Monday, April 5

Hailstones and other minor obstacles

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!

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