Living with a concentration camp in your backyard

When I converted to Judaism a year ago, my rabbi told me that as a convert I would never have an asterisk next to my religion. In choosing a life of Judaism, I would be fully Jewish, without exception. I believed this to be true until the day I stepped foot on the grounds of Buchenwald concentration camp.


The old train tracks that led to Buchenwald.

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Getting a German driver’s license

(Blah, blah, Becky is boring. I want to try some driver’s test questions!)

The blog has been quiet these past couple months because our lives have been crazy-busy. Craig and I were both engrossed in our respective projects, each incredibly difficult. While I was working towards finishing my PhD work, he was struggling just as hard to make sense of the German driving rules in preparation for his written driver’s test (and the corresponding German bureaucracy surrounding it). It’s humorous to suggest that one would have to work as hard preparing for a driver’s test as writing a dissertation, but I assure you I am not being sarcastic.

First off, let’s discuss what it takes to get a driver’s license in Germany. As you may know, Craig has been driving throughout Germany for a few months already, and he was doing so legally. German law states that holders of US driver’s licenses may drive in Germany for up to 6 months, but must obtain a German license after that. As Craig’s 6 month grace period was set to expire, it was essential that he pass his driver’s test to acquire a valid license or build a teleportation device to get him to and from work.

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5 instances of reverse culture shock from my trip back to the US

After living in Germany for a little over 3 months, I recently traveled “home” to the US to defend my thesis (spoiler alert: I passed!). It was honestly a little bit strange going back after having largely adjusted to life in Leipzig. I took notice of things that were once completely ordinary to me. Call it reverse culture shock or maybe just a heightened cultural awareness, but here are the things that made me think twice:


Home sweet Minneapolis. (That giant thing is the new Viking’s football stadium.)

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