Ok, so I lied. I didn't post pictures from around town after a day or two, and in fact, I am going to keep you all waiting even longer because my laptop stubbornly refused to recognize my camera when I tried to download pictures last night. But at some point in the near future, expect to see pictures from Basel, Arlesheim, my newest shoes (these are white), and possibly even the party I went to Saturday.
I went to a crazy birthday party this weekend!! Remember Simone, the girl on the left in the picture with the gigantic US map? She turned 19 last week, so she invited 35 people over to celebrate. We all brought ingredients for dinner, and then, based on what people brought, we made dinner together. Imagine 35 (mostly) teenagers, four burners, one oven, and a lot of knives, and you will have a pretty good idea of what the party was like. I told her patient parents that if I had tried to pull something like that, I would have been disowned and dismissed from the household. It was a fun party though, and I met some new people. Simone asked everyone to introduce themselves in English as well as German, for Steph's sake. One guy from her school said, "My English is not so good. When Simone was in the US, I called and said `hi, I'm the gay from Germany.' Elli and Johanna told me I am very typically American, in my style and mannerisms, but "It's ok," they said. "We like it." Johanna said she likes Americans so much she is planning to marry an American boy and was like, "So do you have any sisters or...brothers??!!!" I think it's interesting though how much they perceive the United States through our movies. They said they think I look like Reese Witherspoon (the actress in Sweet Home Alabama, or Legally Blond) but Vipka disagreed. She thinks I look like Gweneth Paltrow (the actress in Emma). So--I dont really think I look like either of them, but being compared to two pretty blond actresses in one day? I can hardly complain.
I am enjoying getting to know my classmates a bit more. Friday night my Guided City Tour class took a little walk to see the Basel Mission (a huge building built in 1815) and then went out for drinks and chicken wings. Timo said the wings were so good, it must have been a chased chicken. In Namibia where he is from, the chickens that are fed and kept in a pen are plumper and better tasting than the tough hens that run all over the place. When it's time to eat one, the kids go chase it around the pen and they say that's what makes it taste so good--its a chased chicken. Ibraham, from Egypt, said that they eat pigeons in Egypt, and if he knew how to prepare one he would be tempted to poach the pigeons that are always flying around town. "The pigeons here are so dumb," he said. "They don't watch where they are going, and they just land whether there is a person there or not. I've been hit by pigeons twice!!" None of the rest of us have had this problem...but it was funny listening to him complain about it.
Speaking of Egypt, my landlady and her son are on vacation there at the moment. Agi moved out this weekend, and I moved into my permanent room, which is great--less Legos, more lamps, fewer airplanes, more chairs, no star-spangled canopy over my bed, but as a consolation prize I have an old-fashioned desk with glass hutch doors and everything. I bought a lavender candle that smells like Grandma Bishop's house as a room-warming present for myself. Oh, I bought tulip and daffodil bulbs too!! I haven't planted them yet because I couldn't fit a pot in my backpack last time I went shopping...but just wait. In a week or two I will have tulips buried and waiting for the spring.
I did buy I bike last week. It doesn't have a basket yet, but it will. The bike will be handy for grocery shopping, hauling flower pots, and running around on the weekends. My very fatherly South African professor is quite concerned that Chantelle and I ought to be wearing helmets if we are going to be riding about town, but you know it would mess up my hair, and anyway, nobody else wears them and I cant be looking like a homeschooler!! But I promise I will avoid riding by the trams or on the busy roads without a helmet.
Classes are going well, although my reading is starting to pile up a bit. I got distracted talking to someone here in the library and I have to go to Epidemiology now, so I will write more some other time, though I dare not make promises about when since I seem bound to break them. =)
I need a job. Please pray that I find one.
Behave yourselves, and don't do anything I wouldn't do. =)