Monthly Archives: August 2013

Bürokratie can’t touch this

Congratulations! Chelsea, you are now eligible to add another person to your acquaintance list in Oldenburg!

Everybody put your back into it!

Everybody put your back into it!

This brings my “Freundeskreis” (I put this word in quotes, because, let’s be real) to a staggering number of like… four! Hooray!

In other big news, I am now angemeldet and have successfully had my first interaction with German Bürokratie. I was terrified all for naught! Pretty simple process. Head to the Einwohnermeldeamt, take a number, and wait (about five seconds) for my number to flash on the screen. Enter a room, talk to a nice Beamtin, and wait until she prints out the Anmeldebestätigung and then I was good to go!

Easy-peasy.

After that was taken care of, I ate some nice rice curry type stuff at this place called Suppen Eck (and it really is just a corner), and that was wonderful and delicious.

I then set my sights on a Bankkonto, so I wandered around until I found the Sparkasse and proceeded to set up an appointment to open my account tomorrow. Hopefully, and seriously hopefully, I’ve got everything they require and I can open one smoothly.

"Cross your fingers" is sooo last continent. Press those thumbs for me, won't you?

“Cross your fingers” is sooo last continent. Press those thumbs for me, won’t you?

Anyway, I’m feeling pretty successful. I also managed to buy a book that I’ve been wanting to have since I was in Salzburg earlier this year. I don’t know why, since I know nothing about it and have not read any summaries or anything, but I really wanted this book. So, now I have it. And I guess I’m about to read it here in a minute.

Yay for judging books by their covers!

Yay for judging books by their covers!

And the last tidbit of potentially interesting information is that tonight Oldenburg’s Stadtfest begins, and I’ll be hittin’ that up with some other teachers from my Gymnasium, I suppose! I’m excited, I like hanging out with them, and the city looked really exciting when I was walking around earlier. All kinds of booths and crazy things set up; I think it’ll be a nice time.

And morgen: Köln! Tschüss, kids.

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Lebensmittel; or, today I went to the grocery store

So I know that the last time I posted was– what– like 10 hours ago? But we move on from such trivial matters, because I’m sitting in my room and what else am I supposed to do? May as well type some stuff. Plus, I’m sure the detailed minutiae of my Abenteuer-in-Deutschland are really fascinating for the rest of the world (read: my mom).

Zum Beispiel: I bought shampoo and conditioner! Let's have a party about it!

Zum Beispiel: I bought shampoo and conditioner! Let’s have a party about it!

Anyway, I finally made it to the grocery store today. I really needed to eat… so. I found myself walking way down the street to some place called Penny, which unfortunately is not a division of JC Penny (sucks, right mom?). However, it is a perfectly fine looking supermarket-like establishment where I finally purchased some random things like Tabasco, soy sauce, and feta cheese.

Just the necessities, you know.

I don’t know that I’ll go back, though, as by the time I carried my two overloaded bags back to the apartment, I was sweaty and my shoulders hurt. It’s kind of a ways down the road. I’m pretty positive there’s something closer than that, but my limited knowledge of this place left me seeking ANY place where I could buy a bottle of wine.

A life force, really.

A life force, really.

Yeah, so. I don’t know what else I’ll do today. I figured I’d make this day my own as I’ve been so busy since arriving, and I’m liking just relaxing a bit. I definitely slept in too late today, but considering all that’s been going on, I’m not too ashamed.

No alarms for me today!

No alarms for me!

What a weird stock photo. Not the weirdest, that’s for sure. Google image search something like “banana hair” and you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway, I’ll get around to posting some pictures sometime. Right now I’m too busy sitting and I’ll probably start eating some chocolate soon.

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Die erste Tage, summarized

Guten Abend, errybody!

I’m sitting here in my brand-new IKEA chair that I BUILT today, all by my little self, and I’m feeling quite pleased. Drinking a Veltin’s Curuba just like when I was 16 and in Germany for the first time. It’s not really as good as I remember, but I had to get it for nostalgia’s sake.

I would definitely wear this hat. Like, definitely.

I would definitely wear this hat. Like, definitely.

So I guess you’re wondering what I’m talking about, and the truth is, I’m in Germany! I’m in Oldenburg! I made it! Crazy, right? With all those layovers, you’d thought I’d never make it. How little faith you have, dear reader(s)(?).

