Spooky Tales, Invasive Birds, and Disturbance

November 8

It’s dark and cold outside, but some street lights light your way home. You can hear the wind blowing, and nothing else. You’ve always walked this path, and sometimes you’ll see some dogs or birds in the brushes. But then you hear a strange and distant sound. They sound like thumping. It’s probably someone who’s also taking a night stroll or heading back home. But you feel uneasy. The thumps get louder and closer.

When you finally turn to see who is behind you, you are met face to face with something or someone that startles you, freezing up from fear. Its face pale. Eyes hollowed out. Mouth agape wide open of broken or missing teeth. It reeks of decomposition. Despite the grotesque features, you notice that this thing is covered in a white shroud with ropes tied above its head, around its neck, and below its feet. This is the Pocong. What would you do in this situation? Fight or flight? Or perhaps…maybe you should hug it.

The Pocong is a story from Indonesia and Malaysia, and it’s also the story I’m focusing my project on for story telling class along with two other students. Albeit a short story, there could be a deeper meaning the more you analyze the story and compare it with other stories from around the world.

November 9

Uh oh, it looks like there is nothing to highlight for this day!

November 10

As I left the sociology faculty building, I look up at the trees. The leaves are changing colors and many have already fallen onto the ground. I decided to observe my surrounding carefully, maybe there is a reptile or bird camouflaged in the trees or bushes! I heard some calls of a bird. They’re not familiar, but I continued to scan the area. Where could that sound come from?

More bird calls, and a green blur flew into my line of sight. Green? I understand black, gray, and brown, but green? That’s my first time seeing something so bright and green in the sky. Up in the trees, there perched a Rose-Ringed Parakeet. Wow, the colors of their beaks and feathers are so vibrant! Like the sparrows and finches, they can adapt to disturbed habitats like the city, but these are an invasive species.

A male Rose-Ringed Parakeet. Image by Frank Indiviglio on ThatBirdBlog

On my way home, I noticed an increase number of police walking around.

“It’s probably an accident,” I thought. “I haven’t personally seen any though.”

I kept walking towards my tram to return home and there were even more police! When I hopped onto the tram, I look out to see several police cars lined up. This was just outside the main building of the university. I never figured out what was going on.

This is what a typical police car in Germany may look like.

November 11

Today is a free day, and I plan on using it to thoroughly clean my room! The only disadvantage? I have to walk stairs just to go to another building to use the laundromat. It gets tiring when you have a lot to clean! But it feels great to know I am taking care of the room so it’s just as nice as it was when I first arrived.

Is there any other news? Yes! Great news! MaExchange is finally underway with their social media, and I hope this project will be successful and especially helpful for both students in this semester and the next!

The 2 final logos. We decided on the first version!

November 12

When you live in Germany, there are quiet hours. That means keep your voice to an indoor voice after a certain hour. This should also be followed during Sundays. But when you live in a student residence area, there will be…the party animals.

I appreciate the times when it is quiet- I can focus on work! Most of the problems occur late at night, maybe after 11 PM and well past midnight, sometimes even 3 in the morning! Sure, people can enjoy their parties, but not to the point where I can clearly hear people screaming and having to listen to the same music blasting over and over. And this is just one building over! Let’s just say…I kept hearing the same noise repeatedly and didn’t sleep until 5 AM. Guess who’s sleeping in? Me.

Jellyfish jam reference anyone?

A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:

The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.

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