On the journey to becoming a man I had many missteps, but my father was always there to give sage advice. One of those nuggets of wisdom was, “If you truly love someone, tell them how you feel and be honest.” This was of course easier said than done. Thankfully I understand now what he meant.
I love Hot Pockets Chile con Carne and they don’t have them in the US. It pains me to think that I will be seperated from my spicy-available-only-in-Germany love. Being a man I took matters into my own hands and laid my feelings out on the table.
The letter reads:
Dear Hot Pocket People,
In Germany I ate these like a meth addict craves crystal meth. Why do they not exist in the US? WHY?! The flavor-gasm alone is worth the import fees. Please make it easier for me to become morbidly obese like my hero and child actor Robert Stack. (He was the guy from Unsolved Mysteries.)
Three weeks ago I was entrenched in a struggle to get a vital package of medicine from FedEx. Their constant delays were chronicled by an extensive writeup. I have just been informed via e-mail that the folks at FedEx Customer Relations are in damage control. They promptly replied to my terse letter in kind. They have refunded my parents $230 of the original $270 cost. They have also sent three $20 vouchers for my future shipping needs. I believe this act may be response to the 69 Euro ($94 USD) I had to pay to pick up the package.
FedEx Customer Relations did the right thing. No customer should have to fight a corporate entity for service clearly outlined in their mission statement. I accept FedEx’s generosity in recovering most of the costs even though I expected nothing in return. I will be using the certificates because, after all, I have paid for them.
I still, however, retain my firm stance against recommending and/or utilizing their services. I will still go out of my way to ship with other more reliable carriers.
The city in which fictional millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne lives and works by night as Batman is pronounced “Gotham.” It is not, as I previously insisted with interrogative inflection, pronounced “Got Ham.”
Just a quick update on my current situation. Tomorrow I begin my final exams (Klausur) and I really do not know what to expect. I have spent horribly long stretches in the the library trying to prepare as much as possible. For close to three weeks I have been gathering notes. Unlike at UW – Oshkosh, where tests are giving during the course of the semester and homework reinforces what you have learned, everything depends on these exams. To be frankly honest, I do not believe I will perform well. Just as I got into the swing of how things worked it was time to brace for exams. If I could stay another semester, I am sure I would do much better. The one class that I prepare the most for is Grammatik des Deutschen. If the Probeklausur (preview exam) was any indication of what to expect I will be lucky to answer a paltry number of questions.
It has been raining for the past three weeks straight in Marburg. The bad weather has really had a negative affect on… well everything really. Luckily this weekend the sky cleared up for the huge festival that went on. I really needed a break from the grind. The copious amount of bratwurst, beer, and even dragon boat races was a nice break. But looming overall was the imprisonment in the library. On cue the clouds returned on Monday, just as all the booths cleared out, and the sky opened up. I have been here at the university library working on my notes for close to 6 hours. Lather rinse and repeat for the next week or so. It is getting to the point where my biggest obstacle is not the exam, but my own apathy.
My flight back to the United States will be on July 26. The flight is about 8 hours long, but I will be arriving in Chicago very shortly after I left Germany due to the time zone difference. I will be working for the UW-Oshkosh Maintenance Crew for the month of August and subleasing from a friend. I look forward to Taco Bell, Diet Mt. Dew, and shutting my brain off for a month.
That episode of the Simpsons where Homer attempts to buy illegal fireworks sums it up best. “Celebrate the freedom of your country by blowing a piece of it up.” It saddens me that I will not be able to keep my yearly tradition of going to downtown Green Bay this year. The 4th is my second favorite holiday with Halloween being the first. Do me proud ´merica. Once you wake up from the festivities we can impeach us a President.
Verderben is a german noun that means decay or degenerate. As an amateur photographer I rarely get the opportunity to capture Verderben in its progression. It is the antonym of growth. Humans invest countless resources constructing the tangeable, while time, an elusive intangeable, effortlessly destroys. It is this balance in the Lord’s creation that often get overlooked or dismissed as “ugly.” Magazines use Photoshop to conceal Verderben to create beauty. True beauty lies in graceful decay.
This weekend I stumbled across a factory is Butzbach, which lies between Frankfurt and Giessen in Hessen, Germany. This factory complex proudly proclaimed that it had been open for over 100 years. By all indications, however, the factory was abandoned around 1998. My intentions were to ride around Butzbach getting better photographs of the surrounding area than I hade taken during Hessentag (a local festival). Instead I spent a good portion of the afternoon entranced by the remnants of what used to be a thriving place where people made farm equipment.
You may view some of the photos at my Flickr album here.
Selected vocabulary words picked out of my English-German dictionary on the bus ride back home.
- monocle – das Monokel
- gimlet – der Vorbohrer
- creosote – das Kreosot
- cortege – die Prozessin
- castanets – die Kastagnetten (pl.)
- unreasonable demand – die Zumutung
- avarice – der Geir
- ominous – bedrohlich
- Machiavellian – machiavellistisch
- vulgar – pöbelhaft