generally when I go grocery shopping here I try to avoid or walk very quickly with my eyes on the floor through the snack food/candy section but today I slowed long enough to see a back of something called 'Peanut Flips' which I had to try. They look about like cheesey poofs, but not so orange and taste just like peanut butter! but light and crunchy. mmmm. Now I can't stop eating them. I figure they can't be too unhealthy, the bag says the're 40% peanut. Do these exsist in the US and I just don't know about it? The bag is all in english and has an american flag on it. But then, in germany 'American!' is something of a sales gimmick. Packaged sliced white bread is usually labeled 'American' or 'Californian sandwhich' bread. I don't know where the Californian came from... as far as I know wonderbread is sold nation wide, but ok.
On to other interesting german cultural information... I learned on Sunday that way back when sometime when a lot of people around here were quite poor (I'm not good with history, ok?) the government decided to buy a big plot of land outside the city to divide up and lend out to citizens so that they could grow their own food and not starve. Today these plots of land still excist and can be rented out by citizens living in apartments or whatnot to use as a sort of backyard. Frau Hensel has one of these little gardens and its absolutely adorable. I actually saw a few groups of them from the train on my way here and couldn't figure out what they were, it looked like a trailor park only with really nice landscaping, or maybe a little knome village. Most people build a little cabin on the property and plant lots of flowers and/or Vegatables. We (Elena, Heike, Silke, Brandon and I) went to Frau Helsel's garden on sunday for tea and cake. We walked around and everyone there actually smiled and said hello! I couldn't believe it, I guess germans can be friendly, it just takes a little gardening to bring it out. We also went on a looooong bike ride and toured a couple pretty little old churches. I love that even though I live five min. away from the center of the city I also live five min. away from picturesque german countryside. After some bratwurst for dinner we all went to a german film in a little independant theater nearby. We saw 'Silke gets the blues' About a cute fat old german man who plays the accordian and goes to the US- specifically Texas and Luisiana. Not terribly much happens plot wise, but the charactors were funny. So that was a fun day, I guess when Frau Hensel invites me over for tea I should consider the whole day booked up from now on...
Monday morning I decided it was probably about time to get my act together and get my student Visa, which I did whithout too much trouble. I had to wait a couple hours, but other than that it was fairly painless. So, yay! I'm officially allowed to stay now! Tuesday I continued my productive streak and went to a translation class I wanted to get into and there turned out to be open spaces so I talked to the proffesor and am in! The proff is actually from Virginia and went to UVA, go figure. She's also the third young female professor that I'll have this semester, which seems unuseual to me, most UR english profs tend to be old white men. So, I think I have my classes pretty much set now. I'll be taking that Deutsch/English tranlation class, Theatre of the Enlightenment, Contract situations in Lit and Philosophy, the history of german language, The Artist in texts of the 18-20th century, and Kafka's stories. Those are all rough english translations of the real titels, they're all taught in german with the exception of the translation course. Interesting, no? I can still drop one if I want to, that all adds up to 15 credits and I only need 12. Or I can fail one... but I'll try to avoid that. Only three are seminars which require me to do actual work like reading and writing papers and doing a presentation, the rest are just lectures.
So I'm finally feeling rather settled in here. I've got things somewhat figured out, got my classes, made some friends, know my way around, and I don't feel like I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off anymore. So, all is well in Münsterland :) (The land all around Münster is really called Münsterland, its like the metro area I guess, but it makes me feel like I'm living in a folk tale). Oh, the title of this post means something like 'Once upon a time in Münsterland...' The literal translation would be 'It was one time in...' but at any rate its the way that all the Grim Brothers fairy tales begin.
Monday, April 26
My oh my... its been a while, I don't know what to write about. I'll just do the usuall chronological journal I guess. Right... Thursday I had another volesung, Der Kunstler: the representation of the aesthetic in texts from the 18-20th Century. It should be interesting, its about how the artist has been portrayed in literature. Then... I dont remember. Friday I went and took the C-test, a german proficiency test, I didn't do terribly well but it was a dumb test and I didn't see all of the directions. I don't really need it for anything anyway. Friday night Heike came over and had a few drinks with Elena and I before we went to the 'semesteranschluss' party in a nearby bar. It was fun, we danced a bit and made fun of the terrible terrible music they played- as afore mentioned. Saturday I went with Elena to the open air market that they have every sat and wed in the Domeplatz. It was fun, I bought some cheese and vegatables. yum yum. Later we went over to Silka and Heike's apartment for a waffle party, Silka just got a waffle maker. They dont really do maple syrup here, but they're yummy with warm cherries and whipped cream too :) We also played clue auf deutsch and I won! Yestuday.... I think i have to write about next time because the lab is closing. why haven't I gotten my computer stuff yet???? arg! gtg!
