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Monday, September 20, 2010

ACK!!! The pianos are 'geschlossen'!!! Um Gottes willen......!

So, lately I have been encountering what seem to be roadbumps along the path of success.  And the most recent is actually the lack of practice rooms with pianos available to me in Dortmund.  I have asked everyone that I know, and I am now desperately begging churches and public spaces in Dortmund with pianos if I may somehow have access to those pianos when they are not otherwise employed, because the pianos that I was happily using, without bothering anyone else of course, have now all been securely locked to those who are not music students at the Technische Universitaet Dortmund.  To which, I say a firm and resolute "DRAT!"

Therefore, plan B, which has yet to come into existence of course, must be quickly enacted, otherwise, as they say in America and NOT in Germany, "I am f*cked!" for my upcoming auditions.  Because of the urgent nature of such a situation, and possibly the knowledge of you, dear Readers, I am asking anyone who knows anything about possible pianistic-free-time-usage in Dortmund is very heartily encouraged to please comment on this blog as soon as you finish reading this!

NOTE: For those of you who are interested in my audition progress: this piano shortage snafoo will make it all the more interesting for me to go through with my audition for an agent in Duesseldorf the day after tomorrow (Wednesday the 22nd of September).  We will see how THAT will go!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rotterdam Road Trip!

A Dutch trashcan-'Restafval'. Called similarly in German: 'Restabfall'.
So, normally on any given Sunday  in America I wouldn't have the chance to visit another country within a day's drive of where I live in Pennsylvania.  Yesterday, I found out that this was not the case if I live in Germany.  Or, I guess, for that matter, many locations in Central Europe.

This is me with said trashcan.
Yes, yesterday I was able to drive two hours (or, rather, ride as a passenger) to the lovely city of Rotterdam where I visited my lovely friend Ashley and her beautiful family and then when almost compelled to begin the drive back to Germany was instead persuaded by my adventurous boyfriend to explore the city further for a few more hours as the daylight dwindled.

Ah, bikes!
cool buildings at downtown harbor.
Luckily, he had the right idea with that instinct.  We were able to see a lot of things, even though it was a Sunday in the later part of the afternoon, which I automatically consider the most un-tourist-friendly time of day in European cities.  And, who can blame them?   I understand that at least once a week it is nice to get a break from one's work.  Though, I was pleasantly surprised by Rotterdam's tourist friendly store hours (most were open til 6pm on Sunday evenings) and their large variety of outdoor tourist-friendly sights and experiences.

Note the cube houses-they are actually museums and hostels!
Strangely dazzling weather at harbor.
Not sure what these were!
More superb weather!
More downtown-harbor area.
This ship was HUGE! And just parked in the harbor. Apparently it came from Portugal-nice!
Since Rotterdam is a port city, and one of the biggest ports in all of Europe says my boyfriend, we were able to walk around quite a bit by the water of the canals and the harbor, seeing all sorts of wonderful bridges, boats, skylines and vistas of the sun's beginning to fade.  Though we missed the zoo, which apparently has an underwater tunnel where fish swim over you and you can experience the sea from a bottom dweller's perspective (which we will undoubtedly have to do next time we are there), we did get to see many remarkable architectural styles (something Ashley noted Rotterdam is famous for and becoming moreso year by year) and that was pretty darn good, I think, for a Sunday and a two hour drive one way, right?

Oh, and I should note one thing about the interesting looking trashcans in the first pictures-they are actually really small but the metal grate below them holds as much trash as one of those dumpsters we are used to seeing outside of businesses in America.  Therefore, they are emptied by being picked up by the trash trucks with the part that sticks out on the top of the can  and dumped into the trucks.  And the funniest part about that is, when you are throwing trash into the can the area below is so large you can't actually see the bottom.  Who knew?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Back in Germany and Ready for Audition Season!

Hello Dear Friends/Family and those of you who belong in none of the above categories, but still simply subscribe to read about my zany operatic life and adventures:

I am lucky enough to have arrived in Germany safely on Thursday morning (9/9/10) in Duesseldorf International Airport and survived my relatively quiet and stress-free flight from JFK on Wednesday night (and there were no screaming babies or people kicking me in the back of my seat- and it was AIR-BERLIN- can you believe it?!).  At any rate, I am slated for a few important auditions coming up here in Germany and I am excited and prepared for some wonderful experiences.  I will be posting entries on this blog as often as possible (I will try to go back to my 1 post per every 3 days rule from earlier this year), but if I haven't posted anything in a few days, I might be traveling to or from an audition and have no mobile internet access.  If that is the case, please be patient, and something fun/informative, or both, will be posted soon, rest assured.  In conclusion, I am happy to be back and bringing you all along on this journey of a lifetime through uncharted waters for me and my career aspirations.  I am so glad you'll all be with me every step of the way.  Hugs from Germany!!!