Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Halfway Mark

Yes, it's a bit scary to think that the program is half over already!  I am right now lounging in the beautiful home of Johanna and Volker in Gustrow, Germany.  For those of you that don't know, Johanna was my au pair when I was about 3 or 4 years old.  She now has a husband and two daughters who are being absolutely wonderful hosts to me for this Spring Break.

This week we did hard-core contact improv with a wonderful guest professor, Thomas Kampe.  He was absolutely fantastic.  I feel like I made exponential progress physically this week, culminating in my finally doing an actual handstand on Friday.  My best friend here, Elena also completed it the same day, and we were ecstatic at our mutual victory.  I'm really going to miss having Thomas.  He really knew his stuff.  By the end of the week I was gracefully able to lift people twice my size onto my back.  Didn't know I would ever be able to do that.

This week also contained a cabaret performance by the MFA students.  For those of you that don't know, ADA also has a physical theatre MFA program, and its 8 students are nearing the end of their two year program.  I really liked some of the sketches in it.  My personal favorites were 1) Meredith Fox (a Catawba alum) singing "Crazy" and "Lonely" in a very silly voice (much like the voice of Cheeks, to you Saylor-folk who know that reference) as a "Lonely Barbie" type character and 2) Bob and Ben having a recurring shtick of standing one in front of the other with a guitar.  One strummed with their right hand while the other did the chords with their left hand.  They played and sang, and with their free hands they juggled.  The second time they came out and did it blindfolded.  It was AMAZING.

Spring Break officially started Friday after completing a pretty rough Italian midterm around 7 in the evening.  We went out and toasted our victories at Aurora, the bar where the MFA cabaret was.  I toasted a little too hard, and found it not so easy to wake up to take the train to Pisa on Saturday for my flight to Germany.

But, I certainly did it.  I spent the day in the Pisa airport sleeping and attempting to recuperate, then had a very pleasant flight to Hamburg where the Kettners were there waiting for me.  It was such a welcoming sight to step of the plane and have a quintessential German family beaming at me.  We drove to Johnna's parents house in Hamburg where there was a wonderful spread of meats, cheeses, and breads for dinner.  That is something I'm really going to miss in America; having meals consist of meat, cheese and bread laid out for assembly in any way I desire.

I was exhausted having not really slept much the night before, but Johanna and Volker encouraged me to go out and experience Hamburg with them, and I couldn't be happier that I did.  This was unlike any place I've ever been, and I would love to come back with friends sometime.  It was literally bar, bar, club, strip club, sex shop, bar, prostitutes, club, bar, sex shop, bar, club.  Times ten.  I would probably have been terrified if I didn't have experienced Germans with me.  I had a blast.  We went into 3 different bars and I had delicious German beers in each of them.  Johanna encouraged me to get up and dance in the last one, which was so refreshing after being in Italy where no one seems to dance.  I was latched onto be a German guy who kept trying to engage me in conversation.  My favorite line of his was "Vere did you say you were from?  South Virginia?"  Haha... Most people here have never heard of South Carolina.

First beer in Germany with Volker!
Me and Johanna!
Outside the first bar we went to
Band in the Irish Pub we went to
The three party animals
Troopers... Getting on the train home after 1 am.
I slept soundly after two nights on the town in a row, and was incredibly happy to have a big bed with comfortable pillows, two things that I have missed greatly over the past month and a half.  We had a good breakfast then went to a very cool minatures exhibit where these guys have essentially created the world's largest model train exhibit.  They have recreated miniatures of several famous cities.  The best section was of Switzerland. 

Looking at the Grand Canyon
Las Vegas

Totally caught off guard for this picture... but I still like it.
The museum was in one of these buildings.
 We then went back to Johanna's parents house and had a DELICIOUS German meal.  We then said goodbye to Johanna's parents and made the two hour drive to Gustrow, where we are now.  The Kettner's house is gorgeous.  Most exciting for me is the reliable internet connection and ENORMOUS bath tub, which I fully intent to take advantage of tomorrow.  I'm really looking forward to getting a lot of rest and sleep this week.  That is something that has been severely lacking at school.  As enjoyable as classes have been, we all look like abuse victims with all the bruises and scrapes we have from rolling around on the floor and lifting each other.  It will be nice to not be sore for a week.  Though, I do imagine I will make myself do at least some yoga every day.

That about wraps it up for this week.  I'm sitting on the couch now with Johanna and Volker watching some German tv, which is very funny.  Mostly American movies and shows dubbed over.

I wish you all a wonderful week and can't wait to see what's in store!

This was a bar at their sailing club.  This was an amazing local beer.
Ciao, belli!

Love and miss you all,


1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of you going out drinking with your au pair