Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lycée Masséna!

Ladies and Gentlemen: A very badly framed  shot of my beautiful High School! :D

Bienvenue en Nice!

I promise I won't write in french :)
Well, I am beyond words. This entry will honestly be very short.
I spent a lovely morning with Mr Roux and Chris, they showed me the conservatory, and my high school. The conservatory is a very new, modern piece in Italian colours, while the Lycée? A veritable chateau.
Re-reading what I have written thus far, my lack of exclamation points may make me come across unenthused, but believe me, it's quite the opposite: Exclamation points come across as insufficient and shallow when you are in the state of bliss I am.
My family is beautiful. They really are very kind, very hospitable, and have very much patience with my improper female and male associations, and bizarre hand gestures while I search for my words. I am very comfortable, very happy, and am unpacking into my yellow room as we speak! Well... Actually that's twice a lie, since obviously, neither am I unpacking seen as I am typing, nor are we conversing, seen as you're reading this on the internet. Anyhooo.....
I feel like a princess. Their home is villa style, stunning decor, and two pianos! My host brother is more than the perfect gentleman, and I always seem to conveniently pass through doorways first. He's sweet! I think I will pass an excellent year :)
I am very tired though, and am going to attempt to persuade my alarm clock to work... That is,  if I can figure out what time it is...
Am I in a beautiful countryside?
Have I sampled 7 different cheeses in the past three days?
Do I have a sink in my bedroom?
Yes. And still somehow, being the luckiest girl in the world, one can still repel technology.
And somehow, I'm a little bit more than alright with that exchange :)
A bientôt!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bonsoir Allemagne

I'm going to keep this very quick,  because I am going to be up tomorrow at 5 am.
Today was great. Rain can't ruin Germany for me. :)
We took the tour of the family factory, Reich, which is a caravan utility enterprise. They buy raw materials and wiring, melt the supplies down and prepare the parts to be sent to a plant where they are aluminium plated, and sent back to the same building where they are assembled, and shipped off. This group is really amazing... 35 years ago, Pauli's grandfather created it with a friend, and started off with 3 employees. Today, the company stands, inventing, designing, marketing, researching, theorizing and realizing their products. I could feel how proud they are to be so independent, and with every right. It was a great experience!
Next, we went to a family lunch, at one of their favourite, traditional restaurants! I would attempt to give the name if I didn't fear my abundances of errors would convert the name into some vulgarity. I had schnitzel, which is ham covered in bread crumbs, and in the case of this particular order, bathed in a french mushroom gravy. Can you say YUM?
Pauli, her mom and I went to see the local ruins (oxymoron? not in the castle capital of the world!). It was really, really stunning, and having had a 800 year old bell museum to visit? I got my daily dose of music culture! I was quite pleased :)
A trip to town and a hazelnut mousse cake later, I had walked more cobblestones streets, ogled a few more adorable boutiques and been dropped off once again at her grandparents. Unfortunately, my camera eats batteries the way I've been eating fresh bread rolls with Nutella here, and there are no proof pictures of the handsome black Porsche. I didn't go for a spin in it either: Opa took us off roading in his land rover to show me the property he rents for hunting! Being the nature freak I moonlight as, bombarded him with questions about deforestation, animal populations, hunting laws, and was abruptly quieted when the vehicle jerked to a stop. I blinked and suddenly the world had been significantly magnified by the binoculars in my face. A hundred metres or so to the left of the road (well off the path, and even better concealed by bushes might I add) was a roan doe. I guess a true hunters eyes never rest or age. It made me smile.
This is my last night in Germany. I can honestly say I will miss prettypinkPauli, and her family, but as such, I can also say that I hope not to be gone for long. This is a beautiful, organized, peaceful and cultural country, and I strongly suggest good walking shoes when you visit, because you really must! They are kind people, not offended by your blank stares when elderly locals teasingly suggest swapping her pretty gold sandals for your cowboy boots in the rain. Take caution though: this is not a place for the calorie fearing. Hosts will offer you mass amounts of delicious creations, and fresh local chocolate and spaghetti ice cream really is impossible to resist. 
My naive, and little lived advice is to take the time everyday to find 3 beautiful things, to ask 3 questions you actually want the answer to and to reflect on 3 things you read or hear. I suggest taking fewer steps, but longer strides, buying less but indulging more and telling the medias image of beauty to go skrew itself: if you live each day to it's fullest, you'll find that in as little time as one week, your imperfections melt away somewhere behind the mirror, that your clothes spontaneously fit better, and no matter how tired you are, a smile comes naturally.
So much for I'm going to keep this short, right? :)
Good day and goodnight. This is OsomewhereNiceinGermany signing out. 
We never use the G(ood)B(ye) word, so see you soon Germany. I'm ready to take on the biggest adventure of my life: Hello Nice.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Clothes :)

