May 2008 Archives

Second Inventory

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I've now been here for two weeks and I decided to review my stay every weekend, so I will do this now again.

The second week was not so good. The girl from Austria left us and with her our group split up. It seems like she was the middle of our group and kept us together. The new guys who joined our class last Tuesday are not really interested in social contacts. Maybe not in general, but not with me. So, sometimes I feel alone. Because of this I've been going inline skating and to the movies a lot and sometimes I reviewed the irregular verbs. It's unbelievable, but I really wrote nearly 200 irregular verbs on little cards and practiced them at home and on the bus. Just the attempt to pratice them in the Golden Gate Park ended up with me just lying in the sun. Maybe someone will remember that I wrote in my last review that this was exactly what I wanted, but I think I don't like this extrem either.

School this week was bad too. We only got new German students, so we are now nearly 50% Germans in this school. The whole week some teachers were absent, so they combined classes and I had classes with about 20 people and only an emergency program. Try to imagine how much you can speak in a 120 minutes conversation class with 20 people. I think the teacher will speak half of the time and if you split the rest of the time every pupil can speak maybe three minutes. This doesn't really help you improve your conversation skills.

Little Things

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There are many little moments here which are very memorable. I know that I wrote before that I hate that there are so many musicans on the streets. But the problem is not the number of musicians, the problem is the poverty.

One day as I came from the movies there was this great band that played on the pavement. They played really good music and there was a large audience, so that some must stand on the street. A lot of people from the audience gave money, mainly notes. Me too. I gave 20 bucks and took one of their CDs. Unfortunately my laptop has no CD drive so I can't listen to the CD here. But this was a very cool experience just to stay after the movies on the sidewalk and enjoy this "free" concert.

On another day there was a jazz concert in Union Square as the cable car passed the place the driver rang the bell in concert with the music. Very cool.

Kaboom

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On Saturday I went to the Kaboom festival organized by the local radio station Kfog. And in short words it was amazing, really amazing and I don't mean the American use of the word amazing, I really mean the German amazing.

First there were some concerts of bands which I'd never heard before. Unfortunately the first band was the best and the last one was a little bit too boring. But this was fortunate, because it was so cold so we walked around as the band played. As the band ended and the fireworks started we were standing in a place directly at the water with a perfect view of the fireworks and this was just great, like I already described above. It was the best fireworks show I've ever seen. Maybe it's just because I haven't seen very many professional fireworks in my life, but I really enjoyed it.

The tiny video maybe gives you a little impression, but it's only a short moment of the fireworks, the colors are not great, it's very tiny, you can't see how huge it really was and you can't feel the bass, but maybe you will get a little impression.


Beside this we experimented a lot with food. We tried Fried Twinkies, Corn Dogs and burnt meat on a stick. Very funny, a little bit like an American version of the "Grüne Woche" in Berlin.

What I really like...

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...is that the Americans start chats with unknown people. I think this form of open mindedness is something we really can learn from this culture. They just wait for the bus and you see that someone asks someone else when the bus comes and after this they start to speak the whole time in the bus as if they were old friends and just met accidentily at the bus station.

One day I was inline skating in Golden Gate Park and there was this good place with great pavement at 6th Street. There was a guy who I have seen there often and after some minutes I chatted with him about the differences between the skates nights in Europe and here. He gave me some tips for good places for inline skating and in general it was a very nice chat. I really enjoyed it.

On the same day in the evening I went to a theater. There was me and another guy waiting alone in the foyer and some minutes later we had a great chat about the improv theater scene in San Francisco.

It is strange, because you can do things alone here, but normally you are not alone for a long time.

Okay, exceptions confirm the rules, because I've been sitting here for about an hour and writing these words and drinking my beer alone and I haven't met new friends. But maybe it is just because I'm sitting behind my laptop which builds a kind of wall. I think if I were sitting at the bar I would now be having an interesting discussion about whatever.

What I really hate...

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...in San Francisco is that there is a big gap between rich and poor people. There are so many homeless people here, it is unbelievable. Just go down Powell Street and really every ten meters is a guy who just begs for money or plays an instrument to get money. But, what should I do? It is just not possible for me to help them. If I give everyone a buck I will lose about 10 to 20 bucks everytime I go out, so it will be maybe 50 bucks a day. If I cross the Tenderloin I can easily double this amount. But I think it will not help these people if I give them a buck!

Only some blocks away, the financial district begins and there are so many people who look like they earn some money. And these two groups live together in the same city, but in two different worlds. Why is it not possible for the American society to take care of the homeless?

Telefon

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Ich habe zwei Telefonnummern in den Staaten. Die eine ist die von dem Telefon in meinem Zimmer: +1 415 359 1809 und dann wird nach der Raumnummer gefragt und die ist 505. Die andere ist meine Handynummer: +1 415 97 29 149. Bitte vergesst nicht, das es in San Francisco neun Stunden früher ist als in Deutschland. Um die aktuelle Uhrzeit in San Francisco herauszufinden einfach auf weltzeit.de nachschauen, wie spät es in Los Angeles gerade ist.

Meine deutsche Handynummer ist zur Zeit nicht erreichbar.

