Orientation

I thought about switching to keeping a journal in German, but I decided to do a blog so that I can share. We talked a lot about speaking in German

lunch döner
lunch döner

(while actually speaking in German) today during orientation. Minimizing our English use was a major theme. The other students and I agreed that we wanted to speak in German as much as possible even among ourselves, since that’s what we’re here for.

Today we learned more about the IES program and took a tour of the city. I had döner for lunch and dinner; döner is a Turkish meal that is basically a pile of shaved rotisserie meat. I also had to buy some things, since my luggage still hasn’t arrived.

dinner döner
dinner döner

Afterwards, my friends and I split up to go to our apartments. Since I was alone and not sure how to get back, a guy named Tylor went with me. Getting lost seems to be becoming a theme because we got off the train at the wrong stop and having to use my map to figure out how to get to the apartment. I am so proud that we found it without the help of a GPS, though Tylor deserves all of the credit. It was an adventure for sure! And we found lots of streets named after famous German artists and writers.

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Here at Last

Today (and yesterday, but it feels like one whole long day) has been very up and down. My flight from Detroit to Amsterdam was delayed. When we finally arrived over an hour late, we had to deplane into the cold wind and take a shuttle to the gate, from where I had to run to my next flight. I was the very last person to board, and I was told my luggage would not be on board. Since I wanted to make it to Freiburg on time, I got on the plane anyway. When we landed, I had trouble finding someone to ask about my suitcase, and I got very lost. Eventually, I found where I needed to go, and two nice women from the same flight helped me out. My bag should arrive tomorrow or the next day.

After that was all settled, I got lost trying to find the Fernbahnhof (train station), where two girls named Emma and Olivia were waiting for me. However, they had already gotten tickets for the next train and Julia was still looking for us. I ended up waiting for Julia while they went ahead. Julia and I found each other eventually and found that we have a lot in common. We took the train together and had an hour-long stop in Karlsruhe. We got to the IES Center 15 minutes late, but we got the information we needed and headed to our apartments.

This is what the living room in my apartment looks like.
This is what the living room in my apartment looks like.

Christina, my housing tutor, showed me my room. I barely said hello to my flatmates, dropped off my stuff, and went to the restaurant where the rest of the IES students who are also staying in Vauban were waiting. It was awkward at first since we were all speaking German. By the end, though, I had a good time. And the schnitzel and spätzle were delicious. I had a little trouble finding my apartment, but I made it eventually. After I talked to my flatmates for a little bit, I went to my room to unpack the little luggage I do have, talk to my parents, and rest. I haven’t slept since I left Lexington over 24 hours ago.