Friday, June 21, 2013

If we had blogs in 1997: Orientation

The latest installation in the series "If we had blogs in 1997," taken from my journal from my year abroad in 1997. I was 20 years old. Spelling, grammatical, and factual errors remain uncorrected. Today's comments are in red italics.

In this post, we are taken on a weekend-long tour through Luxembourg, including a couple of castles and the capital city. We didn't realize at the time that it was intentional, but at the end of the tour we were dropped off at the National Museum, and the bus drove away, leaving us to get home on our own.
7 Sept 1997

We have just returned from our weekend excursion through Lux. It was an ok time. We saw some cool castles. Yesterday we went to the military museum. It was incredibly interesting. I didn't realize that Lux. had so much history. Ugh, this is painful to read. The Battle of the Bulge was fought in Lux, and General Patton is buried here. I saw his grave at the American Military Cemetary yesterday. We also went to the German military cemetary. I still can't spell cemetery without auto-correct. Ohio accent, I guess. It was strange because the Germans were so hated during WWII, but Lux still has a nice memorial for them. This statement may seem naive, but it was a breakthrough for me. We had been taught so much about Hitler and World War II during childhood schooling that all Germans seemed evil. Here, though, was a cemetery for German soldiers. I had a sort of awakening during this year, a sort of wow! enemy soldiers are human beings too! and this realization began in that German cemetery. There are so many reminders of the war around here. One can see how unification of Europe is now possible. People here will never forget what it was like. Not so sure these days...

The first castle we saw was the best. It was like a playground for us. We could climb anywhere we wanted throughout the castle. The view was incredible from the top. The second castle was too tourist oriented for my liking. Already I was learning! The hostile experience (really awful spelling error) in Beaufort was ok. We went to a discotheque. I think everyone was there. It's wierd again I can't spell weird to be able to go to a bar and order whatever you want. I chose to go to Lux in the fall semester because I was 20 and could drink in Europe but not the US. I turned 21 in January. I loved Europe so much I chose to stay a second semester.

Friday night we went to Pub 13, the bar that Miami students go to every year. It's above a Pizza Hut in Lux. City. Pub 13 was a bar in Luxembourg City with a Portuguese bartender named Maria who loved us and a dartboard where I played darts for the first time in my life. It had a dumbwaiter system where we could order pizza from downstairs and it would be pulled upstairs, though I don't remember ever ordering pizza. We frequently went there. I was sad to hear it had closed down. We went there after a fair in which I ate my first crepe. It was raspberry (frambois) and it was awesome. Wow, never had a crepe before? I also had a German hamburger, which was more of a sausage, and I won't be having another. German food is really gross - all the sausages and grease. That may be bad for me. But all the french food that I have had so far has been wonderful - all the bread and cheese and crepes. Wow, this floors me. German food gross? So funny to me now! Now I try everything and love everything! Except blue cheese. And sweets. And food products that come in a box. No doubt I learned about good food during this year in Europe, though I guess it took some tasting to change my mind. This morning for breakfast at the hostel (corrected with heavy pen from hostile) (auberge) they gave us bread. There was salami & cheese for breakfast, but I don't think anyone ate any. But I filled up on bread. Last night for dinner at the hostel yay! spelling! we had soup, then des pommes frites, salad (served with main course), and a beef mixed with mushrooms. I was so angry because a lot of people won't even try the food here. There are a lot of ethnocentric people here. For lunch Friday they gave us these great sandwiches, but many people picked off a lot of the things and wouldn't even try them. It's sickening. After reading my commentary on German food, I'd have to say this is somewhat hypocritical. We had to do the dishes last night after dinner, and I bet some of those girls had never done dishes in their lives. Then they complained about the beds and the bathrooms and everything. I guess they're not used to anything less than Hilton.

It took me about two seconds to fall asleep last night. Dr. Stiller came and woke us up at 7:30 this morning, but it was hilarious and everyone was laughing. It made it a lot easier to get out of bed. We went and saw a castle and then went on a 45 minute hike before we came home. I went to the Lux. - Cyprus World Cup qualifying match today. Lux lost 3-1. It was fun, but the teams were horrible. Then we all went to Chi-Chis. We all had strawberry margaritas. They're awesome. It's strange to be able to order drinks.

8 Sept 1997

The shallowness and rudeness of Miami students never ceases to amaze me. I can't wait until people start studying, if they ever do. I don't know what brought about these sentiments on this day, but I know it was the start of some negative sentiments towards a certain group of students - the ones with money - who treated their time in Europe as a vacation rather than a learning experience.

Actually I only felt that way earlier today. This evening we went to the fair again with some really cool people. We went to a karaoke bar. A bunch of drunk Miami students were dancing up on the stage. It was a good time. Us Differdangers almost missed the 11:59 train back. We powerwalked and jogged a 20 minute walk to the train station. The train was waiting to leave. Kristine missed the train and there won't be another till 4pm. Too bad for her irresponsible self. But tonight was fun.

The 11:59 train was the last one from Luxembourg City to Differdange, which was about 60km, quite an expensive taxi ride if you missed that train. I think I only missed it once, though I can remember running to the train station on multiple occasions. 

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