Spring Break 2012


I could write a freaking novel about how epic my spring break Provence, Florence, and Rome was.  The sights, sounds, and tastes totally enthralled my senses.  The company provided me with some amazing memories, and the times of solitude were great as well.  Nothing like some quiet introspection while you’re sipping an espresso by the Pantheon.  At 6:30 am.  Needless to say, this trip will always hold a very special place in my heart.

There really are too many stories still reeling in my mind to even start writing a recap, so instead, let me share some of my favorite pictures

Les Calanques, outside of Marseille

My friend Marnie and I A square, Aix-en-Provence

Marnie in Aix

Aubagne, Provence

Piazza San Spirito, Florence

Florence Duomo, dusk

Tripe sandwiches, Florence

Piazza Navona at dawn, Rome

Pantheon at dawn, Rome

Trevi Fountain at dawn, Rome

Campo di Fiori, Rome

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Midterm Misery

Want to know the secret to making a theatre major feel really, really dumb?

MAKE HER TAKE A POLITICAL SCIENCE EXAM.

Yup, it’s midterms in Berlin…already!!  It’s crazy to think that my time here is almost half way over…AND when I think about that, it just makes me not want to study when I know my time in Berlin is becoming more and more limited.

A night out to Berghain, an early morning yoga class followed by a walk in Charlottenburg, and hunkering down in my two favorite eateries, Goodies and Schwarzes Cafe, have all helped the mass of information go down easier 🙂

Vegan chocolate zucchini breadBrunch and books at Schwarzes Cafe

Brunch and books at Schwarzes Cafe

Midterms suck...but I'm still the luckiest girl in the world 🙂

Who Let This Bitch in the Kitchen?

If any of you who are reading this are my friends from University of Maryland, you know that my roommates and I love our kitchen adventures.

For example:


We usually become such ridiculous fools while creating our culinary masterpieces that we’ve come up with the phrase “Who let this bitch in the kitchen?”  By the end of the semester, it was a common greeting for each other.

During my first few weeks in Germany, I was hardly a bitch in the kitchen.  I was more of a tired/frazzled/hungover idiot in the kitchen that all I could handle making was baked potatoes.  Woof.

All that started to turn around this week, however, when I had some friends over for family dinner.  We were all craving Italian food, so I whipped this out

Spaghetti with pesto and caprese salad.  Yes, the pesto was jarred, but the caprese salad was good.  Just cherry tomatoes, bocconcini, olive oil, balsamic, a ton of basil, lots of sea salt, lots of garlic pepper.  It was my first time really cooking again.  No recipe, just using my senses to make the most delicious food as possible.

Then, yesterday, THIS happened

This, my friends, is Milchreis.  I came across it in the grocery stores here, but the Mensa makes some BOMB Milchreis.  It’s kind of like Rice Pudding, but 203981209430948 times better.  It’s warm, it’s sweet, it’s comforting, it’s filling, and it’s dirt cheap to make.  So I decided to make it yesterday after braving the bone-rattling Berlin cold for an excursion the program planned for us.

I picked up dry Milchreis grains and some milk at the grocery store, dumped it in a pot, brought it to a boil, and then let it simmer until I thought it looked good (~30 minutes?).  I ended up having to add extra milk a few time throughout the cooking process because I would get hangry (hungry to the point of anger, for those of you who don’t know) and impatient and turn up the heat, but that would only make the milk evaporate instead of gently thickening with the rice.  Low and slow is MAD ANNOYING (still angry), but so worth it.  Especially when you top your creation with cinnamon sugar and applesauce.  My friend who is just as infatuated with Milchreis came over to try it with her two friends who are visiting, and they ended up eating the rest of the batch out of the saucepan.  I also ended up making it again, four hours later, for dinner.  Heck, it’s probably going to be my dinner tonight.

Sorry baked potatoes, but we’re on a break.  The Bitch is back.

The Great Cappuccino Challenge 2k12


I have a first world problem.

Germany is too damn affordable.

As someone who’s travelled to Europe pretty extensively, especially in recent memory, I am far too used to walking around Europe looking for a cafe to park my derriere for a pick-me-up only to be faced with menus advertising 4 euro (or quid) lattes.  In fact, in Paris, I remember seeing Ventis in Starbucks going for as much as 5.60.

