Finally in Freiburg!

Wellllll, let me tell you, traveling with 1 70-pound piece of luggage, 1 30-lb piece of luggage (on my back) and two carry-on bag/purses is not fun or easy. The flight was great but I watched Taken, which was a bad idea haha. Immediately after I got out of customs, I bought an Apfelschorle – great decision :). I missed that stuff!! So then, I bought my Deutsche Bahn (train) ticket to Freiburg and tried to start the transaction with my rusty German, but the lady saw right through that and continued in English haha. Good thing she did, otherwise I would have been quite lost. She roped me into buying a Bahn Card, which will actually be quite helpful as I will save 25% on all train tickets in Germany and some in surrounding countries (Austria!) for a whole year. Woo!

So, while making my way to my train, I met an Army guy when he offered to help me lug my luggage down a flight of stairs (the escalator wasn’t working!) and all I could think of was Taken, but he was legit and very nice. He’s almost retired from the Army at 30! Whoa.

Anyway, the train was lovely. I had to catch a connection in Karlsruhe, which almost shut me out but luckily some Deutsche Bahn workers saw me scrambling and held a door for me. Almost passed out on the train but I was too nervous to miss my stop ha.

Then, I get to Freiburg. I realize I don’t have the address to the place I’m staying. Smart. So I pay 50 Euro cents to check my email for the address. Good. Then, I start hunting (this is where the story goes south). I have all my luggage and I’m trudging – up cobbled sidewalks, down cobbled sidewalks, over bridges, back over bridges. It was bad. About an hour this lasted until I caved and got a taxi to take me there. Turns out, I was almost there once but turned around.

So I get there. I was only hoping for a place to store my luggage and didn’t expect to get my key until later, but of course they didn’t have a luggage storage room and since it is Sunday, no one was around. Luckily, the “Zivi” (Zivildienst- required service all Germans have to do when they graduate high school; the alternative to serving in the Army) saw me with all my luggage and got me my key. I find out that I have to get all my luggage up 3 flights of stairs. Cool. Finally get everything upstairs to find that I can’t open my door. Luckily, I hear someone in the next room, so I knock on the door, pathetically, and ask for help opening the door. I think his name is Venal? But since we were both speaking German and it was neither of our native language and I wouldn’t have understood his name anyway, I’m not sure. He was very nice though. And helped me get in and “Herzlich Wilkommen”-ed me (essentially welcomed me haha).

Then I passed out for about 4 hours, woke up, changed and decided to take a walk/find internet. Let me tell you, walking around a city you can’t figure out, with rusty German, no friends and an aching body is a little sad haha. But I found a McDonalds with a t-Mobile hot spot and I’m paying 8 Euros for internet. Since it is 2:30 PM in MI and my flight landed about 12 hours ago, my parents were worried sick about me. Typical haha. But I’m here to say: all is well, Freiburg is so far very nice, but overwhelming, and tomorrow I will play tourist and take lots of pictures. It’s fun people watching and interesting to catch people speaking English, French or other non-German languages (Turkish, Arabic, whatever).

Hope everyone is well! Miss you all already!
Until next time…
Cheers,
Alaina

Wow.

The big day is finally almost here. Can you believe it?! – I can’t. I’m sitting on my bed right now, unsure of what to do next. Fill out visa paperwork? Begin packing my duffel? Clean/organize my room? Write a somewhat pointless blogpost? Stare aimlessly around my room? I think you can figure out what I’m actually doing versus what I should be doing.

The reality of things is starting to hit me: I’m about to live in Europe for a year. And I won’t be taking classes the whole time, I’ll be working for a lot of it. I’ll be back at Christmas so it’s not like I’m completely freaking out, having second thoughts, etc. but it’s just kind of crazy. I drove home from Ann Arbor today (after celebrating Hilary’s 21st bday!) and it was the last time I’ll be doing that for a year. I said goodbye to friends I won’t see face-to-face until Christmas and it’s…. just wow. This is big.

My “To Do List” for tomorrow is long and daunting – it is scaring me more than actually flying to Germany on Saturday! I was never good at getting things done in a timely manner, and now I’m paying the price.

Anyway, I guess I should start this paperwork. My next post, I predict, will be from Freiburg 🙂

Until then…
Cheers,
Alaina

T-Minus 5….and counting

Well, Memorial Day Weekend is officially over, and that means that I am 5 days away from leaving (on a jet plaaane, don’t know when I’ll be back again…). Anyway, it’ll be a busy next few days with work, packing and cleaning my room (which currently looks as if a tornado has hit it). Should be fun. …

Might as well keep this first post short and sweet. I guess I should say the obligatory “stay tuned!” to all of my readers, for lots of good stories will be coming your way via this blog! 🙂 I hope you all make your own account to comment and give me your email and home addresses so that I can stay in touch!

Until next time…
Alaina