Wednesday, April 21
translation : 'Now I must learn', or more literatly, Now must I learn. German sentance stucture is whacky. First, puting something like 'now' at the begining of a sentance flips the subject and verb so that the verb comes befor the subject. 'Ich' meaning 'I' in german is not capitalized unless at the begining of a sentance. 'muss', the first person singular form of 'mussen' is a modal, or helping, verb which in german means that the main verb gets pushed to the end of the sentance in its infinitive form. Infinitive forms of german verbs almost always end in 'en'. whew. Enough grammar for you? I went to classes today! real german ones. The first one I went to turned out to be cancelled today and starting next week, so then I had lunch with Elena, Heike (from Luther) and Aife (from Irland). It was fun, and then we had an hour before our next class so we decided to all go rent a paddle boat on the Aasee! it was a little adventure, lots of fun. Then Elena and I both went to a German seminar called 'Vertragsituationen in Literature und Philosophie' translated meaning Contract situations in lit. and philosophy. It should be really interesting, we talked to the professor and she was really nice and said we could come talk to her if we ever need help. We'll be reading Roussaue and Kant and Foucault, auf Duetsch, so I'll probably need some help! We'll also be discussing Goethe's Faust, good thing I did that research paper on it last year :-P After that I went to a Vorlesing on the history of german language. Vorlesungs are just lecture classes. The Prof. seems like a nice funny old man and was pretty easy to understand so it should be a fairly interesting class, although by 4-6 o'clock I'm kinda burnt out, so it gets hard to concentrate. Cathy and Emma are in the class with me, I met Cathy last weekend she's friends with Elena, they'Re from Shefield, England and have funny accents :) but when I talk to them I want to start talking like them, although I don't think they's appreciate it. its just so cute! anyway, Then I came home and made myself some dinner. I'm getting slightly better at cooking, I generally just buy meat and vegatables and toss them in a pot with some oil and spices and make a stir fry, or stick it in the oven. It works. I'll have to try something fancyier some time. The food at the Mensa is not the greatest... everything tends to be battered and fried and drowned in brown gravy...mmmm. right. but they always have brotwurst! you can always count on germans to have brotwurst. Germans are a strange breed, not terribly friendly in general. They dont smile at people or talk to people they dont know over. I tend to smile at people without thinking about it and it gets me some strange looks, or it makes people think that I want to talk to them or something. The other day I was just out walking and the first guy I smilled at walked with me all the way to the Mensa. He was really nice though, a taxi draver from Iran, and asked me about where I was from and was telling me about his family and stuff. I told him MN was the land of 10,000 lakes and he said, 'maybe you have a lake nearby and go in the summer to make bar-b-q? Americans are very well known for bar-b-q.' he was funny. The next person I encountered that day was not so pleasent... in fact he was drunk- in the middle of the afternoon- and kept following me and telling me how he really wasn't a bad person and the governement is bad or something... I finally stoped at a park with lots of people and told him I was going to stay and he needed to go. I took him a while to get the picture, it was really really creepy. So... I'm not sure if I should continue to smile or not. It results in meeting interesting charactors anyway. OK, I'm tired, time to go back home and read for a bit. I bought 'Seek my Face' by John Updike in the big bookstore here that sells a few english books... I gave up on Harry Potter auf deutsch, I'll be getting enough german reading in my classes! Tschüss!
