I have no idea wear this army hat came from but as you can see, everyone tried it on for some reason)

And here I am with my new Mainz 05 Jersey that René and Pegion got me.

And here's a few more pictures:

I think everyone had a great time and it was a good send off for me. The bar stayed open for us until about 4:00 and everyone slowly made their way home. The next day I packed up my things with help from Esther and then on Friday morning I rode to the Frankfurt airport with Eva and Esther. It was sad but at the same time I'm happy to be home... plus, I don't think Germany's seen the last of me.

Look for some videos of the celebrating to be posted soon.

BBQ und Abschlussparty Teil 1

So I've just arrived back home in Des Moines. I got in last night after a 16 hour trip by way of Phily and Chicago. But on Wednesday some friends and I had a BBQ on top of my building. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate. Just as we got the grill going, a major storm blew through. Fortunately there is a big room up there and so we were able to continue grilling by just pulling the grill over to the door. Here’s a few pictures:

Here’s Thomas and I:

Esther and I:

René and I:

The night before we also had a small party in the bar. Here’s a few pictures:

Mathias and I:

Omar and I:

Azidine and I:

Friday, July 28, 2006

Top 10 Lists

So the other night I was thinking about the things that I like best about Germany after living here for almost a year as well as the things I like the least and decided to make a top 10 list for both. Here they are:


10 The Simpsons auf Deutsch... the voices are all kinds of wrong and the jokes don't always translate.

9 The strange things they do to drinks... EVERYTHING is carbonated and sometimes they even mix Coke with wine or beer, and sometimes banana juice with beer... wtf?

8 All the paperwork and forms you have to fill out to do ANYTHING.

7 They expect you to pay a special fee for simply owning a TV or radio or pet.

6 No air conditioning on the University

5 The mysterious key you need to have to use many of the elevators... but nobody seems to know where or how you can get one.

4 No ice. If you ask for ice in your drink you get one tiny cube... if you ask for extra, you get 3.

3 No Mountain Dew

2 The grocery stores... long lines with one cashier and they ring everything up so fast and you better have a place to put your stuff as they throw it at you... no sackers or drive up service... oh how I miss Hy-vee.

1 Having to always pay to use the public bathroom!... it’s not the money, it’s the principle.


10 They don’t like the french either

9 Döner Kebobs... mmmm... lecker. Turkish, I know, but still... lecker.

8 The Autobahn

7 The bus system and Strassenbahns

6 The historic buildings, cathedrals and the beautiful Altstädte

5 The german people... less anal and more funny than the stereotype

4 The rail system

3 No FCC and all it’s moronic regulations... generally speaking, a more rationally governed society.

2 No fundamentalists or moral majority idiots screwing everything up politically... just the occasional mormon... from the states of course.

1 German beer!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


The other day I went to Marburg, home of Professor Lotz, and I have to say it’s one of the prettiest cities I’ve been to in Germany... although I have to also say that it’s by far the most difficult city for me to get around in. The Altstadt is situated on a really big hil (small mountain) and to see it you have to go up really steep slopes and stairs. They do actually have an elevator but it only takes you about 1/4 of the way up. Anyway, here’s a few pictures as I made my ascent:

I started following the signs towards the castle on the top of the hill but didn’t realize just how high it was. I just kept telling myself, “well I’ve come this far, I might as well keep going”. But the last leg was by far the most difficult... trust me, it was steeper than it looks.

Finally the castle is within sight:

and at last I summit the mountain. Here’s the view from above:

It took me the better part of the afternoon to climb Everest so I didn’t have time to do much else but make my way down (much easier going down). But I did make sure to stop by the famous Cafe Vetter.