Adventures in England: Part 4
Anywho, no one is home in the international office. There's a note that says, "please 120 look" (in German; I did the translating) so I found room 120 and knocked. No answer. I tried the international office again. Still no one home. I waited around downstairs for a few minutes, then tried again. Still no one home. Someone came by and said, "No one is there." but I wasn't sure if that was a statement or a question... I just said, "Okay."
I went to the computer lab, and found out that classes would be using the labs I'd been using. I checked some mail and started to write a letter when I had to leave. So, I went back to the international office and still no one was there. I tried room 120 again and still nothing. I was still sick, tired and now I was frustrated and I had NO schedule!
So... I went home. I had planned to return at the international office's "office hours" but I napped through them. I woke up incredibly hungry, so I went and bought a "Doner" from this stand near Kaufland. That made me feel a little better, but I was still sick. I went home and slept. I spent most of the day feeling bad. Bad physically because I wasn't well, and bad emotionally because I wasn't sure about what I should do. I decided the best option was sleep, because that seemed to be helping.
Tuesday I was still a little late going, and kicked myself for not having bought any more food Monday, because I again had nothing to eat for breakfast, and the last time I'd eaten was afternoon Monday. I went again to the international office, and again no one was there. There was a new (different color) note on the door that still said "please 120 look" so I tried there again and still nothing.
I checked some email again, but got kicked out pretty quick. I went back to the international office, and this time, this guy stops me in the hall. I sort of knew him, he'd been in the international office when I'd gone there to ask questions a few times, but I wasn't sure his function, per se. He thinks I speak good German, though. Anywho, he told me that Frau Doberenz was sick. I looked at him and turned on the neon-sign which says, "What am I supposed to do NOW?" or something like that. I actually mumbled (in German), "Hmmmm... Frau Doberenz has for me a schedule of classes made?" And he says, "Hmmmm... Come here..." and he turns around and walks straight over to room 120 and opens the door and walks in.
I have _GOT_ to learn to try opening doors. I always back off when knocking fails, and this is apparently why I am here. God wants me to learn to open doors on my own. Sigh.
Anywho, the secretary (or, secretary-type woman) fiddles with some papers and pulls one out. There's a (barely) legible note on the front from Frau Thiel which apparently (I'm filling in some big gaps, both in my vocabulary, and in her handwriting) says that she was in a hurry and apologizes for not giving me more information, but that I should talk to Frau Doberenz and she'll help me understand more.
But Frau Doberenz isn't here today, she's sick. And I'm sick, I keep thinking. So, I decided that I wasn't getting anywhere without Frau Doberenz and that I wasn't getting any healthier walking around and not eating anything. I went to Kaufland and bought what I needed to get better... including stuff to make myself some nice hot tea.
Anywho, I tried going back to the international office later that day, but again no one was there. I wasn't too surprised, and I wasn't too enthused. I came back home and found mail in my mailbox. One was actually a note saying that someone tried to deliver a package and I wasn't here. They said they would leave it with the Hausmeister (landlord?) or that I could call and re-schedule. There was also my contract from Housing (must mean they finally received my deposit) and two letters from the phone company.
Letter one from the phone company basically said, "Thank you for your call last week. Here is some information... and here is an application for phone service." Interesting note: application for phone service also asks for your telephone number. Letter two says, "Thank you for your call last week. As a result of this call, we have scheduled an appointment Wednesday between 10am and 2pm. Please be punctual." I was a little confused about the double letters, but I think the first one is redundant.
It was at this time that I sat down to try and decipher my schedule. Frau Thiel's handwriting was pretty bad. I could kinda tell where things were meeting and when, but it was badly jumbled, and I realized I'd have to re-organize it. I did manage to put together than 10-2 Wednesday cut out all of my classes that day. (so... no classes Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday... great first week)
I did get the schedule kinda put together and I got some stuff to eat, but I still mostly felt bad. Bad because I felt like I was missing out on something, because I felt like I should be in classes, bad because nothing here is ever easy, bad because I still wasn't well and bad because I was all alone.
