Category Archives: Germany

Last day in Frankfurt, off to Wien!

Santuary at BeroeaToday was my last day at Beröa. Once again I thought of going out to the city, but I ended up canceling that plan. My flight was at 5:30 and I wanted to make sure that I got there on time. Since I might not know the bus system, I didn’t want to take my changces of getting too lost. So in the morning I cleaned up my things. It actually took longer than I thought. By the time I had cleaned my room, eaten breakfast, gone online to check on flights and where to go when I landed (since the airports didn’t have wifi), and packed my things, it was just about time to leave. I was hoping to get to say goodbye to people, but I guess no one’s really around on Saturdays. I checked the rooms, but there was no one here. I wrote a few thank you letters and put the money in their mailbox with my key. I took a few pictures and I walked out the door.

Entry way at BeröaI went over to the train station and tried to figure out how to pay. There was an English version of the instructions, but it was still confusing! I ended up accidentally purchasing the wrong one, but I figured it would be ok because they don’t really check and I tried to buy it, but their instructions were just too confusing! Then I hopped on the train. I figured I could hop off at the main station and look around Frankfurt’s innercity before going to the airport and pick up some lunch there. Unfortunately I misheard the stop and got off too early again. Oh well. So for half an hour I wandered the streets of this other station… whose name I cannot remember. I went to a little konditorei (like a sweets bakery/ café) and bought this delicious pudding roll thing. I bought two for a pretty good price. Then I hopped back onto the train and was shuttled off to the airport.

Mmmm pudding rollThe Frankfurt airport was quite amazing. Really… the LAX airport is the worst! The check-in is a lot faster and easier. They didn’t have me take my shoes off or anything. I was quite surprised.

Protesters!I was also surprised to see a group of protestors near the entrance of the airport. Scared me! For a minute I thought I wouldn’t get to go to Wien (Deutsch for Vienna). Luckily though my flight and my pathway was not effected. So then I decided to explore the airport since I was early enough that my gate was still preparing for a different flight. I walked to the end of the hall (they had many many gates) and then I took the people movers back. I really like people movers, they’re very fun. The ones here are extra fun because they’re a little raised so you can ride it going up and then have a fun time coming back down as well.

The actual flight was on a very small plane since most people take trains versus planes when traveling around the area. It was the second time that I’ve been bussed out to a plane and then get to climb the stairs directly into a plane.

_MG_4243When I got into Wien it was already 20:30 (yeeaaa, military time is used here so I changed my phone time to reflect this and adjust to the way that time is normally read). I walked over to the CAT to take me to central city where I would be able to take the U-Bahn (meaning underground train) to the hotel. The CAT is very comfy and reminds me of the Metrolink with several floors and nice seats and lots of space. It also moves slower just like the Metrolink. The difference is that it only has two stops – the airport and the central city. It’s basically built for travelers coming in from the airport – everyone I saw on there spoke English. Getting off the CAT I was a little surprised… I expected the U-Bahn to be relatively nice… but I suppose it was under construction so it was kind of creepy walking through the tunnels trying to find where to go by myself at night. By the time I got off the U-Bahn it was already dark ~21 or 21:30. I was  little afraid because I didn’t know how safe Vienna was. The streets were a little cobblestony. There was a lot of graffiti and some shady looking people around (or rather I just thought they were shady because they smoked and were drinking and stuff). Then I went down a small alleyway to get to the hotel and I thought I was totally going to get mugged. Later I learned that Wien is actually one of the safest cities and that the graffiti isn’t because of gangs and such but more of social commentary and art movements. There’s a lot of graffiti because they don’t work to remove the graffiti, meaning that a lot it has been built up over a long period of time.

Denk (think)

Denk (think)

Then I checked into the hotel and went up to room 208. Soon after getting in, my roommate for the night came in! She was a little jet lagged and had been out all day so we sat and did work till she fell asleep and eventually I went to sleep 🙂 It’s fun to be with people from America again and have the same excitement of entering a new city together 🙂

Yay! Hotel room for the night :)


YOUnited in Mission!

Prayer room!This morning I got up nice and early to have a delicious breakfast. Apparently breakfast is important here 🙂 Not like at home 😦 Germans love their breakfast – in fact, dinner is the lightest meal of the day. I saw many of them simply eat slices of bread for dinner (haha! So what I do isn’t that bad for me).

As Eileen and other prepared for the missions conference I took her guitar over to a prayer room 🙂 I didn’t think I’d get to play guitar for 5 weeks so it was such a big blessing that Eileen let me borrow hers (it was a very pretty Ovation – I haven’t played one of those in a long time).

