Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Take a wider view

So, as you might know I've studied some German on my own and I started an intensive course this past Monday, which meets Monday through Friday from 10 to 2:15. It's been an interesting experience thus far. It's at a language school called Inlingua, and it's taught entirely in German. There are ten people in my class and every one of us comes from a different country. It's moving fairly slow, but I'm hopeful it will become a bit more challenging in the weeks to come. I enjoy learning something new and having some routine in my days. It also reminds of how much time and effort is required to learn a new language, and how much time and effort it took me to learn Spanish.

Besides learning a new language, there are many other small things that I've learned and adapted to since arriving in Wuerzburg. For example, "bread" has a whole new meaning. What we think of as bread in the USA is called "American sandwich bread" here and it's not very common. Bread is bought fresh and not sliced. There are bakeries on nearly every corner, and surprisingly they are all busy. Germans are eating all different kinds of bread, rolls and pretzels (with butter). A typical breakfast here would be rolls with your choice of butter, jams, nutella, or cheese and salami. Delicious.

As for the rest of the food here, I'm not so convinced. Of course there are a variety of sausages (wurst), salami and even a strange German version of meatloaf called "leberkase", which to me tastes like a hot dog. Enough about that.

Let's see, what else is going on here? Well, the air ventilation system is simply opening the window three times a day for a few minutes, even in the winter. It was strange at first to be opening windows (no screens) when there is snow on the ground, but now I'm used to it. The heating system is different in that each room has an individual radiating heater (hence the need to open the window for air circulation).

Getting around in Germany is safe and easy with either the train or "car-sharing", which is a sort of pay your way carpool. The train can be expensive, and many times looking online and finding a car share is cheaper.

As for what's going on with me, besides the language course I am searching for employment options for myself here and trying to learn about applying for work and residence permits. I'm still not sure if I want to live here, but I at least want to know how I could make that happen. It's all been a bit discouraging thus far, leaving me frustrated and very confused. Hopefully I have some better news next time.

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