Thursday, November 20, 2014


Sorry this is so late, I didn't have internet access while in Berlin so I wasn't able to write very much. 

Like I said before, I am in Belin to see a friend. Germany, to be honest is not really a place, I have every desired to go - thus I knew and still know very little about the culture or much of its history (past what we learned about WWII).

George was kind enough to let me sleep on his couch and show me a bit of the city. We hit a museum,  the protostant Cathedral, some historical sites and even saw a movie. I thanks him for taking the time out to show me around, it was nice to catch up. 

I am at the airport so I don't have too much time to talk about every place but here are some pics. 

1st German meal - Ribs, a potato and cole slaw! It was the best ribs I have had since moving to the UK. 

George at the Restaurant the 1st night. 

We found a Art Fair! It was lovely.

The National Gallery 

The inside of the Berliner Dome

A miniature of the Berliner Dome 

One of the last standing palaces from Prussia

At the Berlin Wall - surprisingly smaller than I thought. 

One thing that I saw that I though was....intersting was this:

I laughed at first and then thought, 'how intersting that they choose to put 'Black Music' rather than just leaving it as 'Hip-Hop/R&B'. I personally find race in Europe is very intersting, like super intersting. I am going to do a post about it for sure but it is interesting how white Europeans talk about race compared to Europeans of color - two completely different stories. But isn't that the same in the US.... *yup I said it!*

Over all, I am sure Berlin is a nice place, but I can't say that for sure because I don't think I know too much about it or the culture there. Would I go back? hmmm right now, definitely not for leisure. 



Friday, November 14, 2014

Always on that American Struggle Bus!

Hello from Cologne! 

Now for the Americans out there, has anyone ever heard of Cologne? Maybe I am an idiot but I never took a class on European cities, so my geographical understanding of Europe, past France maybe, is lacking I am sure. Actually when I first came to school here, I bought a massive world map for my wall so that I could familiarize myself with many of the countries we were discussing. 

Anyway, I had a 4 hour layover in a place called Cologne? Which is....? *google search* Its in Germany! Since it is painfully clear that I don't know where I am, I decided to look up Cologne and learn a bit more about it. 

Cologne in 5 Facts!
1. Cologne is the 4th largest city in Germany and one of its oldest.
2. It is a popular toursit destination due to its over 40 museums, 100 art gallaries and one of the largest shopping streets in Europe. 
3. It has a museum completly dedicated to Chocolate.
4. It has its own beer called Kolsch.
5. It holds one of the largest Pride events in Europe!

Pretty cool right!? 

I decided to learn about this all while sitting by the window having a "German meal' of a fried chicken patty and a prezel (this is where I wrote my last post as well). 

I am not sure if this is a traditional meal but it was on the menu and the lady told me that you would have the patty with either bread or the prezel - most people get the prezel. It was yummy! I was going to have a drink but they only have beer (obviously!), no cider :( 

Its time to get on my flight to Berlin! 

Freilos! (bye)


 PS. Anyone have any apps that I should get for my travels? I will have cell coverage in some countries and not in others. 

Euro-Trip - MJ Style!

Hi everyone, 

Welp, this is frustrating. I have tried to write this blog about 3 times and neither times did it save! So here we go again.  

I AM DOING A EURO TRIP! Clearly, I am excited. Since I am done with school essentially (waiting for my final grades) and I am moving back to the US, I figured this was probably going to be the only time for me to get to see Europe. Now, I am not doing one of those epic "3 months around Europe" - ain't nobody got the time (thank you UK VISA) or the money (the exchange rate thoooooo) for all that. But I am going to travel for about 2 weeks. 

I am going to try to blog my way though this. haha I know, I know that is what I said about Scotland and I didn't but hopefully I will keep up the motivation and I think I will have to time. But don't expect anything epic, I am not a writer or a storyteller. Its almost ironic, since I have choosen the field of social science and I am not a writer :/

So where am I going?
1. Berlin, Germany
2. Prague, Czech Republic
3. Rome, Italy
4. Naples (Napoli), Italy
5. Barcelona, Spain

There was no real idea behind why I choose these destinations - on the exception of Barcelona (I am in love with Spanish food!). When I initally wrote this I spoke about Prague and its interesting history and my interest from a social standpoint but I think I will leave that for later. 

Now, who are you going with Michelle? Welp, noone actually - just me, myself and I. While I am resigned to it, it is kind of a security issue, one and two, a personal issue. From a secutiry standpoint, I am alone, in countries where I neither know anyone or know the language - kind of intimidating. We all saw Hostel or Taken right? I don't have Liam Neeson to save me from being sold into the sex slave industry (yes, that is real). But that might be my American paranoa - I have noticed the way I see things is EXTREMELY different from how people here see it. Anyway, I should stop before I make my mom cry. I should be fine - I will remember to be aware and don't go anywhere alone (especially at night), I should be fine. 

I think personally, I am more afraid of being alone with myself on "vacation". My mind says you go on walks alone, or maybe a day or 2 to get away but not weeks. But it seems very common here to do "solo travel" or at least that is what I am being told - I am not sure. I recently met a girl, who did it in the States and East Asia. There are many blogs with tips and tricks to help ensure you have a good time. Apparently you get the chance to meet lots of people and it can be quite enjoyable. I am not sold on it at all but only time will tell. I am not staying in one of those hostel with rooms of 6, 12 or 16 people so I don't know about all of this mingling, but again only time will tell. 

I actually won't be alone in Berlin - I am going to say with a friend George! George is dating one of my best friends and fellow LOTA, Mary He is there for a semester for grad school! I am grateful to be starting with a familar face.

The Three of Us at my Christmas Party! 

Anyway, overall despite the fears, I am super excited! I am sitting here with my Euro-stype backpack, (curtesy of my awesome flatemate) - eating a prezel and chicken patty, (actually a great combination -way to go for my 1st german meal), feeling hopeful about the next couple of weeks.

Until next time! 


PS - I am doing this on my iPad so it is going to be super simple and the spell check doesn't alert me to there may be typos - I will fix those and the hyperlinks later.