Ruth's Diary


I'm soooo full! I've just come back from a birthday party and my God the cakes kept coming! I had some homebaked Sachertorte (chocolate cake with marmelade filling-invented in Vienna), a chilled Orange Torte and some German cheesecake. Why did Tatyana have to introduce me to German cheesecake? Now I can't stop eating the stuff!

The first birthday party I went to this weekend was the house party held by a housemate who turned 20 on Wednesday. Now house parties in this place tend to go quite smoothly, but I couldn't help the trepidation: first off, I had a 24-hour-overnight-essay to do (out of total necessity, I managed to research, plan and complete an 8-page-essay in 8 hours, that's got to be a record-mind you part of the reason I forced myself to do such a thing was because I knew about this party and I wanted to sleep easy once I was tired enough) and secondly, the last time we had a house party just oh...8 or 9 weeks ago a neighbour angrily rang the doorbell at 8:30 the next morning and complained about the noise. I told Michelle it would be a bad idea to keep the music loud after midnight and...I was right. The police crept along at something like 00:30, simply parking the car and shining torches through our kitchen windows. Now this is a quiet area: no one patrols here, someone (probably the same complainer as last time) rang the all-important 112.

Saying that though, the officers were nice. We didn't get a ticket, no fine, no nothing. After that, all the windows were shut and the volume strictly regulated from the boyfriend. It was at this point I realised it was quiet enough that I could shut out the noise with the door in the corridor (on my level) and finally get some sleep.

Saturday I saw Angela Merkel (as well as the current European Parliament President Hans-Gering Pottering). By God she truly is a good speaker. It was funny when she acknowledged the protest chants (they were mostly against tuition fees-the state of German education is a hot topic right now).

Today's election day. Unlike in Britain the voting timeslot here is very strict: 10am-6pm. So anyway, I went to the designated school (even in Germany you vote in a school!) and got given instructions about what to do with the voting papers once I was done with them. I was surprised she didn't ask to see my passport, I was instructed to bring it but apparently just walking in holding a blatantly German passport was all the lady needed. The votes for the local positions I had already filled out, so I just had to slot them in a blue envelope. The kinds of parties standing here are the big 5 (centre-right, centre-left, liberal, green and socialist) plus 2 sets of independent candidates, a set of "alternative green" candidates (seriously, that's the name) plus a purely Heidelberg party called 'Generation-HD', very trendy. Now for the European elections I just had to pick a party to get all the German seats. Would you believe the amount of parties striving for those 8 seats? (At least I think it was 8.) 31! 31 parties! I was sorta not surprised to see the Familienpartei there (Dad supports them-this is the only way I could've known of their existence 'cos several native Germans definitely don't) but a big surprise was that not 1 but 2 parties representing pensioners were standing.

Current song in my head: 'The Devil Does Drugs' by My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult (it sounds a lot more menacing than it actually is)

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