Monday, December 18, 2006

The big 20

Tomorrow, I leave to head to Prague with my brother Tim. It’s been a long week and next week seems like it’ll be even longer. I suppose traveling takes a lot out of a guy. I’m still looking forward to it. It’ll be really a good time, hopefully.

Yesterday was my 20th birthday. I am really so mixed with emotions right now I really don’t know what to think or say about life. To be honest, I feel as though a part of me has died. I suppose there is a point in every person’s life when they leave behind childhood for good and progress onto the life of an adult. For me, this was the point of no return. My days of teenage recklessness are mostly over. They’ll appear every once-and-a-while, but I’ve hit the point where I know that it’s time to move on.

Looking back on my true teenage year, lets say 14- 19, what a huge period of growth and development. Just go back and think about what happened between grade 9 to your 20th birthday (if you’ve done so, if not just to the present); it’s just astonishing to think of all that has happened in that short period of 6 years. Girls (or boys), sex, money, music, spirituality, school, university, jobs, camps, booze, drugs, love, heartbreak, revenge, friendship, family, traveling. Looking back, everyday seemed to be a life changing experience.

Here is the issue for me: how do I quantify all of this? How to I express everything that has happened. If I try to, it almost moves me to tears of joy or tears of anger. How do I sum up the experience of being a Teenager? It’s beyond me I guess.

I’d like to really hear some feedback on this one. How do you sum up this time period?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Advent and the Royal Tennenbaum...

So you all wanted a piece of the Gary, so here it is. It is now December 5th, which means tomorrow the Weinachtsmann is coming. It’s the same thing as Santa Claus except if you’re bad he beats you with sticks and only gives you coal. Sounds like the raw deal to me.
Today at one of my kindergartens (Neidergörsdorf), the ‘Santa Man’ came early for all of the kids and gave us all presents. I got a bottle of wine, which I’m looking forward to later on tonight. One of the kids was talking while Santa was giving out presents and then he yelled at her and said that she wouldn’t be getting anything for Christmas and she’ll most likely be beaten too. She was 3. The look on this kids face was like we just told her that her family was eaten by wolves. She didn’t cry, but she tried to so hard that she stopped breathing for a minute straight. I laughed. Haha, I wish we had Euro-Christmas events. In the Netherlands, if you’re bad Santa beats you with whips!
Other than that things are pretty good. Life is going on as it always has. November wasn’t the best month as the whole being away from home thing was getting a little annoying. I’ve figured that I live in the Manitoba of Germany. Lots of farms and once you grow up you leave, move to Winnipeg (Berlin), or become a farmer and marry young.
December has tonnes of stuff to do though. Christmas is everything to these guys. Everyday in a different village they have these cool outdoor ‘Christmas Markets’ and they give our free spiced wine and beer. You can buy all sorts of Christmas type things, trees and whatnot.
Plus my brother is coming in a week and we’re off to Prague for a while and then Krakow, Poland for Christmas. I think we might be going to either Hungary or Ukraine for New Years.
The only thing that we’re missing here is snow. Still hasn’t snowed yet. Soon enough I guess, then I’ll wish that it was warm again.