Beautiful Day- U2


If an alien were to come to earth, and we needed to teach them to eat, what would we teach?
This is what I have learned from living, and eating in Germany.
When cooking:
Choose good, fresh ingredients.
Cook enough for the people that are going to eat, not for leftovers: food doesn’t necessarily spoil quickly, but the taste wears off, and you’re liable to eat just to finish up.
When ordering: 
Order something that you think is delicious, and don’t think about the caloric value, or the fat content. 
If you have the option, get a smaller portion size! Chances are, if you’re out, you’re either going to be around and munching more anyways, and if you’re not going to be around, then you’ll be home soon. At home, have fruit, and healthy munchies waiting for you.
Next, general etiquette. 
Don’t deny yourself anything you enjoy! If you abide by the following, there’s no need.
First off, take smaller portions! No one is going to make remarks at you for taking seconds if your first was manageable. 
Keeping on the smaller topic, take smaller bites. Food tastes better when you don’t have to focus on chewing.
Take the time to eat more slowly. You really can feel when you’re full, and when you reach that point? Don’t keep going! If you take smaller portions, the leftovers from your meal don’t seem so wasteful if you can’t finish. 
Try exotic sauces on your favorite foods. If you know you like the base already, then you can decide if you actually like or dislike the sauce. 
Chew more. It’s better for your digestive track.
Treat yourself to using your good dishes every once in a while, for no good reason. I don’t have an explanation for that one, it’s just true.
Enjoy every bite. Savor the texture, and individual flavors.
Don’t load up your utensil after you take a bite, pause, and rest it on your plate for a minute first, and soak up some conversation.
Sit with the people you’re having dinner with, even after you’re finished. It stimulates great conversation! 
Help clear the table, and load and unload the dishwasher: It makes people smile, and even though they might not say it, it helps a lot. 
Eat luxurious foods, and you’ll find you’re eating less of it, because it’s so rich. 
Sidenote: I finally found out why the prince’s horses in fairy tales are always white!! There are abundances of white horses here! 
Today was lovely. Visited Pauli’s grandparents, and went shopping! As a thank you for helping serving last night, her mom picked up the top I’m wearing, and the skirt is from the same store: Zara. 
OOH. There’s not tax here! It’s built into the price on the tag!! 
I am genuinely happy here. Tomorrow is my last day, and then I am off for real. Blogs will be much fewer there, but I will keep everything up to date on my drastic faux-pas, life lessons, and the progress of my jazz lessons!
I bid you goodnight and/or good day! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This one is for the boys...

Yes gentlemen. They have a chocolate called Super Dickmann's. Enough said. Somebody show this pic to Dom and Jules please? :P This is for them.


