An Amateur’s Attempt at Gourmet Cooking

An Amateur’s Attempt at Gourmet Cooking
An Amateur’s Attempt at Gourmet Cooking

Since moving to Germany, I have spent a lot of time either waiting at the Ausländerbehörde (exact translation – Public Authority Responsible for Aliens) or waiting for the Ausländerbehörde to reply regarding my visa.  For the past 11 months, I’ve been working as an English Lecturer but my current visa (which I am trying to change) is restricted to working only 8 hours maximum a week.  Of course, when all of my classes are scheduled, I spend extra time preparing lesson plans or grading progress tests but I currently have more “free” time throughout the week than I’ve had the opportunity to appreciate in a very, very, long time.

Writing has been one of my interests since I can remember and it’s wonderful to have the time to cultivate, what I hope is, one of my strongest talents.  Along with writing I’ve also had the time to discover other interests that I had no idea I even had…one of which is cooking. Read the rest of this entry

The Perspective of “Home” & Reverse Culture Shock

The Perspective of “Home” & Reverse Culture Shock
The Perspective of “Home” & Reverse Culture Shock

Everyone has heard the saying that “home is where the heart is.”  For me, along with the definition of “family” morphing and evolving into something bigger than blood lines, I had another perspective shift on what the definition of “home” is on my recent trip for a visit back to Salisbury, Maryland.  The fact is, I’m accustomed now to living in Germany.  Once you are living day to day in another country your body is physically, emotionally and mentally adjusting to it’s new environment.  Time zone changes , different customs, cuisine and language differences become normal.  Reverse culture shock is the name people give to that unexpected, stomach-churning feeling of not fitting in to your home country.  What once seemed so familiar now seems foreign.

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Thoughts on Family, Religion & Unconditional Love

Thoughts on Family, Religion & Unconditional Love
Thoughts on Family, Religion & Unconditional Love

I have noticed that with each passing year, the past feels further behind me.  Leaving behind and moving forward in life, away from a controlling religion, has been one of the most character building and self assuring accomplishments of my life.  Not only do I know who I am now without outside influences demanding me to act, look, talk and think a certain, very specific way, I’ve also been able to openly look inward and analyse my thoughts, develop critical thinking abilities and to realize and defend my feelings and resentments with any religion that enforces shunning of family members, ultimately encroaching upon a very basic human right of not being subjected to arbitrary interference with privacy and family. Read the rest of this entry

A Weekend Trip To Northern Italy – Hiking, History and Sightseeing

A Weekend Trip To Northern Italy – Hiking, History and Sightseeing
A Weekend Trip To Northern Italy – Hiking, History and Sightseeing

This past weekend (July 13th-July 15th) I took a short trip to Northern Italy with my good friend and fellow travel enthusiast, Ina.  Our main attraction for the trip was to see and hike around the Dolomites.  The Dolomites are a mountain range situated in the northern Italian Alps, numbering 18 peaks which rise to above 3,000 meters.  Besides the breathtaking beauty of the Dolomites, what’s interesting is finding out about the dramatic events that were the cause of shaping the Dolomites.  Around 230 million years ago, during the Triassic-era,  the mountain range was once the floor of a shallow tropical sea which housed massive coral reefs that built up over millions of years.  Since that time, glacial erosion carved the Dolomites into their intense crags and exposed a layer of fossilized remains that reached the height of hundreds of meters.  Basically, every rock comprising the Dolomites is a witness to millions of years worth of different stages of world creation.   Read the rest of this entry

Forget the Superbowl – How Europe Turned Me Into A Soccer (football, actually) Fan

Forget the Superbowl – How Europe Turned Me Into A Soccer (football, actually) Fan
Forget the Superbowl – How Europe Turned Me Into A Soccer (football, actually) Fan

First off, I discovered today the origin of the word “soccer.”  It’s maddening to me that it’s called football here in Germany but soccer in the States.  The British invented the word soccer and it’s derived from it’s original name, Association Football, during the formation of the Football Association in England in the 1860s.  In the 1860s there were a lot of “football” games in existence and popularly played all throughout the world.  Many of these sports had similar rules and eventually, on October 26th, 1863, a group of teams in England came together to decide upon a standard set of rules which would be used at all their matches.  Read the rest of this entry

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Cheryl Strayed

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Cheryl Strayed
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Cheryl Strayed

I haven’t read many memoirs for some reason.  I heard about this book when I read an article about Oprah relaunching her book club, the inspiration behind the relaunch being this particular book.  “Wild” is the author’s story of her solo trek along the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 when she was 26 and trying to recover from the death of her mother and the breakup of her marriage.  
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Brugge, Belgium – Beers & Balloons

Brugge, Belgium – Beers & Balloons
Brugge, Belgium – Beers & Balloons

In May I had a window of time off from work so I was trying to decide where my boyfriend and I could go for a short 4-day/3-night trip.  I was searching the internet trying to get an idea of a romantic place to go when I came across this article from Fodor’s outlining Europe’s 9 Most Picturesque Towns.  The very first town listed was Brugge and based on the photo that was attached to the article – I was sold. After I read the mini-blurb Fodor’s wrote, describing what to expect while visiting Brugge I was completely sold.  ”Known as the “Venice of the North,” Brugge is one of the most beautiful small cities in Europe. Strolling through the maze of winding, cobbled alleys, alongside the winding canals and over the romantic bridges, it’s easy to see why Read the rest of this entry

Spargelzeit & Germany’s Obsession With Asparagus

Spargelzeit & Germany’s Obsession With Asparagus
Spargelzeit & Germany’s Obsession With Asparagus

Germans love seasonal eating..with that being said, Germans are – there’s no other way to put this – absolutely, uncontrollably bananas about asparagus (spargel).  Right now white asparagus is in season and it dominates every restaurant menu in town and it’s in just about every single German’s fridge…you cannot escape the stuff. Often referred to as the “royal vegetable,” it’s seasonal debut is on the first harvest in mid-April until June 24, the feast of St. John the Baptist and is an eagerly anticipated sign of spring.  During Spargelzeit (asparagus season) more than 70,000 tons of asparagus are consumed, virtually all of it white and most locally grown. Read the rest of this entry

The Tiger’s Wife – Tea Obreht

The Tiger’s Wife – Tea Obreht
The Tiger’s Wife – Tea Obreht

The Tiger’s Wife is the author’s first novel and I was surprised to discover that she is only 27 years old.  The book is not a light-hearted, easy read. I got bored a few times with the in-depth parts of the book that weren’t extremely important to the story but I did appreciate the writing style.  The timeline of the book goes from present time, to memories and to stories of myths and superstitions that even though have a mystical undertone, are believable and relevant to the story.  It definitely wasn’t what I expected when I began reading the book but I was pleasantly surprised.   Read the rest of this entry

Learning to Breathe – My Suicide Story

Learning to Breathe – My Suicide Story
Learning to Breathe – My Suicide Story

I haven’t written a blog in about a week…I’ve been going back and forth on what to write about.  I was planning on writing about my trip to Belgium, what it was like in Hawaii or maybe another anecdote about life in Germany but writing this seemed to be what I kept coming back to.  Mainly, because I can’t help but think that all the trips, my life now and all the things I’ve seen…It almost would have never happened.

I don’t know how to begin with how I reached the lowest point of my life.   Read the rest of this entry