YOUnited in missions schedule :)

And then YOUnited in Missions started! It’s a conference about missions held here at Berӧa with Pentecostal Christians from across Deutschland. German missions conference! My favorite! I guess I missed Resolved, but I got to do this instead.

Lobpreis!Opening worship (lobpreis) was led by a team from Berӧa that included Eileen on the guitar and Jonny on the keyboard. To my surprise, the team was led by the drummer who could sing while playing! What talent! To my second surprise, they opened with a song in English. Apparently, compared to American Christian music, German artists are “a little behind” (quoted by a German). There aren’t many Christian bands that are very popular and they enjoy listening to English praise bands.

As seen on the schedule (in German), there were messages and workshops 🙂 The messages were good, but I only understood bits and pieces since the preachers speak very quickly. I tried to take notes… but all I could understand were very basic concepts.

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For lunch we had wurst und brӧt. It was basically the German equivalent of hot dogs. The wurst was a lot bigger and much more delicious 🙂 They also like to eat their wurst not in the typical hot dog buns, but in regular dinner buns. Actually it’s not even really a regular bun… its like the kind that’s soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. It was quite difficult to consume, but quite delicious. I also had a nice bottle of their equivalent Manzana Lift! It would seem that all countries except America recognize the deliciousness of apple soda. Their soda is a lot less sweet compared to Manzana lift, but just as good. I didn’t take pictures because I was at lunch and had left my camera inside. Also, Germans tend to not take as many pictures as Asians… once again I felt out of place taking pictures of everything.

_MG_4066I skipped the workshops and swapped it with a 1 hr nap since I would have an even harder time listening during the workshops and I was a bit jetlagged. I guess I didn’t think that I would be so affected by the time change… but I definitely am.

I woke up just in time for dinner! Yay! For dinner we had chili and bread. I got to sit with Eileen, Jonny and his roommates, and one of the guest speakers son (at least I think that’s who he is). It was one of the first times I got to sit in/ be a part of a real German conversation. After people started to realize that I understood most of what they were saying, they felt a little freer in speaking around me in German. They talked about many things, but one main thing we talked about was German culture. I had asked Eileen about it earlier and others were beginning to chime in their ideas. One of the things Eileen had said was that Germans are extremely individualistic and strongly opinionated. They aren’t friendly  and tend to keep to themselves. She says that German guys don’t know how to treat a lady. On the other hand, German girls tend to be very strong … which in turn I suppose is why the German men don’t treat them like women and also feel like they need to be extremely strong… I hope that made sense. We were joking around with simple loving terms (like I mentioned before). In America we tend to call our loved ones darling or sweet heart. In German they say treasure… which is “schatz” hahaha, not the loveliest sounding word. All the guys started laughing and trying to say it in the deepest angriest voice they could make hahaha.

Outside :)Another friend asked me about some English grammar, a question that actually puzzled me as well. When someone asks, “It’s good, right?” we always answer “yes it is”… why is it that no one answers “yes it’s” … is it proper to say this? I told him he could, but people would laugh at him. English grammar still confuses me. It’s extremely fluid.

Following their language, Germans are extremely organized or strict. It was already obvious through the way things were organized at the school. Each person had their own drawer in the freezer and refrigerator; all the dishes were nicely put in. All containers were labeled. Each pull out cabinet was marked for a specific person, there was a nice schedule of who was to clean what and when. They have weekly inspections to make sure the dorm rooms are kept clean and the cleaning supplies are well organized. Of course they have to be organized because they are a school housing many students… but still, they have a very good system.

The speaker after dinner actually spoke in English and his wife translated for him into German – Dr. Mark Gabriel. He was once a strong Muslim and even went to a Muslim college and became a professor there. Later, God really opened his eyes to the Gospel and he converted to Christianity. Obviously his heart is for the Muslims and teaching Christians to understand the Muslim culture and to evangelize to them. Unfortunately though the topic was extremely interesting… like I said, it was usual nap time and I had a much difficulty staying awake.

Afterwards, there was a worship time (though, as other of the seminary students agreed, it seemed more like a performance) led by Outbreak band, one of the few well known praise bands in Germany. This was followed by a message that I was too tired to understand and then a very long prayer for all of those who were committing themselves to missions and for the team that Beroa would be sending out. At the end of the night we (I say we because I was too afraid to start conversations on my own auf Deutsch) with some of the students to came from other places. Once we started talking they were quite friendly. One of them wore bracelets with Spanish on them; the typical “Dios es amor”. I asked him if he spoke Spanish, but he said the only Spanish he knew was what was on the bracelets. Haha, too bad, I told him my Spanish is better than my German… though after this trip, that might not be the case, certainly I know more German grammar than Spanish… I just haven’t had the chance to use it as much.

