19 May 2005
Please note that text in red indicates comments and changes to the original 2005 text that I made in June 2008. Enjoy!
Thursday started about the same as any other day here in Augsburg did. I had breakfast and I headed off to the Uni. I arrived by about 10 AM so that I could meet up with Herr Fock. You see, I had this idea that while I was in Germany, I should try to find some sort of meaningful souvenir for myself while I was here. Yes, I had my sunglasses, but I wanted something more, something greater. The problem was, I was torn between two choices:
- 1) I could return to Baguettski (which is really sounding good already!) and purchase a Baguettski team shirt--they were just so awesome! I'd wear it all the time. :D The catch: Each one was 20 Euros. :/ Yikes! 20 Euros for a silly polo shirt? Hmm. . .
- 2) I could try to find a way to get my favorite brown shoes (waterproof (Goretex) leather shoes! How can you say no?) fixed. You see, the soles of the shoes had worn down so much that whenever it was wet outside, the shoes were actually dangerous to wear because of how slippery they were! The catch: it would cost at least as much to fix my shoes as it would to get a Baguettski shirt.
What did I choose? Well, after much deliberation, I decided that if I could get my shoes fixed for 20 Euros, I would do it, which is why I was seeking an audience with the Great Herr Fock; he volunteered to help me locate a shoemaker. So I went to see Herr Fock, and he handed me a print out that he had made that listed about 10 likely places I could go. Smiling, I thanked Herr Fock and went to seek out one of my German friends who could tell me how to actually get to one of these places.
Rather quickly (I am, apparently, a speedy dude!), I found Dirk, who was more than willing to help me out, despite the fact that his group was working on their presentation at the time. Dirk gave me detailed instructions to a place called "Okey"--I had to go back to the Hotel (to get my shoes! Doh!), then ride tram 2 to catch tram 3, and then I had to catch bus 41 (I think) that would take me close to where I wanted to go. Luckily for me, I was very familiar with the tram/bus system by this time, so I was able to do this without any difficulty. The hard part came when I had to walk to find the actual place--it was much farther than I had originally thought! Eventually, though (about an hour after all of this had started), I was able find the shoemaker.
I made it back to the Uni in time to meet with my group at 2 PM. Heck, I even had some time to grab something to eat (can you say Baguettski? I sure was able to! :D :D :D) and take my time in getting there. My group and I finished up our presentation (I did some additional graphics work--which is all I'm good for, it seems (I don't know business at all. . . :) )) and we sat around waiting until 4 o'clock rolled around. My technical expertise was called into action so that we could get the projector working (it was nice to be the most computer-literate person in a group, for once (This actually happens to me all the time, so I don't know why I said this.)). Each group gave a presentation, and some were better than others. My group's presentation was quite visually pleasing (I did the design! Wahoo!), but other than that, it was pretty average, which is not to say that Claudius and Casey did not do a pair of fine jobs when the presented it, though. :) It took longer than I had hoped for us to get through all of them. *shrug* A necessary evil.
Everyone else went back to the hotel to change clothes and prepare for the evening's meal and nightlife, but I decided to stay at the Uni and use their internet to get some quality playing time in on World of Warcraft for a few minutes. I also checked/responded to e-mail and other things. Herr Fock and I agreed to meet at the tram station at 7:30 so that we could meet the others at 8:00 at Enchilada's. I wasn't late, but I wasn't as early as I should have been. Luckily for me, I ran into Herr Fock on the way, but we missed the tram. :( What did we do? Wait for the next one? Heavens, no! Herr Fock got us a taxi! Yes, that's right, and honest-to-goodness Mercedes-Benz taxi. Yes, it had a leather interior. Yes, the ride was excellently smooth. Yes, I'd do it again, in an instant! :)
We got to Enchilada's on time, but the fee for the taxi was over 5 Euros. Yikes. :/ (<-- that's for you, Justin!) All of us entered Enchilada's at the same time, and we kind of took over the entire back corner of the restaurant, which was really cool. There was some controversy about who would sit where, but things eventually worked out in a way that was extremely to my liking. On my left sat Lydia, the mysterious yet intriguing German woman. To my right: Peter, faithful confidant and jokester. In front of me? Does it even matter? :D For the sake of completeness, Laura, Jamie, Lisa, and Kevin were all more or less in front of me, for what it's worth. I was pleased because not only was dinner being paid for by Katz (the business school at Pitt), but I was able to sit by Lydia, one of the German girls that I had not yet gotten a chance to know. In a sense, I suppose that I felt as though that maybe I could convince her to talk to me--that I might succeed where Peter had failed, in a sense. (I don't know where I'm pulling all of this "in a sense" crap from, but let me tell you this: I was really eager to see if I couldn't get her to warm up to me. I'm a charming, funny, in-my-own-way-charismatic guy, and I needed to know just how good I was.) Don't read too much into this--I only was only seeking to draw her into conversation, not into some carefully crafted web of deceptions and clever lies. Why not, you ask? I don't need clever lies and deceptions--I'm fun enough without all of that!
Luck was with me. For the entire trip, I had been at everyone else's mercy--I could hardly read two words on any menu set in front of me, and one was usually "bier"! However, on this night, we were in a Mexican restaurant. . . and guess who studied Spanish in high school? Yes, that's right--yours truly! I "stepped up to the plate" (even though I don't like baseball, apparently I'll use references to it to further my writings. Ha.) and tried to assist anyone who needed assistance. . . even though English menus were eventually provided (not that I needed or used one, mind you.). Señora Evans would have been proud: I even ordered in Spanish which, ah, probably wasn't helpful, seeing as I was in Germany! The food at Enchilada's was excellent, especially because I wasn't paying and it wasn't more sausage. I'd love to go back when I make my return to Augsburg, but I don't think that I actually will. You see, Baguetteski isn't so far from Enchiladas. . . ;) At any rate, I was able to help Lydia decide what to get (or, at a minimum, say something interesting about whatever it was that she ordered), and our conversation took off from there.
Time passes. Things start to wind down, and the others begin to talk of going to clubs or whatnot. Curious, I asked Lydia what her plans were. Upon hearing the somewhat unenthusiastic response, "Oh, I think I will return to my dorm and maybe see my friends,"
I thought that I might ask her if instead, she would rather watch a movie with me I knew for sure that I had a good chance of convincing her that she'd rather watch a movie with me. You see, I had come to Germany quite prepared for a two week stay; I had two excellent movies with me, both starring the same excellent guy! Yes, you guessed it! I had packed the Matrix Reloaded and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure! What more could I have possibly needed? Just before this, I had found out that Lydia likes to watch American movies in English (a major plus for anyone I'm going to be hanging out with--one can only watch so many subtitles! :) ), but she wasn't a huge sci-fi fan. Even though I brought two sci-fi movies with me, I figured that I watching the one that was less sci-fi-ish would be good, which doesn't even take into account how ridiculously awesome BaTEA (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure) is! So, kind of nervously (something I still can't figure out) and in all in a rush (No, I'm still like this--I rush my words (even more) when I'm nervous. Like when I'm giving blood and they ask all of those embarassing questions, for example.)
, I asked Lydia if she would like to spend the evening with me, watching a movie (a better movie than we had seen the day before, I promised her). She agreed (after receiving reassurance from Peter that indeed it was a good movie) and we left, headed back to the hotel where I had my computer and whatnot. Needless to say, we had a great time watching the film, even though we only got through half of it before we had to say goodnight. Day 13, and my trip, draw to a close.