Thursday, November 20, 2014


Sorry this is so late, I didn't have internet access while in Berlin so I wasn't able to write very much. 

Like I said before, I am in Belin to see a friend. Germany, to be honest is not really a place, I have every desired to go - thus I knew and still know very little about the culture or much of its history (past what we learned about WWII).

George was kind enough to let me sleep on his couch and show me a bit of the city. We hit a museum,  the protostant Cathedral, some historical sites and even saw a movie. I thanks him for taking the time out to show me around, it was nice to catch up. 

I am at the airport so I don't have too much time to talk about every place but here are some pics. 

1st German meal - Ribs, a potato and cole slaw! It was the best ribs I have had since moving to the UK. 

George at the Restaurant the 1st night. 

We found a Art Fair! It was lovely.

The National Gallery 

The inside of the Berliner Dome

A miniature of the Berliner Dome 

One of the last standing palaces from Prussia

At the Berlin Wall - surprisingly smaller than I thought. 

One thing that I saw that I though was....intersting was this:

I laughed at first and then thought, 'how intersting that they choose to put 'Black Music' rather than just leaving it as 'Hip-Hop/R&B'. I personally find race in Europe is very intersting, like super intersting. I am going to do a post about it for sure but it is interesting how white Europeans talk about race compared to Europeans of color - two completely different stories. But isn't that the same in the US.... *yup I said it!*

Over all, I am sure Berlin is a nice place, but I can't say that for sure because I don't think I know too much about it or the culture there. Would I go back? hmmm right now, definitely not for leisure. 



Friday, November 14, 2014

Always on that American Struggle Bus!

Hello from Cologne! 

Now for the Americans out there, has anyone ever heard of Cologne? Maybe I am an idiot but I never took a class on European cities, so my geographical understanding of Europe, past France maybe, is lacking I am sure. Actually when I first came to school here, I bought a massive world map for my wall so that I could familiarize myself with many of the countries we were discussing. 

Anyway, I had a 4 hour layover in a place called Cologne? Which is....? *google search* Its in Germany! Since it is painfully clear that I don't know where I am, I decided to look up Cologne and learn a bit more about it. 

Cologne in 5 Facts!
1. Cologne is the 4th largest city in Germany and one of its oldest.
2. It is a popular toursit destination due to its over 40 museums, 100 art gallaries and one of the largest shopping streets in Europe. 
3. It has a museum completly dedicated to Chocolate.
4. It has its own beer called Kolsch.
5. It holds one of the largest Pride events in Europe!

Pretty cool right!? 

I decided to learn about this all while sitting by the window having a "German meal' of a fried chicken patty and a prezel (this is where I wrote my last post as well). 

I am not sure if this is a traditional meal but it was on the menu and the lady told me that you would have the patty with either bread or the prezel - most people get the prezel. It was yummy! I was going to have a drink but they only have beer (obviously!), no cider :( 

Its time to get on my flight to Berlin! 

Freilos! (bye)


 PS. Anyone have any apps that I should get for my travels? I will have cell coverage in some countries and not in others. 

Euro-Trip - MJ Style!

Hi everyone, 

Welp, this is frustrating. I have tried to write this blog about 3 times and neither times did it save! So here we go again.  

I AM DOING A EURO TRIP! Clearly, I am excited. Since I am done with school essentially (waiting for my final grades) and I am moving back to the US, I figured this was probably going to be the only time for me to get to see Europe. Now, I am not doing one of those epic "3 months around Europe" - ain't nobody got the time (thank you UK VISA) or the money (the exchange rate thoooooo) for all that. But I am going to travel for about 2 weeks. 

I am going to try to blog my way though this. haha I know, I know that is what I said about Scotland and I didn't but hopefully I will keep up the motivation and I think I will have to time. But don't expect anything epic, I am not a writer or a storyteller. Its almost ironic, since I have choosen the field of social science and I am not a writer :/

So where am I going?
1. Berlin, Germany
2. Prague, Czech Republic
3. Rome, Italy
4. Naples (Napoli), Italy
5. Barcelona, Spain

There was no real idea behind why I choose these destinations - on the exception of Barcelona (I am in love with Spanish food!). When I initally wrote this I spoke about Prague and its interesting history and my interest from a social standpoint but I think I will leave that for later. 

Now, who are you going with Michelle? Welp, noone actually - just me, myself and I. While I am resigned to it, it is kind of a security issue, one and two, a personal issue. From a secutiry standpoint, I am alone, in countries where I neither know anyone or know the language - kind of intimidating. We all saw Hostel or Taken right? I don't have Liam Neeson to save me from being sold into the sex slave industry (yes, that is real). But that might be my American paranoa - I have noticed the way I see things is EXTREMELY different from how people here see it. Anyway, I should stop before I make my mom cry. I should be fine - I will remember to be aware and don't go anywhere alone (especially at night), I should be fine. 

I think personally, I am more afraid of being alone with myself on "vacation". My mind says you go on walks alone, or maybe a day or 2 to get away but not weeks. But it seems very common here to do "solo travel" or at least that is what I am being told - I am not sure. I recently met a girl, who did it in the States and East Asia. There are many blogs with tips and tricks to help ensure you have a good time. Apparently you get the chance to meet lots of people and it can be quite enjoyable. I am not sold on it at all but only time will tell. I am not staying in one of those hostel with rooms of 6, 12 or 16 people so I don't know about all of this mingling, but again only time will tell. 

