Tag Archive: Germany


So two posts in one day… this is number two. (see: number one, Photoooography)


Hmm, what else happened this week.  Oh yeah, yesterday!  Two words:  car accident.  And a pretty brutal one at that…

After school yesterday I took the motorway over to rt 22 and got off at the 15th Street exit, towards Allentown, and got off at Fairmont Avenue, because I was driving to Dan’s Camera City to get some film for my new camera.  On my way out, I decided I would turn left and go down 15th Street into downtown Allentown to go to the library and take out some books.  I approached the stop sign, and all was well.  Though there was heavy traffic, I deemed clear to go, if I hurried… It was pissing rain out, so obviously my car tires didn’t react right away to my accelerating, so that probably didn’t help much to my situation.  All of a sudden, in the middle of the street, WHAM.  Damn! What happened?! I was stopped, in the middle of a busy busy and very wide intersection!  All I see is clouds of smoke everywhere.  My first instinct was to get out of the car ASAP, smoke could mean fire!  After coming out of the shock, I start moving trying to get out of the car.  then I realize, hmm it might be helpful to put the car in park and turn it off… so I went back to my seat and threw it in “P” and switched the car off (Though I’m sure it was already off because of the impact…)

I climbed over the console and scratched my way out of the passenger side door… I immediately ran over to the second car, the one who T-boned me in the driver’s side, to make sure all was ok.  The driver’s steering wheel airbag deployed, his nose was gushing blood.  I didn’t have a cellphone, so I had no way of calling 911 nor could I call my mother.  Thank goodness for the Good Samaritan who was trying to turn left onto Fairmont, the street I was coming from, as she parked her car in the middle of the road and came out to help us, when everyone else was just passing by not even slowing down.  She called 911 and let me use her phone.  We got the driver napkins and tried stopping the bleeding until the ambulance arrived.  Took forever, considering we were at 15th St and the hospital was at 17th & Chew, not too far away.  But when they finally came, the firetruck accompanied.  They took the driver away, but he could walk to the ambulance.  I told them I was fine and didn’t want to go to the hospital (which I will later find out was stupid of me, because obviously I wouldn’t’ve had to wait in the ER later if I just went in on the ambulance…)

Then the cop came.  I don’t even recall him even asking me if I was at least ok… he just asked what happened.. I said, Well, I turned left and got struck.  That’s all I said… He then asked me for my name, number, birthdate, insurance stuff and that was bascially it… since the driver of the other car was already taken away on the ambulance, the cop couldn’t get his statement until he went to the hospital.  In the mean time, the passenger who I haven’t mentioned yet, of the other car, was in the back seat.  When my mother with my brother arrived, they noticed that the passenger int he back seat seemed to be rummaging through the car.  All of a sudden, out of nowhere, he vanished.  Simply vanished.  Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal. He simply fled!

Which brings me to the next point:  for those of you who weren’t aware, yesterday was 4/20.  This day has long been recognized among teenagers as “National Pot Day” (Obviously, in this case, pot meaning marijuana)  When I saw the driver the first time, after getting out of my car, I had noticed the guys eyes were pretty darn red.  Later I found out from a nurse friend of ours, that it is POSSIBLE the redness was from the airbag dust… but the fact that the passenger was rummaging through the car and then simply fled, that makes me even more suspicious that pot could’ve been involved.  What pissed me off though, was the fact that the cop had no interest in the fact that there was indeed another passenger and that he fled… So later that night I spent time on the phone making calls to the Headquarters of the Allentown Police trying to pass along the message that I had more information on the accident… I have yet to hear from them.

So from an Insurance Agency’s point of view, I think I seem to be at fault, since I was at a stopsign and pulled out into moving traffic… But speeding was definitely a factor, and I don’t believe the dude had his headlights on, and since it was pissing out he should have had them on.  If he was under the influence of marijuana, that’ll definitely help my case… but I doubt we will ever know.

