Woche Funf

It's week five already?

Seriously, I feel like I have accomplished nothing either at work or at home... That's depressing.

A few thoughts on this week.

I still don't understand phone numbers. Before leaving the States, I bought an international phone online, through a company Verizon recommended. I had three options: use this international phone, get an international plan with Verizon, or wait until I get over to Germany and get a phone here. An international SIM was kind of an option, but my mom tried it last year with no success and you have to do bad things to your phone. As for the three options - international plans are hella expensive and I didn't want to wait until I got here to get a phone (and also, apparently most German phone contracts are two years). That left an international phone through the Verizon-recommended company. It's not the best. They gave me a UK phone number, even though I said I would be primarily in Germany. It confuses everyone, including me. I never know what numbers to give to people. I tried to figure it out, but it's like football: my mind refuses to understand it. And I loved every season of Friday Night Lights. Also, the phone just doesn't work for some people. At this point, I'm just using as a backup in case I get stranded somewhere... But I figured out my landline at my desk at work!

I had a company orientation this week. Since I've been with the company almost five years, including about 100 days on this campus, it wasn't the most useful thing. What was useful: getting to know the other American in my office (she's a twenty year old intern) and the crazy former American (been a dual citizen for thirty years) who provided translations for us. It was just so easy to bond with the other American - oh moving overseas is crazy! - and the permanent expat (is she an expat if it's permanent?). She immediately wanted news of the election and made me promise I would vote. Also, really glad I am able to watch all this caucus drama from afar.

The other thing I'm still really struggling with is time. I wish it was the opposite - I was six/seven hours behind instead of ahead. I'm an early to bed early to rise person and most of my friends and family are not... It doesn't help that my best friend is two weeks into motherhood and her schedule is all over the place. I just want normal communication with people please!

I have started to figure out my travel schedule. Next weekend: Cologne. I think my tentative plan is to travel every other weekend, whether it's an actual trip or just somewhere nearby during the day. I have tentative plans for the rest of year, earmarking certain weekends for trips I have to take and leaving the rest open. In May, I'm going back to the States for my sister's college graduation. I would like to start formalizing that, but my boss keeps jerking me around on when she needs me in Indy or back in Germany, so I will probably wait until she's here at the end of the month. I've also set up a biweekly meeting with my manager here in Germany, so I can use that to talk about days off as it gets closer. I think I have around 20 vacation days, so that will be nice. Probably a combination of a full week off and a random day here and there.

Other thoughts this week... I really am enjoying living in an urban environment. Driving in Germany is an adventure. The lanes are small and where cars can go is very open to interpretation. I've gotten two parking tickets so far and definitely have a speeding ticket on the way...