generally when I go grocery shopping here I try to avoid or walk very quickly with my eyes on the floor through the snack food/candy section but today I slowed long enough to see a back of something called 'Peanut Flips' which I had to try. They look about like cheesey poofs, but not so orange and taste just like peanut butter! but light and crunchy. mmmm. Now I can't stop eating them. I figure they can't be too unhealthy, the bag says the're 40% peanut. Do these exsist in the US and I just don't know about it? The bag is all in english and has an american flag on it. But then, in germany 'American!' is something of a sales gimmick. Packaged sliced white bread is usually labeled 'American' or 'Californian sandwhich' bread. I don't know where the Californian came from... as far as I know wonderbread is sold nation wide, but ok.
On to other interesting german cultural information... I learned on Sunday that way back when sometime when a lot of people around here were quite poor (I'm not good with history, ok?) the government decided to buy a big plot of land outside the city to divide up and lend out to citizens so that they could grow their own food and not starve. Today these plots of land still excist and can be rented out by citizens living in apartments or whatnot to use as a sort of backyard. Frau Hensel has one of these little gardens and its absolutely adorable. I actually saw a few groups of them from the train on my way here and couldn't figure out what they were, it looked like a trailor park only with really nice landscaping, or maybe a little knome village. Most people build a little cabin on the property and plant lots of flowers and/or Vegatables. We (Elena, Heike, Silke, Brandon and I) went to Frau Helsel's garden on sunday for tea and cake. We walked around and everyone there actually smiled and said hello! I couldn't believe it, I guess germans can be friendly, it just takes a little gardening to bring it out. We also went on a looooong bike ride and toured a couple pretty little old churches. I love that even though I live five min. away from the center of the city I also live five min. away from picturesque german countryside. After some bratwurst for dinner we all went to a german film in a little independant theater nearby. We saw 'Silke gets the blues' About a cute fat old german man who plays the accordian and goes to the US- specifically Texas and Luisiana. Not terribly much happens plot wise, but the charactors were funny. So that was a fun day, I guess when Frau Hensel invites me over for tea I should consider the whole day booked up from now on...
Monday morning I decided it was probably about time to get my act together and get my student Visa, which I did whithout too much trouble. I had to wait a couple hours, but other than that it was fairly painless. So, yay! I'm officially allowed to stay now! Tuesday I continued my productive streak and went to a translation class I wanted to get into and there turned out to be open spaces so I talked to the proffesor and am in! The proff is actually from Virginia and went to UVA, go figure. She's also the third young female professor that I'll have this semester, which seems unuseual to me, most UR english profs tend to be old white men. So, I think I have my classes pretty much set now. I'll be taking that Deutsch/English tranlation class, Theatre of the Enlightenment, Contract situations in Lit and Philosophy, the history of german language, The Artist in texts of the 18-20th century, and Kafka's stories. Those are all rough english translations of the real titels, they're all taught in german with the exception of the translation course. Interesting, no? I can still drop one if I want to, that all adds up to 15 credits and I only need 12. Or I can fail one... but I'll try to avoid that. Only three are seminars which require me to do actual work like reading and writing papers and doing a presentation, the rest are just lectures.
So I'm finally feeling rather settled in here. I've got things somewhat figured out, got my classes, made some friends, know my way around, and I don't feel like I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off anymore. So, all is well in Münsterland :) (The land all around Münster is really called Münsterland, its like the metro area I guess, but it makes me feel like I'm living in a folk tale). Oh, the title of this post means something like 'Once upon a time in Münsterland...' The literal translation would be 'It was one time in...' but at any rate its the way that all the Grim Brothers fairy tales begin.