Stadtrallye – a different kind of new-student orientation

One of the most memorable university orientation events was the Stadtrallye. It turns out “rally” has a completely different meaning in German than in English, and rather than a pep assembly or political demonstration, this was more of a scavenger hunt/team challenge.

The challenges mostly involved a lot of alcohol.
The challenges mostly involved a lot of alcohol.

Continue reading “Stadtrallye – a different kind of new-student orientation”

At a Wendepunkt … turning point

As the weather in Hamburg slowly shifts and is now firmly entrenched in fall, so, too, is my life changing, and instead of a supermarket warehouse worker, I’m starting to feel like a student again.

I grew up in Washington, the Evergreen State, so living somewhere with dramatic fall colors never ceases to awe me. If you like my photos, follow me on Instagram: https://instagram.com/alison_haywood/
I grew up in Washington, the Evergreen State, so living somewhere with dramatic fall colors never ceases to awe me. If you like my photos, follow me on Instagram: https://instagram.com/alison_haywood/

I quit my job at the supermarket, which had been bringing me down and taking up a lot of time for a while now, and now have three new jobs – the most exciting of which is definitely teaching German to refugee children.

Continue reading “At a Wendepunkt … turning point”

What I am learning about German culture from working in a supermarket

To celebrate my new income, a few days later I got a haircut - badly needed, as you can see in this picture.
To celebrate my new income, a few days later I got a haircut – badly needed, as you can see in this picture.

After a month and a half of tangling with bureaucracy, bellyaching over budgets and nearly driving myself crazy with the amount of free time I had on my hands, I finally got a job.

I work at a supermarket chain collecting items for customers’ online orders and packing them neatly into boxes. I get to carry around a neat little scanner and push around a large shopping cart and learn the location of even the most obscure supermarket products, from Studentenfütter (which literally translates to student food and turns out to be a type of trail mix) to mango-flavored buttermilk (yes, Germans drink plain buttermilk, how gross) to Hüttenkäse (which literally translates to “little hut cheese,” which, as you may have guessed, is cottage cheese in English). Continue reading “What I am learning about German culture from working in a supermarket”

Kapsejlads: The craziest Danish tradition I’ve seen yet

Move over, Friday bars and freshman initiation rituals. You can have your Christmas dinners (julefrokost) and licorice-flavored ice cream. Without a doubt, the most insane Danish tradition I’ve come across yet is Kapsejlads, the annual Aarhus university boat race at the university park.

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I’ve never seen the university park this crowded in my entire life. (Sorry for the poor quality – until I buy a new camera, you’ll have to deal with my crappy phone pics.)

In its most basic definition, Kapsejlads is a regatta, a boat race in which the different academic faculties compete against each other. In reality, it’s an excuse to drink. All. Day. Long.

Continue reading “Kapsejlads: The craziest Danish tradition I’ve seen yet”