Children: I shall not document it here, but there was once a terrible time known as Freshman Year when I spent the greater part of both semesters answering to a name that was not my own, and that had the title of "mother" thrown in there too. Irony of ironies, there's a few steps necessary to the art of producing children in which I am severely debilitated (see also: every party I've ever been to), but I sure do like me some kids. My internship began today, and I spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon surrounded by Viennese chit'lins, teaching them some of the good old English. They ranged from the tiniest 7 year olds I ever beheld ("My birthday is five October two thousand" - "TWO THOUSAND?!") to snarky 10 year olds who were completely smitten with my Chuck Taylors ("Do you know Guns N' Roses? Justin Timberlake?"). All in all, it was pretty awesome - my goal is to remember all their names (there's at least 50 in all) and to teach them all the art of high fives. It took me back to my dreadful days as a Girl Scout camp counselor (lots of French-braiding was involved), but they were all incredibly excited and eager to meet me and practice their English skills. And all the teachers were highly complimentary of my pitiful German skills. Major woot, no?
Food: I do not know how to eat. In Germany, at the Goethe Institut, breakfast and lunch were provided for us (PASSIVE VOICE OH GOD Sharon Williams is gonna kill me), but here, there's nothing. As I am invariably wont to do, I've been thinking about it and realized I have no idea how I fed myself for the past 21 years - my mom was always working, so we were never the sit down for family supper type, and I can't cook beyond making a mean slice of toast. At school, the Diner has always been my eatery of choice, not because Black Russians are incomparable, but because the meal is already there - drink, sandwich, fries, done. It's weird, having to consciously ask myself, am I hungry? am I full? should I bother with the crackers or just eat the Nutella from the jar? (joking. kind of.) We'll see how it pans out in the end - yes, my jeans are falling off, but they are also very dirty.
Men: AUSTRIANS APPARENTLY HAVE DIFFERENT STANDARDS THAN THE MALE POPULATION OF HAMILTON COLLEGE. By which I mean, in the course of a single day, I had three separate encounters with men ranging from Austrian business men shouting "FRAULEIN" at me as I was scribbling away in a cafe with my coffee and smokes to some wolf-whistle from a passing car. I'm not complaining, really. But it's certainly something new for me.
Speaking of scribbling in cafes, when I saw them in Berlin, Jamie and Johanna told me they saw my future self in Prague. "How so?" I asked. "She was chain-smoking and writing and she ordered another beer when she still had half of one left, and when the waitress brought the new one she chugged the one she had." Could be worse, I mean.
I leave on my Spring Break odyssey on Friday, so I won't be back on the interwebs for two whole weeks. Enjoy yourselves, out there, whoever you are. A simple epiphany that descended on me during the string quartet concert tonight that you, too, should have, not unrelated to the Sesame Street skit with the yellow anchorman: This is your life. You'd better start living it.