Another birthday…

August 5, 2006 at 2:45 am (friends, my so-called life, this and that)


Today is my dear friend Ilka’s birthday. She’s turning… [just as old as she feels] today! I hope you have a wonderful day, sweetie, and I can’t wait to be there and celebrate with you :) I am so happy and thankful to call you my friend and you only deserve the best.

So, I am going to Ilka’s tonight. I am really looking forward to hanging out with her and celebrate her birthday. I vividly remember last year’s party in the salon with all the Xanga girls. That was fun! Even though it’s not going to be an as big of party this year, I am sure we’ll have a blast.
Even though I feel stuck in Germany, I am thankful that I am here for all these special times with my friends. They really mean a lot to me and it just keeps me from hiding in my room contemplating on when they will finally grant me entrance to the United States to live with my honey. It’s just starting to become ridiculous. I’ve been waiting here for over 6 months now. Everyone is totally baffled when I tell them that you can’t just book a flight and go to the US with your hubby once you’re married. It might seem to be the logical thing to do, but Immigration thwarts you. It’s a huge pile of papers and bureaucracy… and requires a whole lot of patience.
Have a great weekend everyone!


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Friends in all places

August 2, 2006 at 7:32 am (friends, my so-called life)

The weekend was awesome. It was nice to get out and use all the “free time” that I have and do something meaningful while waiting for the GC.
I took the train to Düsseldorf on Friday afternoon and from there the ICE straight to Berlin. It was a pleasant ride and it was on time :) My friend Gina and her little daugther Lara picked me up at the train station and then we drove back to their house which was about 50 minutes outside of Berlin.
I met her husband Henning and her other little daugther Lotta and we had dinner together. Lara had already lost her shyness and really started to like me which became clear in all her little games that she wanted me to get involved in. She was really adorable.
We stayed up till 1:00 a.m. waiting for out mutual friend Annie [from Stuttgart] to get there.

The next morning we all had breakfast together and then we, the girls, got ready to drive to Downtown Berlin. We were meeting some other girls at the “Route 66”, an American bar near the Kurfürstendamm. It very much reminded me of Jon’s and my favorite breakfast place in Ventura, the Busy Bee,  because they had these cute red leather seats and little jukeboxes at every table.
I met two more of my penfriends there and we really had a fun time. We took a few pictures afterwards. We were quite a bunch of girls :)


 At 4:30 p.m. we had to drive back to Gina’s place, because Henning was having a birthday-BBQ in their backyard this evening. It was really nice out and we had yummy food and some nice cocktails later on… a very good Caipirinha again :) [I think I might fall for this cocktail now!] post-7-1154282579
Ade, Sannie, Annie and Gina

Sunday morning we all slept in and had breakfast around 10:30 a.m.. We hung out at the house for a little longer and then at 2:30 p.m. Annie had to head back to Stuttgart and Henning was so nice to take me back to Berlin and drop me off at my friend Silke’s place in Friedrichhain.

Silke, Volker and I went to play tennis for an hour at a park. Silke and I used to play tennis together in our hometown back in the days and it was great to refresh the memories ;) We had some cold drinks at a Biergarten afterwards and then we went back to their apartment, took showers and went out to dinner at “Die Turnhalle“. It really is the gymnasium of an old Eastern school that was remodelled into a Restaurant-Café-Cocktailbar-Lounge which still has the old parquet flooring and ladders, basketball hoops and a viewing gallery. We sat outside in the Biergarten and had some really yummy food. Unfortunately I didn’t take any picture there.

I had most of Monday to myself, since Silke had to work that day. I got up at 9:00 a.m. and then took the subway to Downtown Berlin. I first visited and walked along the Eastside Gallery, a part of the old Berlin wall.

IMG_3523s IMG_3513s

Then I went to the Brandenburger Tor,


and the Reichstag



and then I met with our dear Ellen from Xanga at Prenzlauer Berg to have some coffee and cake. It was really great to get the chance to meet her and it really felt totally “normal”  to hang out together :) [as you might have noticed: the waiter took the photo and made it all blurry… oh well. Gotta do that again, Ellen!]


I also met with one of the girls from Saturday for some coffee in the later afternoon and then went back to Silke’s place to spend the evening with her. We decided to go to the Badeschiff and enjoy an open air-movie night. We brought some blankets, got something small to eat and a drink and then sat down in comfy canvas chairs to watch “Rize” – a documentary about a dance movement in the ghettos of L.A. It was really worthwhile.

Tuesday morning I took the train back home. It was a really fun time and I hope I will be able see all the girl again :) Distance sucks in many different ways sometimes.

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Staying cool

July 26, 2006 at 9:20 pm (my so-called life, this and that)

The only way to stay cool these days is to move around as little as possible, have cold drinks and ice-cream and go swimming.
And that’s exactly what I did :)

On Monday I went to the public spa pool with my aunt and my cousin Nicki. She had brought her godchild along. Yasmin is 13 [naturally looks older like most of the teenage kids do nowadays] and she asked my cousin how old I was. My cousin told her the truth, but she wouldn’t believe her and asked me again to confirm what she had just heard. Then she told me that she thought I was not a day older than 24. Ah, you must love that girl :)
I have to say, it was the first time in maybe 8 years that I had been to the public spa pool in my town. A lot has changed [we have two of these fancy water slides now], but then again, so much looked exactly the way it was when I was there the last time. The one thing that left me dumbfounded was the admission fee… €3.60 are wholly freakin’ expensive for a spa public pool. 

