week 1 of my vacation

before we begin there are two things i want to say.
first, i made this face A LOT:
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second, germans like to call things by completely different names than the rest of the world.
Germany= Deutschland
Lake Constance = Bodensee
Baveria = Bayern
Munich = München

so i went to Bayern. first in the country, then to Munich. keep going and see.

on the second day, We went on a long hike and ended up going from wet grass to snow. it was so wonderful to see snow again. here i am at the germany austria border.
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we went to austria to eat lunch. here are the For alps. not even the real things, but very impressive.
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the next day we drove to the Bodensee... Lake Constance. I was very excited and nearly had tears in my eyes when i saw this view. you cant really tell in this picture, but it was just these huge snow capped mountains behind this lake. AHHHH!
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this is the harbor at Lindau, Germany. i climbed the tower. again, awesome mountains.
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The Bodensee. we were on the very far eastern tip, if you want to look on an atlas. so this is just a piece.
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We took a train to Munich. it was very very punctual. i was shocked.
this is the Rathaus. which means, city hall. there is a famous moving bell show in the tower. with figures that dance and knights that kill each other.
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it was so huge, i couldnt get the whole thing.

the world capital of Beer... and outside, under the trees. it was very nice. i have also realized, that ive never had beer before. natural light and budweiser is not beer.

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and you see this sort of thing a lot. i didnt even inquire as to how much the pants cost, but they were pretty neat. bavarian music is something that only exists here. it is certainly a... treat.

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cool fountains
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here is a library. i was happy there were so many bicycles outside. granted it was near a university, but it still looked very perfect. this part of the city looked a lot like St. Petersburg.
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clearly an emergency exit. i am happy they actually drew the fire in the picture. or maybe they are swords. or canoes.
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and that is munich.

we went hiking one more time before i left. up in the mountains. ive never climbed a whole mountain before. it was very cool. we ended up walking along a cliff, with precipices on both sides. i am standing on the same level as this little tree. and that is a house.
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and me looking like a man, with hiking boots, and a big back pack. and picking my nose, of course.
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the sticks are to help you work your upper body. nordic walking. all the rage in germany. and it gives you an extension of your arms, so you can sort of walk on all fours. its hard to explain. sometimes pretty akward, and not really that great of a workout for your arms, but it makes one feel more professional.

thank you for being patient,
and to end, my favorite picture of the whole trip south:
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The "Hills"

were beautiful, of course. i went back to bensheim early so that i can do something with young people, because i was with the host parents for a little bit too long.

NOW i am preparing for Berlin.

when i get back and have the right computer, expect a big update. many many awesome pictures i am very proud of.

i cant decide if i should do one section of the mountains and one of berlin, or put them together. you can answer and help.

and if my parents hopefully see this, email wasnt working friday, everything is ok.
wire me money for the ski tour which i have to pay by november 1.

360 euros. i hope thats ok.

i will try my email tomorrow. its probably just these crappy internet cafe computers.

love kostya.



i take it back. it was pretty nice. just lonely.

i have decided i only like hiking when it is in the alps.


Cold Trip

so i went on this field trip wednesday with my host mom. we rented a bus. i rode alone in the bus, and that was neat.

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I didnt know where we were going, but it ended up being an Outpost fort of the Ancient Roman Empire.

a place where troops could spend the night, i suppose.

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it was just foundations for a long time, but Kaiser Wilhelm II was interested in Rome, and financed the reconstruction of it.

i was an assistant teacher for all these little kids.

they had a museum for artifacts found here.

this was interesting to see

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there was a nice forest there, a lot like west virginia. but it was cold.

smelled good and fresh though.

i took a walk around, and sat on this nice bench with plants growing over it. it was too cold to sit for too long

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funny face

i was sad to see that ice cream was not permitted inside the walls of the castle
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some more of the castle and hole where there wasnt water, i was told.
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i drove the bus home
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end of adventure

today, was the last day of my language course. we had coffee and breakfast.
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and this is everyone that stuck with it. brad nepa was well represented by myself.
the kid to my left is Rodrigo. he is a good guy, from mexico. tomorrow, i might go to a latin bar with him.

finally, the very loud and rude and typical russian girl. i protested this picture, believe.
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Pictures of School and Nice Things

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here is my school. this is the new building. the older one is ugly and not worth seeing.

at least not from the outside. the new building is nice from the outside and gross inside, and the opposite on the old building.