How did this happen? I have two days left in Germany!
Today, I was up at 7, and was panicked because I thought I had overslept. Talk about whiplash from the lazy teenage summer I knew once upon a few days ago!
Anyway, the day started with politics and economics, where I sat and uselessly wrote letters home, just like most classes here. Then english class hit me like a ton of rocks. Her teacher passively threw out to the class that no native speaker could pass the test they would be writing that day. I made an attempt at laughing it off casually, but he was having none of that. So, I wrote the test! It had 6 parts, one of which was entirely translation (french? can do. Spanish? shaky. German? Ich no speiken ze dutch.), and another was a request to make the following phrases passive. 
Passive. Does that mean past tense? or passive aggressive? I didn’t know either! I was highly confused, until I realized why I had no idea what that meant: I didn’t need to study english grammar because I know it naturally. Duh. No wonder no born speakers can pass! We’ve never trained in what he’s asking! GAH! Anyway, he should get a laugh out of correcting it, I'm sure I would be laughing at my attempts at my first language if I were him! :P 
After that we had art... I was very pleased with myself when I recognized a Marc. It’s the wolf one. I like it. We studied contrast, and started on some modern work. Mine was called “to Scale” and was inspired by an arpeggio on piano keys, and my recent knowledge that the whole world revolves around F not C.
Then Bio was cancelled! Again! Third time is the charm? I wouldn’t know, because I will not be at school tomorrow! No waking up at obscene hours of the morning! Youpi!
Tomorrow, I will go shopping and visit Pauli’s grandparents. Ooh! Plus, spoiled as I am, I get to visit a very handsome soul, with a great voice, and who has the best cardio I’ve ever seen! Yep. You guessed it! 
No! Not a German model! 
A Porsche! Much better? Ladies? No? Kay... 
By the time we got home from school, I un-vacuum sealed Sir Fluffington (the behemoth of a teddy bear Michael gave me for my birthday), and we packed some of Pauli’s sweaters, it was time to get ready for her daddy’s birthday party! Pauli and I were hostessing and serving kind of thing, which as some of you may know, is one of my favorite things ever! Fun!! Apparently, it’s evident that it’s one of my favorite things, and if I choose to move to Germany there is a lovely lady with a 21 year old son who would love to hire me to waitress at her restaurant. Who loves being me? :P
So. I have a confession. I had a habit of teasing my friends about my going away by telling them not to worry, that my surrogate would be great, and would do peoples nails, and carry a first aid kit! She was going to be great! And gorgeous!
Well, the latter of the two are true. Obviously. And though I doubt that she will carry a first aid kit, she’s far more apt to finger nail painting than I’ve ever been. And when she shops she actually tries things on, and buys things. She loves photoshoots, so you won’t have to miss those, and I could go on, but guys? She’s not my replacement in any way. Pauli is a really great friend, and you’re all going to be very lucky to have her for the time you do. She’s going to be some of your best friends, and I know you’re going to have great memories with her. She just happens to live in my bedroom.
Point is, I’m happy for you guys. You all lucked out. And I’m told Park is wonderful too!! You’re going to have a great year! 
I’m going to sleep.
Sweet dreams and good day!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Me and One of the Most Beautiful Girls who Walk the Earth :)

Are there any Mac geniuses who know how to rotate these silly pictures??

First Day of School!

School in Germany is uber fun when all you have to do is sit in the back of the class, smile and thank your teachers for allowing your presence and write letters home!
Of course, the students have less fun, taking serious and well regimented courses, with 5 minute breaks scattered throughout the day. The length of the day varies, and throughout the whole year, they rotate their classes weekly. They don’t get to choose their courses until they are in 11th, and it doesn’t go in 4 subject terms. They have all courses, all year round. I am glad I do not have to take math year round to say the least... 
Today, I was up at 6 and put in a day until 1 ish, when the biology class waited outside a double booked classroom for 15 minutes before we were released to go. We took a bus home, had a lovely lunch Pauli’s grandma made and sent over for us. Here in Germany, lunch is the main meal.
After we got home, we went to visit a friend of hers, and went for a walk, and there were cows! And HORSIES!! They were brown, and beautiful, and I made friends with a stallion by feeding him grass. Turns out, when I ran? He runs too. It was beautiful! 
Tomorrow is Pauli’s fathers birthday, and I think I’m going to be helping serving for the event! :) That should be fun. 
Everyone, I have to admit, I really like it here... I think it’s beautiful, and clean, and crisp and it makes me very happy! 
This friday at 6 am is my flight to Nice! I get to finally meet the wonderful man who found me a host family, and will be teaching me jazz come fall. I have honestly been blessed to have he and his wife in my life. :) I can’t wait to come face to face with some of the most beautiful people I know. 
As for now, my camera was out of batteries today, so we have no daily picture for the day, so I will post one of Pauli and I from yesterday at the castle. 
There should be shots tomorrow of the school, and new friends, so for now, I bid you goodnight, good day!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pic of the Day!