Thank goodness this kind lady stopped to help… she was so sweet, she told me “I have a 17 year old son, and if this had happened to him, I would hope someone would stop to help them too…” She let me sit in her car, even th ough I was drenched, because it was pouring out… Later that night, since I used her cell to call my moms cell, I had her number so I called her to thank her for helping, though she didn’t pick up-I just left her a voicemail.

I went home and changed and then we went to the hospital anyway just to double check that I was ok, and for insurance reporting reasons… I got the whole neckbrace treatment, then once they found out I was T-boned instead of simply rearended or something, they threw me in a wheelchair and gave me a little more priority… Turns out no bones were broken or anything, but I would definitely be sore.

I learned that I am very lucky for being in a Volvo.  Volvos for life, that’s how the saying goes… And there’s another saying, something about Volvo’s being like tanks… Everyone told me that I’m lucky that I was in a Volvo, otherwise I would’ve been severely injured… I didn’t even know I HAD side airbags until today, and thank god I did!

So today I got a phonecall from insurance, today I will have to pick up my incident report at the HQ, and today I made some phonecalls trying to suggest or complain or recommend, I don’t knwo what you’d call it, that someone install a traffic signal at that intersection… You can tell it’s a bad intersection, and its on a bit of an incline AND a curve so obviously it’s hard to see oncoming traffic.

I was driving on the blue path, he was going north on 15th St.

I was driving on the blue path, he was going north on 15th St.

So yeah, I’m just sore with a really stiff neck and hobbling around doped up on painkillers, but I’ll be ok… let’s see what happens with insurance…

T-boned.

T-boned.

T-boned II

T-boned II

On a much brighter note, I completed my video [http://vimeo.com/4172284]  on NYC, and speaking of, another trip is in my future because TODAY I GOT THE PHONECALL FROM THE GERMAN EMBASSY, I WAS AWARDED MY RESIDENCE/WORK PERMIT!! So I’m just waiting for a document in the mail and then it’s all A-OK to go up to Manhattan and pick up my visa! That should happen next week or so!! So more on that when I get it…

-Zac.

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Contract

It’s arrived!! The few leafs of paper which I have been waiting for 3 weeks to get here–my Ausbildungsvertrag.  (internship-thing contract).

Within the envelope and clump of A4-format papers lies the most important information of the year thus far.  When I start, where I’ll go to school, how much I’ll earn, how many vacation days I get, etc etc.

I know I really haven’t mentioned a whole lot about this on my site, because I was mainly trying to catch up my life in pictures until present, but I’ll fill y’all in:

I’m moving to Germany in the summer (which I believe has come up several times in the site) but when I get there, a job awaits me, along with some additional schooling. I accepted an offer of a lifetime.  Ausbildung.  I will work as a Hotelfachmann in a hotel, in the Mercure Hotel Köln Junkersdorf.  3 years, and paid.  Over those 3 years I will be placed in different environments throughout the hotel–reception, event planning, housekeeping, kitchen, restaurant, banquets, payroll, personnel, etc.  And during those 3 years I will attend, on a block schedule, Berufskolleg Ehrenfeld, where at the end, I will get a certificate.

So that’s that in a nutshell.  Just call it the opportunity of a lifetime.  And it’s all happening, for real.

This is reallllllly happening, and I can’t believe it!! It’s so surreal!!

panorama of Hameln

Just to sum up the remainder of the great life I had in Lage, with Tine, eating freshly cooked-still warm applesauce near the sugar factory.  We continued to take trips with the French, we went to castles, towns, parks and museums, and here are the remaining highlights.

-The first few pictures revolves around a day trip to Hameln and the Schloss Hämelschenburg (castle), built in 1409.  Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed within the castle doors.  Woulda been a sight to see, for sure.

The first pic is a panorama of the castle grounds, second pic is Roxane, the little french girl, expressing her love a) for curiosity, and b) for the color pink.  Anything pink, and I truly mean anything pink, will be touched by her hands 😀  Then a few pictures later, we are in Hameln, and there is an interesting picture there of a girl chasing another girl with a bike, and I have , to this day, yet to find out what really went on, but it involved smashing beer bottles, and a girl chick cat fight 😀  Amazing stuff!

