Sunday, July 3, 2011

Getting Settled

Classes start tomorrow, and I hope within a week I'll settle in so I won't feel quite so new. I gotta say, though, having a "German buddy" (as they're called) has been a wonderful thing (L, you rock). It helps so much to have someone who knows the language/culture/city, like when we went cell phone-shopping yesterday. Yes, the salespeople understood English, but German helped, plus we're a big group of Americans who have no idea what we're doing.

Being in the far north of Germany, I was dismayed but unsurprised to wake up an overcast sky that just keeps drizzling, the kind of water that makes you damp and miserable. Today's high is a nice warm 14 C (~60 F), ugh. At least I have a hoodie and raincoat; being the paranoid person I am I stalked about five different weather websites while packing to get an idea of what I'd be living in. Compare this to the humidity and 80 F+ temps of back home!

So I'm getting a bit more familiar with things. Germany has a law against most stores being open on Sundays, so I decided to take the bus to the city center and walk around, hoping it wouldn't be too crowded. I was right!
 Except for the gray drizzliness, isn't it beautiful?
 Normally, there's a ton more people, walking and riding bikes (everyone rides bikes here), buses are pulling up left and right, and the shops are open.

I met up with a lady from my group and we decided to explore. We were generally looking for any store open, though we knew it wasn't likely, but mostly we just walked down whichever street looked prettiest, using the churches to guide us back to where we started.
They weren't that hard to miss.

The one we tried  to go into was locked, so perhaps they have early services. I think it would be interesting to go to a service, as they're all Protestant, so I'll stop by during the week. The church off of Am Sande (the city center) has a gift shop/information stop with guides who speak English.
Those arch-y things there? Have the Best Name Ever.

Also, I've been corrupted by my art history class. I'm staring at this thing thinking, "Gothic church? Or Romanesque? Where is my textbook? Hey look, flying buttresses!"

You know what I love is that there are a TON of bakeries here. I got a muffin and chai latter in one (note to self: German chai tastes like mocha), and futilely attempted to the the lady behind the counter to tell me the price in German, not English, because I need the practice. Right now my German has consisted of asking the bus driver how much ("wie viel?") before I had my student pass, the lady at the supermarket how much my croissant cost ("fuenf und fuenfzig"), and a whole lot of excuse-mes ("entschuldigung, entschuldigung").

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