I arrived in Germany yesterday at eight in the morning, which meant that I had a very long day (I don't sleep during the day unless I am desperate; naps are the best way to prolong jetlag). Between connecting flights to Newark and Düsseldorf and a little layover time in there for good measure, it took a mere nineteen hours to get to Tübingen from St. Louis. Not bad, eh? Running on the one hour of sleep I got on the transatlantic flight, I spent the day getting acquainted with my new city, my new roommate, my new landlord, my new neighborhood . . .
Tante Irmgard (my grandmother's sister) and her husband Gerhard picked me up at the airport and drove me to my apartment in Tübingen. I'm living on the first floor of a three story house with Kay, a girl I knew at Vanderbilt who has conveniently been living in Tübingen for the past two years. The apartment is great! I have my own bedroom, and the two of us share a bathroom and kitchen. Other than some bright orange stripes of questionable taste painted on one wall, everything looks perfect. (I'm repainting tonight with the help of Kay and her boyfriend Peter.) We spent the day doing important things like buying a mattress, going to the grocery store, and getting to know each other. My landlord also took me to the German version of Home Depot to buy a ceiling light for my room, which I mysteriously had to pay for myself. Though I thought that was strange, at least I now have a light in my room, if little else. I crashed hard at about 9 pm and slept for the next thirteen hours.
I awoke to a phone call from my grandmother, who is also in Germany visiting relatives. The fact that it woke me up was cancelled out by the fact that it meant my phone worked, which was one less thing I had to take care of today. After breakfast, I headed out alone to explore the city and run a few key errands. I succeeded in getting quite lost in the rain for about the first hour of my exploration before finally finding the Deutsche Bank, which closed for lunch the moment I got there. So I headed in the opposite direction to the train station to sort out some business with my discount train card and to buy tickets for my orientation in Göttingen next week.
To make a long story short, I did not sort out the business at the station and the issue is far more complicated than I expected. It placed quite a strain on my rusty German. And without my discount card (which I don't have access to because I didn't pay a bill that I never received nor ever responded to angry letters that I also never received regarding said bill), the train tickets placed quite a strain on my wallet. Er, my dad's wallet. The rest of the afternoon went better; I set up a bank account without a hitch, and my German is now rust-free.
Now that I have the letters that my project is centering on in my possession, I am feeling considerably intimidated. There are so many! And the handwriting, oh the handwriting. I think I'll feel better once I have a desk. At least, that's what I'm telling myself.
Tonight I'm cooking dinner with Kay and Peter, and going to sleep early again. I'm already exhausted and it's only 5:30. Tomorrow, my uncle and grandmother are taking me to IKEA ,and then later I'm going with Kay and some of her friends to see The Expendables, dubbed in German. And from what I can tell, that might be the best (the only!) way to see it.