Then comes the picture of the bikes 😀  Tine’s uncle owns two, a Harley and a BMW, and while living there, I got the chance , several times, to ride behind him on his BMW (I’m personally no fan of Harley, dunno why) and we went soo freakin’ fast on these country roads.  Now, c’mon, you gotta imagine this:

Riding with the wind in your face, (well, yea, you have a helmet on but still!) on these country roads, in between fields of crops.  Then, on your left comes a field of windmills, peacefully generating energy.  Then you go up a wildly curvy mountain road, still full speed ahead, and you come to the top where a statue is, called Hermanns Denkmal, kinda like Germany’s version of the Statue of Liberty. Remember, the wind is still blowing in your face.  Then you comem back down that mountain and through the fields and then youre driving through a picturesque Old City of a village.

Wouldn’t that want to make you ride bikes too? Especially in Germany!! So this picture is of me, Gerd, Tine and Jürgen, Tine’s uncle.

Then come a series of pictures at a place called ‘Kirmes’.  A Kirmes is basically a fair, for thsoe of you in the Lehigh Valley, think practically Allentown Fair, just different 😛  More wild, lots of alcohol, and crazy rides with weird noises.  What kind of noises? I guess just maybe you can pretend you are tripping out, and you  hear these crazy laughing noises comign from the rides, and they are shouting, wanna go faster? how about now? You scared yet? Or picture crazy freakin’ ugly clowns chasing you, that’s honestly what it kinda reminds me of! So, Reinholdi is the Kirmes of Lage, where I stayed with Tine.

After Reinholdi, comes another Kirmes, in Blasheimer, called the Blama Markt… Here we took the train to visit a friend of Tine, Roman, and we basically went to the Kirmes from 1pm to 3am the next morning, I take it these things are open constantly until they close a week later… It was very cold, and afterwards we just walked back to his place and crashed while watching American X.

Finally, a few pictures from the Kletterpark (literally, climbing park), which is basically a Jungle-Gym for adults, climbing high in the trees, being held on only by one rope, and a helmet.  Pretty intense if you ask me!

(remember, if you want to see an enlarged picture, just click on the thumbnail!)

So that just about roughly sums up the first 7 wonderful weeks I experienced with my great friend, Tine.  Many more memories were made, but unfortunately it would take an eternity to list them all.  I will post more if I come to some…  (or maybe just some aren’t internet appropriate :P)

Thanks Tine, and thanks to your family and friends! I miss you all!

Berlin

Welcome to Berlin!  One of the most happening cities in Germany, and YES, it is the capital of Germany, for those of you who didn’t know… (more on that story in a later post)

Once again, with Tine, we took the train to Berlin for Biggi’s birthday.  In Germany, there is a train ticket offered by the Deutsche Bahn called the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket (literally: Nice Weekend Ticket) , and with this ticket, for 37€, up to 5 people can ride ANYWHERE in Germany for a whole weekend (excluding the long-distance bullet trains which require reservations).  This is very impressive!

At the time, I believe the ticket was only 25€, so there were 5 of us, and that means, if you do the math, each of us paid 5 Euros to go COMPLETLY across the country round trip, in one weekend… Amazing, considering the ticket from Lage to Berlin normally costs , at a normal price, upwards of 79€ one-way.  So if you are ever in the area, meaning in Germany, do take advantage of this offer!!

So, anyway, it was Biggi’s birthday, and in Germany, its usually custom to be a host on your birthday, baking cakes and custards and pies and sweets and what not, and inviting a couple people over for cake & coffee, but Biggi did not want to do this, so we decided to leave Saturday morning, around 3 AM I believe it was, and take the train.  The only thing with this ticket, we normally would’ve taken the ICE train (bullet train) to Berlin, but since you cannot with this ticket, we had to transfer trains a few times.  But don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t really matter 😀  So after a few transfers, we got into Berlin at around 9 AM approximately.