Phone

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I have two phone numbers in the states. One is in my room, it's +1 415 359 1809 and then an operator machine will ask you for the room number and it's 505. The other number is my mobil number and it's +1 415 97 29 149. Please don't forget that it is 9 hours earlier in San Francisco than in the Germany. To check what time is now in San Francisco try weltzeit.de and look for Los Angeles.

My german mobile phone number is now not activ.

Erstes Resumee

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Nach einer Woche ist es Zeit ein erstes Resumee zu ziehen.

Es ist wirklich toll hier. Ich mag es wirklich hier zu sein. Ich mag die Stadt, ich kenne ein paar nette Leute, ich mag die Schule und die Lehrer und alles was ich nicht so sehr mag ist wenigstens okay. Es gibt also eigentlich nichts, das mich wirklich stört.

Aber, ich denke, das vier Wochen viel zu kurz sind um hier große Schritte zu tun. Das Problem ist einfach, das ich zur selben Zeit Schüler, Tourist und jemand bin der Abends gerne mal ausgeht. Es ist einfach nicht genug Zeit vorhanden den Kram aus der Schule zu wiederholen. Ich denke ich lerne schon ein paar Sachen hier, aber für große Schritte ist die Zeit einfach zu kurz. Ich habe hier einen Typen aus Korea kennen gelernt der schon seit drei Monaten hier ist und der findet es hier mittlerweile langweilig und ich denke das ist perfekt um hier eine Sprache zu lernen, denn dann hat man genug Zeit den Schulkram alleine nochmal aufzuarbeiten.

Ich finde es sehr interessant, das der Kram den ich in der Schule lerne mich in letzter Zeit immer häufiger verwirrt, wenn ich mich unterhalte. Früher habe ich einfach geredet, einfach Vokabeln aneinander gereit und dabei mit Sicherheit viele Fehler gemacht. Aber jetzt, denke ich häufiger über das nach, was ich sage "ist das zählbar oder nicht, so muß ich 'much' oder 'many' sagen?" oder "ist das etwas das in der Vergangenheit begann und noch aktiv ist oder geschah es einfach nur in der Vergangenheit, so muß ich 'simple past' oder 'present progressive' nutzen?". Ich denke das Problem ist nicht, das ich den Kram in der Schule nicht verstehe, das Problem ist, das viele Regeln so uneindeutig sind. Oft liegt es im Auge des Betrachters ob etwas zählbar ist oder ob es 'simple past' oder 'present continous' ist.

First Inventory

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After one week it's time to do a first inventory.

It's very nice here. I really like to be here. I like the city, I know some nice people, I like the school and the teachers and what I don't like is at least okay. So there is nothing that bothers me.

But, I think four weeks is to short to make big steps. The problem is just that I'm time pupil, tourist and a young guy who wants to go out in the evening, all at the same. So, there is not enough time to pratice the stuff from the school by myself. Beside that, I think I will learn some stuff, but for big steps the time is just to short. I met a guy from Korea and he has been here three months already and for him it is boring in San Francisco. I think this is perfect for studying a language, because than you have time to review the school stuff in the evening.

Beside that I think it is very interesting that the stuff which I learn in school confuses me sometimes if I speak. Because, in the past I just spoke and made a lot of mistakes. But now, often I think "is this countable or not, so should I use 'much' or 'many'?" or "did this begin in the past and is it still running or just in the past, so should I use 'simple past' or 'present progressive'?". I think the problem is not, that the stuff from the school confuses me, the problem is that the rules in english are so ambigous. So it is often in the eye of the beholder if something is countable or not or if it is simple past or countinous past.

Es regnet nie in Südkalifornien...

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...doch es gibt viele Wolken, Regen und Kälte.IMG_0654.jpg

Am Samstag starteten wir zu einem kleinen Ausflug von San Francisco zu Big Sur. In San Francisco war herrliches Sommerwetter, dann haben wir unsere dritte Begleiterin in San Bruno eingesammelt und dort war es arschkalt und nebelig. An unserer dritten Station, Santa Cruz, war dann wieder herrliches Hochsommerwetter und dann am Ziel, Big Sur angekommen, war das Wetter wieder sehr kalt und stürmisch und jeden Kilometer wechselte es von sonnig zu bewölkt und zurück.

IMG_0665.jpgGenug über das Wetter geschimpft. Santa Cruz ist ein sehr schöner Ort, aber mit viel zu viel Touristenkram am Strand. In Big Sur gibt es einige traumhafte Aussichten, doch wir stoppten immer nur für einen kurzen Moment, spragen aus dem Auto, machten ein paar Fotos und spragen dann zurück in das warme Auto, weil es draußen so kalt und stürmisch war.

...but there are a lot of clouds, cold and fog.IMG_0654.jpg

On Saturday we started a little road trip from San Francisco to Big Sur. In San Francisco it was very nice weather with a lot of sun. We picked up our third passenger in San Bruno and there it was very cold and foggy. At our next stop in Santa Cruz it was very hot and sunny. Then at our destination, Big Sur, it was again very cold and stormy and every kilometer it changed from cloudy to sunny and back.

IMG_0665.jpgEnough worries about the weather. Santa Cruz is a nice place, but at the beach there is too much tourist stuff. In Big Sur there are a lot of nice views, but we always just stopped a short moment in a parking lot, jumped out of the car, took some pictures and then jumped back in the car, because it was so cold and windy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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