Then I helped the missions team prepare for their trip by making sandwiches. It was quite fun, just hanging out and getting to know what they’re like on a normal basis. At 3:30am I got up to join with the send off in prayer and good byes. Now that Eileen is gone I have no one to take care of me or show me around 😦 … time for adventures of my ownMaking Sandwiches!! I had a group picture of the missions team but I can’t find it D: I hope I didn’t accidentally press delete! D: D:


Off to Frankfurt!

Cool thing at the airportDuring this time I have become more aware of my photographing habits. At home I snap pictures of just about everything, sometimes too many things. I’ve realized now though that it just isn’t as fun taking pictures when there’s no one around that you know to take pictures of. I like to take pictures of people a lot of the times because that’s something that only people around them can captures. Like… buildings and monuments and such are just not as fun. After all these tourists coming and taking pictures, almost every angle has already been snatched somewhere in the world – but people are always interesting. It’s also easy to find a post card of a place or pictures that probably look even better than mine, the only difference is that I can have people I care about in those pictures – proof that they’ve been there and remembrances of what we did. It’s also not as fun because I look like a super Asian tourist with a large camera annoyingly taking pictures. I realized that if I don’t want to seem too touristy I would have to give up a lot of photo opportunities that I would have otherwise taken. I feel especially our of place and conspicuous in these areas where most (if not all) Asians are tourists and not natives.

My eating day continues onto the airplane where we were served dinner. 100_2554I’ve always relatively liked airplane food and never quite understood why people made fun of it (though I’ll comment on that later). For dinner I had chicken and rice with peas and carrots, a nice container of corn, a piece of bread, and a brownie for dessert. I ate slowly because I wasn’t quite hungry yet, but eventually finished it all… sort of like how I finished my lunch.

100_2553I had a nice window seat and not extremely personable neighbors. I watched Yogi Bear and Serendipity (one that I had been meaning to watch) and finished up some German reading. I also tried to sleep so that jet lag wouldn’t be so bad once I got in. But unfortunately I learned that airplane seats are very uncomfortable for sleeping and there’s a lot of turbulence on the way to Germany.

Luckily I had a good seat next to the wing so I could look out the window and watch the changing of the mechanical parts as we took off and landed. One interesting thing I noted, though Pooh’s head is covering it in this picture was that there was a small piece of metal  on the engine that almost seemed like it was just there for looks. Upon closer inspection during the time of incline I noticed that it created a small wind tunnel that added to the strength of lift under the wings. I could actually see the tunnel created. It was quite fascinating, but I didn’t get a chance to get a picture – perhaps on the way back if I’m lucky.

During the landing, I looked out the window. Frankfurt is a beautiful green! When I got off the plane, it was so fun seeing everything in German. I converted my money and got a sim card. Unfortunately the store couldn’t get the data to work on my phone… which is unfortunate because I was hoping to get around the city using the maps on my phone… fail. Hopefully I can figure it out… And then began the adventures of Audrey who has forgotten almost all of her Deutsch. I was able to get the instructions from the airport for which trains to take and then I was sent off to transfer trains and find my way.

And the story will continue. Currently it’s about time for orientation to start. Bis spӓter!

By the way… every time I try to type an umlaut I have to look it up in symbols… is there a better way?


The greatest adventure in my life thus far…

And so begins my time in Germany.

It’s pretty cool. I was reading through my journal the other day. I looked back to the very beginning where I wrote down the things that I wanted to see God do in my life this year. I think this will be the first one to be fully answered, “allow me to study abroad” 🙂

I actually arrived on the 22nd (though I was planning on arriving on the 21st) in Frankfurt to first visit my new friend Eileen at her university. I haven’t had much time to journal or rather blog in a coherent sense because the last few days have been relatively busy and I didn’t have wifi, making it difficult to write into a blog. I did however jot some notes on Word and all over the place. I’ll probably have to slowly update as I put thoughts together. Unfortunately,  I’m a pretty boring writer so I’ll try to include some pictures and bold certain things so you can just look at the pictures and jump over the rest.

