Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bureaucractic fun

Germany is a funny country about certain things. And when I say funny I mean they are anal retentive about certain things..... and some of those things they also suck at handling... take bureaucracy for instance. The Germans are horrible at handling things of that nature.... kinda of reminds me of Futurama. If you have not seen any of the episodes of Futurama that deal with bureaucracy let me give you this short video to give you an idea:

I feel as if Germans give you paperwork solely on the basis that they like paperwork. One instance is registering your TV, because guess what? In Germany there is a TV tax, you have to pay a tax just to own a TV. They may come to your door and actually ask you how many TVs you own, and you will have to pay taxes on each one.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A bizarre question

So Mariko and I were having a conversation about what she wanted to do after getting her doctorate, and being as sleepy as she was (it was past her bedtime) she commented that she wanted to grow Cowplants. Like I said it was late.

But then she asked a good question: if you could grow beef on a plant, would vegetarians eat it? Inquiring minds want to know! I mean it no longer legitimately comes from an animal right? Though could you technically call it beef, or would it be a beef substitute? I guess it depends on the genetic structure.... but I think it is perfectly reasonable to say the it should be vegetarian (considering you could actually grow Cowplants that is)

BSing it up

So Mariko and I have a friend, a fun friend, and her name is Mary. And Mary lives in Düsseldorf. Now Mary was feeling a little lonely and sad. So what did she do? Thats right she came to the happening city of Braunschweig to hang with us!

It was a long train ride for her, 5+ hours aboard regional trains all the way here. But she survived and arrived here in good spirits. Of course Mariko and I picked her up from the train station, and since it was dinner time we all elected to go out to dinner on our way home. The restaurant Mariko picked was of course not "on the way home" but it was our favorite restaurant so far. We had a good walk and a good dinner, though we were the last customers of the night, so we felt a little bad as we were leaving. We got home, popped in some BBT (Big-Bang Theory for those of you who don't know) and just relaxed for the rest of the evening.... which wasn't too long as it was late and everyone had a long day.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tiny German Kitchen- Ep. 2 Potato Croquette

The Second episode of my little cooking show:

As you can see near the end, my recipe didn't turn out as well this time as a previous attempt. Should have gone with no butter and hotter oil

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The feel of Fall

So finally Fall has made its way to BS! During most of our time here in Germany has been with hot summer weather, so Mariko and I have been looking forward to some cooler weather.... and hoping that we have an actual Fall (unlike Colorado most years).  And of course our Fall started with some REALLY cold weather. We went from one day being short-sleeve weather to the next being jacket and scarf weather. It was raining and blustery for a few days, making us worry a bit... but luckily it warmed up for a few days once more.

The weather since then has slowing been getting more fall like each day. Now it truly feels like Fall out! The skies are mostly cloudy for the whole day, but grey clouds that hint at rain... not the dark boiling clouds that promise to soak you. Add to that the wind that is almost constant.... which varies from a light breeze to strong wind. But any wind makes it difficult if its raining, because if you are attempting to use an umbrella then the wind will either turn it inside out are try to wrestle it out of you hands.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pizza, Movies and Visitors.. oh my!

The day was Sunday October 9th, 2011. The time was approximately 4:15pm. The place... Braunschweig, Germany. The event... Mariko and I had our first visitor to our German apartment!! Our friend Rachel lives in Göttingen, which is 40ish minutes SW of us by ICE (high-speed train), decided that she wanted to visit us poor lonely folk in good ol' BS. And of course we were quite ecstatic to have her over.

We picked her up from the train station, and even though it was the coldest day that we have been here (not Colorado cold, just windy cold) it was a pleasant walk back home. Luckily we had an idea that she might be visiting, so we had plenty of food for the 3 of us. We made Flat-bread pizza, which actually turned out rather well! Mariko and Rachel did the cutting of all our toppings: Pineapple, Mushrooms, Garlic, Green Peppers, Onions and of course Pepperoni!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Dining out

So Mariko and I have decided that every Friday night will go out to eat. We want to be able to try new restaurants and experience more of what Braunschweig has to offer. I won't talk too much about our first attempt, suffice to say though it was expensive for soggy onion rings and bland schnitzel strips... not fun.

However our second attempt was MUCH better. Our original goal was to try one of the Mexican restaurants here in town, and it was rather simple to find (as I've been scoping the city out). However we looked at the menu and saw two problems... First was the price. It was a little more expensive than we would have liked to spend, each meal costing between 10-14 Euro per plate. Secondly, and most important, it wasn't safe for Mariko as they had molé!

So with that option removed, we had decided on walking back home and choosing something along the way. And as luck would have it we spotted an Italian restaurant almost immediately... it was about 3 building over from the Mexican place. We checked out the menu: It was safe and prices looked decent! Our restaurant had been decided!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Double or nothing

GO GO GO!! Stop!! Relax.... repeat!! That is what it feels like the German way of life is. Being in Germany for two months now, I've come to realize that Germans have two modes...

  1. Moving. When they are moving Germans are moving fast, you either need to go or get out of the way.... they will run you over. This is also evident by their stop lights.... it goes green->yellow->red (like the US also) but then it goes red->red+yellow->green (they want you to know its time to move!
  2.  Relaxing. When they are not going, Germans are usually relaxing and relaxing just as intense as they move. It is customary when eating at a restaurant here to take 2+ hours to eat.  When walking behind a German who is relaxing be prepared for sudden long stops (and the easiest way to tell if they are relaxing is if you are walking faster than them-> they are relaxing)
The two modes of Germans are interesting in the fact that they are intense about both methods. When they are moving, nothing better get in their way and woe to the person who does. When they are relaxing it doesn't matter how long something takes, they just enjoy it. All or nothing, it just happens to be the extreme ends of the spectrum.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Tiny German Kitchen- Ep. 1 Beer Opening

Here is my first video for cooking in a Tiny German Kitchen:


Hopefully you all enjoyed the simplistic beer opening. Next time actual cooking will ensue!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Fun with Street signs #1

I've decided to add another game... but this only works if people post comments and guess... and that mean you! Like my fun with words, I'll post something German (this time random street signs) and you'll have to guess what they mean.
Only rule is: NO search engines!!

Here is the first:

Good luck everyone!

Home Sweet Home

So Mariko and I have arrived in our new home for the next 10ish months or so. It was a rather smooth transition from Marburg to Braunschweig.... mainly because we did the move in two trips. But it was still sad to leave Marburg and all our new friends. Our train left around 9:50 and we were on the same train to Hanover as two other couples, Gabe & Leighanna and Caetlynn & Tyson. We weren't next to them, but I was still able to walk back and talk to them during the ride (Mariko was sleeping as usual).

Once we made it into Braunschweig we were greeted by Tobi, Mariko's supervisor, once again. He drove us home and helped us drop off our luggage.... and then was kind enough to take us to IKEA for some essentials. And this was both of our first time in IKEA!! I'm curious to compare a German IKEA to an American IKEA.... have to check one out back in the states to see if anything is different. We got mostly kitchen and bathroom things, as we brought nearly everything else with us.... if you're surprised you should have helped us carry our luggage, then you may not be.