Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I bought an earflap hat so people would take me more seriously as an artist

I have this joke with my friends here. It goes a little something like this: I'm normally pretty scatterbrained -- this everyone knows. So I'd pass off importantish things like directions or train tickets to my roommate Jenn. She's the responsible one, I'd say, I'm just the comic relief. But one day, I kept the tickets. Puttin' on my Big Girl Pants, says I. The friends were impressed. A freeloader no longer, I proceeded to find my way around Vienna, Venice, Florence and Bratislava. I've learned the streetcars and subways here. I'll walk to my friends' houses confidently, without getting lost or harassed. Unless I'm with Americans, I only speak German. The Big Girl Pants are here to stay, right? Well...

Christmas is coming up. Even though I tend toward apathy at best and grinchiness at worst, the lights in the streets and bakery smells have really put me into a festive, lovey sort of mood.

Everyone in my classes won't stop talking about going home.

So now I'm fighting tears because I'm NOT going home and I DON'T have a plan or a clue where I'll be after December 16th. I'm scared, and I don't want my Big Girl Pants because they can't give me a hug. Homesickness, thy name is Erica.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

For clarity

I will not be returning for the holidays. I'll see Alaskans in June and Oregonians sometime after that, depending on finances. But this is depressing, so read the entry below.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Things I've done for the first time in the past six weeks:

Visited Poland, Germany, Hungary and Italy.
Climbed a small mountain to a secluded Italian town.
Felt completely incompetent in three different languages.
Had a layered shot (two, in fact, with names that'll make you blush).
Been mistaken for a Swede, a Brit and a German successively.
Gone an entire day without speaking English.
Taken 100+ photos in a day. Six hours, really.
Made friends with folks without knowing a word of their language (offering chocolate always helps -- he gave me and my friends each a 10 ruble note. Russian money is rather pretty.)
Started Gravity's Rainbow.
Started Harry Potter (the first) in German.
Finished neither.
Studied less than three hours a week.
Tried countless new types of food and drink.
Stayed up all night waiting for a train.
Stayed up all night partying with two Midwesterners and a dude from New Zealand.
Adjusted to the German/Austrian keyboards, more or less.
Felt at home on a continent I'm not from.
Seen a giraffe in the flesh (!!!)
Gotten lost without panicking.
Purchased pizza by the kilo.
Been alone but not lonely.
Eaten organ meats.
Seen an underground Viennese hip hop show.
Smoked two cigarettes in two weeks. Slippery slope, people. I blame Ness.
Text messaged. Extensively.
Purchased a t-shirt with none other than Pope John Paul II on the front.
Neglected my blog thoroughly.

I could continue, but that would probably take hours. Hopefully my emails and pictures (www.flickr.com/users/ericarothman) find everyone well.