Monday, November 24, 2008

Europe is for the Birds

I was looking through my pictures and realized I have a ton of me feeding various types of birds in various cities. Birds in Europe are gutsy. I almost was decapitated by a pigeon when I walked around the corner on my way to school. I was bit by a swan in Prague (which was entirely my own fault but completely worth the kodak moment), actually come to think about it I was bit twice in Prague. The pigeons in St. Mark's Square will land on you. I am not going to lie, it freaked me out. I didn't think it would but it did. I screamed when it landed on me and shielded my face purely out of fear. We found the ugly duckling (okay so it was a swan) in Prague. We went down to the water to feed the birds and all of a sudden they started coming out of the water and began to mob us. It was terrifying. Pigeons are such a threat to artwork (outdoor) that they have everything covered with nets so as to prevent them from landing on it. Apparently their poop is acidic. Bet you didn't know that and yes that is what I am learning here in acidic bird poop is. I promise I have now seen the damage they did to St. Stephen. Poor guy, they took of his arm and melted his face off! Birds are brutal and deadly to anyone who is solid stone and hangs out on the outside of buildings. You should all keep that in mind.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Outrage in it's Purest Form

So I went to see the new James Bond movie last night. I know it is kind of lame to see a movie when I am in the center of culture however, sometimes you just need a movie. Anyways...I myself do not claim to be a die hard Bond fan nor am I an expert by any means. So I went with some students that are studying as well here in Vienna. After the film we were discussing our thoughts. Most people did not like it. I was entertained but it wasn't the greatest movie I have ever seen. I suddenly became outraged however when the people who were with me objected to the movie because Bond only sleeps with 1 woman rather than the typical 2. I was disgusted and outraged. I cannot even tell you how much restraint it took on my part to keep my mouth shut and be nice. I was so disappointed at what has become "manly" in this world. You are manly if you treat women like hunks of meat and sleep around?! I was also appalled at the fact that this was being stated by (I will be honest) not my favorite person but someone I thought had values. I was so tragically disappointed in my generation. I was so saddened that people my age just don't get it anymore. Sex is not a way to define yourself and when taken lightly it will destroy your spirit. I refuse to accept the idea that sex sells. Maybe it does but that is an indication of just how backwards we are. What we value is a statement of who we are and we should value members of the opposite sex in a way that is respectful. Love is a beautiful thing and should be treated as such. I am not a hunk of meat nor will I be treated like one.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ich mag Deutsch gar nicht

So I have thinking a lot lately about the need to communicate. I have often characterized myself as one who does not necessarily communicate very well. Now being in a country where I have to communicate in another language has compounded the problem. Today is one of the frequent days where I go to German in a relatively good mood and leave in a particularly sour one. I get a sick feeling in my stomach and I think "oh great, another day of humiliating agony." I have come to truly envy those who grew up speaking two languages. I also have a new found respect for missionaries. I normally attend a German speaking ward on Sundays but this week I decided to go to the international ward where they speak English. I cannot even begin to tell you how thrilled I was at the prospect of being able to raise my hand and participate in the lesson. I could communicate thoughts and emotions and I was understood! I am so embarrassed that throughout the world as an American I expect people to speak English. I expect them to cater to me and my needs rather than making the effort to learn their language. I was thinking about how at home there are often signs in Spanish and before it always kind of bothered me. I thought "if someone lives in America they should learn to speak English." Now however I understand the pure delight that can come from hearing or seeing something in your own language. I get excited when I see a sign in English, my face lights up when I hear someone speaking English, it is so refreshing when someone asks me something in English...I am truly humbled when someone half my age speaks a language fluently that baffles me. Just when I start to understand it, right when it is in the grasp of my fingers, it laughs in my face and runs away singing "nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah..."