A view from the castle    :)

Germany: Day 2

Castle lined rivers, little Italian ice cream shops, clean cut hiking trails, and an overall appearance of a post card. Welcome to Germany everyone!
To be honest? I love it here.... For those reasons, and because the paper towel in the public bathrooms is recycled, and there are giant air energy turbines freckling the hills and valleys, because bread is made fresh at the little bakeries in every little village, and because it turns out that most of our fairy tales originate from here! 
For example:
Hansel and Gretel 
Pied Piper
Sleeping Beauty
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The Frog Prince
Little red Riding Hood
Puss in Boots
Rumplestilzken (naturally, that spelling error, whatever it may be, is not in the built in dictionnary...)
* Paulina has corrected my grammar: Rumpelstilzchen.... For the record, I was close! 
The list goes on.
Today, we went for a cruise of the Rhine, and took a tour of Marksburg castle, which is the best preserved castle on the riverside... This riverside has the most castles on the shortest span in the whole world! Has anyone heard the story of Loreley, a siren who crashed a ship of sailors who were distracted by her brushing her hair? 
Anyways, we had gelatos afterwards, and had a hard time convincing the server to bring me one without alcohol... LOL. I heart Germany :P 
German lesson for the day? 
I - Ich - Je   (Igh)
You - Du - Tu   (Doo)
He - Er - Il    (Ehayr)
She - Sie - Elle    (See)
We - Wir - Nous   (Via)
You (plural) - Ihr - Vous   (Eeyuh) 
They - Sie - Ils or Elles   (See)
I’m tiredddd.
Good night Canada
Love Always,

"See you soon" because I'm not allowed to use the GB word

Bedrooms and packing and.... Goodbye.
Oh My.
Its 2 am. As I predicted, I am not asleep. (I survived that... Sort of. Please note that this was written on my flight yesterday, but I had no internet to post it :P )
I’m flying Condor, Seated in 37H, Up in the Air is playing, and the guy in front of me has his air conditioner up obscenely high. This is just another airplane.
But it isn't. Not to me. This is the vessel thats carrying me across the atlantic, where I will be, until the experience of a life time finds itself at an end. 
First off, thank you everyone for the well wishes. It means the world to me. And to those who wrote me letters for my flight, congratulations! You got your teary payback... I think the poor guy sitting next to me thinks Im phobic of turbulence, and yes Jubie, I did warn him that by the time he wakes up I will more than likely be asleep, snoring, draped off his shoulder. 
So here I am. Headache? Check. Get charged extra for luggage? Check. Teddy bear and sweater? Definitely check. Realizing that there isn't a single female stewardess? interestingly enough, check. Knowing I have to sleep very, very soon? Also check.
There are a few things I would like to say though: 
first: Dominic. Im already regretting not getting down to your eye level and making you understand that I love you, and I’m going to miss you like crazy. 
second: shout out to a group of individuals who have sent me over seas with a built in bucket list. Please note that if and when I state a random number between 1 and 100, and go on to describe an equally random event, that I’m filling the request of detailed counts of the events which will lead to having checked something off my bucket list.
third: holy cow I’m going to be in Germany in a few hours!! 
Oh, they just flicked out the lights... I’ll write more soon.
I will not lie to you... The fear is starting to set in, but I want you to know that it’s not a fear of being in someplace I don’t know, it’s not because I know this year is going to be a lot of work, and I will inevitably grow, and change. I’m scared of the loneliness that I know is bound to catch up to me eventually.
But in the meantime, I’m headed to a wonderful family that I do know. And I have my music. And I have this outpouring of love that I am so blessed with.
So, Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol anyone? 
Goodnight... Or good morning?
Love always.

ps- I tok no pictures yesterday because the camera was hidden in my suitcase, but I'll usually throw one in when I've taken any during the day... Like I will when I write todays blog... eventually... I'm really good at this blog thing ;P

Monday, August 16, 2010

Packing, and....

