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Germ-land

Written on: Tuesday September 4th, 2007

A journal entry from: Fall for Germany

I'm here!  After a longish flight, losing my luggage, and meeting my host family, I finally have the time to write.

I left at 4:30 on Sunday and arrived in Frankfurt at 7:20am.  I couldn't sleep on the plane (and it wasn't the movies keeping me awake; Mr. Bean and something about cartoon Mimfys or something were playing) so I was exhausted on the hopper to Köln (another flight I could not sleep on) and by the time I got in line to give the airline my address for when they finally found my luggage, I was about ready to pass out. 

The 13 of us traveled to Bonn and met our host families at the school.  My Gastmutter is wonderful and even speaks near perfect English (as does her husband).  She had to go back to work, so I decided to take a nap.  A short one.  Unfortunately, I had no alarm clock, so I tried to use my ipod, but i have no speakers.  Luckily I only napped for about an hour.  Baerbel came back and took me with her to drop her daughter off at hiphop class and then showed me around Bonn, stopping to visit her best friend on the way.  We got a call around 6:30 saying that they had found my luggage!   well... one bag at least.  Even with that nap I was exhausted and after dinner and a bit of the Disney show Recess (translated something (Mittels?) Pause), I went to bed around 8:30. I woke up around 11:30 and discovered my bags had been delivered.  I dragged them into my room, hoping I wasn?t being too loud and dug through things until I found my pjs? and promptly fell asleep again.  I unpacked in the morning. 

The 13 of us met at a central fountain in Bonn and got a grand tour of the surrounding area and AIB itself.  We discovered that those in the literature class had to read 230 pages by Thursday, so they also showed us where the book store was.  We ate at a little place called the Mensa across the street in the University of Bonn.  I don?t think anyone was impressed, particularly those trying mineral water for the first time (by the way, every time I drank my bottle of mineral water during the middle of the night, all I could think of was ?who would invent water that makes you burp?!?)  Other things they put carbonation in is actually quite good? like apple juice.  I had some at Baerbel?s friend?s house. 

I came home after visa business at AIB, renting a phone and going to the student lounge with everyone else to figure out how it worked and trade numbers.  A few us then tried to remember where to buy the phone card and book and remember how to take public transit back home.  I am very lucky in my housing placement for so many reasons.  First, I am literally half a block away from the Beual Bahnhof and depending on the weather or my mood can take a tram, ride a bike, or walk to the school.  Everything that I wasn?t supposed to have in my Gausthaus, I do.  I have a bathroom attatched to my room.  My house family doesn?t wear hausshoe (though we take our shoes off outside the door).  They have a flat rate for internet, so I can use internet at home.  There are some downsides to having things I am not supposed to.  Like homework.  I heard there was little homework, but I am not used to reading 230 pages of German in two nights.  My Hauseltern speak English so good (with an Australian accent no less), it is hard to remember to speak German.  If I attempt to speak in German, my Gastmutter will reply in kind (slowly thankfully) and sometimes will start a conversation that way.  Yesterday I was way too exhausted to make a sincere effort at talking in German, but today I was much better.  Probably because I felt guilty every time I spoke English.

I left for AIB around 5:30 (it closes at 6:30) so I could hopefully update this (didn?t have time to), check my mail quickly, and stop at a store on the way home.  Oh, I have my first cold.  Yup, my first full day in Germany and I already have a cold.  wunderbar.  Mom, please send me cough syrup.  I bought some cough drops because I was coughing all night and my throat hurt all day.  Ugh.  A bit miserable way to start off the term?

In case I don?t update for a bit, here are the highlights for what?s going on this week:

Today I have my first day of class.  I am taking German Speaking, German Literature, and Modernism (sorry to those who I said it was Art History, I forgot I guess.  I really thought it was Art History)

Tomorrow I have classes and see a play that night.

Friday is this family fair thing that we are going to.  Wandering around with my Gastfamilie for a bit, then meeting up with AIB people at the biergarten.

Sunday we have an excursion to Eifel where we will attend ?holy mass with Gregorian chants in the Benedictinian monastery Maria Laach? (copied directly from my weekly schedule)