Whew! Lots to talk about. No pictures yet, I'm happy to have found a place to plug the laptop in. There is media center on the top floor of the Goethe Institut and while they don't have wireless, they will lend me a cable.
Despite Sunday the 26th being the busiest travel day of the year, I had no problems at all. My friend Amie picked me up at 7:30 and deserves a huge thanks for driving all the way down from Oakland just to drive over to SFO. Anyway, zero traffic along the way and at the airport. I checked in without a hitch, though I was thrown for a loop that United forces you to check in with their machines first. What got me was that I had to use a credit card in order to identify myself to the little machine. This worked even though I didn't buy my ticket. It made me think about the weird ways we are giving up privacy for convenience. had I been allowed to first use my driver's license or my passport, I would feel less uncomfortable about it.
And when I got to security, it was not thrilling to see that the young non-caucasian kid in front of me had his laptop scanned three times, turned on and generally held up while my backpack loaded with computer, camera, CD player, Nintendo DS, cables and batteries went waltzing through. Maybe I've adopted the I'm-really-tired-of-this-so-let's-not-waste-our-time look that I don't get hassled. Then again, it's probably because I'm white.
The flight stunk, but I generally hate being crammed into a tiny little place for hours on end. Even though the flight from Chicago to Munich wasn't full and we were able to swap seats around so I had two instead of one, it still stunk. There are few times in my life that I have wished I was well under 6 feet tall. Flying is usually one of them.
My first day was great, though. I took the subway from the airport to the city center and had little trouble finding the G-I. Once there, I went through an interview and, because they had sent me the entrance exam ahead of time (and I barely got it back to them the Friday before), I got to skip that part. After I was registered, they handed me 500€! Part of it is to cover breakfast and lunch which I expected, but the extra couple hundred just for grins? Sweet!
I turned around and spent part of that when I arrived at my housing. It's a dormitory that is part of another school in the city. As I was checking in, I asked if I could extend my stay by one week. It turns out that my room was available for that time so no problem, I just have to pay. But wait. It's only 16€ per night, so the extra week is about 100€! Double-sweet!
But my luck ran out this morning. I arrived when I was told, in the afternoon, to check where my class was being held. My name wasn't on the list so I asked and they told me. At the correct room is a room with five beautiful young women. I'm thinking I died and went to heaven. But it was not to be! I was in the right room, but at the wrong time. Crap, that means these aren't my classmates. Double-crap! I just missed the first day of my class.
So here I am in the Mediathek (I guess that's a play on words from Library which in German is Bibliothek), trying catch up on whatever work I might have missed and rescheduling my brain to the earlier class schedule. Not that I mind that, really. Having a morning class means I have the entire afternoon to myself rather than having my day broken up by needing to be back at the city center in the middle of the day.
So ending on a few high notes. The work I missed is mostly stuff I know so that's no biggie. And I have the rest of the day free to goof off, get further settled, take some pictures and figure out how to connect to the wifi at the dorm. If so, then I will have a few pictures of a cemetery up later.