At first, 50 pounds didn't sound like much.
But once mom and I had finished our preliminary packing, and we were still well under 22 kilos, I thought I was in good shape!
I was wrong.
The German Airline I'm flying with allows for one checking baggage of under 22 kilos (I'll get back to that...), one carry on, one purse and a personal item. So, I am embarking on a year long adventure, armed with the following:
Checking- haha... that's a good joke. I think I'm 10 pounds over already, and that's not including the giant teddy bear that hugs back who is being vacuum packed! In short, I am well over, and I'm sure I will literally and extensively pay for it.
Carry on- That would be Queen, my saxophone.
Purse- an over sized satchel... It will house heavy books, travel documents, and Gravenstien, my new Mac! (teehee... Mackintosh apples? Gravenstien apples? Get it? *cricketcricket*...... This would be why I blog, and am not doing comedy stints.... )
Personal item- my fakebook, which has yet to be completed... Its my copies of all my favorite sheet music, but it was one of the few things I was able to rescue from the way-too-heavy-to-lug-across-an-ocean-and-besides-it-will-weigh-down-your-bags category.
It is Monday.
Technically? It is Tuesday, but I am still not asleep, so I refuse to count this as another day gone by.
I'm sure adults and comrades alike will be able to sympathize, or at least reminisce to a time when you find yourself eating the same kind of cereal in your comfy chair in the morning, and suddenly, you're back in bed, listing off things you forgot to do, and will finish.... In the morning.
In order to keep myself sane, before I ease into my worry wart, workaholic last thoughts of the evening, I make myself go through my day in my head, and remind myself of all the things I did do, the people I did see, and when my eyelids don't feel like bags of sand, the things that made me smile. Coco Chanel said, nature gives you the face you have at 20: It's up to you to merit the face you have at 60.
6 things that get a credit for attributing to my (prayed for) crows feet today were:
1. Momma waking me up- I never think to thank her for it, but most kids parents aren't even home at 11, which is how late she let me sleep in this morning... Thanks Mom <3
2. Laughing on my way to the airport- usually, those drives are either very formal, or very sad... While heading out to get the closest person I've ever had to a sister, one of my honorary big sisters and I caught up.
3. The look of my best friends smile when she turned around and I was running at her for a hug- I surprised her by showing up... She had been gone for two weeks! Please note: Up until now? That's the longest we've ever been apart.
4. Actually. Just my best friends smile in general :) -  She's one of those people who is going to have crazy smile lines... I can't wait to watch them grow :) A shout-out to a few other smiles from today are my momma's, daddy's, and my not-so little brother's.
5. White Water Rafting- let me be the first to say that the water is far from white. For Moms birthday, our family (plus the pretty-much-daughter of course) went Tidal Bore Rafting! It. Is. SO. Much. FUN!! Go! seriously, it's great, so long as you don't mind washing the mud out of your hair for days :P
6. Date Night- With the usual suspects. I really don't have a sense of humor, but that was an honest to goodness funny movie. Another new comedy starring Steve Carrell that I actually laughed at, Dinner for Schmucks? Excellent!
I do believe I have sufficiently diverged from my intended topic for one night.
To recap: I am fore doomed at getting everything through the airport without pulling at least one muscle, as a society we need more sleep, and I like crows feet.
Stick around, it only gets stranger from here :)
Sweet Dreams!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Haha. I learned how to upload pictures :D