My roommate decided (apparently) Tuesday night was a good night to clean the refridgerator (I must look like a slob to these guys) ... although this is a new roommate now, the Chinese guy moved out. Anywho, he left all my newly-purchased food out on the table all night (apparently he was letting the fridge air out) so I hope it hasn't gone bad yet (room temperature was nearly fridgerator degrees).
Wednesday, I slept in a little, had a good brunch, and let the phone guy in. Phone guy set up my stuff, I went and tried to get telephone cords. Telephone works, but I have no one to call.
I chased down the Hausmeister, after the phone guy came. He is confusing to talk to. I asked him about the letter, and after a good long pause he said that sometimes they try and leave letters with him but he's usually not there. Strange answer, I thought. I also asked him (Housing office says he's the guy to ask) about the ethernet-plug (which doesn't do anything) and he said, "Blah blah not functioning blah blah. Blah blah some time blah blah. Blah blah next week or two blah blah blah." ("blah"s were probably words, but I didn't recognize them) I said okay, and left.
I did make it to one of my classes on Thursday. I had already decided that I am currently scheduled for WAY too many technical classes (I am scheduled for the equivalent to 21 hours of American courses). I would have gone to another one of my classes Thursday, but I met up with Miriam on my way to find it... I lost a lot of time talking with her, and I decided I had had enough for one day. Miriam had her folks with her, they had come through Germany on their way to visit Prague, and they invited me out to lunch. Miriam's Mom and Dad speak good English, and it was nice to have the chance to talk in English again.
After lunch, they left for Prague, and I decided I needed to get out and get some fresh air. When I had been trying to find one of my classes, I noticed a section on the map I hadn't seen before called, "Stadtpark" (citypark), and I thought that sounded like a fun place to check out. Miriam came by to ask what I was up to, and I told her I was going to go exploring Mittweida. She decided to come along.
Stadtpark Mittweida is *really* cool, and *really* far away. Its a big forest area, the goes pretty high up above the "city". (its far enough away from the city that calling it city just isn't fair) There are two "look-out" spots that give a really scenic view of the surrounding village, farmland, and of the Chopau river. At one point, we stumbled upon a building which had sign that said, "Spielcenter: Open 11 - 23." "Spiel" in German means "to play", so I thought this might be a toy store, or an arcade maybe?
No. Its a casino. A really weird, dingy, smoky little whole-in-the-wall casino. In order not to look completely stupid, I ordered a Coke. Miriam tried to order a Apple juice, and that just drew funny stares. At this point, though, all my best instincts were saying, "If Mittweida has a Neo-Nazi party headquarters, this would be an ideal location." So I drank my Coke _real_ fast and we left.
Its was a very cool trip. Mittweida is a lot bigger than I had thought. The scenery was really nice, and if we have another somewhat sunny day, I'll go back there with a camera. Those "look-out" spots would make cool pictures. In total, we ended up walking around for about 3 hours.
Anywho, there is nothing on my schedule for Friday, so I called the guy with my letter to see if he could bring it then (thinking: I can wait all day). I am hoping that this is my financial paper-work from CWRU.
This is again, "Overnight Express Courier". Joy of joys. I called, introduced myself, said he had a letter for me. He says, "No." I said, "Oh." He says, "This is Mittweida, right? Prof. Holzt street?" I said, "Yes." He starts talking. I didn't understand more than two or three words, really, but the general consensus had something to do with not having the letter anymore. It sounded like he was saying that he sent it back after having it for one week. So, if it is my financial paperwork from CWRU, its going back home. Sigh.
(Interesting note: I now know some of how this street I live on got its bizarre name. On our walk, Miriam and I discovered a turbine-facility on the Chopau. Walking around the facility, we stumbled onto a plaque concerning the facility... which said that the facility was conceived and designed by Prof. Holzt from Technikumplatz Mittweida. I don't know if that's justification for naming a street after the guy, but at least its something...)
So, here I am. My adventure in England is over, I am alive and sort of well in Mittweida, and I have been to one day of classes for my first week. Not bad, hunh?