8 May 2005
Please note that text in red indicates comments and changes to the original 2005 text that I made in June 2008. Enjoy!
Strangely, "day" two never really started. At least, not like normal days. You see, on the flight over to Germany, all of us "lost" six hours of time, so instead of being 4:15 AM when we landed, it was, in actuality, 10:15 AM, give or take a little. I had great difficulty with this--I had been accustomed to going to bed at 2:30-3:30 AM. Now that I was in Germany, I was getting up about the same time I used to be going to bed! Needless to say, because I didn't sleep much on the plane, I was very, very tired all day long. Ah, jetlag.
Eventually, all of us made it to Germany and we found each other at the proper terminal in Munich. At that point, it was our immense pleasure to wait on the German students who were bringing a bus to pick us up in. I spent some of this time learning about the features that my camera (Canon Powershot SD400) has. For instance, my camera's display screen can be used as a clock, if you hold the proper buttons down. I have since (it's Friday the 13th now) forgotten how to do this. Heh. I still have no idea how to do this, but at this point, it doesn't matter--I recently (June 2008) broke the screen on my poor little camera. Oops!
Eventually the German students came to get us, and we all piled into this small-ish bus. There was a storage compartment under the bus, but we had more luggage than it could hold, so we had to "carry on" some massive pieces of our luggage onto the bus, which made seating tight. The German students seemed to enjoy having us, but we were really unsure about what was supposed to happen--I had never met people from Germany before (Oh noes! So weird!). The students (only a fraction of the ones we would come to know) introduced themselves and we were on our way.
Before too long (45-60 minutes), we arrived in Augsburg, at the Hotel Garni. I was assigned a room with Peter McKeon on the 4th floor--we had to walk up all of the stairs in order to put our things away. After the way my legs were feeling, it wasn't fun to have to do this. To the right of us, Claudia and Jamie share a room. To our left, John Hulland is by himself in a room. John encouraged us to not fall asleep until at least 8 PM, so we all resolved to get out and see Augsburg for the first time. I needed to go to the ATM and to find wireless internet (if possible), so convincing myself not to just fall into a pile wasn't difficult. Peter, John, Jamie, maybe someone else, and I all decided to head off. We found a bank with an ATM where my Visa card would enable me to grab some euros. I ended up getting a killer exchange rate: I paid only $128.44 for my 100 euros. Not bad, eh? I was kind of worried about getting a massive fine from the bank (it wasn't a PNC ATM!), but I found out later that I didn't--I only paid $3.50 for this convenience. When factored into the price of the euros themselves, my final exchange rate was $131.94. I survived. I will (and did) do this again when I go abroad.
On the walk back to the hotel, I stopped and found some internet in front of a local internet cafe (I love the way how I talk about the internet as if it's tangible, like water. Ha!), though the network was unencrypted. I was very happy--I thought I would have much more trouble finding internet and using it than I did in reality. Score one for the generosity/ineptitude of people I'll probably never meet! :) Why not, eh?
On the internet here, I was able to purchase some SkypeOut credit, which enabled me to call Mom, Justin, and
Pap Pap my grandfather back in the States for only 2 American cents per minute while using the internet. I'm pretty sure this is a decent rate--why not get some? I spent some time online and then tried to find our hotel. My first time through, I was unable to remember where to turn, so I had to wander around a little bit. Luckily, there was a neat European car parked in front of our hotel that I had seen and remember the first time we came through. Using this as an indicator, and snapping a few pictures of it in thanks for its excellent service, went back to my room to prepare for dinner.
Dinner was at a local restaurant. Despite myself (and my well-known prejudice towards cabbage), I actually enjoyed my food at dinner, after carefully snapping a photo of it. :) We had some pork, some sausage, some ham, and some noodles with sauerkraut. Just take a look at the picture. :) Mostly everyone had some beer with dinner, but I only had a Coke, which, in fact, did taste a little different from the ones we get in the States. At dinner we got to meet with the rest of our German students. The students I'm working with are named Claudius and Jorgen (sp?).
That was pretty much all that happened on Day 2. I'll add more later if something warrants. Check below for some more images that just didn't fit in above!
What? A human brain? Yes, we found one on the streets, and I couldn't resist taking a picture.
It looked much more like a brain on my camera's small screen, trust me.
Augsburg is home to a several-hundred-year-old cathedral, shown here. Someone from the Pitt Study Abroad office thought that this picture was really neat and wanted to use it on their website.
I thought videogames were overpriced in America! These games are several years old, and yet a shop is charging 20 Euros for one? Ouch.
These two shots were taken at dinner. From left to right, we have Keiha, Claudia, Lydia (German), and Dirk (German).
Here's Peter and me, just being crazy. I'm really glad that I got to be Peter's roommate--we got along swimmingly. Note the terrible (ack!) double-chin on yours truly.
A brief video that I made to show my mom what my room looked like.