O at the Blues Fest! :)
Just a pic from the Blues fest... A great night, great company!
Further notes of any relative interest should follow soon :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bedrooms, and.... -oneweek-

Hello silly folk who are actually reading this!
Where to begin, where to begin.... Well, allow me to start by excusing any oddly placed Qs: they are As. Seemingly random Zs are Ws, and if you come across a word that is sorely lacking an M, chances are you're stuck with a comma because these are the beauties of a french keyboard.
I would like to take a moment to both praise this little laptop for putting up with me, and to empathize for the many more days that lie ahead of trying to jam my entire musical library, photo albums and music software onto it. Good little lappy top! ...Moving on...
Bedrooms. Manic as I am, for kicks, I just ripped apart the top level of my house! Jules bedroom got a full paint job! That sounds simple. That's funny. See, mom had decked his room out to look like something out of a magazine (please note that when you type that normally, for me it comes out as ,qgqwine ....). That room was a haven to 10 year old boys everywhere, but Jules is a tad bit over 10 now, so my final tally to undo my mothers masterpiece was:
two coats of primer on his roof
two coats of paint on his roof
one coat of primer on his walls (YAY!) ... But then the stripes that bounced around the room at funny angles needed a second layer ( I told you her paint job was amazing).
AND two coats of paint on his walls.
add in your taping time, your touch up time, your prepping room time, your cleaning out room time, your trying to pick paint chips time, your undoing everything I just listed time... Well, it equals not really having the heart to start all over for a second room.
Donghwans room was purple... A very girly purple, with a semi transparent white sponge effect on the walls, and a certain girls name in cursive in the closet. Yup. A bedroom belonging to my 12 year old self, synonymous to a bedroom unfit for a teenage boy. I taped, and planned how I thought the furniture should be rearranged, and my mother, being the angel she is, took over from there.
As per her work par? It looks beautiful :)
Speaking of synonyms, let's throw this one out there: Olivia's room: Disaster zone.
Tomorrow is going to be dedicated to cleaning it out, and "sprucing it up".
Is it an earthquake? Is it a sudden onset of shifts in the gravitational pull?
No! It's... It's... !
Just me. Shaking in my (cowboy) boots.
Well my friends. That's 14 CDs downloaded, which leaves me with about two bulk cases to go... Looks like you'll be hearing from me again sooner than later.
I bid you all good day.
Wish me luck, and if not luck, at least surviving cleaning my room tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Attempt at a blog -10-

Well my friends. This is deeply odd.
This is my first blog ever. 
Honestly, I have no idea where to begin, but in the same way that my whole life seems to be moving lately,  there's no time to lose. I'm going to have to follow advice that I tend to fight against: this once, and just this once? I'm going to wing it.
Less than 10 days from now, I will be on a plane on my way to Germany. For one week, I get to go to school with a darling girl named Paulina. Pauli will be staying with my family in the fall, along with a boy named Dong Hwan.
Alrighty, well, you know the basics: I am 16. I have two younger brothers that drive me insane... Most of the time. They are from here on out being addressed as Jules and Dom, because no matter how much they may hate it? That's what I've always called them, and probably always will. I don't care if Dom is already almost as tall as me now, he is still my baby brother. 
We live in Themiddleofnowhere, Canada, and I can't imagine a better place to have grown up. It's incredibly beautiful, with the seasons in full bloom, and it seems that this whole half of the universe are hockey addicts. 
I'm writing this blog because of the journey I'm about to undertake. I to keep everyone up to date, together, and this is the best way I could come up with. This way, you can read when you have time to read, and keep up whenever you have time, or want a good laugh... My guess is that there will be a fair few of those.
Either way, I'm rambling, and to be honest, if I keep typing on the french rendition of a keyboard, my head might explode!
So, a few parting thoughts:
If anyone does not want to be mentionned, please let me know, I will pay the utmost respect to your privacy, you can make up a silly nickname for yourself, or not be remarked on at all. This is my story.