I fit everything into my backpack… except the camera 🙂

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Following the advice of my brother and Tynan, I have decided to make this 5 week adventure relatively luggage free. I have a Deuter 28L backpack which is sizable yet isn’t as big as the majority of hiking backpacks. Inside my pack contains 1 shirt, 1 tanktop, 2 sets of undergarments, jeans, a belt, PE shorts, toiletries (this includes 3 types of lotions), medicines, other feminine things… and then pens and pencils (as I will be taking classes), chargers for both cameras as well as my phone and laptop, my laptop, 2 books for my classes and a spiral for notes, my journal, my bible, a purse to carry around during the day, my water bottle, my wallet… and a few other random things like thank you cards and a first aid kit. I couldn’t fit the DSLR into my backpack without fear for its safety so I also brought the camera bag. I also brought my mini Winnie the Pooh my sister gave to me last year for my birthday. He’s been to SB and Canada, so I thought I would take him to Germany. Good thing he’s small enough to pack (see how he doesn’t take up any inside space) and large enough to not loose. I also brought this little tofu guy I recently got at the quarter machines at the Puente Hills mall. A group of my Genesis girls all got one and we all had matching colors (except Amy… sorry Amy). One of them is going to China, so I figured one should come to Germany.

Adventure 1: Stranded in Canada

A very pretty view of the cloudsSo the plan was to fly into Toronto and connect to another flight to Frankfurt. There was a one hour gap. The first plane was delayed more than expected I guess because I missed the second flight. It was quite embarrassing really. I went to the connecting flights line to have my passport checked and all that. The guy looked at it and simply said “… did your plane already leave?” He then directed me to exit like everyone else. Sad. So I went almost all the way out and talked to the first Air Canada person I could find. The next flight to Frankfurt wasn’t until Tuesday at 5:30pm. They gave me a free room in the Hampton Inn and free breakfast, lunch, and dinner to make up for it. Not a big deal – being stranded in another country is fun and it gave me time to calm down before coming to Germany. I have to say though I was a little afraid. The first little hiccup in my plans. Oh well.

_MG_3950It was definitely something I’ve never done and this trip is really about things I’ve never done. I had a whole room and two twin beds to myself. So what did I do? I gchatted home 🙂 I also checked to see if there was anywhere I could go in the morning since the flight wasn’t until late… but apparently there is nothing within 20 minutes of the Toronto airport (unlike Vancouver where you can train yourself anywhere).

As fun as having a whole hotel room to yourself sounds, it was a little lonely, good thing Pooh and Tofu was there with me.

Four towels and only one will be usedThere was a nice set of everything ready for four people, but there were only 3 of us and only one of us uses a towl 😦 too bad. I wondered if the cleaning lady still had to wash everything. I hope not, that’s a huge waste of water. I tried to make sure they could tell the other bed and these towels were untouched.

Thanks to everyone to talked to me on g-chat that night, it was fun.

I like to call my second day of adventures the day of eating. On Monday I ate two bagels and a small bowl of oatmeal. I didn’t even get to eat an apple 😦 I missed lunch because of the first flight and then I missed dinner because the Hampton doesn’t offer dinner and the flight came in late anyway. I woke up relatively hungry on Tuesday. I went down to the complimentary breakfast and ate. A lot. It was almost a feeling of “I don’t  know when my next meal will be so I better eat all I can now”. I wasn’t sure which meals were offered on the plane and I wasn’t sure how the meal situation would work out since the Hampton didn’t serve meals. I made myself a waffle, had two omelets and had a bite of a muffin that I soon decided wasn’t worth eating. Then I took a nice long bath and thought about life.

100_2549Check out was at 12pm so I went back to the airport. I didn’t have much to do so I bought lunch. It took me about 3 hours to eat a roasted vegetable sandwich. Then I checked in and bought dinner. Instead of a real dinner I bought 6 muffins and a smoothie from Tim Horton’s. I only drank the smoothie and I couldn’t finish it. I basically ate 400 to 500% more food than on Monday and didn’t move at all. In the small times in between I walked around and read books from the airport stores. I saw that there was a larger selection of Christian books in the US airport than the Canadian on even though the Canadian store was larger and contained more books in general. I also noticed that the only Christian book the Canadian store had was The Shack which is of questionable integrity. In the US store I was able to read the first 6 chapters of 90 Minutes in Heaven and saw a few other books that we already own at home. I don’t know if that has any indication of the religious beliefs of either country, but perhaps it does. I didn’t have much interest in reading The Shack because it was a little dry in my opinion. I tend to be a little picky about writing styles.

Anyway, it’s 12am now which I deem now to be my bed time. I suppose all the posts on what is going on will be slowly uploaded and slowly written. You will probably hear about my flight to start my classes next week or the week after. I seem to have a lot to say because there seems to be a lot I want to remember about this trip. It is of course the greatest adventure in my life thus far. If you have any suggestions on how I might make this more interesting to you, let me know.