Monday, April 19
Hallo Hallo. I still haven't gotten stuff to set up my computer in my room, but I promise it will be soon and then I'll actually write people e-mails maybe and try to be online during waking hours in the US on occasion. Anyway, today is nice. I actually got up early and went running. yay me! I went running yesturday too with Elena again, we seem to be good jogging partners. Friday I did go out to the club with them, I think upscale was possibly the wrong word, though they do have bouncer type people who supposedly can turn people away. Inside was a lot of international students, my whole Sprachcurse was there, so that was kind of fun, to see people I know. There were plenty of germans too, and they listen to some strange music. Some was normal club songs that you'd here at home, but then they play random old american songs, like Girls just Wanna Have Fun, and Jailhouse Rock, and the theme song to fresh prince. I'm not even kidding, and they dance to these like they would to any dirty rap song and know all the lyrics! too bazaar, it was like a high school dance. Elena and I left at 3.30ish, but others stayed until 6, I cant go quite that long. But it was fun, dancing and such, and Tequila shots are only 50 cents on fridays ;-) Saturday I dont think I did much, I dont remember, oh, I did laundry! and cleaned my room and rearrange and its very nice and pretty now and I can actually stand being in it. Sunday evening I went to a university Orchestra concert that a girl on my hall was in, it was nice, and the Bergermeister (mayor) was even there! One odd thing... germans aplaud FOREVER, but no standing ovations. just an observation. ok, time to go cook dinner! Ciao
Friday, April 16
I've decided to teach you all a little German in my post Titles, today we have, 'The sun shines' In german all nouns are capitalized. Sonne is feminine, and thus the proper article when used in the nominative is 'die' (meaning 'the'). A nueter noun would use 'das' and a masculine 'der' and plural would also be 'die'. Also, 'schient' is pronounced with a long 'I' sound, like shine but with an 'nt' added on the end. In German 'ei' always makes and 'I' sound and 'ie' allways makes a long 'eee' sound. See how easy this is? you should all come to germany! OK, There ends your lesson for the day. Today was my last Sprachcurse! yay! no more waking up at 7am! thank goodness. Next week I just have to run around trying to find classes and professors during thier single office hour per week to register...eek. Oh, and that whole Visa thing. But for now, its the weekend and die Sonne scheint! Its absolutely gorgeous, Elaine and I just went for a run around the Aasee (the name of the lake I live on), it must be 70 something, although everything here is in Celcius so I dont know what it really is... 17 or so maybe? no idea. lets just say its really nice. Tonight I'm going out to 'Grand Cafe' the somewhat upscale dance club here, ooh la la! they dont start dancing till ike 1am though... maybe I should take a nap first, hmm. I'm such a dork. I'm really excited to do my laundry this weekend too :) clean clothes! yay! although I have to carry then up and down five flights of stairs... oh well. Oh, I have an apartment for next year, i dont know that I mentioned that here. Erin was kind enough to proxy for me and figure stuff out since I've been soemwhat distracted and not thinking about UR at all. But yeah, I'm living with the head resident in 1804 or something like that, which is a good location and Eric says near the laundry room! I dont know my roommate and then the other room will be just the head resident, so only three in the apartment. should be nice. Anyway, I dont want to think about being back there yet. I'm excited for my classes here, I'm going to take a seminar on Kafka! yay weird german writers! and some other things that sound really interesting, its fun to pick classes at such a big school, considering that my german options at UR for next semester consist of one course with the same proff I had last semester. woo hoo. yeah. So hear I just want to take everything! and I do actually have to take a lot to have enough credits, each class only meets once a week. And I can for sure avoid any classes on monday or fridays, YES! Travel travel travel! I'm going to Italy! Berlin! Dresden! Prage! Trier! Munich! Everywhere! I still have to explore Munster a bit more too, I biked around the Promodade yesturday, which is a path around the city center that actually used to be a moat around the entire city. Münster was founded in 793 or sometime around then by a group of Monks, the name Münster comes from the german word for Monestary (not from the cheese). And I learned that one of the big churches here has three cages hanging from one of the towers which apparently the Catholics put there are one point to display the bodys of the Anabaptists that they put to death for Heresy. Why the city is so proud to display these cages I'm not sure... they're almost all Catholic here. This has been quite an educational blog for you all I think and it's time for me to go. Remember, Learning is fun!
