Paige's Return to Deutschland!

Hallo Berlin! This blog will be a place for friends and family to get very occasional snip-its on Biggs' life in Germany.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New Croatian Friends

Hillary's hommies Ena and Tina are rad. We met for Indian food in Zagreb. Good times were had by all.

Making friends one piece of gum at a time

We had a bit of communication break down with this conductor. In the end we realized that he just wanted gum. Good times.

What can I say, I'm a sucker for fresh fruit.

You can also see in this picture that Maya, Hillary's friend from Osijek, thinks I am nuts.

EWEB in Osijek

Who knew the very same fountain exists in Eugene and Osijek? You can't see it that well at night so you will just have to take my word for it.

Tall, dark, and bumpy - just how I like 'em

Monday, October 29, 2007

In Berlin Trash is IN

I’m back home - in Berlin! I arrived a few days ago in good spirits after my two week holiday. My digital camera mooching only resulted in photos from Croatia. But, I essentially have dial-up at the moment so I'll have to upload the photos sometime at an internet cafe. In the meanwhile, I’ll give you a bit of info about the trip so that you so know what I was up to.

I received an absolute hero’s welcome back in Hungary. I was a bit worried about returning because I thought that maybe no one would remember me or wouldn’t be excited that I came. It was the exact opposite. My friends were so accommodating and my former roommate Lili even hosted a girls’ night for us to hang out. I was able to see all of the people I love in just two days. There will always be a little place in my heart for Pécs especially more so now because I know that I will always be welcome.

From Pécs I took the train down to Croatia to visit my friend Hillary from UW. We started out in Osijek, went to Fuzine (where she lives and works), took a day trip to Rijeka, and then spent a day in Zagreb. As you’ll note from the pictures below we had a great time and Hillary was a great hostess. Hillary fell in love with Croatia because of her work in peace and reconciliation – or so she says. After spending a week there, I would say she fell in love with the natural beauty and the very attractive men. You’ll see one of my boyfriends once I load the photos. :)

During my holiday I also got the chance to do a little more exploring of Germany. I spent a couple days with my parents near Stuttgart with family friends. From there, I had a nice day trip in Frankfurt where I met some new friends involved with a really cool Four Square Church called Ichtys. Then I went to Hannover to visit my friends Ulf and Bettina. Hannover was really really fun. Between Bettina’s amazing cooking, Ulf’s incredible tour guiding skills, a run through the forest in the middle of the city, biking around, among other fun stuff – I was sold. I must admit that I was a bit snooty before this trip as I thought that Berlin was the only place worth living in Germany. I’ve realized that I could be happy living in a bunch of different places here.

With that being said, I’m very excited that I am living in Berlin. Yes, I have a place to live. I am staying with a friend of a friend named Jörn. It looks like he is going to be moving to a village in a couple days and then I’ll have a roommie only every once and awhile when he comes back on weekends. It’s a bummer because Jörn is a cool kid and it would be nice to hang out. But, we’ve decided to maximize the time that we do have together which is cool.

Oh, I should explain the title of this blog. It is a translated quote from Kirel, my friend Anja’s boyfriend. Kirel told me that “trash is in” to make me feel more comfortable about walking around town on Sunday morning in my Cheeta/Cat/Puss in Boots Halloween costume. I crashed on a friend’s couch on Saturday night after a Halloween party and then ended up exploring the city still wearing the costume the next day. As you can see, I never run out of ways to stay busy and have fun.

Contact Info Fun

Paige Beckley
C/O Jörn Blume
Aalesunder Straße 1
10439 Berlin
+49 (0) 173 192 3137 cell
+49 (0) 30 44 67 4797 landline

Monday, October 08, 2007

And the Oscar goes to….

Paige Beckley for her portrayal of an experienced Hungarian researcher at the Equity in Access to Health Promotion, Treatment and Care for all European Women Conference.

The subject line is a bit of an exaggeration. I did not in fact pretend to be Hungarian or experienced at the conference. I was just a bit out of my league and tried to appear confident. The presentation itself went pretty well. Most of you know that I don’t have much problem talking in general and a crowd is no big deal. I actually only presented my research in front of 10 people because the conference broke into working groups when I presented. But then I volunteered to present a short summary of the findings of our working group to the rest of the conference. Thus, I did get a bit more exposure in the end. After that small presentation I was asked to speak on a panel in front of the group. We were given the question, “What is the biggest women’s health problem?” I gave a beauty pageant-esk response but at least it was clear and concise. Oh man.

While I did meet a lot of people at this conference and sell myself almost shamelessly, it does not appear that I have a job. Bummer. But, I did make a lot of contacts which some day could result in something. So, it looks like I am going with option 1: Go to Berlin and stay in Berlin. I’m excited about it though. I’ll spend my time here finally finishing my thesis corrections, improving my German, hanging out with my little friend below, and trying to find a job that tops selling Karaoke machines at Costco. (Tops = even more ridiculous.) I haven’t changed my plane ticket yet because I don’t know about coming home for Christmas just yet. I will be posting that information sometime soon.

I take off on Wednesday morning for a trip around Hungary, Croatia, and Southern Germany. I’ll be gone for two weeks before coming back and finding a place to live here in Berlin. Thanks for your prayers, crossed fingers, and Daumen drücken for the conference, jobs, and life and general. I appreciate the support.

Smarter than a toddler?

I have to explain my facial expression. Sophie was sticking out her tongue for the camera. I joined and then she smiled before the click. The girl is a genius really. She comes from excellent stock - my friend Joanna and her husband Timo.