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November 2006

The Halloween party organized by the school was great. Almost everybody wore a costume. It was so much fun. With my Scream mask and the included blood effect I was able to scare a few girls. A lot of teachers showed up.
And now the best part: I only paid for one beer but I had about three (I think) and a Martini. The school director (actually he’s just the assistant school director, but the school director is never here because he’s moving from Ireland to New York) paid the rest! I left the party, which was on Tuesday of course, at about 2.40 am. Thanks to the 24/7 subway I was in bed at 4 am.

New York is a great city if you like going to concerts. I wanted to go to the Killers concert but I was one day too late, it was sold out. Almost every week there is a very good band playing, like the Rolling Stones last week. I don’t even remember who else. Next Thursday (11/9) I’m going to the Death Cab for Cutie concert in the Madison Square Garden Thater. In February I’d like to go to see Justin Timberlake. Tickets went on sale last Saturday. They were still available during the week, so I’m trying to order some tomorrow.

Today I went grocery shopping with my host-family. Actually I can’t really describe it. You have to see the shop by yourself. It’s huge. And so are the products you can buy. Just one thing I want to mention: from far the bag filled with about fifteen onions looked like it would contain oranges.

After having dinner with Marie and her other friends I entered the Subway at about 12 o’clock (or later). I was always wondering how they clean 24/7 stores, for example. Now I know how they clean the subway. They basically float it with a lot of water and soap. So it could happen to you that the stairs you want to go up look more like the Niagara Falls than anything else. Except for the soap bubbles.

This Wednesday I had lunch with my relative and walked down Fifth Avenue about 20 blocks to go to school. In a specific cross street there were a lot of people just sitting there. “What the …?!” I thought. Later I found out that they already must have been waiting for the new Playstation, which is released today. I went to Best Buy to take a look at it. The graphics are quite good but not that much better than an X-Box 360’s (yet). But would you pay 500 bucks?!!
Also released this week: the Zune. By Microsoft, by the way. Its color (at least of the demo model), brown, was horrible. It’s too big and the user interface sucks. What looks like a wheel does not work like a wheel! One could say that the display is a little bit bigger than the iPod’s. True, but the resolution is the same! And you always have to turn it 90 degrees if you want to see a video.
Next week I have to check out the Wii, the new console from Nintendo, going to be released on Sunday. In the commercials the controllers look awesome, so far. I’ve already seen the actual console today. It’s very tiny. I’m looking forward to playing it.

I was just checking out the new Wii, made by Nintendo. And I have to say: this tiny console definitely rocks. I was playing a racing game. I had to control the car by moving around the controller. It was difficult but so much fun. I think I have to go to the Nintendo Center to play the Call of Duty 3 too.

In the morning I went with the students living with the same host-family to school to watch the Macy’s parade. The balloons were huge. My favorite was Scooby Doo.
In the afternoon we had dinner with our host-family, including some relatives. I think we were about 15 people. We didn’t eat a turkey but a lot of other delicious food. And by “a lot” I mean a lot! Then the guys watched football. And after football Spiderman 2.

For those of you who don’t know what Black Friday is: It’s the day when every New Yorker (and American) tries to make as many bargains as possible.
The streets were crowded. I wanted to go to the Apple Store (of course – what have you expected?!) to see if there were any special sales…
Now I’m a proud owner of a silver 2GB iPod nano, a Nike + iPod sensor, an armband for running and Nike earplugs.

We went to the movies and watched Déjà Vu. I can only recommend this movie. Denzel Washington is – of course – great. The movie is funny, contains a lot of action, love and makes you think about traveling in time and changing the future. It’s the first movie that plays in New Orleans after Katrina. Funny detail: the Apple stickers on the Hummer H1 which is used to pursue the bad guy.

Today I had to try my new running equipment out. It was awesome. I never had that much fun doing exercises. My physical condition is really bad though. There’s a reservoir in my neighborhood where I can run around. The distance is almost 3 miles, which is perfect. I received live feedback from a nice female voice whenever I wanted and I was listening to my music. Now I can plug my iPod into my computer to evaluate how I was doing. Check out for more infos.

About a month ago I read an announcement on the page of Nada Surf about an upcoming concert. I hadn’t seen it before, though. The concert wasn’t part of a tour. It was organized by Cingular and others. To get tickets you had to subscribe by text message. I did that. Last week, on my birthday, I received a text message about the concert. I had to respond immediately. Luckily I was fast enough and won two tickets to my favorite band’s concert. Unfortunately the last line of the message said it was 21+. Well, I had one week to think about it. They checked for the ID’s, of course, but thanks to Photoshop & Co. I could solve that problem and got in.
The concert was awesome. Nada Surf rocked. I would have given almost anything to see them. But it was free! I felt so lucky there. They played all their best songs. The atmosphere was great. The Hiro Ballroom in the Maritime Hotel is pretty small but very nice, decorated with Asian art and Christmas stuff. Everybody was very close to the band.
Best Monday night ever! And one of my goals for New York completed.