Meinem Ersten Tag in Deutschland

Trip Start Jun 09, 2010
Trip End Sep 18, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Friday, June 11, 2010

Though it is currently 0:32 on Samstag, 12. Juni 2010, I assure this post is a recount of what happened on Freitag.  

The day started out early, waking up at 5:00.  More than enough time to get ready, ride the bus to the airport, go through security, blah blah blah before 8:20.  The flight was late, but good.  We flew from London to Stuttgart in less than 2 hours time.

Once I made it to Stuttgart, I began my adventure with Deutsche Bahn (German railway).  I already printed out my ticket at home.  The ticket offers unlimited rides on all local transport within the entire Baden-Württemberg state.  I made use of the ticket, we’ll say.  

Since I had already printed out my ticket, I thought I was smart because it also had all the correct rail lines to take.  However, because the plane was late, all the times were wrong.  The rails weren’t too hard to navigate.  It takes some getting used to.  

The trains are prompt, you must be prepared.  Especially with over 300 lbs of baggage (myself included).  It was awkward handling my backpack, huge overweight suitcase, and bike with case and bubble wrap.  I caused fire hazards.  I made children cry.  I almost caused the entire destruction of the DB system.  Yes, it’s true.

The trains are forgiving, you don’t have to be prepared.  If you miss a train, just give it a few minutes...there will be another one.  Make sure it’s going the right direction though.  

At one point, I thought I knew what I was doing.  After successfully taking the S2 line to Stuttgart HBF (Hauptbahnhof, or central train station), I then took S4 into Ludwigsburg.  Upon arrival at Ludwigsburg, I was supposed to take RB 91634 to Bietigheim-Bissingen...however, it was a different number.  It wasn’t the same train, and I didn’t know whether I should wait for the next train.

Instead of waiting, I went downstairs to look at a more general time table of things.  I noticed a train going to Karlsruhe (the city of my future home) at train station 3.  There was no elevator, so I proceeded to lug my things up the stairs.  On a flat halfway up the stairs, I decided to give a look up at the station.  It was empty, no scrolling lights indicating another train was ever coming.  Not a single soul resided there.

I was positive that the paper was wrong, and that indeed no train was going to be there.  Let’s just say later on, it became un-deserted.  I lugged my things up the stairs once again, all the way this time.  The train left for Karlsruhe, and I began a 1+ hour ride through beautiful hills, quaint villages, industrial centers, and everything in between.  A wonderfully relaxing trip.

Eventually, the relaxing trip came to an end.  Missing my stop, I walked back and eventually found myself at the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie.  I knew I was close to my home at HaDiKo (Hans Dickmann Kolleg).  Lugging around a suitcase, I soon found myself tired and lost.  Then I saw a Taxi.  He didn’t speak Englische, but he knew where HaDiKo was.  

My Taxi man knew exactly where to go.  It probably would have taken me a good hour to get there.  Soon I found myself at the admin building.

Once I got there, the door was locked.  I noticed a buzzer, pressed it, and was invited in.  At first I was told I was too late.  I convinced them otherwise.  After some proof that I had been accepted into the room, I was able to sign the contract, and pay cash up front to get my key.  

I’m writing too much.  Sorry about that.  This is more for me than it is for you, my loyal reader.  I met some great people upon arrival.  I received a tour of the dorm area and received general knowledge of how things work.  I noticed a sign on a few doors promoting a party that had happened yesterday.  It said, “Girls wearing bikinis get in free.”  This should be interesting.  

My next adventure began with a downtown trip to Europlatz, by train of course.  It was awesome.  I thought I took more pictures.  There was live music, foreign shopping stores, and ice cream.  There were trains, crowds and photo opportunities.  Public transit is so nice.

To put it succinctly, everything here in Germany is the same as it was in California, except for the language, the efficient public transportation system, the exotic cars, the currency, the historic architecture,  the weather, the insects, the store hours, the houses, the demeanor of people, the aesthetically pleasing sculptures, the birds, the lack of accepting credit cards, the electricity, the time, the abundance of alcohol, the abundance of cigarettes, the lack of understanding, and so on.  

Eventually, I sat down for a bite to eat.  After touring around for a bit, I found a popular, musical looking biergarten and food place, called Alle Bank or something.  The waitress asked me about something in some strange, foreign language.  I thought she meant drink.  After I answered Coke, she then quickly switched to English, asking if I wanted small or large.  She was very helpful in helping me pick out a local specialty.

I ordered the Hähnchenfilet Pfefferrahm.  It was grilled chicken with a local type of pasta.  It was delicious.  I’m applying to be a food critic tomorrow, because I am ever so descriptive.  Here, have a picture.

I told my waitress it was my first day in Germany.  She asked where I was from.  I was surprised when she told me she had visited Claremont and knew where Chino was.  She said she liked the weather, and that she could tell from my voice that I was from California.  Is it that obvious?

After dinner, I continued to tour the area.  I became tired, and it became late.  Let’s just say it took me a while to get back home.  I got a little lost.  

I was exhausted when I got home.  I took a shower to get the smell of luggage-hauling out from underneath my arms.  It was refreshing.  So was sleep.
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Kelly Smith on

Wow! I'm proud of you for holding yourself together during all of your flights, luggage holding, train traveling and taking it all in! I don't know that I would've fared so well! I'm looking forward to reading your blogs-- I always love what you have to write :) Hope you feel rested and are having a great day!

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