Wow, I didn't realize it's been two weeks since I last posted. Basically, it's because I'm too busy getting through my day to have any desire to write. Heck, I still have postcards to write and those are mostly along the lines of "No snow yet. Hope this makes it by New Year's."
So here's the 5 minute catch up. The things that have been taking up most of my time and energy has been schooling, public transportation and food.
I'm not being a super-great student, but I'm improving. I will be far from fluent when we I am done here.
When I am not sitting and doing exercises or practice tests, I'm going fromm one place to another. While the public transportation here is really great (light rail trams, suburban trains, subways and busses every few minutes), it still soaks up time waiting and sitting on the train or taking a tram to the central station so you can take a subway a slightly different direction. and it's not like it's a commuter type train where I can whip out the postcards I haven't written yet or squeeze in some homework. Nope. You just sit or stand in often cramped spaces waiting for your stop.
And finally, food. While there are a gazillion sausage stands because of the christmas markets, bakeries literally on every corner and plenty of places to just grab somem food, finding actual vegetables or fruit at the these places is darn near impossible. I wind up stopping by various small markets every couple of days to buy some water (the tap water at my dorms really is drinkable, but kills the goodness of food when you cook with it), some veggies and some fruit. It seems like I am constanly loaded down with some little this or little that. My first weeks here were trying to build up a decent larder just to cook with: olive oil, salt, pepper, basil a kitchen knife and cutting board.
When I first arrived, I bought somme fresh dates. Not dried dates, but crisp, full dates. I have never eaten fresh dates and I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea to get a half-kilo of them. After two days of eating fresh dates, I got tired of them and had to figure out what to do with them. I checked the mighty intar-web for recipies and found lots. Lots that would require me to buy all kinds fo spices and such that I would use only once. Instead, I dug into my memories of ordering bacon wrapped dates at a tapas bar and then improvised:
Scott's Use-up-these-fresh-dates-now Recipie
- A couple handfuls of fresh dated (pitted, duh)
- A couple of crisp apples (I used a couple Galas I had)
- A couple of ounces of fatty bacon (or what passes for bacon in germany)
- Roqufort or blue cheese
In a small thick-bottomed sauce pot (the kind issued to students in my dorm), fry the bacon so the fat is all nice and melted. Cut up your dates and apples into slices to they cook quickly. Toss them in with the bacon. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve on to a plate and crumble an ounce ro two of cheese into the mix and let it melt some. Serves one. Besure to eat in a common area where a girl from South Korea can wonder with either awe or disgust at your culinary skills.