Germany, day one

kathy and i got to germany safe and sound friday. we arrived on time, around 12.45, but it took more than 30 minutes to get off of the plane. i was in the very VERY back (turbulence + overly salted morning omelete = bad.), and after the flight attendants opened the back hatch and everyone around me started to rave about the “frische Luft” (fresh air) i was an unhappy camper.

our bags are fine, i’m not missing anything, hurrah. jessika and tina met us outside (tina was at coe fall semester of 2003-2004 school year) and then we left for the parking lots and then we lost the car. funny, because the car has plaid patterned seats, teddy bear sun shields, and “hot-ink tatoo” written down both sides of it. just like every other car, i know. turns out tina’s father, after years of management or something, decided to put his art skills to use and started a tatoo parlor. it is also apparently NOT unusual in germany to see four females in a hot-ink tatoo car.

1.5 hour drive from frankfurt to landau, which i, of course, slept through, but we had bought icelandic chocolate for our guide women so i think things went over really well. they’re both extremely nice and helpful, and, thankfully, have senses of humor. the esg where kathy is staying was the first stop – it’s nice, inhabited, has communal breakfasts and morning prayer sessions if you’re interested (although even if you’re not, they’re still going to have the prayer sessions). kathy’s room has a bed, a desk, a sink, a Schrank (skapis, something. funny how i don’t know what it is in english. it’s a closet that’s not built into the wall.), windwos, and a bottle of wine. she’s off to a good start! the esg is in a good location south of campus, and is right across from the street from a turkish market. immediate jealousy on my part. good food at such close proximities is to be coveted. lucky for me there are several dönner joints around, including a truck outside the wal*mart. yes, we have a wal*mart. a dönner (dönner kebob) is basically a gyro, but with extra stuff like red cabbage, green peppers, corn, etc. i usually ask for mine like it’s a gyro, but that’s just me.

kathy gets her keys, meets a neighbour, inga, who’s a psych major and therefore knows a little english, then we leave. we get to my place, the vonheim (studenten vonheim). looks mediocre from the outside, and five to six flights of wide, spiral stairs later we get to my room, Nr. 69 (laugh it up, chuckles), and later INTO my room, once i figure out which of the identical keys combined with the right way to turn sed key opens the door. i am amazed at what i see. there is a wide space for jackets, shoes, with two shelves above it, and a nice two-sectioned Schrank next to it. there is a bathroom to the right with the normal bathroom stuff (minus tp), and a kitchen space further in. two grid stove, sink, fridge, huge shelves for dry goods and dishes. the next room ahead is ginormous, with a door opening to a not-so-balcony and a window, with nice super 8 motel style curtains. the bed, normal sized, has two drawers underneath. my desk is huge, as is the lamp, and my desk chair has wheels. it’s all teal. someone has provided me with a strainer, a mixing bowl, two each of plates, cups, mugs, cutlery, bowls, and then some salad tossing things. i also am graced with four hangers, bedsheets, a paper thin pillow and a comforter – none of which will be physically comforing, but it’s nice that i have something for the time being. new mission is to buy a better pillow. this thing is rediculous. there’s also this little rolly thing that has two drawers, one of which can be locked with some plastic thing (??) in case any plastically-challenged theives break into my apartment. i will hide the valuables there.

i still can’t call my parents (sorry, guys), but will do so saturday once i buy a chip for my phone. we went to wal*mart tonight, and i snapped and bought things that i usually have at home, like pasta, olive oil, vinegar, mayonaise, salami, rye bread, mineral water, toilet paper, etc. it cost me a lot, but it’s stuff that will last me a while. if and when i run out, the meals at the Mensa (cafeteria) are €1.60, which is a crap load cheaper than you suckers at coe spend. but then again, you guys don’t have to buy your own toilet paper. and for that, i resent you.

there are a few other people here – my windows face this court yard, and i can see lights on in other dorms. this place is truly fabulous – there’s a path 200 ft from the building’s front door that leads through some woods to the campus, i get to buzz people in, and i can take out my own trash. i don’t think i’m going to want to move out after the first 6 months. it’s quite the catch, living situation wise.

so now i’m set up with my computer on a shelf, unpacking my groceries (i bought a towel and a glass tea pot!! score!), and hoping my parents aren’t freaking out too much. i hope they’ll understand. the last thing i have to do after unpacking tonight is make sure i eat dinner before passing out. it’s team pasta to the rescue!

p.s. not only did i have to plug the fridge in (that’s expected, at least), i had to plug in the stove. took me 10 minutes of starving and glaring to figure that one out. i also think that germans are tall, or expect foreigners to be tall. or maybe just the people staying in the vonheim. the top shelves, as well as some of the lower shelves, seem to be custom made for someone 5’ 10’’.