Wednesday, April 14
It was sunny today! hoorah! and kinda warm even. Although when your on a bike it seems windyier and colder. So... Long time no Blog, huh? Thank you for lots of comments :) And thank you mom and Aunt Julie for sending me real mail too! I had a very nice easter at Frau Hensel's house (the nice old woman from the german american society). Her sister and sister's daugher and grandkids were there, two girls 7 and ten and then Silke (a german girl who has spent summers with an aunt in Idaho) and Elaina (from William and Mary) and me and a girl from pennsilvania who studied here a few years ago and her german boyfriend. We had an easter egg hunt and a nice big meal and then they played this funny games involving rolling eggs down a ramp to hit other eggs. it was lots of fun :) Later Silke and I went to an Easter fire at a church, this is another tradition here, we stood by the fire while people played drums and we talked and such, it was nice. Monday Elaina and I went with Silke to a city wide easter egg hunt around the Schloss, but there were too many people and too few eggs I think, so we got coffe and such. Elaine and I went to a bar later, to meet some of her friends, but they ended up not being there so we just had a drink and went home. Yesturday Silke met me for lunch after my language class and showed me around some of the university buildings which was good, and I got the books with course descriptions in them that I need. I have to pick out classes this week and try to get in touch with professors to sign up. Everything is difficult here... registering for UR took like 10 min online. There are different types of classes, some are just lecture and some are seminars that involve papers and presentations. I guess I'll take mostly german lit and maybe an english german translation class, and possibly one english class as well, not sure. a class only meets once a week and I only get two credits for a lecture and 3 for a seminar class. so yeah. Hopefully I can manage to keep mondays or fridays open for traveling. Lets see.... Today I got a phone in my room! and I just ordered a transformer and adapter for my laptop online so hopefully soon I'll be online. e-mail me if you want my room phone number, its much cheaper to call a land line than a cell phone. I also have a bike, if you didnt get that from my first comment. its kinda fun riding around, I feel like a kid again when I ride places with my friends, but then again, at 8:30 in the morning the last thing I want to do is hop on a bike. That and my butt is sore :( Today I also finally met my Housemeister and got my lease and laundry coins! yay! I can wash all my clothes tomorrow! I'm so glad that I brought lots of underwear... whew. So I guess tomorrow I have to attempt to get a visa.... hmmm. I'm a little nervouse about this, that I wont have all the right stuff and they'll kick me out or something, but hopefully it will go ok, although I'm sure it will take a Really long time... blah. So, in general. Things are going well. I'm making friends! One is an american... and even goes to school right next to me... but thats ok, I'm glad to have someone kind of familiar to talk to and I've met some real germans! so thats good, and talked more with people on my hall and people in my language class, auf Deutsche of course, I think my german is getting better daily. The language class is kinda boring and pointless, but its a good place to meet people. I'm still frustrated with how difficult everything is in general and am feeling like I want someone else to take care of all this burocracy, but I'll manage, I'm sure this is good for my charactor or something like that. ok, I think thats all right now, I hope all is going well with yous all, keep on keepin on with the comments :)
Saturday, April 10
Hallo! so I guess it's been a few days... I'm too lazy to try to find a computer ever day. Hopefully sometime next week I'll get things set up in my room. Lets see... so I didn't go salsa dancing. The guy from Venezuela called me at like 11:30, but they were kinda far away and I didn't want to pay for a taxi or something. Then... Thursday all the Italians came into class like two hours late and obviously hung over :P Yesturday there were no classes for good friday and everything was closed, as most things are today and will be until tuesday. I made sure to stock up at the grocery store on Thursday! Thursday night I hung out with Elena a little, who is from William and Mary and her freind Sergi from Russia, Yesturday she invited me to go with her to have coffe with this adorable little old woman who is in the German American Society here which is apparently a group of mostly old germans who just really like Americans and help out US students here. She was super cute and was so excited when I said I was from Minneapolis because it turns out she has friends there who live in Plymouth! and she pulled out all her pictures from when she visted of the MOA and sculpture garden. Apparently the same artist that made the big spoon and cherry also did the sculpures that are here on the lake right by my house! Small world! Two other american girls also came and one goes to Luther and knows Marit! crazyness. Marit, I don't know if you read this, but her name is Heike and she said she had some classes with you sometime. Anyway, so we had coffe and cake and then she took us out into the country side and we saw the house where a german poet name Anette... something was born. I hadn't heard of her, i guess she hasn't been traslated to english but was inmportant to some movement in the early 1800s. Anyway, it was pretty. later I went for a short run because the sun actually came out briefly! Oh! and I bought a bike on Thursday! Horah! I need to practice more, its been a while since I did much bike riding and they have all kinds of rules here. there are separate sections of the road and you can get fined for being in the wrong place. They're crazy about their bikes. Despite the rain even. People here actually have rain suits that they wear over their clothes to ride their bike in the rain. and it rains A LOT. its rather depressing. and its cold. oh well. Summer should get nicer. so then, last night I had talked about going out to a club with people from my class, but no one ever called... although I'm thinking that the clubs probably werent even open last night. I was really tired anyway and was a dork and went to bed early. Today I got up kinda early and thought I'd ride my bike here (in the rain) since I haven't been on a computer in a while. And I'm trying to look at classes online here but nothing makes sense to me... I think I need to ask Elaina or Chad (from Chicago) to tell me how this works. I don't know what to take or how to get in the class. I do have a mailbox and mailbox key! I had it all along and just didn't know what the key was for. silly me. So feel free to mail me things :) Still no laundry... boo. The housmeister wasn't there this week, so I can try to just buzz her sometime and hope shes there, or wait until next wednesday. Boo for the housemeister. Tomorrow I'm going back tot he sweet ladys house for Easter. yay! I have people to spend easter with and I get a big homecooked meal even! I was a little worried that I'd be warming up some sliced ham and eating easter chocolates all alone in my room. Mom, Dad, Bob, Scott, I hope you're having fun in Myrtle beach! Happy easter everyone! Now go dye some eggs!