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Abi means Abiteuer. which is college prep. grades 12th and 13th. i think every one of those classes adds some art to the walls here.

most of them are charicatures of teachers i think. and esoterical jokes.

but i like this one:
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here are some cool bikes,cool bike parking blocks, and a cool tree:
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fuck this who? fuck this U6HD?

fuck this u6H pear?

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I dont know why this was in english. but, you can see how big the warnings are.

And of course, Another street named after a German celebrity or benefactor, or 2, in this case.
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hope you like the pictures.

today i ate so much. so much. once a week, i am allowed gluttony.


Lazy, slow walking

It is starting to turn into fall here.

but in other places, there is still just green.

the clouds were pretty when i went for a walk. i finally had music, and everything just looked better than it had before.

This is the fountain in one of the main squares in town.

i dont know if it is a hand or a slide.

there were also of course kids playing like crazy on the futuristic play ground.
the ground around there is squishy, too, so you dont get hurt if you fall.

A very cool dog was not listening to a speech, but i found something more interesting than the speech, too.
(the dog)

outside a big bank building is this cool sculpture. it is this big ball that spins as water is forced under it.

sometimes, it gets stuck. i dont know why. i usually use my herculean strength to give it momentum again.

i sat down at a cafe, and Ettore, the italian guy, from the language course came by with his girlfriend.

hes 28 but acts 18. i dont know what to think about that. hes fun.

and this is what i usually do in language course. nothing. i am learning stuff though. grammer here is pretty illogical.

its fun though. i really like the teacher. ive certainly never met an adult like him before.

sorry i havent updated. i havent done anything new. i did go to a rotary sittaround a table with all the other rotary kids. it was fun.

tomorrow is a big rotary meeting. i will take some pictures.

and i will have to take pictures of my school, because it is pretty neat inside.


Saturday So Far

The other day i opened my big halloween chocolate ball. it was delicious:

it also took me two days to eat. but inside was a roller coaster for ghosts toy.

very good quality.

i play with it everyday.

today i went to watch my host brothers soccer game.

they lost, but it was pretty fun to watch.

they thought so too:

next week ill take pictures of my school.

i also hope that one day i can go have coffee with my german course teacher.

hes a riot.



yea so i went to school today. it was fun.

i had a lot of english today, and for my 2 hour break, i just went with a student teacher of english to her class. which was for older kids.

we listened to violent lyrics that a kid brought in. and discussed why kids like that stuff and i was told to go make photo copies, and i could.

and i also talked about dress codes and what ive experienced with them. and the teacher talked about school uniforms in her school in england.

i met kids and wasnt afraid. im in the 11th grade, which is for 16 and 17 year olds, so that will soon be fixed.

í am also pretty small compared to the boys here.

i thought so.

during physics, the class translated the problem to me and i wrote down some vocabulary like acceleration and velocity and inertia.

and during german, i stared out the window. mind on far away.

it was a good day though. the school reminds me of suncrest middle a little bit, but much bigger.

just something about the hallways i think.

the kids werent mean. neither were the teachers.

the school has a ton of art in it. there is a car parked in the middle court yard, which is for the oldest kids, where they are allowed to smoke. thats weird.

and there were characitures of famous people everywhere. like mahatma ghandi.

the school system works like this.

in 4 grade you decide if you are going to work with your hands, to be a professional, or something in the middle.

so the first group finishes after 7th grade or something, then the second after 13th and the third after 10th.

so you know what you are going to be when you are 10 or something.

i think that reminds me vaguely of A Brave New World, eh Rahul?

but more or less, someone said, grades determine it.

yea ok.

and after grade 13, they go to college. but kids in grade 13 are 19 and someimtes 20 years old, and i come in, tiny, and introduce myself as 18 and having finished school and going to university next year, they dont understand.

i go back next friday. it will be even better, i think.