Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Weekend Recap... Take Two...

In case you're not my Facebook friend or you didn't see the post last night, I tried to post this last night (early afternoon in America) and I was totally finished when Firefox closed on me. I lost it all and had to start over today. Just a heads up, I may have missed something. But if I remember, I'll include it in the next post!


Fog over the Pader See on my ride to work on Friday
Work, work, work. It wasn't too bad on Friday but still, I'm lacking in any real tasks to complete. I finally got a big project to work on though. It turns out that I need to read 50 pages of information about the mechanical engineering industry, all in German, which is harder than regular German. When reading about such a specific subject there are specific words and they're not necessarily words I learned in my classes. I think it will help me in the future to learn them now though. After I have gathered all the information and read it, I need to create a PowerPoint presentation about all the companies included in this stack of information.

I think the worst part of it is that the guy assigning the project to me even told me upfront that no one will ever see it. Well, no one from my department at least and that's just a horrible feeling. I'm doing a lot of work and I won't even get feedback on it. 

Now that I think about it though, everything I have done so far at work I turn over to whoever asked me to do it and I don't get feedback. It's like, either they trust me to do it correctly without hesitation, or it doesn't matter and they were asking me to do it to stop me from asking for something to do. Hmmm... Did I just discover another difference between my experiences in the U.S. and Germany? Possibly. I'll have to get back to you on that.

Friday was the last day for our first "Praktikant" for the summer. In Germany, the school holidays are different than in the U.S. Where we have a few months off of school for the summer, Germans have about two weeks for summer but they also get more breaks in the year, two weeks here, two weeks there. It's interesting. Anyways, it was his last day (I feel bad but I don't even know his name) and I took him to his plant tour. He actually spoke to me too! He didn't speak to me in the whole two weeks and he sat at the desk next to mine.

I spent the morning translating words that I didn't know from my project and then headed home from work. OK, I went to the store to buy some food for the weekend and, of course, beer.

I got home and didn't have anything to do so I decided to go for a bike ride. While out on the bike I found some pretty awesome stuff! I took a route I haven't taken before but I pass it every day on my way to and from work. I always see people going there but I haven't taken it until Friday. I found a put-put golf place, another lake, and a high ropes course. This course looked super intense too so it's on my to-do list, I just need to find people to go with me.

After the bike ride, I decided to go into the city and I even found a library where I looked through some art books, I found another church and checked it out, and just enjoyed the scenery that is Paderborn.

When I got back to the apartment, I was invited to a party and I went but it was total Tech effect, only myself and two (new to the B.I.B.) Asian girls were there with about 15 boys. I had a drink and said goodbye around 8:30 PM because I needed sleep and it was just plain boring. I had to get out of bed quite early on Saturday to visit Kassel for the day.


This used to be a church but I'm assuming
something happened because it is no longer
actually attached to the rest of the church.
Now it's actually a bistro. The bells still ring
on the hour though and, let me tell you,
they're quite loud, and don't really sound
like a song. Maybe that's because I was
so close though. The bells went off as I was
walking right next to it.
Sounds like a plan!
Like I said already, I had to get up early on Saturday morning to catch a train to Kassel. I got out of bed at 5:30 AM and showered, packed me things for the day and headed off to the station. I had two switches to make and arrived in Kassel around 8:10 AM. I had high hopes of where I was going and what I was doing for the day, I even printed a map and labeled the locations to visit, but of course, knowing me, I got lost and couldn't find anything I wanted to see!

This wasn't the worst thing though. I still found a lot of cool stuff to see and do, even if I couldn't find the Bruder-Grimm Museum. (Yeah, there's a whole museum dedicated to the Brothers Grimm! Doesn't that sound awesome?!) Oh well, it's just another excuse for me to visit Kassel again.

I walked and walked in endless circles, later realizing that I could have taken a much easier route, like always. I wound up in the middle of the city center, a familiar location due to past visits with the Reiting family and Marilena. I decided to keep walking and found some churches to explore but best of all, I found a flea market! I love flea markets, in case you couldn't tell. I bought a new jean jacket, well, new to me that is. It fits perfectly and looks like new.

Look, I even made a new friend! I had to look around and
wait a bit before I took this though because I didn't want
anyone watching me. Didn't want to get those weird looks
I'm sure I would have got if someone saw.