I actually won't be alone in Berlin - I am going to say with a friend George! George is dating one of my best friends and fellow LOTA, Mary He is there for a semester for grad school! I am grateful to be starting with a familar face.

The Three of Us at my Christmas Party! 

Anyway, overall despite the fears, I am super excited! I am sitting here with my Euro-stype backpack, (curtesy of my awesome flatemate) - eating a prezel and chicken patty, (actually a great combination -way to go for my 1st german meal), feeling hopeful about the next couple of weeks.

Until next time! 


PS - I am doing this on my iPad so it is going to be super simple and the spell check doesn't alert me to there may be typos - I will fix those and the hyperlinks later. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Time to go home?

It's so strange, all my life I have wanted to travel abroad and come to the UK and now I am here anddddd....I am just disappointed with my experience here.

Maybe I came to the wrong school or the wrong country but since I have returned from being home, I have not been happy. Are my expectations too high? I think I thought I was going to get here, LOVE my classes, LOVE my school, meet fun new people and experience all the cool things Scotland has to offer. And the exact opposite has happened. My friends are coming here in a month, and I have nothing to really show them because I haven't experienced them myself. How lame.

Am I not putting in enough effort? Am I going out and meeting people whose interest are aligned with mine? Clearly not! Am I a city girl living in a not so city place? Or do I just miss my family and friends? Or do I just feel alone? Probably a combination of all of it.

I can't even put my feelings into words because I don't even understand it. I feel like I have made some changes in terms of taking action to do new things, meet new people, be a better me but I am still not feeling it.

I have never been away from home so maybe that confounded with everything else is just too much. But at this point, I want to make plans to return home for the semester. Do I feel like I am giving up, yes, but do I care?

But my friend said to me today, you learn so much about yourself when you go abroad. Maybe this is what I am learning about myself. Do I need a strong, consistent support network around me to thrive? I think so, because living without it completely is not working.

Anyone else feel like this when they went abroad?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More Photos!

Like I promised before, I had created some blogs from last semester, so I will put them up!

Here are some photos more photos from my first couple of weeks :)

 Church on the Royal Mile

This is the place where J.K. Rowling wrote some of her Harry Potter Books!
As you can imagine, I freaked out when I saw it!


 Stella, me, Hedda, Bea and Femme
(left to right)

Edinburgh Castle

In other news, I got carded when I tried to buy a kitchen knife! LOL WHAT!? I have yet to be carded for alcohol or nightclubs....but I did go my pink kitchen knife.


Monday, January 20, 2014

New Years Resolutions

I know, I know, it has been a looooonnnnnggggg time since I have put up a blog. I had a family emergency and had to leave school and Scotland early in November to return to the States. But I have some blogs that I wrote about the previous semester that I will post soon.

BUT....I do want to say, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had an a amazing holiday season.

So like most people, every year you make new years resolutions. So below are mine! They are not super life-changing but it is nice to have a list to refer to!

Michelle's New Years Resolutions!

1. Be More Honest - about my feelings in regards to school, friends, family everything!

2. Go Out More/Be More Social - Super vague, I know but the only way to meet people in general is to NOT be in my house. I need to use my organisation skills and schedule in time to be out and have fun and then actually do it : /

3. Go Exploring - I created a Pintest board with all the places I want to go! Got any suggestions? LET ME KNOW!
        But I did by a ticket to London, Bath and the castle where Downtown Abbey is filmed, so that is    
        a start!

4. Get back in to Theatre - I feel like it has been too long (2 years..WHAT) since I have had any involvement in Theatre. The hard thing with my school is that there is a theatre society (group) but I think it is geared towards undergraduates, but I should still check.

5. Go to the Gym Regularly!

6. Create and stick to a Budget! - I have an app for it and now I am going to use it!

7. To Wear More Colour - I have notice my closet has gotten darker and darker over the past year. Gone are the days of fun festive prints, replaced with dark greys and blacks. I am not even sure when or how it happened! So I want to try to wear more colour, at least once a week or when I go out, something.

I am going to make a motivation board for these to make sure I remember to stick to this!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Boys, Boys, Boys

Or the lack there of! Today a friend of mine asked me what was happening on the men front here in Scotland. I was a bit ashamed to say there is nothing happening. It is the probably one of the questions people as me the most about - "Ohhhh how are the men!? HOTT!?" But I just don't really know. We all know I am a bit of an awkward turtle but I go out, have fun, dance like most people but nope, nothing!

Shanghai Nightclub in Edinburgh 

See! FUN FUN FUN! On one hand I am not surprised, I am a real rarity in this country (0.2% of population is considered Black, Black Scottish, Black British including African, Caribbean). But on the other hand I am sort of shocked.

But I think this speaks to a bigger problem that I am having, which I sort of anticipated - I don't have any Scottish friends (BUT I do have friends!). But I am not exaggerating, on the exception of my one classmate, I don't know a single Scottish person. How do most college students meet people? During orientation or school functions. But my program just had events within my specific school and so I don't know anyone else who goes here (other than my flatmates). When I go out, I am with my classmates but we never meet anyone from Scotland. How is that possible!? What does that mean?

Anyone have any suggestions?! I sort of don't know how to remedy the situation.

Well there is always hoping that one of these show up soon ; )
 (PS. do you know how long it took me to find a black man in a kilt!? AGES!)