Though I have never seen Berlin before this, I think it was pretty packed ^^ There was a marathon going an, and there were Tents and Foodstands and the whole shabang set up infront of the Brandenburger Tor.

At this point, I’d like to introduce the smelly part of Berlin.  And to put it bluntly, it reeked.  Most of the time while walking around in Berlin, you catch a drift of this interesting, lightly put, ahm, fragrance if you will… Not sure what it was, some say sewage, probably from when Berlin was West and East Berlin… but I will leave that for you to decide.

But don’t let this be a turn off, it was a beautiful, dynamic city.  We saw the Reichstag (we wanted to go in, but the line was horrendous), Brandenburger Tor, the Fernsehturm, we went up to the Potsdamer Platz Panorama Outlook (thats just what I call it, not too sure of the name to be honest…), which was home to Europe’s fastest elevator-at a rate of 8.5 Meters per Second-and this is where the picture above of the Marathon in the sky was taken.  We rode around on the subway a little, saw some Embassies, went to KaDeWe, Kaufhaus des Westens, which is Europe’s largest department store… This place is a shoppers heaven.  We got attacked by dogs, saw the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, a church which was heavily bombed in the war, got offered candy by a stranger on a train, went to the Hard Rock Cafe, and finally found ourselves back at the train station Sunday morning around 2 AM waiting for our train back.

All in all, Berlin is a great city, and you should go visit.  Unfortunately, more can I not say, as I was only in the city for less than a day, and the city was absolutely mobbed with tourists and runners, so it was hard to move around.  Therefore, I would like to and will go back again, to get to know the city a little better.

Now, to the pictures below.

1-Panorama view of Berlin from the Potsdamer Platz Panorama Outlook, there you can see the famous Fernsehturm (TV Tower)

2-Hauptbahnhof (Main Train station), very impressive in itself

3-Runners infront of the Brandenburger Tor

4-the Riedels amidst the Holocaust Memorial

5-We saw the marathon kick off from above, as the streets filled with runners

6-KaDeWe

7-Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, here you see the damage that was done, and the new church they erected (tower)

8-Hard Rock Cafe, a place of interest in itself

9-Fernsehturm from below, all lit up

10-Reichstag by night (government building)

11-German flag by night

12-from left to right, Saskia, Tine and myself slumbering in the train station waiting for our train, after a fully loaded fun filled day walking around the streets of stinky Berlin.


On that note, in the words of JFK:  ICH BIN EIN BERLINER.

Berlin, Berlin, wir fahren nach Berlin!

Memorial

Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Židovský památník.

Mémorial aux juifs assassinés d’Europe.

Holocaust Memorial.

Just a bunch of hugmongous slabs of marble coincidentally thrown on a plot of land in Berlin.

Call it whatever you want, as long as the word ‘moving‘ of something to that effect is implied.  Because that is what this is.  Simply moving.

As you approach this, you are just simply in awe.  When you begin walking through, its just a series of hallways and corridors, all running parallel and perpindicular to one another.  There is actually a decline as you walk t’wards the mdidle, and as you exit again, you walk up an incline.  So at one point, a good majority of the stones are several feet above your head.

roxane in the phonebooth!

I’d just like to take this time to tell you that my life is boring.  But only right now, is it boring.  Why? Because it’s 11:55 pm, my dad is on the downstairs computer filing taxes, while I should be doing my homework.  But, thanks to Microsoft, my free trial of Office-the one you get with a new computer-has expired, and I am too lazy to download the illegal one , err I mean throw away my hard-earned greenbacks down the toilet, so Im upstairs on my computer , well, just basically explaining to you why my life is boring.

