Sunday, August 29, 2010

How not to spend your Sunday...

Yesterday my Mom and I went to Rostock to go to TK Maxx. Oh right, I went home for a few days to baby dogsit while my Mom was away on business. Well, we went to Rostock and somehow my brother ended up in the car with us. Not how I imagined our mother-daughter-trip.
Well, in the end he was the only one who found something at the store.
After we got rid of him we had lunch and then went home.
Today the "mall" here was open from 1-6 pm so we decided to go there. I was looking for shoes especially.
So we searched for a parking spot for 30 minutes, checked several shoe stores with no success and then wanted to have some coffee and ice cream.
That "mall" is not a real mall in my eyes because it has no food court. But it has some places to eat where you can sit in their space.
So we went to that ice cream place at the "mall" and sat down.
The place was crowded and we were lucky to get the last table.
It was the table next to the way to the kitchen and restroom and the waitresses passed our table all the time.
One even greeted us.
After we waited for like 30 minutes to place our order we got up and left.
I understand that they are busy but a 30 minutes wait is not OK.
So we went through some more stores and on the lower level we found a cafe and decided to try our luck there.
So we sat down, the waitress came pretty soon, I asked her about the cake, she said I need to pick one from the display and took off again.
Fine with me, I went, looked at the cakes and decided I want something else.
When I came back to the table we waited a little and then she returned.

My Mom placed her order and before I even could say "I would like" she took off. WTH??
When another waitress returned with my Moms order she wanted to put part of it in front of me.
We told her that I didn't even get the chance to order and she just said "Well, we have to hurry.." No apology, nothing...
I finally was able to order and had to wait quite a while for my icecream and tea.
The fact that the tea did not taste like we expected was just the cherry on it...

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

you HAVE to be kidding....

On Tuesday something happened that really left me speechless, and if you know me, that doesn't happen often.
But Tuesday I was able to board a plane without any kind of identification.
I had ID on me of course but nobody asked for it after I showed it at check-in.
I observed several times that they just glance at the ID when checking the boarding pass and on Tuesday I decided to test them and hid  my ID on purpose.
Of course I had it and if they had asked I would HAPPILY have shown it to them but:
Nobody wanted to see it when I boarded the plane (to which I am used by now) but nobody wanted to see it when I went through security either!!!
Basically anybody could have gotten on that plane with my boarding-pass.
And this CAN'T be right!
I already sent an email to the airport security department and I really hope they expect them to take care of that!
Why do they bother looking for explosives and stuff if they don't care if the right people are on the plane??

I know that in the US I had to show ID every single time before I got to go into the security area. And I remember how excited I was when I first was able to use my California drivers license instead of my German passport. :)

After telling some friends about this, the responses are different.
Some think it is normal, other think this is reckless, what do you think?
Is it reasonable to expect that some kind of identification is required before boarding a plane?

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

TK Maxx

Yes, I finally went there on Wednesday.
And it was awesome.
I have to take the bus and the tram to get there and the travel time is more than an hour but TOTALLY worth it.
The store has 3 levels, which is even bigger than the store in Rostock where I have been before.
When you walk in on the left hand side you are greeted by pretty purses galore, after that are accessories like hats and scarfs followed by cosmetics.
On the right hand side are clothes and the shoes are in the back.
Go up the escalator to find more clothes, evening dresses, the kids section if I remember right and toys.
On the top level are men's clothes and household goods, frames and stuff.
You should have heard me telling my Mom on the phone about the store.
I didn't buy much for myself though, just some scrapbook paper since it is hard to find here in Germany.
But I bought some gifts, one of them a real steal: A kiddies laptop (vtech no less) for 24,95. It's original price would have been close to 60 Euros.
There were only two left on the shelf and as soon as I spotted them I grabbed one to put in my shopping basket and then started inquiring if there is anybody who needs one. HAHA.
It will be the birthday present for my best friends little boy. :)
After showing an outstanding performance of maintaining self-control and neither buying the boots nor the jacket I went to Dunkin' Donuts for a little treat.
They don't have one in my town (which is probably better for my hips anyways) so I have to go there when there is the chance.

I had a strawberry-banana-smoothie and boy was I disappointed.
They forgot the magnifying glass. Seriously, the cup was so small, I thought it was a bad joke.

It was still delicious but I think I will wait with having another smoothie at Dunkin Donuts until I ever make it back to the States.
I mean, I know that US sizes are different form German sizes at such places as DD and Starbucks, but still...

I hope everybody is enjoying their weekend!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

don't you just hate it?