It’s Tuesday now and I arrived on Friday night, here are the highlights:

  1. My Betreuungslehrerin Picked Me Up At The Train Station And Had Already Bought Food For Me, Then Proceeded To Invite Me To Several Bars
  2. I Got My Phone Set Up On The Second Day And Then Proceeded To Break iMessage
  3. Another Teacher And Her Husband Made Me Lasagna And Went Out With Me Until Three In The Morning
  4. My Other Betreuungslehrerin Took Me To The North Sea With Her Family, Including Her Three Young Daughters, Who Are Too Adorable For Words
  5. I Visited My Gymnasium And Loved Every Minute Of It
  6. I Met Another Fulbrighter In Bremen And Ate A Super Delicious Döner Rollo
  7. I Built A Chair (Admittedly, With Help From IKEA)

Basically, so far, so good.

Yeah. Kinda like that. I was Mia Wallace for Halloween once.

Yeah. Kinda like that. I was Mia Wallace for Halloween once.

I LOVE my apartment. I felt kind of strange at first, being thrown so suddenly into a random new city, surrounded by people I didn’t know, and sleeping in a room I’d only ever seen in pictures, but I love it. I love being here. It’s so comfortable, and I absolutely love my room.

I still haven’t totally gotten my sense of direction in the city, but I also haven’t really had much time to myself as of yet. The teachers have kept me pretty busy, which I really appreciate! But I think I’ll put off going to the Einwohnermeldeamt one more day and sleep in a bit tomorrow.

Speaking of the Einwohnermeldeamt, I’m probably more afraid of whatever-that-is than I should be. It’s just kind of overwhelming, thinking about walking into some sort of German government agency not really knowing what they’ll want me to do or what they’ll ask me for, though I should probably calm down because Ashley’s already managed to do that AND open a bank account. Show-off.

She is SO being the bendy straw to my straight straw! Bitch.

She is SO being the bendy straw to my straight straw! Bitch. (Just kidding I’m proud of you!)

My teachers are the most wonderful, gracious people I could have ever hoped to be put in contact with. They are so generous with their time and I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to show enough gratitude, though they seem to believe they’re just doing “what anyone else would do” (spoiler: they’re not! they’re angels!).

Friday we leave for Köln and three days of merriment before orientation. I can’t wait to see Ashley and meet all the other German-loving people just as weird as me, who have also managed to find themselves in this crazy situation.

I’m missing home a bit, but only because Oldenburg doesn’t TOTALLY feel like “home” yet. It’s kind of hard being thrown into a city where you don’t know anyone and your native language is not the native language of those around you. It’s pretty intimidating. But it’s exactly what I wanted! And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ich liebe Deutschland, egal wie merkwürdig ich bin.

Stimmt.

Stimmt.

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Five days and five thousand thoughts

So, right now, the countdown is five days.

Oh mah gawd, my stomach hurts. It’s really quite unreal. I don’t know how to deal with the fact that five days from now, I’ll be getting on a plane in Detroit headed to Paris, en route to my brand new life in Oldenburg.

I’m done working now, so I’ve got the next five days to freak out and panic as much as my little heart desires. Which, let me tell you, is a lot.

I'm euro-rollin'.

I’m euro-rollin’.

I’ve got a ton of Euros in my pocket, just waiting to be spent. Likely on coffee. I’m guessing the first Euro-purchase I make will be coffee.

Next up, a taxi ride from Berlin Tegel to the Hauptbahnhof, leading up to a magical five hour journey, a maximum of three trains, all to arrive in Oldenburg and find a lady I’ve never met waiting for me as I get off the platform.

Last night we had my going-away party. It was wonderful to see the people I’ll miss most for the next year. I even got a few gifts, which I didn’t expect and couldn’t be more grateful for. Big shout out to the established adults monetarily supporting my “prestigious” year abroad!

I also found some real gems at an antique store the other day with my grandma.

1,125 Marks and 1,000 Kronen all for $2.50!

1,125 Marks and 1,000 Kronen all for $2.50!

Old German money! Dating back as far as 1902! German major nerd moment, stay with me now.

This post feels really scattered, but that’s basically the way my brain is working right now. I don’t really know what’s happening and my heart is beating too fast, so, you know. Keep listening, if you would.

I don’t know. Right now, I’m drinking a Bloody Mary and watching Lifetime in my living room. Not my most stable of moments, but believe me, I’m also excited.

The only thing I’m still really concerned about is that I’ve yet to hear back from the Uni Bremen. I’m really banking on doing a Gaststudium there… I really need that SemesterTicket and I want to take classes. I’m only going to be working 12 hours a week, after all. Really hoping to hear about that… hint hint… Uni Bremen, you out there?

Well, I’m officially losing my mind. Happens. So, here we go!

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