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Showing posts from June, 2009

...I'll have it in the mail by Thursday

It is with tentative key strokes that I type this update. My visa application and supporting documents are again coming together. On Thursday morning I have to go back to the creepy fingerprinting place, and from there, I can mail it off. I have re-collected my bank statements, pay stubs, letters from my employer and bank. I even received a call from the uni today ensuring that I got all the proper letters and such.
"Will you still be joining us in September?"
"Well, I hope so!"

I am taking the tact to inundating the office with every piece of official paperwork remotely connected with my finances, employment, or education. Thought I have a feeling that even with an overstuffed envelope, every document will be separately scrutinized. Even so, it is all there. I mean everything.
Here's a little more insight into some of the pointlessness of the application. I have to prove that I have enough money to pay for the tuition and projected room and board. This ma…

16 going on 21

A few weeks ago we were called for an unconscious person at the local high school. We arrived to find a young man, indeed unconscious. When they could not wake him up, school staff called us. This patient turned out to be 16 years old and more drunk than I have ever been in my life, combined. I'm not even sure how he got to school let alone functioned long enough to fool anyone.
He was so drunk he was about one step away from buying a tube. In fact, if my boss had been there, he would have been on a vent, because he intubates everything with a trachea.

I was so boggled, and amused, and irritated by this, but in the face of such a tragic situation, we mostly just laughed at him. But I wonder if this kind of silliness happens in places where alcohol is more a part of the culture than it is here. In the US you can die for your country, but you can't legally drink a beer. I think all that waiting plays on the American psyche and makes drinking far more desirable, and drinkin…

There, Castle!

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From Luzern we drove to see the Rhine falls, the largest waterfall in Europe. We then drove through the black forest, famous for ham, cake, fairy tales, houses made of candy, and coo-coo clocks.
We made our way to Heidelberg, which is a lovely city. Again, a repeat visit is in order. I am sure we barely scratched the surface here, but did get to see Heidelberg castle, and the largest wine barrel in the world. It can hold 58,100 U.S. gallons, and let me tell you, that is a lot of gallons.

The next day we visited the adorable Rudesheim, Germany. Here we started our cruise up (or down) the Rhine river. Along the way we found ourselves in the heart of German wine country. Insane vineyards were all along the river, growing grapes on the most steep and silly places I've ever seen. We must have seen ten different castles, none of which I can name now.
We stopped about 30 km later in St. Goar. Yet another charming German town. Here we had a wine tasting, where for the first time I…

Confoederatio Helvetica

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After spending the morning in Innsbruck, chasing ambulances and eating incredibly large pretzels, we drove through Vaduz, Liechtenstein. I think the only reason for the stop was so that I could write "I've been to Liechtenstein." right now.
From there we traveled to Flüelen, Switzerland. Again another lovely drive that had me licking the windows with the desire to paddle the heck out of alpine lakes.
Our hotel was literally on the shore of Lake Lucerne, which was excellent!
The next day we went to the city of Lucerne, where we visited the beautiful lion monument, chapel bridge, and, again stumbled upon a cluster of ambulances. Those Swiss have some awesome EMS uniforms. I feel my uniform is lacking some serious hi-vis; my pants have none!

I firmly believe that a mark of a good trip is the use of various forms of transportation. In the trip to, up, and down Mt. Pilatus, we used four. A boat took us across the lake to the foot of the mountain. We then ascended the 7000&…

The whole gammut

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It was raining as we walked through the front gate of Dachau concentration camp, making the setting appropriately dreary . "Freedom through work" is the ominous greeting set in wrought iron above the gate. We watched an orientation video and had just enough time to explore the grounds and memorials. I say 'just enough time' because I honestly didn't want anymore time there, I have never been more ready to leave a place. I found myself oddly fascinated with the fence and surrounding trench. I felt guilty that I had privileges that the prisoners did not, I could walk on the grass, I could keep my shoes on in the buildings, I could leave.
There is nothing I can say here that hasn't been said before, by writers for more eloquent than I. So I will leave it at that.

(insert awkward transition and depressing link here)

From there, the sun came out and we drove through Oberammergau, Germany. This is a very cute town, where they host a yearly Passion Play. We…

Back to the beginning

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We left Vienna and I didn't find another internet cafe for the rest of the trip. I did find internet in our hotel in Switzerland, but they only took only Swiss Franks, and I didn't bother to get any of those. There was also internet in our last hotel, but by then, who cared?
On our second (or was it third by then?) We drove west across Austria to Salzburg. We spent a sadly short time here, but in that time we saw the Mirabell gardens, Mozarts birthplace, a statue of St. Florian (the patron saint of firefighting), and rode a funicular to Hohensalzburg castle/fortress which gave us great views of the city. A repeat visit is in order. (I have a feeling I'll be saying that a lot.)

After Salzburg we spent some time in Berchtesgaden, Germany. Very near here is Hitler's Eagle's Nest, and Germanys' third highest peak, Mount Watzmann.

From here, on to Munich, a city so full of history! After our orientation tour, my head was spinning! Like many tourists, I would gu…

Wien

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We are here in lovely Vienna. We had an adventurous day of travel here (we

missed our connection in Munich and had to wait an extra three hours) But we arrived and spent the day wandering around this great city. We visited a Butterfly House (Schmetterling Haus) that was awesome, and more importantly, found an ambulance. Here they have a vent mounted on the ceiling, an autopulse, and a full body vaccu-splint, sweet. Tomorrow, onto Salzburg and to, ironically, Munich. Here are some fun kezs on this kezboard (as zou can see, y and z are in different places.) ü Ü ä Ä ö Ö § ß ° That's all for now, we'll see when we get the internet again!

Sprechen sie Englisch?

I have been making fun of my mother recently. I have a very clear childhood memory of every night before we embarked on a family vacation, she would be vacuuming late at night while the rest of the family would be trying to sleep. And what did I find myself doing yesterday? (at a reasonable hour) Yes, running the vacuum over the two small rugs in my apartment.
I completely understand the desire to come home to a clean and fresh house but I could never understand why that chore always got pushed back to after midnight.
This evening I am headed to parts of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The parents and I planned and booked this trip pretty much as soon as we got back last year, long before my wild ass plan became more of a reality. Now, further spurred by the need for bonding time, away we go!
I'll be on the lookout for an internet cafe in Vienna.

Servus!

Lappy

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Apologies for the lack of the lack of proper written updates. I'm working on a couple of things, and I have spent today downloading and sorting a few things out on the new lappy. I was on the market for a lappy and a series of strange opportunistic events have led me to be typing this update, well, on my lap. I've spent some dollars giving it more memory, an excessively large hard drive and a new battery is now making its way to my house, then I will be indeed wireless. Having never had a laptop, I don't really understand the whole wireless thing, but I am figuring it out, and it's pretty freaking sweet.