My ex-boyfriend used to tell me I needed to do one thing that scared me every day. I tried not to. Now that I'm in Germany, it's hard not to, since I'm supposed to communicate in a language I'm far from perfect at. That's not everything, though.
Most of these things didn't scare me too much, and the first two don't even count. But still!
1. I've had two different delicious pseudo-Italian ice cream desserts since I've arrived, and my first gelato on Thursday night. It was delicious, mint chocolate chip, and only 0,80 €.
2. Yesterday, Maraia and I bought nectarines, but I couldn't try one because they're not ripe yet.
3. On the airplane I unhappily accepted the meal offered to me as "pasta" and ate it, despite the mushrooms that were in it. I ate around them.
4. At the cafeteria, I bought the Schnitzel and Spätzle. And even though I wasn't sure what was going on with the meat (apparently there was a piece of pear on top of it), and there was brown sauce on some of the noodles, I got it. I still don't know what kind of meat I ate—these days, Schnitzel's not always veal—but whatever it was, I ate it.
5. The next day, I cleverly left my wallet in my room and even though I could have borrowed someone's cafeteria card, I took that as a sign I didn't have to face the unfortunate choices that day. Later, I was starving, so Maraia had me eat part of her carrot-cake-flavored Clif bar. I don't even eat carrot cake! It was something to go in my stomach, and I was okay with it when Maraia was handing me pieces and I didn't look at it. Once I saw the orange pieces in it, I couldn't handle it any longer. But don't worry, I won't hold that against carrot cake. Someday, I'll try it. That evening, I turned down zucchini with the excuse that I'd already tried the Clif bar and it was enough for the day. My harasser was surprised that I would eat something that would gross normal people out, but wouldn't try zucchini.
6. One night, I ate a plate of gnocchi with pesto. Maraia: "But pesto is green!" That shouldn't have surprised her too much, considering...
7. ...that in Munich I—at long last—permitted myself to be coerced into trying a cucumber. I even took a few more unenthusiastic bites after the first one, but it seemed like a pointless thing to eat. Like watermelon, only without the sugar.
8. I did my first shot when one of the Tutoren ordered them for our table at a bar Thursday night. Afterward I couldn't open my mouth because I was afraid that would somehow make it burn more. I can't believe how hot my esophagus felt. I don't know what it was, but I was told it's "better than Jägermeister". It seemed like it was better than whiskey, but maybe that's because it was over more quickly. Plus, burning is preferable to the way whiskey tastes.
9. On Monday, September 1, 2008, my first day in the city of Freiburg im Breisgau, I allowed PIZZA to cross my lips, for the first time in fifteen years. Complete with tomato sauce. It was the only option at the welcome reception, but it wasn't even that I was that hungry. There have been plenty of situations where I was more desperate. But now I'm trying to finally try my hardest.