I am a huge fan of the internet.
In fact I LIVE on the internet/ (just kidding)
But the internet is important for me, to get information like recipes, departure time, the schedule for school is online, lecture stuff is online etc.
And I love facebook and studiVz,which is kind of a cheap copycat of facebook but it is "made" in Germany. Back in the day when I joined it was just plain and simple, without the fancy apps and stuff which facebook has to offer.
But it is getting closer and closer to being a fake facebook.
But that is not the point here.
Well I have lot's of friends on both networks, facebook and studiVz.
And today I realized I lost a friend on studiVz.
I don't know if the person deleted especially me from his/her friendlist or just completely deleted his/her profile.
And I can't check out which is the case because I can't figure out who that person is.
I keep thinking of people and check if they are still my friend but so far everybody is there.
I know this will bug me til I know who that person is and this annoys me!
I know that sounds like I am a bad friend, but some people don't use those networks as much as I do (or others) and so their absence is not that obviously right away...

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Monday, August 16, 2010

'cause it feels like fall...

Yep, it certainly does.
It poured like crazy yesterday and the temperature did a remarkable drop, like from shorts and t-shirt weather to long pants and *gasp* socks.
That's why I decided to cook a pumpkin stew and later that night I had a hot chocolate with seasonal spices. (and little marshmallows on top of course)
I found the recipe online and varied a bit. (something I normally don't do but more about that later)
Well, what I cooked serves me for two days, since I am a single person I can not say anything about how many people you can feed with one pot.
So if you want to try it yourself you have to figure out the measurements by yourself. :)
What I used are ham cubes, which I fried for a bit before added chopped up onion (I used one package of ham and 1 onion) and 3 cloves of garlic (pressed). I let this all fry for a bit. Then I added one diced hokkaido pumpkin ( you can leave the skin on but of course you have to remove the seed) and let this all cook for a bit. Then I added one cup of rice and enough water to cover it all. I seasoned with instant broth and some dried herbs.
Let it all cook on low til the rice is done (stir occasionally) and enjoy! :)

 And for the hot chocolate I heated up some milk because it is easier to dissolve something in a warmer medium.
Then I put in 4 teaspoons of baking cocoa, 3 teaspoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and very little of clove powder, ginger powder and pimento.
Stir it all, and then fill up with boiling milk. Put some marshmallows on top (I used little Betty's) and enjoy!

I really enjoy cooking, trying new recipes and making up my own ones but it was quite a rocky road til this point and I am still learning. I know, cooking is a lot about intuition and feeling, and sometimes you just put in  a bit more of this and less of that because you just feel like doing this.
My problem is, that I feel uncomfortable trying new stuff and changing recipes, adding something else to it or leaving something out.
I think this is because I am a scientist too and in the lab it is crucial to follow the "recipe" 100%.
You can't just change the measurements because then at least you are not getting the result you are supposed to or you can even put yourself and others in danger.
I often catch myself doing complicated calculations before I even start cooking, and that kind of annoys me but on the other hand I can't help myself.
But as I said it is getting better and better. I think I just need more practice.

I hope everybody has a great week!
Mine will be great because at some point I will pay my favorite store a visit. :)

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

finally something to blog about

Today I finally got something to write about.
First of all it seems like my blog made it.
I am in the position of getting spam comments now.
Does that mean, my blog is highly frequented now? :)
I see I do have lot's of visitors, I would love to see some more comments, if they are not spam. :)

Today I got my very late Christmas package from my host family and it totally made my day!!
Especially the pictures of the kids (1 with Santa and 1 frame with 2 pictures of them) Amazing how tall they are now and how much they changed!

And yesterday I received very important news: They opened a TK Maxx in Cologne.
I SO will go there really soon!!

Hope everybody has a nice weekend!

edit to add:
I ordered the new glasses. For my daily life glasses I decided to try the antireflexion coating,, my backup glasses are just plain normal ones...
Can't wait to see if there is a difference.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I can't stand people who try to talk me into something...

Today I went to the optometrist to order new glasses because my sight got worse.
I have insurance for my glasses so at least part of it is covered. (today I had to find out that it is only part, I first thought all of it is covered).
Well, I told the guy that I need new glasses, he checked my eyes again, jotted the numbers down and I told him that I would keep the frame, just need new glasses in there.
I told him I want the same glasses like last time, just a new strength.
My actual glasses are made in a special way so that they are thinner than they would be if they were just normal glasses.
I picked this option because my eyes are really bad and I don't want to run around with bottle bottoms on my face.
So I told the guy that I want my new glasses to be made the same way.
This costs slightly more than normal glasses but that's OK.
The guy asked me if I want antireflexion coating and I declined.
So he started to fill out the necessary forms and all of the sudden he starts to talk about antireflexion coating again, like he could not imagine having his glasses without that, etc.
He then proceeded to do some calculations to show me how much more I would have to pay with simple antireflexion coating or even superantireflexion coating.
I told him that I am just a poor student but he insisted that I couldn't live any further without said coating.
I then told him that I will think about that and will come back tomorrow and then left the store.