After I left the flea market, I found a "Handwerk Markt" quite literally, a "Hand Work Market" ... A bit like an arts and crafts fair. I was a bit disappointed in it though because all the nice things had *nice big* price tags and almost everything else just looked cheap. I mean, yeah, I could buy it, but why would I?

I wandered the city a bit more and went into the familiar malls in the city center. I even bought a new pair of shoes. They were on sale for €5 and I couldn't pass them up! I'll try to put in a photo of them later. They're plain, tan flats, a bit like TOMS but, cheaper.

Walking out into the city again, I found the Orangerie where dOCUMENTA (13) was being held, well, one of the locations at least. Outside the museum, there was an Occupy Kassel demonstration. So, it's not just in America? Interesting. I had heard that they had a movement in Frankfurt but I didn't see it while I was visiting so this was the first time I have actually seen one of the demonstrations.

I had the chance to explore the exhibit at the Orangerie first and the ticket cost me a whopping €14, for a one day, student discounted ticket. To buy the guide book it was €24 though so I guess it wasn't that bad to just get the ticket. When I walked into the first room, I was confused. It was an empty room with white walls and wind or air or fans gushing as you walked in the door. Without a conscious decision, I was drawn further into the room toward the adjacent rooms containing a film projections and some music. I later found the plaque on the wall that described the exhibit and how the "exhibit" is the air flow. Interesting.

This is the room. It brought up an interesting conversation with a friend, John, who also studied STC at Michigan Tech about how the Medium is the Massage.
"John: I really want to go wherever this is now... It's stuck in my head. Gah... I'm conceptualizing this as an air fountain, or something."

"Me: It was really cool. When you walked in the room, or any of the ones in this exhibit on this floor, there was a big cool rush of air and it really propelled you to move toward the other end where there was a room with a video and one with music playing. It was completely unconscious, but you couldn't help it."

"John: That is so freaking awesome lol. My brain is melting thinking about the design elements and how it relates to medium as 'massage' and environment, how that influences behavior and thought, transparency... The whole place looks interesting. I'll have to find a study abroad in Germany or start planning a trip and justify it as 'research' ;)"

These are all drawings of apples.
Apples! There's over 200 drawings,
this wasn't even all of them!

Self portrait. This room wasn't
slanted and I wasn't laying on the
floor. It's just the way the walls were
shaped. I like it though.
And here's some more pictures of what I saw while at dOCUMENTA (13). One of my favorite rooms was the one where they had art for you to take home with you. There were stacks upon stacks, boxes upon boxes, of posters. Even some hanging on the walls, they encouraged you to tear them down and take with you. I took three posters from the boxes and one from the wall, I'll post photos on Facebook when I have them all hung in my room. My favorite one though, is an off white poster. In red words near the center but towards the top, it just says "SAY SOMETHING!" I love it. How many times have you seen something happening and thought "That's not right", "Things shouldn't be this way", or something along those lines? Just SAY SOMETHING! 
I left dOCUMENTA (13) in search of Universität Kassel. While I was at the flea market, there was a woman selling her photography from Kassel and I saw a photo of some graffiti of SpongeBob Squarepants on drugs. I wanted it but I didn't know what to do with the frame and such so I thought I'd go in search of it myself. Of course, I couldn't find it. I wandered the campus for a half hour or so and didn't see it anywhere. I found this image online though (here), it's not the one I was looking for but it's still interesting and also in Kassel.
I didn't find SpongeBob but I did find some knitting graffiti! I love this concept of knitting something and putting it on something in a city. I don't know why, but it just fascinates me!

I guess I have also sort of developed a fascination for all graffiti since being here. I think it might be because I don't get to see it often while in the U.S. or more so, in Milford or Houghton. But the graffiti in Germany is probably 95% English and 5% German. I swear, there's nearly nothing in German. Maybe rebelling in a different language is "cool"?
I left the university a bit disappointed but went in search of the Brothers-Grimm museum again. I found the street that is was on, the number 4a and the number 1, but I couldn't find the museum! I even found a sign that said (<----- Bruder-Grimm Museum) and still couldn't find it. What the heck! I wandered the area around the museum, or where it should be, and found this awesome bus in the park near there.

