Ooh sorry, It's been a while since I've last blogged! Well It's almost Christmas, and last weekend I went to a Christmas Market in Germany with my school! It was a really cool thing to do, and I'm glad I signed up for it. In my family we have also already decorated our house for Christmas and gotten our tree. This is the first time I've gotten to have a real Christmas tree, because my mom is allergic, but I think fake ones are better! They don't make as much of a mess, and they look pretty full. Christmas trees here are also different than the ones most people get in America, but yeah. Sorry to anyone who is reading this and isn't friends with me on Facebook, because I put more pictures there recently than on my blog. But I think as teachers you aren't allowed to friend me until I graduate or something like that.. but I don't know. If you're allowed to, you can find me because I have lots of nice pictures up on there. :)
Before I was in Dusseldorf last weekend, on Thursday we got our Christmas tree! We got it from this place called Intratuin. This is a nice decoration set up in the place, which is the garden place we got our Christmas Tree from. It's a huge, huge place, and this one is the biggest one in the Netherlands they told me. There are plants and flowers to buy, but also fake plants and flowers. They sell lots of things to make arrangements and a lot of things that I never really have seen before. They sell pots and little things to make nice decorations out of. But it's a really interesting store, and they sell other things too, like a few strange pets like Prairie dogs, and also clothes and sports things too. Below is basically what the Christmas market looks like.
It's very very crowded, and hard to walk around. There are different sections of the market, but they all contain little booths that sell food, or Christmas decorations or things they have made. They also sell scarfs and wallets, but really a lot of different things. They also sell Gluhwein which is a warm spiced wine, and everyone drinks it and unfortunately just stands in one place while they drink it, causing many traffic problems to the other people trying to walk around the market.
This is one of the shops selling those cookie things and nuts for presents. So this is what the inside of one of the little buildings looks like. Some of the buildings are very nice looking though, but they are set up in the middle of squares around the city. So it's really cool to see the normal shops you can go to, but also see the specifically Christmas ones. Such as the nice looking building below. The building below sold Christmas ornaments only I think. We couldn't go inside because it was far too crowded.
But I spent the day walking around with my friend Lonneke, and shopping and trying all of the delicious German food. It's really cool to be learning Dutch because as we walk around talking, I can now hear the other Dutch people that are visiting the market speaking to each other, and hear the difference between the German. There are all kinds of people visiting Germany's Christmas Markets because they are very famous for them.
You hear English in addition to the German and Dutch, but it's nice not to be speaking English in a place like this. It makes you feel a lot less like a foreigner because you are speaking a language of Europe, rather than with your American accent, clearly giving away that you are a tourist. Mostly I try to speak Dutch now with people at school and it's going really well. I've noticed that a lot of the kids in my class who haven't spoken to me, are now speaking to me more because I'm trying to speak only Dutch and that is more comfortable for them. It goes pretty well talking with them all, although my dutch is broken and my grammar is what they refer to as "Turkish Dutch", they all understand me and seem to be excited that I'm learning their language and trying. It's almost at the four month mark now, and I can't believe how fast its going. My language test is the 28th of January, so it's important that I keep up with the speaking Dutch and studying for the exam. I've been a little bit sick this week, so today I'm going to blog some more and catch up, since Dusseldorf was last weekend.