Wednesday, April 7
super quick! I found my language class! There are people here from Wisconsin! I had lunch with a bunch of people from spain and Latin America... apparently I should have learned Spanish as well! One guy from Venesuela was super nice and helped me find a bike... but, WellsFargo sucks and I couldnT get out cash... this whole bank thing is driving me nuts, I have to go to Deutsche bank tomorrow and try to figure out their routing number or somthing and then call wells fargo with it to transfer money... arg. Anyway, the bike is being reserved and hopefully I will get it tomorrow. And I might go out dancing with all the spanish people! Salsa dancing! hoorah! ok... gotta walk home in the rain and hope the housmeister is there!
Monday, April 5
Arg! these people make no sense! Ok, so, yesturday I pretty much sat around my room and slept and read a tried to decorate a bit because NOTHING is open on Sundays, with the exeption of McDonalds where I had to finally go to get some food as I had none left and was starving. I know it's horrible and all to go to McDonalds when one should be experiencing a new culture through food and whatnot, but honestly I don't think going to McD's in others countries is so bad, there are always little differences that seem weird. Like they give you mayo with french fries! and they have a Veggie burger! and they sell little bags of fruit! and the McFlurries are made with German brand chocolates! They also were selling these little stuffed rabbits with radios in them so I bought one and it instantly became my best friend in my lonely quiet room for the rest of the evening. I've met several of the people on my hall now, so far they are from Italy, Poland, Hungary, Japan, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, and Germany. Wow! I talked to Anna, from Poland for a bit in the kitchen while she was making stew, she was explaining what was in it to me, some kind of sauce made from preserved cucumers, but not pickes. I don't know, I guess I'll get to learn about lots of different countries which is great, although part of me is looking forward to meeting at least one other American... most of the students can speak some english, and I can speak some german, but communicating is something of a chore still. anyway.... back to the "Arg!" that I started with. Today I woke up very very early. And when I hit the snooze I learned that the snooze on the clock I got here only goes for four minutes!!! what's the point?? I guess Germans are known for being punktual... now I know why. So I headed out and walked a good half hour to get to where I had to enrol and such. It is a large grandious building, aptly named Der Schoß, the Castle, it looks more like something I should be taking a guided tour of than trying to file paper work in. So I went in, found the guys office that I needed and sat there till it opened at 8:30. He then looked at my Matriculation paper and sent me down to the basement where they gave me some more papers and the woman freaked out when she learned that I didn't have german insurance. What do they expect? I've been here three days! At least they had the insurance forms there, but in order to get it I had to have a german bank account to pay for it. So... I walked accross the city to Deutschebank and got myself an account. Score one for me. I then walked back, finished getting the insurance, got all the papers and was sent back up to scary old man's office where I waited in line for a while to go in and have him stamp something. By this point I figure it's probably to late to actually to my language class, but I should probably at least try to figure out where it is. I met a kind of strange but very sweet man, also going to school here who wanted to help me. The Sprachcentrum office that I was trying to find would close at 12, but he thought it might reopen after lunch and said he was meeting a friend who was studying english here who he thought could help me. I figured, why not? so I agreed to go to lunch with him, he took me to the catholic student center to eat, so I figured he could't be bad. His friend did indeed have excelent english, she is