On Immune Systems and Stressful Situations

(I’ve added a few more pictures from my camera than normal into this post! Click on them to make them bigger if you want to see them in more detail.)

The stress levels have been up this week. From trying to cook mince, tatties and veg with only two pans, paying the extortionate sum of 3 euros for a small packet of pine nuts, accidently crossing the road on a red man (illegal in this country) to rollerblading on some dangerously slippy leaves – it has not been easy. So we visited Thalkirche Tierpark (Zoo). This zoo was seriously cool – from the clever design of the enclosures making you feel like there was nothing between you and a lion to the funky beer gardens. I decided to enter the bat cave – big mistake. There were bats everywhere, flying in your face and everything, it was carnage. I made a quick exit.

Thalkirche Zoo – no zoom used on this picture, you are actually that close to the lion.
Having a chat with a baboon - just before he turned round and showed us his colourful bum
Having a chat with a baboon – just before he turned round and showed us his colourful bum
An elephant shrew. Aka the cutest little thing in the world.
An elephant shrew. Aka the cutest little thing in the world.
Anteater up close.
Anteater up close.
The leaves make it dangerous to rollerblade but on the plus side they are also making it very pretty around here. Especially for someone who comes from a no-tree island.  This was taken in the Englisher Garten.
The Isar River looking pretty in Autumn one night last week.

DSC_0145 DSC_0146

When I got home I watched the news and learned that the first Ebola patient had died in Leipzig. I had just visited Wolfsburg the week before to visit the Autostadt (very cool place) and we had driven past Leipzig. At this point I was already applying the hand sanitizer and worrying when I decided to google ‘Ebola’. Huge mistake. Turns out a major carrier of the disease is bats. Obviously I immediately started to feel ill. I have been assured that I should be OK, however I couldn’t help but move seats on the UBahn today when a man was sneezing near me.

I decided to ditch the daily pilgrimage to the bakery for a pretzel (and yes they have actual pretzel vending machines here – mind blown) and chose instead to eat some fruit and veg. The courgettes are especially fresh here. Time to boost up the immune system I think.

Oh and I also entered a maths lecture by accident this morning and had to endure the walk of shame right from the back to make a swift exit after 10 minutes. I sit at the back not because I am a badman, but because I do not want anyone to be able to read my jumbled half-English half-German notes and therefore have my cover blown as the year-abroad kid.

However, there is nothing quite like the arrival of a 4 day weekend (Fridays and Mondays off) to cheer a stressed-out student up. That and the discovery that all the fitness classes run by the council are completely free if you’re under 21 – how amazing is that? I do need to firstly overcome my lazy ‘Innerer Schweinhund’ (inner pig dog – yet another untranslatable but beautiful German phrase) before lacing up my running shoes. Maybe I’m just suffering from the ‘wow this is new, everything is better’ year abroad student mindset but right now I really think the Germans have things sussed a little bit better than we do.

Just one last leaves picture – sorry – I can’t help myself! I could stare at these colours all day

3 thoughts on “On Immune Systems and Stressful Situations

  1. Hi Jennifer,

    I’m enjoying reading your blog. Make the best of the stressful situations. As for the immune system – yes, be very careful. We also have an “Ebola” scare which is something not to take lightly.

    I’m now wondering about my kids who live in Houston Texas. They have a colony of bats that is almost a tourist attraction. Our other children are visiting there and I wonder if they went to see the bats. They talked about it.

    On a better note, you talked about making mince. I haven’t had that in years!! Certainly was a regular supper in our household as kids. I should make some, too.

    Enjoy your time experiencing another country and lifestyle.

    Best Wishes from Donna in Colorado


    • Hi Donna! Thanks for reading along! The Ebola outbreak is really not good and I really hope that they manage to get a hold of it before it becomes uncontrollable. We will just have to be very careful.
      When it comes to the bats, I’m pretty sure that it is only fruit bats who carry the disease and even then, you have to actually have handled the meat of the bat to catch it! And even then the bats actually have to have been exposed to the disease. I just worried about it in the same way that when someone tells you they have a sick bug you immediately start to feel sick – even though you are perfectly fine, all in the head!
      That’s really cool they have bats, fascinating creatures. In German they are called ‘Fledermaus’ which literally translates to flying mouse.
      Oh mince is great meal to have on a cold day! Enjoy!
      Hope you are well.


  2. Another really interesting and entertaining post. Lovely photos too. I have been in a lecture where it was the lecturer who realised he was in the wrong place!


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