Baffling Things in Germany

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So since my traveling has been at a dead lull, with work schedules and my webseries I’m making, I thought I’d do a little blast to the past as it were, and talk about things I learned during my 2 months and so many days time in Germany.

Living in Germany was very interesting

A caveat that this is just what the family that I lived with and their extended family did.

 

No Ventilation

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According to the people who I was living with, houses in Germany have no ventilation system. Which means that you have to open all the windows every day, or you get black spots on the wall from humidity etc….Very strange, given that neither of the houses I stayed in were very old.

Now if it’s summer, this is great, I’m sure. Fresh air, warmth, nice smells. But I was there in Autumn. And apparently this is normal to do all year round. That means in the middle of January you’re supposed to be opening all your windows. Guess what that means the house in Germany never was? Warm. It was never warm.

Mail Boxes

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The mail boxes in Germany only go one way. You can only receive mail from your mailbox. If you want to mail anything, no matter what it is, you have to go to a public box, or the post office. So you can never just send something, from the convenience of your home. It confuses me, since the post man or woman is coming anyway….couldn’t they also take the mail?

Sparkling Water

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I’ve drank this in France, in Germany, in Ireland, in Poland, and it will never.ever.taste.good. I have been to Europe so many times, yet I will never understand why you would pay to have carbonation added to your water. The little boy who I “took care of” actually preferred his water this way. They had a machine to give it bubbles. Just…just why?

Showers with no ledges

I think this is pretty common in Europe, since several places I’ve stayed in have had showers like this. And I think I might dislike them as a much as I dislike sparkling water. These showers have no bottom, there’s just tile, and the shower curtain didn’t even go all the way down. So yes, that meant the whole floor was soaked after I took a shower, no matter how low the spray was. Which then meant I had to go and try and mop up all the water every time.

 

 

 

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College of Wizardry: First LARP

Larping is something I have wanted to do for several years now, but of course it was my long time love of things related to Harry Potter and magic that finally allowed me to buy my ticket and take the plunge.

For those who don’t know, LARP stands for: Live Action Roleplaying. A lot of people think this means things like Dungeons and Dragons, but it is very different. That’s where the “live” part comes in. It’s not played out with dice and a board, but rather your own body, mind, voice, etc.

There are loads of LARPs, in the US and around the world. The most common kind in the US is goal oriented, weapon fighting LARPs. They’re very action heavy, competetitive, one day sort of things. Or they happen once a month, on a weekend, again with a heavy focus on meeting a goal.

Nordic LARPs however are a bit different from this. The most unique aspect of Nordic LARP is immersion. Castles, ships, submarines. Not only do you have a costume and a character, you’re also really living for a few days on a real location.

College of Wizardry official page is a Nordic style LARP in Poland, at the castle Czocha. It’s a three day event where you live in a Harry Potter esque school, as a character.

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Diana Torres, First Three Days at Czocha

Author note: Here follows a long diary entry from Diana Torres, a fictional character I played as at a larp called College of Wizardry. I plan on also writing a post ooc about my thoughts on my first larp, etc. Enjoy

I arrived at Czocha on Thursday evening, having no idea what to expect. It was evident as soon as I crossed the bridge, that Czocha was quite different from Collegium de Auspicio in Italy (my old school). It was quite an overwhelming and incredible experience, walking past all these new professors, among my fellow juniors. Upon entering the castle, Diana joined the choir up on the balcony with the professors.

We lead the school in the Czocha hymn, before the juniors all gathered to listen to the headmistress. Then it was time to eat, and I found I had a hard time with the Polish food. Ghosts and goblins wandered around, neither of which the Collegium had. When the dinner was over, I joined the other juniors in the Auditorium, to listen to the Janitor give a lecture on the rules.

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Green Man Running

Michelle and Lacey Versus the Doors of Paris

Also known as my crazy stressful 2 1/2 day weekend in Paris

My mother and I arrived into Paris around ten in the morning, to clear, cold weather. We made it through passport control with the barest of glances from the guard, to our amazement. Apparently Americans aren’t big on France’s suspicion list right now. Pleasant news for us.

After a bit of stumbling about, we managed to figure out how to take the little shuttle train thing to the other terminal, so we could catch the “train” to Paris. When we’d first learned we needed to take a train into Paris, I was imagining the type of train one takes from Narita airport into Tokyo. Alas, the truth is rather that it’s like taking the metro, just as you do from Reagan in D.C.

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