So it’s easy to imagine that I’ve been losing my marbles here over the cappuccinos that typically go for a measly 2 euro.  I have especially been looking forward to these treats on school days when I am too rushed to make myself coffee or need something to warm me up before the 15 minute walk to school.

However, now that I’ve been here for almost a month I realized that my daily caffeine-happy habit has racked up to quite the pretty penny: 10-15 euros per week.  If this habit continues for the next three months, Imma be broke faster than you can say Vergangenheitsbewälstigung.  

Therefore, I am checking myself before wrecking myself imposing this public self-intervention.  For the rest of the trip, I will not buy cappuccinos/fancy coffee drinks during the school week.  The 60 cent coffee I get from the Mensa to beat the 2:30 slump is the exception to this rule.  Seeing as the weather right now averages out around 10 degrees Fahrenheit these days, it’s gonna be a challenge not to stop for something warm on the way to school.  Nevertheless, I hate feeling like I am blowing through cash like it’s going out of style.  Every week I plan on checking in to hold myself accountable, and I’ll post how much money I’ve saved each week.  Hopefully, the accumulating amount will motivate me to commit.

So, here goes.  COFFEE BE DAMNED.

This Weekend I…

Went to the Berlin Unhinged Festival, a free event in Kreuzberg celebrating visual, musical, and performance art

Took a tour of the Foreign Ministry and snapped these photos right outside the building

…additionally toured of the Chancellor’s Office and saw ANGELA MERKEL.  But I didn’t snap a pic because I ran into her while I was leaving the bathroom so I was totally kind of caught off guard and completely slackjawed and starstruck.

…learned how to Salsa from a man who came to Berlin by way of the Seychelles, Greece, and England

…got my hurz cut by a sassy Parisian who let’s his two chihuahuas wander the studio, has his staff make you free lattees, and who dances to Michael Jackson while having his way with your mane.  #best.salon.ever.

I'm at school right now--OMG SECRET SELFIE YOU GUYZ

…walked around Kreuzberg and Potsdamer Platz just as it was beginning to snow

…saw La Traviata at the Deutsche Oper on Sunday evening AND got home with enough time to do some homework.

And now speaking of homework, I got two essays to write.  Peace and love ❤

 

You Know You’re Making Progress with German When

1. You can’t stop saying “genau”

2. You stop yelling “FUCK YOU IT’S SQUAREPANTS” at the TV whenever Spongebob Schwammkopf (SquareHEAD) comes on.

3. The girl at the Mensa asks you if the soup you’re pouring into the bowl is split pea soup, you say “Ja, das ist Erbsensuppe” like it’s no big dealBECAUSEREALLYGUYZITSNOBIGDEAL.

4. The cashier at Aldi no longer dreads your appearance because you can give correct change now.

5. You can actually order in restaurants.

6. You can go to the theatre and sit through a play for three hours without wanting to kill yourself.

7. French, your preferred drunk language, is littered with German words/sentence structure, rendering you incoherent to everyone.  But it’s ok though because you tell yourself you sound more international/exotic/fancy that way.

Lunch at KaDeWe

This, my friends, is the most expensive lunch I have ever bought.  I cringe when I think of the exact number, but let’s just say that my lunch from the Mensa, or student cafeteria, cost about %15 of what this meal was.

Tired of eating Mensa (cafeteria) food and the baked potatoes I live off of at the apartment, my friend and I ventured to Charlottenburg to go to the KaDeWe, Berlin’s (if not Europe’s) fanciest department store for a pinkies-out, swanky lunch.

For the record, this lunch was fresh kiwi, parsley, honey, and orange juice, salad with microgreens, a cabbage slaw with kumquats and fennel, cabbage, melon, tomatoes with mozzarella, olives, peppers, and a veggie croquette that I topped with balsamic vinegar and walnut oil.  The soup was an “exotiches Fisches suppe”.

We enjoyed our lunch with views that looked out over the whole city

You could spend an entire day shopping in this expensive megalith, but we decided to poke around the food section.  I’m about to hit you with some serious food porn, but the pictures really don’t do it justice.

Just a small section of the American section of the food department. Maple syrup, El Paso taco kits, Crisco, Betty Crocker, Snapple, Reese's, and much more covered the walls. I'm just happy to know I have somewhere to get my Pop Tart fix 😉