in her last year here and planning to teach high school soon, we talked a bit about the way things work in germany. For instance, I learned that private catholic schools are free because everyone who belongs to the church is reqired by law to give part of their tax money to the church. Who knew? After lunch they showed me where the Sprachcentrum is, but it turnes out its actually only open from 10-12, Two office hours a day???? rediculous. What do these people do all day? So I guess I know where to go tomorrow at least, hopefully someone will be there who actually knows something about this supposed language course... I still have to get my Visa also, but I can't do that until I get proof of residence which I can't get until I meet my housemeisterin who only has two office hours PER WEEK. can you believe these people? I also have to see her to get a mailbox key and laundry tokens... meanwhile I'm rewearing dirty socks.... shhh... don't tell! Oh, and if by chance you tried to call my cell phone, it wasn't activated, I went and got that fixed today. The very nice Team Mobil guy also found a shop that services Compaq computers here where I can go hopefully get the right kind of power adaptor. Apparently American-german adaptors are extreamly hard to come by, I've found plenty that go the other way. So, Mom, or someone, if you can find american-german adaptors in the states please send me a couple so I can charge my camera! Another thing that's hard to come by in this city is a used bike. This is inconcievable to me, bikes are everywhere! and yet I went in two bike shops and niether had used bikes and one guy said they're in high demand, apparently people here find a bike and hang on to in forever. So I'm still walking. And it rained today. and yesturdaz. a lot. I think this is more normal Munster weather. Today it actually hailed for a bit. fun fun. Ok, this is super long and I promised I wouldn't put you to sleep, so, Aufwiedersehen!
Saturday, April 3
One thing at a time.. theres so much to get done, but everything clases at six and wont be open tomorrow! arg! This morning I ran around the lake, which is slightly bigger than expected, but a good run. I showered and ate and stuff. I should have left to get out shopping earlier, but I'm getting so sick of walking around I just wanted to sit and read for a while. I did succeded in buying some pretty sheets and curtains for my room, and a couple posters to hang up so it doesnät look so icky. And I went to T-mobil where I got a cell phon, yay! and I singed up for a land line and DSL in my flat. I tried to tell him that I don't thing there's even a phone jack in my room, but he thought there must be, so, if there isn't then I'll have to go back monday and tell him so they can come put one in or something. My problem is that I still need a power adaptor for my computer. He suggested a store thats kinda far away... I suppose I'm going to have to figure out busses eventually. I probably should try a bus soon... today perhaps. I found this internet cafe but it's a good mile or so away from my room... and I'm here with lots of shopping bags right now... hmm. I need a bike too, how can everyone have a bike and zet I haven't seen one bike store??? Yesturday I used a computer at the library, which you also have to pay for but it's cheaper, but the computers are super slow. It's otherwise a very nice big library, I can get a card once I have a student ID card from the school. I also know my adress! although I think I still have to talk to the housmeister person to get a key for my box. Anywho, I'll try to send out a mass e-mail with my address and cell phone number as I should probably not post those here for the world to see. But if you want to send me things and don't get my address shoot me an e-mail, I don't have an organized e-mail address book so I'm bound to forget people. Tonight my plan is to make my room all pretty. Tomorrow everything is closed. I think I'll try to get to mass somewhere, maybe in the big cathedral or if I can find something closer. I'm a little nervouse about all the things I have to try to do... getting a visa and all... but I'll do it!
