Tag Archives: dresden

You can call me ‘Princess Morgan’

Betwixt gorging myself on Dexter episodes and discovering that omelets are actually pretty easy to make, even for those culinarily challenged, it seems I have become a slacker (in the way of writing). There are verifiable and concrete reasons for this (new-found? no, probably not) slacker status, however, so don’t be too hard on me.

But anyways, without delving into those reasons–you’ll just have to trust me–there was something that happened in January that I’ve been meaning to write about for awhile…a simple incident of a day made better by someone’s innate kindness. Unfortunately, it was my day that was way crappy but thankfully, through cosmic intervention or something, I crossed paths with someone who bestowed upon me free hot chocolate and other goodies thus rerouting the entire direction of my day.

To make an unnecessarily long and complicated story short, my flight from America to Dresden included 4 different planes. The last one was supposed to fly from Frankfurt to Dresden and land me back in my modest and somewhat lonely dorm room around 10 am or so. Because of the terrible timing of a snowstorm, my flight from Frankfurt was canceled–important to note here, though, is that NO ONE TOLD ME. I sat sitting around the airport like a moron waiting for my flight until I got the idea 15 minutes before we were supposed to take off to, oh, I don’t know, ask why the monitors said nothing about my flight. Then and only then did I find out that the plane was permanently grounded until further notice. JIGGA WHAT!?

Morgan was unhappy and on the verge of tears (that’s just what happens after a million hour long stressful travel day ending with a canceled flight). After finally retrieving a piece of good information from the troll behind the counter, I raced all over the airport, without my luggage because it was still on my loser, grounded plane, trying to find the train station that was somewhere underground. I could take a train from Frankfurt to Dresden..AWESOME! It was just gonna take 5 hours. Eh…not so awesome.

After finally finding the god-forsaken train, I sat down and promptly put on my headphones to try and slip into a coma so I wouldn’t have to think anymore. A few minutes after the train left, a man tapped on my shoulder…he was older, wearing a blue suit and matching hat, and although my mind probably invented this last detail just because it would’ve been perfect and adorable, little white gloves.  It was the ticket controller and he was asking for my ticket, a routine procedure. I removed my headphones, pulled out my ticket, handed it to him and on impulse, decided to tell him that my name is Morgan. (“Wie ‘Guten Morgen’!” Translation: “As in, Good Morning!”…My name means ‘morning’ in German and it makes for a wonderful way of having people remember my name.)

You know how with some people you can just tell if you’ll get along? That’s how it was with this older gentleman…even though I was in a foul mood, his light-hearted manner put me immediately at ease and I just felt compelled to tell him my name because I was almost certain he’d get a kick out of it, which he did.

(Note: the following conversation was in German…well, broken German on my part, but I don’t feel like translating to and from German, so I’ll just write it in English.) Continue reading

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I sack-hopped like Santa Claus.

Dresden should be applauded for the incredible ways in which the Christmas season is celebrated. Why, you ask?

One word: Weihnachtsmannsackhüpfstaffelmarathon. No, seriously.

This is an event sponsored by one of the local student clubs, Bärenzwinger, that encourages members of other student clubs to take part in an annual Sack-Hopping Relay. Dressed as Santa Claus.

Starting the day bright and early at 9 am, the teams assemble in their respective clubs and begin migrating to the Bärenzwinger club in Altstadt, which is located right next to where the race is to go down. (Just as a time frame, sack-hopping teams start gathering around 9:30 or so and the actual sack-hopping extravaganza begins at 2. I’m going to reiterate here that this event happens in a park right outside of a student club…drinking is strongly encouraged and with so much time in between everyone’s arrival and the actual race, staying entirely sober isn’t often accomplished.)

In hopes of maintaining some form of grace in my mother’s eyes, I’ll assert here that I was not drunk for my sack-hopping debut…my stomach was already a bit unsettled and I don’t do well with alcohol before, say, noon. But I did witness everyone around me slowly, and in some cases quickly, drift off into oblivion (some of whom drifted so far off into that oblivion they were unable to finish their part of the relay on his/her own and had to be carried by hand and foot in order to pass the baton to me…I won’t name any names here, but it was Alex.)