Yesterday I had two tutoring lessons [which are a pain in the a** on hot days like that] and then Silke picked me up and we went to an ice-cream place in my town [with the best Italian gelato ever, I have to add]. She only lives about 20 minutes from here and it was really nice that we got the chance to meet up and spent the afternoon together.We chatted about this and that and hardly noticed how time flew and the first time we looked at the watch, it was 3 hours later.

Today, I had two tutoring lessons again [yes, I tutor every day right now] and then I went to the spa pool again. It was really the best idea to spend the afternoon there with the occasional leap into the pool. It’s the only way to stand the heat [unless you have a sprinkler in your backyard!]. 

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Time to relax

July 23, 2006 at 10:39 pm (friends, my so-called life)


So, I spent Friday with Kim. It was great to have her here with me. We had a fun day relaxing in our backyard, playing SPF, chatting, reading and just enjoying the nice weather. I did my best to cheer her up after feeling so down all week.
In the evening, we had a BBQ with my parents and afterwards I took her to Mönchengladbach for the last-minute rehearsal for Pia’s and Mike’s wedding. The other guys were already “singing and dancing” when we got there. I bet they had a whole lot of fun at the wedding this weekend :)

Saturday morning, my Mom usually goes grocery shopping at a local farmers market and then meets up with some girlfriends for some coffee :) She returned with a nice gift for me yesterday: workout pants from Tchibo. I thought they were so cute.
I love that store. It’s almost as addicting as Ikea. They have changing product lines and they have everything from clothes to electrical equipment to home accessories. It’s awesome and usually good quality.

The rest of the weekend I really took it easy. The temperatures were still well above 90°F and I didn’t move any more than I had to. I read my book, worked on some letters and just hung out in the backyard. Oh yes, and I have this new obsession: Sudoku. Have you played it yet? It’s quite addicting. My Mom, my aunt and I spent the whole afternoon on these puzzles. With some cold drinks and snacks it’s quite a bearable pastime :)

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July 20, 2006 at 6:50 pm (my so-called life, this and that)

I am definitely not made for this weather. I am sweating without even moving. Is this supposed to be right? The thing here in Germany is that most houses don’t have air-conditioning. Houses here are just not built that way. We’ve had hot summers before.. YES… but not like this year [or 2003 for that matter]. We do have basements though. This is probably the only place in the house where you can go and don’t sweat.I’ve been pretty used to hot weather, because the Central Valley always gets freakin’ hot in the summer. I used to work with long pants and a sweater, because our office was blasting the AC while it was over a 100°F outside. I agree… you shouldn’t freeze in the office during the summer, but it was a lot more bearable than this right now. The worst thing: hot feet. They drive me crazy. I’ve been doing cold feet baths on a regular basis lately.
Browsing through some other blogs, I’ve noticed that we’re all in the same boat right now. So I won’t complain anymore ;)

I went to my gynecologist on Monday. Yeah, I know you probably aren’t too interested to hear about this, but if you are a woman, you understand what a sensitive matter this is. So I am moving away in a couple of weeks… to a different country. What am I to do? I had my gynecologist since I was a teenager. I don’t feel comfortable to go and see anyone else about my private parts.
But now get this: my gynecologist actually offered me to come and see him for the annual check ups :) Even though I won’t have health insurance in Germany anymore in a couple of months and I most likely only come home once a year [if at all]. Isn’t this awesome? There are nice people out there!

One thing we don’t really have in Germany foodwise is Mexican food. Yes, we do have some Mexican restaurants, but Mexican cooking is still very rare… partly due to the high prices for Mexican-style groceries. So whenever I come home for a visit, my sister asks me to bring tortillas… a lot of them. On Tuesday she invited me and her best friend for dinner and she made fajitas – a meal that Jon and I cook on quite often, because it’s easy, fast and soooo delicious :) We also had Caipirinhas… REAL good ones this time and I had three! Thanks God that I went to my sister’s place by bike! Yesterday my sister and I hung out with an old friend from College. She’s dating a French guy, she temporarily has a French roommate and we talked about the “chuckholes” of communicating in different languages. Ha, that was hilarious. We were sitting on the little patio attached to the back of her city apartment nestled between other apartment buildings and probably the whole neighborhood could hear us laugh!  This morning I met with Jessi in Neuss for some coffee. We met online and she’s married to an American as well. I got to meet her hubby too which was really nice. It’s funny how you meet people online who share the same experiences and  [have] face[d] the same problems. It feels really good though to be able to talk to people who understand. Thanks for the great time:) [I know you read this, Jess!]

Now I am waiting for my girl Kim to get here :) She spontaneously decided to get a ride with someone today and stay with me for a night before she heads over to Pia’s wedding this weekend in Düsseldorf.

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