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So, I suppose many of you already know, but…

My world travels are taking a short hiatus in light of recent heart-breaking events.

Carlos broke up with me, so I am back home for a while, until I figure out what to do and where to go next. I’m sorry I won’t get to tell you all more about Germany. Maybe someday.

Anyway, before I left I had managed to take some more pictures, so here they are. Berlin’s photo album was updated with a few extras, and I added a new album: Minden-Westfalen. These were the pictures I took when I spent the (last) weekend at Hanna’s house in the German countryside. It was beautiful, and slow, and peaceful, and quiet. We saw water mills, wind mills, hilltops, and valleys. I woke to the sound of cows and church bells, ate walnut ice cream and home-cooked food. We had coffee in little cafes and picked apples and pears from an orchard. We rode bicycles to a field where we picked wildflowers while people on horses passed leisurely by. Then we had a big party and drank and laughed and practiced our English/German skills and listened to music and lit candles and ate candy and had a fantastic time. On Sunday, Hanna’s father cooked a barbecue for us, complete with traditional bratwurst. Everything was wonderful, and seeing Hanna only made it that much better. It was a prelude to the sadness to come, but still, it was a nice last memory of Germany, and I’m glad I got to see something outside of Berlin before I left.

Well, take a look, and check back, because soon I’m sure I’ll be somewhere else.

this is what happens when you have no TV and no internet, vol. 2

I think Carlos and I may have officially gone mad. It was only a matter of time, considering the lack of job, house, good weather, and most forms of mindless entertainment. Recently we’ve been unusually happy and giggly, and considering the circumstances, madness is the only logical explanation.

Anyway, during a particular outbreak of madness tonight over spaghetti, I came up with an idea for the end of all wars and attainment of world peace. I’m sure I’m not the first one to come up with this idea, but it’s as simple as this: moms with cookies.

Yep, that’s right, just moms with cookies. All we need is a gigantic troop of small, aging, slightly overweight moms with their hair in buns and aprons with a) flowers, b) cats, or c) flowers and cats on them. All holding trays of fresh-baked mom-like goodies. I mean, who can resist that? Even the toughest freedom fighter falls prey to the smell of baking chocolate chips, and no jihadist wouldn’t trade forty virgins for forty bites of cake (with sprinkles, of course). The fighting in Darfur would come to an immediate end as fighters put down their guns and stuck forks into pies. Israelis and Palestinians would chat pleasantly over mandelbread and macaroons. Warring tribes would succumb to the scents of peanut butter cookies, and bickering neighbors would suddenly find that lemon bars make everything just a little bit better. Everyone’s got a favorite…I have a sneaking suspicious that Osama wouldn’t say no to a cupcake with a smiley face in frosting on top. And if there were any resistance, the moms could simply break out the secret, unbeatable, irresistible-to-all-humans weapon: brownies.

Anyway, you probably want to hear something about Berlin.

Well, this has been the Week of Happenings. In the past week, I have:
-found a flat (until april)
-started the intensive German course
-gotten my police registration and hopefully, tomorrow, my residence permit

Those are three Big Things that will help immensely in the general living process here. Plus, we’ve made a few friends in class, and Helga and I (my new Australian-German friend) have been hanging out more often. The pieces are (finally) starting to fall into place.

Well, that took a lot less time than explaining my world peace plan. You can obviously see where my priorities lie.