Flight was rather uneventful. I enjoyed the movie (as did everyone else on the plane) ‘YES Man’, where Jim Carrey turns his life around by joining a covenant whose motto is, you guessed it, saying yes to everything. It was dumb in my opinion. It got a few chuckles out of me I’ll admit, but at the end I wished I’d been reading or journaling. The two women I sat by were also a delight, and we swapped emails at the end of the flight. One woman was chaperoning a swim team on international exchange in Freiburg (uh, how cool. Can I be that mom please…?), and the other was visiting her sister in a military base just outside of Frankfurt. For being stuck sitting next to each other for 9 hours, they were great company.
Made it through the Frankfurt airport to my train in record speed, had almost an hour to spare. Customs was virtually non-existent. I had been so worried about not having the correct papers, work permit/visa, etc., and no one even asked me a single question. And I was so prepared at what I would say too.
Carrying 100 lbs of stuff around is no easy task, and I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to do it. I was very distraught when I weighed my bag to be 73 lbs! AHHHH! I managed to get it down to 65 lbs and just surrendered to paying the fine. I don’t really want to talk about it. Grr.
Train rides were going smoothly, until a 2.5 hour delay decided to enter my travel plans. The electrical wire above the train had broken, and we had to wait while it was repaired. I didn’t really know what was going on. The conductor started making an announcement, but there are long announcements at every stop giving transfer information. Due to my tiredness and hunger, I didn’t feel like trying to translate and tuned it out. But when a maddening uproar of general frustration and anger erupted from the cabin I was concerned. I borrowed a German woman’s cell phone and called my ITG contact, Sylvia, to inform here I’d be arriving at least 2-3 hours late. She was short and formal on the phone. But then again, so was I.
Had an awkward moment when I tried to transfer at the wrong station and had to sheepishly board the same train again. I think the people in my car were confused.
Passed through Gottingen, looking for any sight of Liz. Slim chances, but hey you never know. Made it to Magdeburg, found a payphone and told Sylvia I had made it. She said she’d be there in 10mins to get me. I read my book until I heard someone call my name. Sylvia greated me with a yellow rose! I was shocked. How thoughtful! She was great. We chit-chatted all the way to my dorm, where we got the key and headed on up.
The campus was absolutely dead. I think I saw two students walking around. But it is Pentecost, so I was aware this might be the case. My room is about the size of my room at school, with a huge wall closet and bathroom connected. I have a fridge in my room! And a bed, desk, desk chair and bookshelf thing. Other than that nothing. I noticed that I didn’t have towels and the sheets were kinda sketchy. So naturally, Sylvia offered to bring some from her home tomorrow morning before she goes on vacation. She also offered to bring me some dishes and silver ware. And she asked me whether I like coffee or tea. So I’m thinking she will bring me some coffee tomorrow.
I also chatted with Professor Neumann on the phone with Sylvia there. I was a little confused as to what is going to happen tomorrow, but he said he would phone again. So hopefully things will get straightened up. I think his collogues daughter is going to meet up with and show me around? I don’t think he fully knew a plan either. So I guess I’m not going to stay with him. I’d love to go, but if it doesn’t happen, I won’t be heartbroken.
I decided to go see if I could get my internet set up. No luck. So I started to wander around the main square my dorm and found an internet café. Emailed my mom, but didn’t want to sit down to write this messy thing. Plus I suck at German keyboards- they are all different.
When I got back it was almost dusk, and lo and behold I found I actually do have some neighbors! Across the hall from me lives ‘Fatso’, that’s what we call him. He’s Hungarian, so maybe that actually is a Hungarian name or something. He friend Torrey(?) is also Hungarian. Then there is Fabio from Italy. They were super nice and we talked for an hour or so. They were uber concerned about me; like oh what have you eaten, here have some food, need help moving furniture? They were heading to the grocery store around the corner and insisted I come to get some food. They were nice enough and actually acted like perfect gentlemen the whole time, opening doors for me and showing me all around the store. Got back and they offered me some of their dinner, pasta and this weird tomato sauce. And then I found out that the 5th floor is the cool floor. All these other international students surfaced to come have a beer and hangout in our kitchen. I met a girl from Poland, a girl from Latvia, a guy from Savannah Georgia and his cousin, a guy from Japan, a German, a Spanish guy… And then I realized that, oh, I actually am living in the international dorm. Everyone is excited to practice their English with me. 🙂
At this point I hadn’t unpacked and they were trying to get me to go out with them, but I decided I needed to stay back and get settled. Jetlag is having weird affects on me because its 3:22am and I’m not dead tired. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, except that Sylvia will be here at 9am.
Looks like I will be having to commute to Schőnebeck everyday… bum sauce.