Today was the first day of school. Well, not really, but the first day of intensive German class and International Orientation. We did a pre-test to see which level we placed into, and luckily I was placed in the advanced level, so I don't have to learn to count or say "my name is...." again. After a really confusing hour or so afterwards, a couple other international guys and I ran around town trying to get our health insurance and student verification stuff organized so we could get a library card to get our books. We stopped at a little copy shop to print off my actual itinerary (so I could find out what the heck I was supposed to do), and Mikael asked the man for help. After I also started talking, he was like, "You really are English! I thought you were joking!" He was a nice guy though. But, it turns out I have none of the required papers to get my student ticket, so I'm stuck until Monday.
The cool thing about German University is that you just check out your schoolbooks from the library, you don't spend $800 on them.
(the picture below is of another tower/city gate thing above a creepy little pedestrian underpass.)
I convinced the other guys we needed to eat döner kebaps for lunch. We found a little place that advertised döner, but no kebaps. Still, I had a dönertasche at the advice of Lluis (left in the photo, from Mallorca) and Mikael (those are his feet in the photo below, and he took the picture above, from Sweden).
Dönertasche is the most magical creation I may have eaten in a long time. I think I'm going to be craving it all the time, like at breakfast and lunch and dinner and fourth meal. I think it beats out Taco Bell for sure, which is saying a lot. It's greasy mystery meat plus some onions, lettuce, other weird veggies and such, in a grilled pita shell that's lined with weird sauces. I would be able to describe it better if I had actually specified what I wanted in it, instead of saying "Just make it good! Go for it!" to the döner-chef. I think I got some weird sort of spicy sauce, an almost sweet flavored creamy white sauce, and some weird red chopped things that looked kind of like radishes. Anyway, the three of us seemed to have dropped half our sandwiches on the ground trying to eat the monstrosities that were the dönertasche. I didn't use the fork. I definitely used the napkins.
I had to be back at school for orientation after lunch. The bummer is that the international students are all in different colleges, in different parts of town, studying smart things like Mechanical Engineering or Product Design, etc. My orientation was for Business only, so I got meet some of the kids I'll have class with. They are ALL French, except two Chinese students and me. They supplied us with snacks, and I had the worst let-down in history. There was this thing, shaped like a pretzel, covered in chocolate. I was so excited. Dude. Like, I saved it for last so I could savor it. And I bite into it expecting crunchy chocolatey pretzel goodness. NO. Instead, it's soft, weird, almost American sandwich-bread like in texture, a cinnamon colored brown, and tasted sort of like spicy, or curry. For the record, I like almost everything. Especially in the dessert world. But this was horrifying. I actually ate about 6 bites of it, because I kept doubting that I didn't like it. No cell in my body believed that something covered in chocolate could be gross.
Today was an accomplishment of a day. Especially after I bought Nutella and german cookies to make up for the chocolate pretzel incident.