6 Wochen in Deutschland!
I typed this post up and then it didn’t post properly, so I’ll try to word it as well as I had the first time (it was pretty good, so this probably won’t be quite the same). I got access to this blog a little bit late (I’ve already been here for three weeks! It’s crazy!) but that’s alright!
Finals Week Spring 2015: A combination of finals stress, nervous excitement over this trip, and trying to make sure I had everything sorted out, both for spring semester and for the summer. Once home for the summer, I made a list of everything I was packing, everything I needed, and basically anything else that could be listed. With the help of my mom (thank you), I packed and I re-packed, rolling up all of my clothes to make them as small as possible. I was worried that I wouldn’t have very easy access to a washer-dryer (It turns out that there’s a washing machine in my kitchen here) so I packed enough clothes to only have to do laundry twice for my entire 6-week program. I bought shampoo, cough drops, granola bars, and everything else I thought I’d need. For the last few days before departure I was constantly thinking, “Did I pack everything?” Plug converter, chargers, Advil, camera. Double check again. I think everything’s all set, and then it’s time to go to the airport.
My friend Cara and I were flying together to avoid having to be alone in the airports and train stations on the way, so that was nice. In the airport we also ran into our friend John, who ended up being on the same flight as us. We all hung out in the airport for a little while waiting to get on board for our 8 hour flight. Lots of naps, a couple of movies (Into the Woods was pretty good!), and some really awful food later, we touched down in Frankfurt. From there, it was clear that it was a totally different world; there were no water fountains to re-fill reusable bottles, so we ended up having to buy bottled water. They don’t drink tap water here, which I think is interesting because Münster is such a “green” city. (I now drink quite a bit of the tap water since learning it’s safe to drink, I’m not entirely sure why the locals don’t)
From Frankfurt, we all got on a train to Münster, where we got to see some lovely views of the German countryside. We all ended up napping through half the train ride because our body’s hadn’t yet adjusted to the time difference, but for the parts that I was awake for, the views were lovely. The train was cramped because we couldn’t fit all three of our suitcases in the small overhead compartment, but for the most part it was a pretty good journey.
Once in Münster, we all went our separate ways to try and find our houses. I found mine pretty easily, but being so tired with a large suitcase and a paper map in the rain was pretty stressful. Once I arrived safely at what would be my home for 6 weeks, I met my lovely host family. I’m living with a mother and a daughter and their two rabbits (the bunnies are so precious). Since I’d been traveling all day, my family took me out to dinner because I hadn’t really had a chance for a good meal. At that point I was so hungry that I could barely eat, so I managed a few bites before getting a box for the rest (cold spaghetti is pretty good the next day). They were so sweet to me, and since they don’t speak very much English, I started learning more German as soon as I arrived.
And the next morning I got to wake up to this lovely view: