Monday, May 21, 2012

Really?! You've had months!

Today was difficult. After getting back to my apartment at 9:45 and not getting to sleep until midnight, waking up was hard this morning! I nearly had a heart attack when I woke up at 5:58 to full sunlight streaming through my window! Oh, dear lord of all thing holy! I thought I was going to be late, but nope. Plenty of time to dilly-dally before work.

Work was nearly the same as every day since I've been here, go in, open the computer, wait for the computer to start ... wait a little longer ... open lotus notes, read e-mails ... wait for software packages to update and install ... wait more ... wait, oh, it's almost done ... psych! wait again ... finally have internet open. Check Facebook. Finally around 8 am, everything is open, everyone is there, and I can begin work.

I am reading a lot of articles currently on Steel Business Briefing (SBB) and Steel Guru, these are websites dedicated to articles and news on the steel and tube industry. Luckily for me, they're all in English, so it's not too hard. I was told it would be better for me to do this work than any of the guys I work with because I can pick up the important information faster since it's my native language. Honestly, I hope I get to use my German more soon though. (Don't ask why, but this was the image that came up when I searched Steel Business Briefing on Google Images.) I think the site / company is owned / run by Platts. Yet, Steel Guru has its own logo.

Around 10 am, Dominik asked if I would like to go to lunch with Katharina and him to a pizzeria. He e-mailed me the menu and I chose what to eat. Since we only have a half hour for lunch, we don't have time to wait for the food and so on. I decided on the Pizza Italian. Peperoni, Ham, and Artichokes MMMMMMMM! But wait, Katharina told me we need to go see Mrs. Grote in HR before lunch. We walked over to her office and I gave her (for the third time) proof of my enrollment at a university and proof that this is a "required" part of my studies. (Since I'm getting an international minor, it is required for me to work / study / serve in a different country, preferably one in which they speak German.) I was then called into the office of her boos where I was told that for the past two weeks, I had been working illegally in Germany. They hadn't obtained a working visa for me yet.

Seriously?! What the?!?! In the months leading up to the flight I had asked maybe four times if everything was going well, or if there was anything more that they needed. "No" they said "It'll be fine" they said. I'm not one for misusing MEEMs, but this is exactly how I felt.

I was then told that I couldn't work anymore. Not indefinitely, but until they have the necessary paperwork. Are you serious?! I am to wait for a call saying it's ok for me to come back ... Still no call ... I guess I have a free day tomorrow as well. I still went to lunch with Katharina and Dominik though, I mean, it was already ordered anyways ... so why not? Katharina paid for my pizza too! How nice!

Well, since I was sent home, I took the opportunity to explore some more. I started by going shopping though. Since I had been gone all weekend, I didn't have any food here. I went to the REWE near work where I found some Paulaner, it came in a box with five bottles, a glass, and a coozie for the glass shaped like a soccer jersey. This summer is huge for soccer in Europe. I also bought some yoghurt and a Radler. A Radler is a mixture of beer and lemonade or sprite. Yeah, laugh all you want, they're delicious! It's considered somewhat of a girls drink, but I've had guys tell me that they like to drink them in the summer and they're "refreshing."

I brought my drinks and food back to the apartment and drank the Radler (pretty quickly too) then it was off again. I went into town and decided it would be nice for me to stop by and see the Turkish guy again (only for you Martin) but he wasn't there. I continued into town and decided, why the hell not, go shopping. I started at a C&A store, kind of like a Kohl's?? But I could some jeans there for only 15 euro! That's REALLY cheap. I looked at other ones that cost 65! Clothing in Germany is very expensive and that's all I bought from there.

I continued into the "innen stadt" and went into an H&M store. It looked rather small at first but once you went down the elevator, it wouldn't end! I swear, it was two blocks long underground! Not something you might think about, but bra sizing is way weird here too. I looked at bras in H&M because they were between 5 and 15 euro (cheap even by America's standards) but the sizes were weird. I'm an F in Europe! I almost bought a bra because it was one of two I found in my size (and the only cute one) but as I was walking away from the rack, I realized that it was a bra for nursing. Awkward.

Once I went into the Galeria Kaufhof, this store literally has everything. I mean, six floors kind of everything. There is kitchen items, housing items, a floor for men's clothes, a floor for women's clothes, a floor for shoes, a floor for makeup... EVERYTHING. I think it took me a food half hour just to go up and down, I didn't even buy anything! No, wait, I found some hangers (one was 2 euros) but there were clearance ones that were 1.50 euros for a three pack. I also found some small Tupperware, important if I want to pack a lunch! The escalators went up on one side but to get to the next floor, you had to walk around to the other side and use that one. Their way of making you walk around. Half the battle of selling an item is getting someone to look at it. Once I found my way out of the maze, I went into a few more stores but eventually decided to head back home. Good thing too, because as soon as I walked inside, it started to rain like all heck!

In my disaster of a room (from "unpacking" from the weekend, things were thrown everywhere) I began to relax. I cooked a deliciously simple meal, boiled potatoes and cucumber salad. When I went back to the kitchen to wash my dishes and put my things away, a boy walked in. He was new here too. He says his English was very bad though, so we had a somewhat muddled exchange, then we went our separate ways. Hmmm.. Joerg said all Germans are like this at first and it is hard / takes longer to make friends.. I wish the process would speed up though. I'm getting lonely.

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