Tuesday, January 19, 2010

110

I have intentionally neglected to blog about Daniel and my’s fabulous New Year’s Eurotrip for some time now. Mainly, because if I blogged about the entire adventure it would take fooooooooorrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeever (note to self: Sand Lot must be in my DVD collection ASAP.) So, instead of making all my online stalkers (I say this with love) insanely jealous I figured I would share only my two favorite stories from our trip. One being awesome and one being awesome only in retrospect. Read on bloggies…

The first story to share is the night of New Year’s Eve 2010. NYE was actually the purposed of our trip so we made sure to do something fun and, most importantly, something that allowed me to wear my favorite sequin dress of all time. Sequins make me happy. We all have our thing…don’t judge me. So, NYE 2010 in Munich, Germany was, in a word, afreakinmazeballs. After spending the majority of the day at Dachau, we were indeed in need…of a pick me up. The Germans delivered. We sauntered down to Marienplatz with a few thousand of our closest friends around 10:30pm. Marienplatz is basically the main square of the old city. The biggest attractions here are the Neues Rathaus (city hall) with the Glockenspiel (moving clocks) and the Column of the Virgin Mary in the middle of it all. We were told that the big to do for NYE in Munich is to be here and watch all the locals shoot off fireworks. So, we expected a small show and a good time. Well, low expectations bring high rewards. As we made our way to our first standing room only spot, we picked up some delicious German beers which cost 3
plus a 1 deposit returned to you once you have returned your beer bottle. Amazing system. Off we went and settled next to the subway entrance. Many people were already setting off fireworks and there was a sense of excitement in the air…or maybe that was the sulfur but whatev. More and more people began arriving and more and more beers were taken down. A girl no older than 16 set up next to us and promptly revealed her backpack overstuffed with rockets. This girl and the rest of Munich came packing. We were in for a show. As midnight approached, the fireworks became more intense. At one point, a firework exploded right next to us and I swear I felt like I was in war. A big group of people with a shopping cart (random) ran into the middle of the large square to the large column of the Virgin Mary and began dancing around and climbing her! It looked like the place to be so right before midnight Daniel grabbed my hand and we sprinted (in heels, be impressed) across the cobblestone and brick square, dodging fireworks and rockets to join the rockstars in the middle of it all. SO FUN! The countdown began as we all watched the clock tick tock away. 2010!!! Big smooch, HUGE rockets, tons of cheering, loud laughter and all around awesome awesome AWESOME moment. We tried to capture the energy and insanity on video, but you really just had to be there. Here is a sample of the perfect chaos.


video

NYE 2010 = Success.

Story #2 took place on our last night of the trip. We just finished off a few days in Stockholm and a snow covered Berlin and were in our tiny rental car back to Munich to fly home the next morning. Along the way Daniel made the executive decision to make a pit stop in the most.adorable.town.ever. Regensburg’s claim to fame is being the most preserved mid evil town in who knows where. Whatever. It was precious, darling, charming the works. I loved it and it was the perfect stop after a long day of Autobahn driving. We ate a delicious meal and walked around the town for awhile. We then hopped in our tiny car around 11pm to make the final 80kms to the hotel for the night. The remainder of the night/morning went a little something like this. Leave picture perfect town of lights and people, enter Autobahn with fog (holy god going 120mph with no sight is enough to give me grey hairs), exit Autobahn because Doris, our GPS, told us to. Enter dark, country road where Daniel decides to add this lovely remark, “Man, this looks like a place where people get murdered.”
Gas light goes on. No worries. We only have 50km to go and the tank says we have at least 80 in the tank. The kilometers begin ticking down like the countdown on NYE. Begin Natalie’s meltdown. Pause. In my defense, we were running on literally 2 hours of sleep, it was PITCH black outside with nothing in sight and WE WERE IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY! When the tank got down to 35km left, we began asking Doris where the closest gas station was. She took us to one…closed. She took us to another…closed. At this point we had 5k in the tank. Thankfully, we pulled into a tiny German town and saw a semi truck napping on the side of the road. I bail out of the car while Daniel is more or less still driving convinced this truck driver will be our savior. He spoke no English. Fail. While the three of us are trying to understand each other, a woman pulls up out of nowhere (we determined her to be his hooker because no one else lives here and what are they doing meeting up after midnight?). She speaks a little English so the four of us try to work this out. In the meantime, I hear squealing. Truck driver man was a PIG FARMER and had at least 50 PIGS in his truck. OMG, I am in the German version of deliverance and we are going to die!!! I get back in the car to commence crying. I see pig man drive away. I see hooker drive away. We are dead. I know it. Daniel gets back in the car and calms me down a tad. We call our rental car service, Europecar, who proceeds to tell us that running out of gas does not constitute road side assistance and that it is, “your fault.” REALLY?!?!?! I find the German 911 in our travel book, which btw is 110 if you are ever in need, and the German police kindly offer assistance. They show up about 45mins later. Daniel and I are ushered into the back of the German paddy wagon and are taken to get a gas tank. We are saved!!!! We fill up and make it to our oh so adorable hotel with heated bathroom floors just shy of 2am. We sleep for 3 hours and head to the airport safe and sound. So, at the time I was convinced death was upon us or as Daniel put us, we were in a place where people get murdered, but alas we survived. And to be honest, it is one heck of a hilarious story now :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

