The German version of daylight savings time started this weekend, and man is it getting dark early! It's not even 5pm yet and I have to have the lights on in here (though admittedly my apartment is cavelike). I do love fall, though. Heidelberg was really beautiful today. On to the matters at hand:
* I asked some friends a bit about Schwarzfahren. One said that in eight years of riding trams, she had only seen an inspector once, and it didn't appear that too many people on the train were without tickets when it happened. She also had a friend who experimented to see which was cheaper: buying tickets as appropriate, or just riding without a ticket and paying the fine when caught. As it turned out for this friend, Schwarzfahren is cheaper. However, it's not without consequences, as a certain unknown number of offenses leads to a larger punishment - what, she wasn't sure. So, don't do it regularly!
* I finally replied to the birthday email from the secretary at work after she emailed me about it again and then came by my office in person to ask me about it. I suggested credit to a place that sells CDs, for lack of better ideas. Cash wasn't an option. So, I can get myself half a CD with it, if this works out. (Any recommendations??)
* I haven't come up with an idea of what to take in to work for my birthday, though, having been busy with a particularly nasty piece of homework. The whole office seemed to know about the birthday, so it really is my duty at this point to take a different 10 EUR and spend it on all of them. The problem is that I come from the sort of place where you don't buy something and bring it to a party - you make it. I can't seem to get past the nagging thought that it's uncool to get a cake at the bakery instead of making one. Plus, I kind of like to make something, because it's personal, and feels like less of a little token thing I have to do. However, being transplanted and not rich enough to ship my kitchen across the Atlantic with me, I'm lacking in so many baking necessities! I don't have the right cake pans. Then I thought about pie, because it's so American but yet doesn't taste too foreign to the German palate. But no pie pans, no rolling pin.... And since we don't know how long we will be here, and have all this stuff already, just not with us, it's hard to convince myself that I should buy it. However, I haven't checked with people to see if there are some of these things that I could borrow out there somewhere. My other idea was cookies, because we do have a pan that works as a cookie sheet, and Germans seem to like those, too. However, a couple of people in the office were iffy on that idea - it's not an event to eat cookies like it is to eat something that requires a plate and fork. Of course the last idea is to just get over it and go to the bakery and buy something already made. :) Whew, as if getting older weren't stress enough.