Woche Eins

New blog stuff! While I'm in here in Germany this year, I would like to have a weekly post, published Saturday or Sunday, discussing my week in Deutschland. The goal is not to have a livejournal-like post, summarizing my activities. On Monday, I discovered a new restaurant! On Tuesday, I discovered an alternate way to work! Instead, I would like it to be more of a reflection on changes, new insights into living abroad. One thing I keep reiterating: I don't want to waste this year. Not professionally, not personally, not blogally! And here is the first one!

The Neckar and my new running path

The Neckar and my new running path

Thoughts so far:

- Time: I'm really struggling with this. In the past, when I've come over here for trips, whether long (three months) or short (four days), I easily adjusted to the new time zone. The jet lag is really kicking my ass this time, unfortunately. I've been here four days and I still couldn't get myself out of bed until almost ten this morning. Since tomorrow is my first day of work, hopefully I can get back to my usual morning-person behavior.

- Run routine: This is more of a problem any time I move somewhere new - where do I run? There's an awesome park by me but you have to pay to get in. What the hell? I think, however, after about six runs over the past four days, that I've found a good path, primarily along the Neckar River. I have to say, it's a nice view and I can easily make the route shorter or longer as needed. Also, I'm in the middle of downtown; there are so many people on my run! In my apartment complex, I was always the only one on the sidewalk. Several times, people in their cars would stop next to me, just to comment on how often they saw me running around the complex. Not the case here! No one notices me - there are way more interesting people along the route than me. There's the drunk college kids, falling down in the mud. Cute dogs and crazy bikes. I'm excited for the summer, when I can run in a tank top and then settle down on the grass by the river and read a book.

- German: I haven't interacted with a lot of people. When I'm on a run, with the Hamilton soundtrack blasting in my ears, it's easy to forget I'm in another country. But anytime I cross the boundary of my bubble - when I get groceries, grab dinner - I remember. Oh yeah, I'm the foreigner here! Grocery shopping was a new adventure as I couldn't read most of the packaging. Also, the grocery stores are arranged differently but after giving three a try, I think I found one that will work. Luckily, I'll start up German lessons here soon, which is very, very necessary. My best friend so far is the housekeeper of the boarding house. She helped me find my room on Thursday and salvaged some breakfast for me when I woke up at noon on Friday (seriously, I have never woken up that late before in my life). She doesn't speak English at all but between hand gestures we've been able to get by.

- Urban: I've never lived in the middle of a city before. I've always been strictly suburban or rural. I'll have a car tomorrow for the ride back and forth to work (the office isn't at the best location) but everything else is within walking distance from my boarding house. Groceries, restaurants, shopping. Even the train station. I took the tram to work on Thursday. Otherwise, it's been strictly walking. In two weeks, I'll move to my permanent apartment and it's even closer to the action. It will be an adventure to see how I like that, if I miss suburbia. To see if my misanthropy grows or lessens living among so many people.