XYZ

I remember back to elementary school and maybe even into middle school for this group of sophisticated and mature Georgians the phrase XYZ. That meant, dude, your fly is down. Apparently, XYZ actually is an abbreviation for, “examine your zipper.” I had no idea, but I got the jist back in the day. So, why is crazy talking about XYZ on Monday afternoon when she should be wrapping up work and scooting out the door to play? Um, well, it might have something to do with the fact I just walked around my office for a good hour with my fly down AND NO ONE TOLD ME. I know they saw. I know they giggled to themselves. I know they thought, oh what an idiot. And I definitely know they didn’t say one word to me let alone our favorite childhood FYI XYZ. Grrr. Why do people assume that letting someone politely, quietly know something is askew on their person is a bad thing? For the record, I would much prefer someone pull me aside and have the awkward, “hey I can see your who-ha,” or “so you have something fugly in your front teeth,” or “whoa buddy, looks like you dragged some tp out of the bathroom on your shoe” convo than have god knows how many more people see the embarrassment. It only takes one person to fix a tiny personal oppsie daisy and therefore prevent many more from becoming witness. Lucky for me, I tend to drink a hefty amount of water during the day and ended up in the bathroom before trotting passed my boss’s office. No worries, it is 4:47pm on Monday the eighteenth and I have no tp on my shoes, teeth sans greenery and now, thanks to no one in my office, my fly zipped shut as it should be on any good girl. Happy Monday kids!

I didn't dare Google image "pants zipper down" at work. Use your imagination pervs!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Earthquake

On Tuesday, a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake ripped apart Haiti and flatten it’s capital, Port-au-Prince. If you flip on any television channel or peruse the news sites, you cannot miss the full coverage of this tragedy. Headlines read, “Sleeping among the dead,” “Haiti under rubble,” “Destruction sends chills,” “Girl pulled from flattened building,” and so many other heart-wrenching snippets that offer only a miniscule flash of the aftermath. I cannot begin to imagine how terrifying an earthquake actually is let alone the unthinkable horror that follows. The people in Haiti that survived literally are walking over thousands of dead bodies that line the streets. There is nowhere to burry the dead, there is no equipment to dig possible suriviors out of collapsed concrete buildings and there certainly is not enough medical care. The three Doctor’s Without Borders facilities located in Haiti are not capable of functioning. Those and other medical caretakers are forced to set up tents in efforts to treat the injured survivors. People are walking around with open head wounds and fractured bones. There is a video currently on the CNN.com homepage showing the first moments after the quake. You can see outstretched arms from collapsed buildings begging for help.

The updates are coming in by the hour and conditions are calamitous.

Here is an easy way to help. To make a $5 donation to Haiti all you have to do is text the number 501501 and enter the word Yele. The $5 charge will appear on your phone bill at the end of the month. You can find more information about Wyclef Jean’s organization at the website:
http://www.yele.org/