Thursday, 6 October 2011

[Lie back and think of England...]

Hallo aus Deutschland!
So here I am!  I’ve been in Stuttgart for about 24 hours now, so here’s the low-down.
the bit cut out of the desk
When I first walked in it looked like a cell.  Seriously.  White painted walls, white-light wooden coloured furniture, 2m white tiling around the sink, turquoise plastic floor.  All the stuff in it is really nice, with lots of storage space, a huuuge desk and a comfy bed.  Dont think I’ll be moving the stuff around too much though, as it all looks nice and seems to be made to fit the room.  (For example, the desk has a bit cut out of it so that the radiator pipes will fit).   Typical German efficiency there!  I’ve now sorted out my room, anyway.  It looks a bit more homely – it now has bedding, and pictures and cards all over the place.  
I think I might need to get a rug or something for the floor, and maybe something for the walls.  I’ve not put the pictures on the walls because I have no curtains – something that I was not expecting at all!  No bedding, I expected.  No curtains... what?!  There’s a curtain rail (it even features in the inventory) but no curtains.  I just can’t get over it! Anyway, now my photos have made a kind-of curtain.  The light didn’t wake me up this morning, so I guess it’s ok, but I might go and get some anyway.  You know, just to seem normal!

The halls are alright.  In each flat (I’m in 46 F) there are a number of rooms – 11 in my case.  We all share two “Dusche-WC” (bathrooms) and one was already claimed as the boys’ when I got here.  Fine by me!  In the one that’s left (presumably the girls’) there are two toilets and two showers.  The showers are nice- powerful and hot – and the toilets have the sink in the cubicle too.  This bathroom is right next to the kitchen, so I have to go upstairs. The Kitchen consists of a cooking area and a living area.  The cooking area has a cupboard for each of us (we were given a key for it) and a lockable cupboard in the fridge for each of us too.  We have half a drawer in the freezer, so I won’t be able to freeze so much stuff this year!  There are about 6 hobs and an oven, a microwave and a toaster.  I think there was a kettle too, but can’t quite remember.  There’s already a rubbish rota up that lasts until January, and it’s not my turn until November, which suits me fine! All the rubbish is separated here.  The living area has a big table for everyone to sit around, a sofa, a TV and a radio.  I’ve only met one person who’s in my flat so far – Johannes, who lives opposite.  He seems nice enough, but I’m kicking myself for turning down a tour of the flat!  Stupid girl.  I’m yet to meet anyone else, partly because I don’t really know what time people eat round here, partly because they still have exams at the moment and partly because I’m actually quite scared of meeting people.  Silly, I know, but I’m still in the “argh-German-help!” stage.  It’s so easy to just shut the door of your room (especially as I’m at the end of a corridor) and isolate yourself, which I mustn’t allow to happen!  Spent last night watching any TV I had downloaded already (Cherry Healey’s Body Dilemmas and Doctor Who) as had nothing else to do...

Side note: also yet to find the sauna.

The main bit of uni isn’t even 5 minutes walk away from my halls.  I’ve managed to set up a Bank Account (woo) even if the man decided to speak English to me just because I misheard “data” (“Daten”) as “date” (“Datum”), which I think is an easy mistake to make and would explain my confused face!  Still, I think he got the idea that I wasn’t totally stupid when I understood what he was saying a bit later on, but I still would have much rather he’s done it in German with me.  OH well!  I’ve yet to explore other areas of the campus – I think there’s a little shop here which sells fresh bread and things.  I also went over to the International Centre, but there didn’t seem to be much happening, other than a banner that said “Welcome International Students”.  I need to try to get the Internet at some point as well, but I have no idea where to get that from!  I’m writing this on Thursday, so we’ll have to see how long it takes for me to find it... It’s quite annoying as everything is on the internet as well – all the posters say “register here *give internet address*” and I can’t access emails either!  :’-(

I took a trip to Lidl’s in Vaihingen (the village-y area that the campus is attached to) yesterday and got a few things, but I’m already noticing the lack of variety.  No chickpeas or kidney beans!  Also couldn’t find oil, rice, stock cubes or mince, which surprised me, but then maybe I’m looking in the wrong place.  I know that there’s a market in Stuttgart, so I’ll have to go over there at some point and see if they have a butcher or something!

So far I think I’ve done alright:
Good points:
:) Got a room with bedding
:) Got food
:) Have at least one flat mate
:) Nice showers and toilets
:) Jumpers coming in handy

Bad points:
:( No internet (therefore can’t transfer money to account, can’t Skype, can’t email, can’t blog!)
:( Acting like a recluse (therefore no friends and therefore lonely L)
:( No idea how to get internet (therefore no internet – see above)
:( No idea how to sign up to things to get involved and stop acting like a recluse (therefore acting like a recluse – see above)

So I have more good points than bad points, which must be good really!  It’s just easier to focus on the bad things at the moment.  Looking forward to getting internet so that I can sign up for things and get in contact with people!

UPDATE: obviously now have internet!

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