Sunday, April 2, 2017

My Week: March 26 ed.

This week, I was still dealing with the fallout of the car accident. My car was beyond what was economically feasible to repair so my insurance company paid me out for it. I was then left with the need to sell it myself. The insurance company had found a bidder but he had offered such a low price that I decided to sell the car on my own.

I found a seller through a business card someone had left in my mailbox. He’s an exporter and quickly decided to buy the car. We conducted the entire transaction in German; thank goodness for finally being fluent enough to do this! He asked me why I spoke such good German. Ha!

I also finalized buying the replacement car. The experience wasn’t optimal because it was somewhat of a high pressure situation, but the car was a good price so it worked out.

Holy heck, though; this week was stressful. I slept much better but my body was unhappy with me for all the stress (and eating salty food). I had no time to exercise or eat good food and was plagued with headaches; it doesn’t help that it’s high time for allergies. Basically, all I could think of was taking care of the car stuff and there were a lot of projects at work going on. If I felt this way all the time, I’d be really, really unhealthy. I can see why people who are constantly in a state of stress are more prone to heart attacks!

Beyond the stress, I did enjoy myself a bit too. I met with my tandem partner and we continued with some exercises in preparation for the upcoming telc test. I also visited the German class.

A group of us went out to dinner one evening and met some new people. I’ve recently read The Math Myth: and Other STEM Delusions by Andrew Hacker and was talking about how he thinks math is overrated and there is no need for most general people to take such high levels of math. It’s keeping otherwise talented students from reaching their goals and it doesn’t make sense to make someone who’s going to be an English major take Calculus, for example. Even engineers only use a fraction of the high level math that they’ve learned.

It was definitely the wrong group of people to tell this opinion; members included a PhD in Mathematics; a computer science masters student; a theoretical linguist; a nurse; and an economist. They believe that learning math allows one to think critically. I disagree; I am absolutely horrible with math and hate it. Yet I’m a very logical person who’s decent with problem solving (as long as it doesn’t include numbers or telling what side of the stupid cube comes next!).

I invited A over for more pizza and Moo time. My pizza is so much better than the local offerings, if I do say so myself. It’s way more flavorful and has an adequate amount of sauce. A is always happy to eat it and Moo is always happy for extra attention from his adoring fans.

During the weekend, I traveled for work reasons. However, everything was not all work and no play. I stopped in Munich to visit a friend I made the last time I was there. He’s a big Moo fan, too, and is completely obsessed with cats, which is totally fine by me as I’m a fan of CCDs (Crazy Cat Dudes).

We had a weird weekend, which also suits me. L. had bought me an awesome tie-dyed shirt with cats printed on it. I convinced him to put on his shirt like mine and we wore them out and about in Munich. He says that Munich is so conservative and it drives him nuts that people are such Judgy-McJudgersons about what people wear; he normally wouldn’t wear his shirt in public. He liked visiting the US because people don’t care if one wears a crazy tie-dyed cat shirt. I told him the key is to just not care what others think and that one should wear tie-dye more often. We weren’t doing anything illegal or immoral; it was just amazingly tacky and awesome.

Dressed as weirdo t-shirt twins, we met with one of his friends, took hammocks to the park, and hung out for a while and ate candy which reclining in the hammocks. We also pet some neighborhood cats, visited the cat café where we had met before, and then went back to his apartment and I cooked rajmah masala.

The next day, we met a bigger group of his friends and visited the local Sikh temple. As we entered, we removed our shoes and all of us covered our heads with scarves, out of respect. I was trying not to giggle because we looked like a very weird gaggle of pirates. We washed our hands then sat down in the main room and were served tasty vegan Indian food, pakoras, chutney, and some sort of fried bread.

Members of the temple welcomed us warmly and took us on a tour. They even invited us into their worship area, advising us that we would sit on the floor and mustn’t point our feet toward the altar as that would be disrespectful. They answered questions about their religion and offered us a type of dough to eat; they believe in sustaining one’s body as well as one’s soul. In fact, anyone is welcome to come by at all times, and they will also feed the person if he is in need.

We learned some tenants of the religion, such as one should not remove body hair as it’s a living part of one’s body and that god had made a person already perfect so it would be disrespectful to remove it. Cutting one’s fingernails is okay because fingernails are dead. Equality, personal rights, and living a simple life are other important aspects of the religion.

It was definitely an interesting and educational experience to visit the temple. I didn’t know much about the religion beforehand. The members’ hospitality was very kind and they were happy to answer our questions without being pushy.

Saying goodbye to the group, I then headed to downtown Munich. I had a couple hours before I was supposed to travel to Garmisch so I wandered downtown for a while, stopping by a sculpture museum. Afterward I grabbed some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor. They’re delicious and naturally sweet.

I had also stopped by the tourist bureau and tried not to crack up at some tourists, an American couple. They saw a travel agency’s sign that said “make America günstig again” and wanted to know what it means. The staff member told them that it means “make America cheap again,” which in my mind is way better than what the other, similar catchphrase implies. I think the tourists wondered if it meant something sinister.

I had heard another pair of American tourists at the U-Bahn and was trying not to smile then. The lady, in a loud and bewildered voice, said “I don’t know, how do we get there and what is a ‘glees’ 1?” She was referring to the German word for “track” or “platform” and it’s actually pronounced so that it rhymes with “ice.” I was smiling because we’ve all been there as tourists before becoming familiar with Germany. L and I were already climbing into the train; otherwise I would’ve asked if they wanted help.

As I departed for Garmisch on the Flixbus (which at only 6 euros prebooked, is way cheaper than taking the train), I reflected on the weekend. It was unusual, relaxing, tasty, and friend and cat-filled (not relating to the tastiness!), which is just fine in my book.

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