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I fell asleep and missed the party.

It’s true. I’m in Germany for one week and I fall asleep before the party on the first Saturday in town. Sort of pathetic.

Here I am, it’s 2:20 am and I’m sitting in my room drinking a beer I just bought from the pub down the hall and I can’t find anyone. I really feel like I missed out…not only because they went to the Neustadt (newer part of town) for some bars and clubs and stuff but because there was a cute German boy from Munich with them who likes me. He’s leaving tomorrow to go back home. Dagnabit! I missed my chance.

If you want to hear a funny story of a conversation being completely lost in translation, though, I could simply recount our encounter last night…

So everyone is at the Gutz, the bar in our dorm, because it’s our new friend Denis’ 28th birthday and he was having a blowout birthday bash (Denis is a German visiting here for the week who used to take classes here at TU Dresden). First there was the grilling of wurst and pork, then came the ADVENTURETOUR! consisting of a guided (per Denis) tour of ruins from the DDR, the roof of a building with probably 5009 stairs, and then the trek to the top of a hill where we could sit on a monument and overlook the city of Dresden. It was awesome. Then we all went back to the Gutz for more drinking and what Denis called “dancingtime.”

Back to the lost in translation stuff…so here we are at the Gutz, dancing and drinking and generally having a good time. I’m eyein this cute German guy who looked like a Ken doll almost, fully knowing that we would have trouble communicating if it ever got to that point. Eventually, conversation was inevitable, as his friends concocted a plan to leave us the only two sitting at the bar. Fine by me, but how do I communicate with someone whose English is only a little bit better than my German? Uhhhh sign language.

We tried talking first. He tried to speak English and he actually did pretty well but was convinced that what he was saying was, and I quote, “there is a boundary and I am in it,” meaning he felt inhibited by the language barrier. Alright, I said. I’m here to learn German to let’s get to steppin, right? Well I tried but as soon as he said something, his accent took over and I could not understand a lick of what he was saying. I just sat at the bar in utter confusion as he looked at me, also utterly confused. Yet we were still attracted, so you can’t just leave that stuff hangin’, obviously. I began to speak pretty simple English and we finally got the semblance of a conversation going.

Note: When you speak with some Germans, you will see right away that small talk is a no-no. With this boy, we’ll call him Friedrich, I tried to keep the conversation going with small talk, but all I got for a response was, “I do not care.” It came off harsher than he wanted, I think, but it was still sort of hilarious to get a, “I do not care, why does that matter?” when I told him my ancestors were from 20 minutes away from Dresden. Because, obviously, that matters.

So that’s pretty much how the night went. He ended up thinking I was very funny and “sehr schoen–ist unglaublich,” so he kept talking to me and that made me happy. It was interesting having to deal with someone who thought that 88% of all that you said was unnecessary…but it was actually hilarious and quite flattering all at the same time. Sometimes when he didn’t know what to say to my sarcasm, he would just do one of those playful face touches…you know, the thing that dads used to do in the 50s to their sons. Or what Humphrey Bogart did to that chick in Casablanca towards the end before she left–the “here’s to lookin at you, kid” face nudge. It made me laugh because that has never before happened to me while being hit on.

To be real, I’m pretty sure he liked me only because I look kind of like the ideal German girl minus the Oktoberfest outfit…blonde, blue-eyed and tall, but hey, I’ll take what I can get. We were supposed to hang out again tonight, but as I said earlier, I fell asleep like a loser and missed all of tonight’s activities and I’m heartbroken. This man could’ve been my future husband! Now we’ll never know.

I guess I’ll just have to settle for the next Brad Pitt look-a-like German who comes my way. Ahhh missed opportunities are sad. But I have a feeling that in a city with, as far as I can see, way more males than females (and good-looking males at that), I’ll be just fine. After all, I’ve only been here six days and the city is very, very big. As they say, there are always more fish in the sea.

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