It is nice if people care about their customers and show new options but trying to talk me into something which I don't think I need (my actual glasses are without any coating) is just too much and quite annoying.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

as you can see...

a new design, again.
I just came across it and HAD to apply it to my blog, it is just so cute and I LOVE it!

Stay tuned for a "real" post coming up...

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Monday, August 2, 2010

back home and a little depressed

Since I got home on Friday I am a little down.
I spent two weeks with my Mom and the dog and my brothers and now I feel kinda alone here in my apartment.
Well, I guess I will get over it, I have to, right?
On Tuesday we had a pretty low day.
We didn't do much, we read, ate, played with the dog and so on.
In the late afternoon we decided to go out again and we went to the beach again, fed some more seagulls and went back to our favorite cafe.

Afterward we went to a store where I wanted to show my Mom a certain dress which I didn't find but while I was searching the store for the dress, my Mom found a nice shirt for herself.
If I remember right we didn't do much else that day.
On Wednesday we had big plans. We wanted to go to the Darß, look around there, go to one of the Seebrücken (sea bridges) and to the lighthouse, spend some time at the beach and then move on to Ahrenshoop to enjoy the arts there.
Well, we got to the Darß and drove around for a while. We were not able to find a Seebrücke and so we decided to go to the lighthouse, then find a supermarket and do a picnic at the beach before going to Ahrenshoop.
So we drove to what looked close to the lighthouse on the map, parked the car and asked a local how to get to the lighthouse.
She gave us directions and it sounded like a short little walk through the woods.
So we start walking, enter the forest where she told us and walked and walked and walked.
After 30 or so minutes we get to a signpost.
I didn't think of taking a picture but the sign pointing in the direction we came from said something like "Prerow 3,4 km" (2,1 miles) and the other sign said "Lighthouse 1,5 km" (1 mile).
So much for a nice little walk through the woods.
Can you guess how excited we were? :)
Fortunately I put on  a different pair of shoes than the ones I wore most of the time while at my Moms.
She only wore slippers though.
Well, we finally made it to the lighthouse.
And of course we had to climb up too.
We sure got a good workout that day. :)

For the way back we decided to take the charabanc. They went up and down in 30 minute intervals and we had several of them pass us on the way up.
No picture of that either, sorry.

When we got back to the car it was pretty late (too late to see arts) and we were starving, so we just stopped at a restaurant and had a really delicious dinner there.
Funny thing there: They had ads on their paper towels in the restroom.

On Thursday we set out to our final excursion.
We went to Karls farm again.
We were there a few times when I still lived with my Mom and it was as nice as usual, but also really crowded.
I got a cute breakfast bowl there.
Picture might follow when my stuff got here.
Afterward we went to IKEA again to pick up the bookshelf and the thing I forgot the last time.
And in the clearance area I found a nice ( a little damaged though) office chair for 10 euros which had to come with us too. :)
Currently I am using just a normal chair, which I can't adjust in height or anything and often my back hurts after working for a while so I intended to buy a new chair anyways and for 10 euros I just couldn't leave it there.
The little damage is just an optical problem and I will just cover it with some fabric or so.
We grabbed a bite to eat and headed home, where I played with the dog, packed my stuff and cleaned out my old desk which took quite some time.
I was in bed around 2 am, and got up at 5:30 am to head to the airport.
We had breakfast there and then we said good bye.
It is kind of weird.
If I go by plane, the good bye seems to be harder than if I go by train even if it is the same distance.
Well, I went through security where I didn't have a problem this time but they took my laptop away to swap it for explosives. Never happened before.
Obviously they didn't find anything.
Flight went smooth and we had to take the bus to get from the plane to the terminal.
Never had that before at this airport.

When I got to my place I was really excited to see that my plants still live and they looked even better than before,
Maybe I should cut back on the water I give them.
I felt so motivated, so I went to the store, bought the ingredients for a nice dinner and even stuff to decalcify my electric kettle.
I cooked and decalcified and had a good time until it was about time to go to bed.
Then it hit me and I felt lonely all of a sudden.
I spent two weeks with my family and now I am all alone again.
Kind of depressing.
But it starts to get better slowly.
Plus my Mom will visit on Friday to bring all my stuff. :)

Kudos if you made it through the whole post!

Have a nice week everybody!

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