I rang in the new year at home in Georgia, then jumped on a plane 14 hours later to head back to Germany. Not much much happened this month thanks to the onset of seasonal depression due short days and the unabated cold. Gemma and I did manage to miss our train home one night and I did start really getting into some German culture, as evidenced by this vlog
This was the month I reached great heights with my culinary skills. I also tackled some cultural differences encountered in Germany - including different social ideals and American stereotypes. Sometimes I missed life in Georgia, and sometimes I really didn't. I accepted that I'll probably never be happy with my level of German, but I was comforted by the most amazing seasonal treat ever! I got to see the largest wine barrel in the world and put on a pretty dress - in the same trip!
I headed back to my favorite city with my favorite person, where we reminisced over old beers and danced with boys in skirts. I went to the amazing Berlin for a week - and forgot my camera. I dressed up like a boat, got presents from Mama and Papa B, and discovered the worst of hair trends in Germany.
I did a lot of things I didn't have time to post about. I got a visit from this girl and these boys. I got to travel to some amazing cities and locally take part in an historic event.
The month started with a visit from Shahida! I celebrated my 24 birthday, Franken-style. My students taught me new things and I got yet another laugh out of some cultural differences. I jumped the gun and bought a return ticket to Georgia, before knowing if I'd have a job to come back to. Instead of panicking, I finally got around to developing these pictures. And in the end, the whole job thing worked out.
Summer had finally arrived for me to enjoy my favorite place in Forchheim. I went to a beer festival in Erlangen and became a minor celebrity with my friends. I rode my bike lots and forgot how to work a washing machine. Did more laughing at German oddities and counted down some of the best parts of an amazing year. I realized I'd really miss my Franken friends.
I headed back to the good ol' US of A, but not after a quick stop in a new city. I got a big surprise at the airport and got to wish America a happy birthday. I made some time for reconnecting with my American ways. I got a special Franken visit and got to drive a car again. I headed back to Germany to take part in Forchheim's most prized event.
I did a whole lot of nothing. Then I went camping. It was pretty much the highlight of my month. I got officially initiated to the cool kids club, I cooked bread on a stick by the campfire, I passed on some american games, and I realized I'm physically incapable of speaking Fränkisch correctly. On the 23rd, das Blog celebrated a special day.
This month saw the end of an era as I left Forchheim, but not before conquering the local Walberla. I said my goodbyes and headed up to Dortmund. My first week in Dortmund, I had an even harder goodbye to say. I then spent the next 2 weeks running all over the city until I almost broke. But after a good start at school and some good news, things started looking up. I even made another vlog!
Even though I had moved into my new apartment, Dortmund was still trying to give me hell. I spent most the month extreme budgeting and dreaming of my first pay day. When it finally came, I treated myself to a little home improvement at my favorite place ever and visiting some new places.
Since the month started with the second week of fall break, I made my great return to Hotel Baptistella. I enjoyed playing all over Franken with Gemma, but eventually I had to head back. I spent a few days at a totally legit and important conference. I got to celebrate a traditional regional event but I missed my favorite American holiday. I got creative when it came some important baking and building that had to be done.
das Blog went all out Christmas this month. Reminiscing about some favorite past Christmas memories and telling lots of new Christmas stories. I visited a lot of Christmas markets. no really, a lot. My sister came to spend the holidays with me, and then I got busy and stopped posting. But I can promise the rest of December's events will find there way onto das Blog eventually!
When I look back at this year I have two thoughts: I can't believe it's already over and I can't believe it's only just now ending. I got to do so much, see lots of new place and old friends and vice versa, that this year could have been a lifetime, and yet all went by so quickly. I'm so excited to see what 2012 has in store (just hopefully not the end of the world).
But for now I'd just like to wish everyone a
a very happy new year!