Hello hello hello!

In my post before I said that I had a hard time remembering all the awesome stuff I wanted to blog about so I've started writing them down (I'm really proud of myself for doing this so when you see fit please mail me a sticker as a reward, thank you). I did this all yesterday and today. I basically wrote small notes on weird things I learned or picked up throughout the day. I just read through my notes and realized how weird they would look from an outside perspective so I thought it would be funny to share them. Then I can break them down and explain more.

  • house shoes
  • bathrooms are always by the front door
  • half to five not half past four
  • biggest carrot distributor
  • burgers with a fork?!?!
  • eat everything or die
  • no such thing as German coffee
  • guinea pig is the national food in Ecuador
  • orange eggs
  • pearls in the toothpaste
  • donkey, sheep, horse
  • corn fields
  • hugging everyone
  • almost died on the ropes course

Soooo yeah that's my list. Some are self explanatory but still the list is weird right? I'll start my explanations from the top.

Everyone in Germany wears house shoes. They're comfy shoes that they wear around the house but never out. This is something we have in the states (slippers, duh) but it's way more common here. Also I don't have a pair so yeah, sad.

Someone told me that 95% of the time there is a powder room by the front door in every German household. Whether this is actually true or not I have no idea. I've only been in two houses so far. But I'll keep y'all updated.

My host dad taught me that in German you don't say the time like half past four but rather half to five which I thought was interesting.

The next few things I picked up at my YEO's house. He told me that Willich is the biggest carrot distributor. Whether he meant in Germany, Europe, or the world he didn't specify. He also said that it is proper manners in Germany to eat everything on your plate. This rule is taken very seriously and kinda sucked when I felt super nauseous on my first day from jet lag. Sorry h-fam I tried my best. Before I left, my parents asked my to try the German coffee for them and so when the topic of coffee came up I turned on my listening ears. I talked about Portland being known for its coffee (Stumptown whoop whoop) and said that I must try whatever Germany has to offer. I was then informed that Germany doesn't have its own coffee, they import it (sorry parents). Quite disappointing but not really actually because I don't even like coffee really. Unless it's iced with a bucket of simple syrup in it:)

Did you know the national dish in Ecuador is guinea pig? Yeah neither did I. I've heard it tastes bad so no need to try but do visit the Galapagos Islands it's worth any amount of money (thanks for the info Pia).

Scrambled eggs are orange here I don't know why. I've seen an orange squirrel, doves, a donkey, horses, and some sheep since being here. There's also a lot of farm land, not a lot because this place is only like 8 miles but I'm sayin a decent amount. Also, I've tried two different types of German toothpaste. One tasted like black licorice and the other had weird bead things in it (secret dentist tip?? I don't know).

At dinner, we had a large group and you should know that Germans or rather Europeans take their table manners very seriously. But now we were having burgers that night and it is completely unacceptable to eat a burger with a fork and knife. It didn't even cross my mind when I was given mine. I dug right in without a second thought but after I few minutes I looked around at everyone else and saw two people in our large group with a fork and knife in hand slicing away at their burgers. In my head the America emergency bells were going off. "Warning, warning, someone has broken American protocol, self destruction in process." I kept my thoughts to  myself though. The Germans can improperly eat their burgers if they please. And if they ever read this know that I do love you dearly. You're wonderful humans.

Since being in Germany I have hugged almost every single person upon meeting them. I don't know if this is a rotary thing, maybe they want you to feel more at home or something broader. All I know is everyone here specifically the kids and teens are really skinny. Today I internally apologized to this person I was required to hug who happened to be incredibly tall and skinny because I just crashed into their collarbone and it was quite awkward but I mean what can you do (you're welcome for this really embarrassing insight).

And we've finally made it to my last note. This is a long post, I'm proud of you for making it through. Today the exchange students and I were taken on a ropes course with ziplines and tricky suspension bridges. It was all super high up and terrifying but definitely fun. As we got to the end of our final course (Risiko ooo ahhh) there was a choice to take the safe route or the super sketchy route. I was on my way to the safe route when Rafael (exchange student from Brazil) came up behind me and said I HAD to do the scary one. I wasn't about to back down. It took me about 10 minutes to do it but I jumped like frickin Tarzan onto a hanging net. It also hurt. A lot. But it's all for the experience right? Rotary rules, never say no:)

This post was a little more sporadic than usual but I hope you still found it interesting. More soon, kale out