Week Three is not much better than Week Two, unfortunately. Good news though: All the stuff I'm worried about this week will definitely be taken care of by the end of January, at the latest. Then I can start settling into my new apartment, making new friends (in theory), and planning travel/exploring the area. Then I will (hopefully) get to more fun travel abroad stuff! Less complaining at least.
Work Schedule: I am coming in way too damn early. I had the same problem in Indianapolis but at a much smaller scale. Basically, I like coming in between 6:30 and 7. It ensures I have a nice parking spot (seriously an issue here during winter months). More importantly, it means I have a couple of hours to get in and get settled before everyone else comes in. The problem, though, is the leaving at the end of the day. In Indy, I regularly left between 3:30 and 4 and it was fine. Everyone knew I came in crazy early and I stayed late when needed. Here though... Everyone stays so late! Meetings commonly go to 6. When I leave at 4:30, everyone is still around. The guilt!! The solution is easy - get over the guilt or come in later. But mentally I can't get over the former and my body will not allow me to wake up later than 6. Help.
IT: I might cry on this one. I am so frustrated. Last year, when I did my three month stint, I stayed an employee of the United States. Well, since this is an actual expat assignment, I switch to a German employee. Which apparently means royally screwing up my laptop and credentials. *Okay I just deleted a huge rant. Basically my laptop situation sucks. It has sucked for two weeks now. It is on the verge of getting better. I'm extremely frustrated with the situation and how IT has handled it. But by the end of my first month in Germany, it will be taken care of. And I get to look forward to having the exact same problems in a year when I go back to the States! At least then I'll know it's coming.
Bank: I had to get a German bank this week. I have to recommend: Do not do temporary housing. I'm in my boarding house for two weeks and it has caused so many problems. Despite the fact that none of my banking paperwork or my city registration information will be complete for weeks, I have to use the address that I am currently at, even though everyone knows I will be moving on Friday. Also, I have no idea when I will be able to access my new German bank. Getting a debit card and any online information takes weeks, apparently. And I can't use my American bank any more. Guys, I just want to book a hotel in Paris and pay my student loans. That's all!
I had my first meeting this week with someone who really struggled with English. He speaks like five other languages though... Anyway, I am a fast talker and I had to bite my tongue to make sure I spoke slow enough that he could mentally translate what I was saying. Poor guy. I just have so much to say! In my ignorant foreign language!
To end on a positive note:
I randomly got super excited about travelling again. A very nice colleague sent me a list of great sites that will be perfect for day trips in the car. Grateful for a built-in nav system! And I feel like now that I'm in my permanent place I can really settle in and start planning for the rest of the year.