Friday, April 2
Hallo! So I've been in my new home for slightly over 24 hours now, but I think I'll like it. The city is really nice, everyone said it was really small, but I think it's the right siye for me. It's just about Bicycle size I guess, I've been walking everywhere, but my goal for the weekend is to find somewhere to buy a bike, and a cell phone and outlet adapters. Last night I went for a long walk around the city, getting myself a bit lost, luckily you can't really get too lost here, theres a big Cathedral and other Big Churches and a lake to keep you oriented from almost everywhere. and there's a path called the Promanade that goese all the way around the inner city, it's cute. The 'Stadtcentrum' or City Center is very nice, I was talking to a girl on my hall last night who's from Germany. She told me a little more about the city, one of the treaties that ended the 30 years war was singed in the City hall here! Also, much of the citz was bombed in WW2, but it was rebuild to look like the old city, as opposed to most other german cities rebuilt in a new style. So its very old European city looking. There's one skyscraper sized building, but thats about it. I found the shopping stip fairly quickly, with the Kaufhouse and H&M and all. Last night I decided that the blankets and sheets folded up in a chair outside my room must be meant for me. Because the woman who I was supposed to see in charge of my building wont be there till next week aparently. This morning I managed to find some towels at the nearby grocery store so I could finally shower. I went to meet with the man who showed me my room, his name is Hans... something, I'm not sure if I should call him by his first name so I've just avoided it, he is pretty young, late 20s I guess. We had lunch with another guy who recentlz started working in the international office named Patrick. Hans is leaving on a trip to Vietnam for two weeks, but Patrick was very nice and offered to help if he can. On monday I have to go to the school and try to figure out paperwork... I have to get forms there and then go to the police station to get my Visa, but I don't think I can get that until I have proof of residence which requires talking to the head of my building who wont be in till next wednesday.... arg. I'm supposed to have a language course starting, but no one seems to know anything about it, so I'm supposed to go to the international languages building and try to figure that out. It's going to be a lot of paper work and waiting in lines for a while I think. I have no idea when I register for classes, but they are still finishing exams from last semester, so I guess not for a little while at least. Anyway, this afternoon I've been wandering around the city. I found a Woolworths where I got an alarm clock and some exta towels and sheets and they had a Britta water filter! I was very excited about this because I was going to have to buy all my water which also involves carying in home all the time. But this will be sooooo much easier. I saw a Vodaphone and T-mobile, but they were super crowded, and I also don't even know my address right now, and I'm thinking they might want that. so I'll figure it out soon. I also bought a Currzwurst on the street... I love Germany :) It's just a bratwurst but they put a ketchup like sauce and curry powder on it. Its yummy. I was also very unhelthy and got Pommes Frits mit Mayonaise. I love that it's socially acceptable to sit out on the street and eat french fries with mayonais. but don't worry, I wont make a habit of it! I think I'll try jogging around the lake tonight, or maybe around the promenade. I should put all my clothes away, but I have to wash most of them and I don't know where to do that yet... I should ask. The people on my hall seem nice. I talked to the one german girl last night, she's taller than I am! and when she shook my hand I thought she was going to break all my fingers! This morning I talked to one of the boys, he's from Japan. there are two other boys I think from Greece but both are on vacation. ok, this is long and I'm out of change to pay so Aufwiedersehen!
Thursday, April 1
I made it! Once again, luck or fate or something is on my side because I made it to Munster without incident and I even have a room to live it! with a bed to sleep on! it doesn't have sheets yet, but I'm working on it. I left Paris last night on the overnight train, got in to Frankfurt and hopped a train to the other train startion where my bag was, got there, got my bag, just barely missed the earlier train to Munster so I had breakfast and met a nice old man and daughtor from wisconsin on their way to Switzerland. I love midwesterners! So I took a long sloooow winding train to Munster, but it was pretty, I saw lots of the Rihne and even some castles. When I got here I decided to take a cab rather than figure out busses with large suitcases. My cab draver was super sweet. I clearly didn't know exactly where to go so he came in the main University building with me until we found some students who could direct me to the international office. There I found the guy who Susan Jordan had talked to who found me the room to live in. He's really nice and walked me all the way to my building, which was nearly a mile or so. We talked alternately in german and English. I met a few of the girls who live on my hall. There are 14 who share a bathroom and kitchen. One was from Italy and one from Poland. There is one other girl in the building from the US but she's on vacation this week. The girls only knew of two other americans at the school, two! in a school of 30,000! What am I doing here again? They could both speak english but they all speak German to each other, so I guess I'll get lots of practice. Tomorrow I have to go back to the international office and find out about getting a Visa and stuff. I also have to find somewhere to buy a cell phone and possibly get internet connection put into my room. Right now I'm in some sort of science library for the school I think. Not sure. So far I have found a pay phone to call home and a grocery store where I got some food. so I think I'm doing well. Munster seems nice, the weather is gorgeos, although I guess it was cold just last week. There#s a nice lake just accross the street with a path around it and I'm not to far from some of the school building. I definitely have to get a bike soon. EVERYONE seems to have one. ok, I should go because I'm supposed to meat the head of my building to tell her I'm here and such, and hopefully get sheets.... But just so you all know, I'm here!