I made it...barely!

Trip Start Feb 23, 2010
Trip End Jun 25, 2010

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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Friday, February 26, 2010

Well I successfully made it to Freiburg! yay! but public transportation is so not my thing. I didn't mind the planes too much actually.It went well for my first time flying I think. I unfortunately wasn't able to sleep the entire 10 hour flight. Landing is the scariest part! It was the trains that really gave me a hard time. Especially the second one because my first one was late and i only had like 5 minutes to get off and hurry up and find my next train! so i BARELY made it on and then had to drag my luggage to my seat which of course was like on the other end of the train! Then the train had to stop for 45 min. I am still not sure why, but that made me late for arrival time. My arms are still sore from dragging my suitcases around all day lol.  I am not alone in any of this, however. A lot of my new friends had the same problems and are going through the same stuff now: jetlag, sickness, soreness. I have a terrible cold, but i've got medicine and hopefully will be better soon! Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining! It's been a lot of fun so far!

When I arrived Wednesday evening, I met with my little group of people in the program who live in my dorm and the dorm next to it and our "tutor" Neils (We call him Neils Diamond) who is a native German who works for IES. He showed us around and we went to dinner.  There are 4 people in my group besides me: Abigail, Hannah, Dan, and Cody. We've basically been sticking together, but i've met a lot of other cool people too who sometimes hang out with us.
I have 2 suitemates named Marion and Eva. Eva is a native German and goes to the University here. Marion is from Paris, France and is part of the IES program too. We're separated by country in the program though. We always speak German in our suite. When I'm with the Amerikaners, we speak "Denglish", a combo of German and English...in other words, we usually speak mostly German and fill in what we don't know with English. :)  ...or English with a few German words thrown in.

Thursday morning we all met at the IES Center for Frühstuck (breakfast) at 9:30am. Then we had to take a language placement test, get a tour of the city, and eat lunch at the Mensa, the University cafeteria...not so yummy. :P After that we walked around downtown and just hung out for a bit. The weather was pretty nice, not too cold at all!  Later we went to Kaufland, the grocery store that's close to our dorm and that was a fun experience! There were 2 especially cool things that I liked. First is that for fruits and veggies, you get however much u want, put it in a bag, and weigh it on the scale after pressing the appropriate button for what u got (apple, banana, etc) and then it spits out a price sticker that u put on it. hehe. that was fun. Second is the escalator thing because there are two floors to the store, so you can take your shopping cart with you on the escalator because the stairs collapse. I got about enough food for a week, figuring in eating out and whatnot, and only spent about 30€ (45 dollars). It seems easier here than in the U.S. to find food that's really cheap and actually tastes pretty good. For dinner we went out for Pizza. "personal" pizza and drink for about 3€, which is about 5 bucks, but the pizza is practically a medium-sized pizza. very good deal. :)

Today (Friday), we had to meet at IES at 10am to discuss safety for almost 2 hours...that was kinda boring, but necessary I spose. After that my friends and I went perusing downtown and ate at Kebap Haus, a Döner Kebab restaurant, for lunch, which if you haven't heard of it, is a Turkish food, similar to Gyros, but different. I had a Döner Vegetarisch (vegetarian) cuz its lamb meat otherwise... and i'm not that brave with meat. It was good! We then went to Starbucks haha. We wandered around downtown for a while to kill time before our scheduled trip to IKEA, which in German is pronounced "eee kaay uhhh" as my suitemate corrected me. Our dorm is a bit far so we have to take the train there and back so it makes more sense to just hang around than to go back and forth too much. Today was a cold, windy, and rainy day, but still not bad for winter.

I just now got internet in my dorm room and have some free time so that's why I'm finally blogging! I also finally got some time to really unpack and organize my room a bit.

Tomorrow we're going on a field trip to Schauinsland...more about that later :) Here are a few pictures below that i've taken so far...

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