The days are long and cold.
January 12 (gestern) seems like so long ago already. We had an orientation meeting at the AIB gestern Morgen for a few hours to go over necessary information and then we had lunch and a tour of Bonn. For lunch I had my first Kebab which was actually pretty good! It had meat (pork ich denke), cabbage-both red and regular, some sort of garlic sauce, and tomatoes on it. I had my first bier- “gold” something in a bottle. I still don’t like Bier. After lunch, we had a tour around Bonn to try to learn our way around the city. It is beautiful-2,000 years old. I was interested to learn that they have a fresh produce market in one of the 4 squares every day expect sunday…and they were out at least until 19:00. After the tour I was excited to finally make it home. We (me and several of the girls) wanted to figure out how to take the Bus home so that we could do it easily later last night. We figured it out and got home safely.
I had dinner at “home.” I ate by myself because I got home so late. It was “Chinese” food. Rice with mushrooms, veggies and chicken(?) in a sauce. Es war gut und füllen. I Skyped with mom and dad for the first time. It was nice to see them! I also got to Skype with Pascal. I was planning on napping after the long day but did not have time. We went out for the first time last night to a bar called Bla and the to a club two doors down. We got lost getting there but made it OK. Played Foosball in Bla and made some German acquaintances. Had another bier. The club next door was fun-we played the “loud, obnoxious American” part. The music is pretty much all American and we know most of the songs. We took the Bus home-by 3:20.
Photos below are of Bonn in the city, the trees are at Bonn University, and the food is my first Bier and Kebab.
January 13 (day 3)
Breakfast is wonderful here. Bread, butter, jam, Nutella, cold cuts, fresh orange juice, coffee, tea. Wonderbar!!! Same thing today as I had yesterday. Discovered I woke up too early and had more time than I thought I needed, which was nice until I was actually 15 minutes late das morgen. Had my first German lesson today! Hilde is my Professor and she has a great sense of humor-I can tell that she loves teaching, which makes it fun to learn from her. We had lunch at the University cafeteria-Gnocchi was like fried and nasty. I’ll try something else next time. After lunch was more German lessons and then a scavenger hunt around Bonn where were had to answer different questions about specific things in the city and do different tasks to earn points. Don’t know what the prize is yet but we will find out by Monday. My group consisted of Nick, Jen, Ali, and myself. We went in to Beethoven Haus (where he lived) to find a list of over 200 songs he wrote-we are hoping this will get us the 200 points we were looking for by going inside for the list. The hunt helped me orient myself in the city and it was fun! By the end my feet are officially blistered in several places and I was tired so I skipped the next 30 minute tour to go home for dinner and rest after 3.5 hours of sleep last night.
Dinner tonight was delicious as well. We had carrots, potatoes, and some sort of egg dish with pudding for dessert. Tea was on the table too. I had an interesting conversation with Uschi. I ended up telling her about homeschool which she had never heard of before. She was quite surprised. And, to top it off I told her I am Jewish and she seemed shocked for a minute-like she didn’t know how to respond. She talked of how her generation is the “young generation” and that they had nothing to do with the Holocaust. I asked her if they taught it to her in school and she said that they taught a little bit, but kids today learn more about it. She got up and told Laurent and Jurgen that I am Jewish and Laurent tried to explain to me that people still feel guilty for it. He said that his mother feels guilty still, but she disagreed with him. Uschi explained to me that Jurgen’s mother is 88 and when Jurgen asks her about WWII, she does not want to talk about it. The conversation was directed toward Israel and Palestine and how both parties are wrong. Uschi said that Germany tries to help Israel a lot. maybe too much. I found it interesting and found myself wondering if I should have waited a little bit longer to say anything about it. I just wanted to know if they could help me get to a memorial or concentration camp tomorrow because I have a free day and a big project to work on. She didn’t have those answers, but I will ask the student workers at the AIB as soon as I can.
I got to Skype today with Pascal which is always nice and comforting. I don’t think it has hit me fully that I will be here for 4 months. But every time I think about how long 4 months is, I try to tell myself that it isn’t that long. We will see!
I look forward to planning my weekend trips and taking photos!