But that’s not to say when my pop is done on the computer and I can use Microsoft Word, that my life will be instantaneously more exciting, because that’s not true!  Why is my life boring? Well, I wake up, shower, check my email and my facebook, maybe chat with some friends, brush my teeth, and if its a monday or wednesday, I go to class.  If its any of the other 5 days of the week, I’m most likely getting ready to go to work.  Work, I work at the Giant in Trexlertown, but as my great finnish friend Mira calls it, the catmeat market.  (Don’t ask.)

But maybe one can contradict that statement, that just going to work is boring.  When in reality, Giant keeps me on my toes.  Especially days like today, when I was working U-Scan, the self-checkout section.  I experienced just about every kind of person you can think of, nice, fat, old, bitchy, quiet, rambunctious, sweet, dynamic, who knows, whatever adjective you can think of.  But this one lady really got my attention.  She was freaking out at me, why me? who knows.  Well, she was dissatisfied because the tomatoes were under the menu-heading Fruit instead of Vegetables , or was it the other way around, who cares… anyway, this is hardly a reason to get worked up over…

Another lady comes in with her kids,  and tells me she has never seen me before… C’mon, I hardly mean to be egotistical, but, I work usually 6 of the 7 days in the week, and I’ve seen this lady and her kids before.  She had the guts to tell me that I never am cashier on the front end…

And the one man comes up with glazed-over eyes and asks where he put his bread.  I have no clue sir?  Where did you last see it? Let’s sit down, and try to re-trace your last few steps… Ok, you picked up the tomato sauce, then you went a few aisles down and got some toothpaste.  Did you maybe leave it with the toothpaste and dental floss?

See? boring.  I tried livening up the post with some things I experienced today, but it didn’t cut it.

But what does cut it, is right now my wordpress , where I am typing this right now, said for some reason the “didn’t” in the sentence above this one was spelled wrong, so I right clicked, and the first spelling suggestion to come up was dildo. Wow.

I rarely hang out with friends, and I actually rarely watch TV.  But yet somehow I have come to the conclusion that there are not enough days in the week, to get things done.  But that’s just because I always spend whatever free time I do have, on the computer.

You’re probably bored just reading this.  That’s just because you are vicariously experiencing my life, through my blog post.  But I just hope that all my other posts are not as boring as this one!  Hence my title, contributed and quoted from Ms Emily Buck.  (thanks emily!)  My life is boring, so I’m just gonna reminisce about when it wasn’t.


So, lemme tell you know about this little cutie in the picture above, her name is Roxane, and she is the little girl of Brit and Eric, and sister of Johan!  Who are these people? Well, they are the french family friends of Tine (remember her from previous posts?) and her family.  And they lived with us while I lived with Tine, and together, we traversed the great vast lands of Nordrhein-Westfalen (one of the 16 Bundesländer (states) of Germany).  This picture was taken at a Dinosaur zoo type museum park thing.

nachtwächer

the Nachtwächter of Schwalenberg, me, and Biggi!  So, you may be wonderign what a Nachtwächter is, its basically someone who goes around after everyone is asleep, and protects the town, quasi a guarddog… He goes around, making sure everyone stays safe, and that their doors are locked.  He will even sing for you!

no pooping

…. enough said 😀

im biergarten

So, while staying with Tine in Lage, we went to visit some family friends of theirs up in Blomberg, and with these friends, we walked around Blomberg, and eventually found ourway to the Biergarten.   And all I can say to that is…

Prost!

haha! It was a very nice Biergarten, may I add! It was cozy inside, nicely decorated, and the beer was good! and frisch vom Fass.

In the picture, from left to right:  Eric (one of the french friends, who I will come to talk about later), Doris and her husband (the friends up there in Blomberg), me, and then Gerd, Tines father.

‘Drinking beer doesn’t make you fat, it makes you lean…

…against bars, tables, chairs, and poles.’

So, looks like you’ve come to the right place, if you did read my last post, auf geht’s Arminia, schieß ein Tor, which, by the way, stands for something like, Let’s go Arminia, shoot a goal!.  This is what a train looks like, going to and from a soccer game.2687466347_6c811bf075