Sunday, September 4, 2011

Arrived in Dortmund yesterday!

My time in Paris & Barcelona is over. Once I get internet in my dorm I will be posting a ridiculous amount of pictures and a list of my favorite experiences that I've had since I left on the 18th! I've been in a 40,000 people food fight, seen the sunset from the Arc d' Triumphe, cried in the Notre Dame and got a tan on the beaches in Barcelona.

I guess somewhere in there I gained a little bit better sense of direction (Hey I can read maps now!), gained a lot more self-assurance and became more positive. I think I'm actually more relaxed now when small things mess up. So many things happened that could have made me upset but I learned I had to be flexible... I hope I keep that in mind. Also, people were SO NICE. I think a lot of people have the 'Ah Europeans hate Americans and french people are mean' stereotype. Which I didn't run into.

The train to Dortmund was strange. People kept thinking I was french or Spanish few people outright talked to me in English or assumed I wasn't from there. I am used to be slightly ambiguous..but that gets tricky when traveling. One Frenchman reprimanded me for not speaking French because he said I knew french because I understood a simple phrase the conductor used and didn't bother to ask him in English.

So now I am in Dortmund. when I arrived here yesterday I made it just in time to get on the train from Dortmund. Only 2 minutes before it left. But when I got on the train, they told me in was the wrong one and that it went to Dusseldorf. After going to the ticket counter they said it was the right one and the next didn't leave for half an hour. That one didn't come at all. So I ended up leaving an hour later. Turns out, if I would have gotten the first train I would have landed in the middle of a Neo Nazi demonstration and an anti neo Nazi demonstration form the Peace Festival that Dortmund was having. They had hundreds of police and riot squad at the station, some got hurt I guess. It was a crazy situation.

The student who met me at the train station stayed during the riot\protest so I wouldn't get to the train station and be alone. When you are an exchange student in Dortmund you get a Dortmund Double who helps you get to your apartment, find things, etc. Today we went out for lunch(with another international student from Missouri) and she helped me get to my apartment yesterday. My roommate is an engineering student from Taiwan and she has been so friendly and helpful. My room is fully furnished(even blankets and kitchenware etc), and my apartment complex has a bunny infestation! So at dusk and night you see them hopping around. Also I am right around the corner from a train station and bus stop so I can get anywhere so easy.

Orientation for my program is tomorrow. Then my german language program starts.

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