It was really cool and reminded me of London. Covered in advertisements and flyer's, I couldn't help but wonder how it got there, if it was a permanent fixture, or when it would go away. Was it just there as part of dOCUMENTA (13)? Whatever the reason, it was awesome to see.

At this point, I decided to head back to the train station as I get lost easily and I left about an hour and a half early. On the way I found another location of dOCUMENTA (13) and at the train station there was one too. I looked at both of them and, again, there was a lot of interesting things to see. I was early for my train so I bought a coke and went to wait on the platform. My train was the last one going into Paderborn for the night and, again, I had to make two switches before I got home. The first train was late. Great! I got to the next 'tram' (like a street car in the middle of Kassel) and hopped on. Once I got to the next train station, I was already 12 minutes late for the train, and of course, the train had left.

I went to the DB counter, which I was honestly surprised was open so late, and explained the situation to the guy behind the counter. He confirmed my fears that I would be stuck in Kassel for the night because that was the last train. I think I almost cried. I just wanted to shower and go to bed. In my bed! I think he would have offered to put me in a hotel but they were all full because of dOCUMENTA (13) so instead, he spoke with his colleague and came back. He told me they were getting me a taxi home. Yeah, that's €160! I even asked the taxi driver on the way home! I was just so happy to be home!  I even got home an hour earlier than I would have had I taken the train.

This is about the time that I realized that the new lights on my bike didn't work. What did I pay €20 for? Crap, luckily, I didn't get a ticket, didn't even see the police! Did encounter some elderly people walking though and got yelled at for not having a light. It's not my fault! Maybe you shouldn't be walking at night without reflectors! (No, I didn't run them over, but I would have if I could have! No, not really.)

I got back to the apartment and really just wanted to shower and pass out but I saw some of my friends form the B.I.B. and they told me I 'had' to come with them. It was someone's birthday and they were celebrating. I had to shower so I told them I'd be there soon. On my way up to my room I ran into the French guy and told him he was coming too. He needed to meet some people too. I showered and we walked down to the party.

This picture is for my mother who swore that they wore kilts
but, nope, they wear pants. I found this image here.
We had a few drinks and hung out. It was weird because I didn't think I was that close to these people but everyone hugged me hello. Was it the alcohol? Or was I misjudging our "friendship" can I even call them friends? We're not friends on Facebook, we don't have each other's phone numbers, we don't hang out regularly, and we only see each other on the weekends while drinking. Are those friends? Well, it's what I have, so I'll take it. Around 12:30 AM we decided to go to Schützehfest in Paderborn. It was nearly across the street so it wasn't too far to go.

It was almost like a mini carnival. We went into the hall and bought some beer and danced the night away in the front. There was a DJ and LOTS of broken glass on the floor. I wasn't expecting to go here so I was wearing sandals. Needless to say, I sliced my foot open pretty bad. We went home around 4:30 AM. You know that feeling when you're so tired that you're wide awake? Yeah, that was me at this point. We went into one of the guy's rooms and hung out, finishing the beers from the birthday party. Finally around 5 AM I went to bed.

I wasn't thinking and didn't close my window shade so at 9 AM I woke up.


As I said, I got out of bed and decided since I was up, I should just stay up. I did some cleaning and reading but otherwise, I didn't do much.

While I was in Kassel I bought new sheets for my bed. When I moved in, I was given a mattress, a duvet, a pillow, a sheet, a duvet cover, and a pillow case. No fitted sheet though. I had been using the sheet and tucking it under the sides but every morning I would wake up tangled in the sheet and it was getting annoying. I also realized that other people probably used these sheets considering how thin they were and the near holes in the middle from so much use. Unfortunately, when I went to pull the sheet off the bed on Sunday morning, it tore about 6 inches in the middle. Good thing I bought new sheets!

By 4 PM I was totally read to sleep but I stayed up because I knew that it wouldn't do me any good to sleep then because I wouldn't make it through the night that way. I stayed up and got to talk to my friend Stephanie and my family on Skype. Two of my favorite people in the world. They can always make me happy and put a smile on my face.

Once I got off the computer, it was 9 PM and I passed out in bed. Ready for Monday.

No comments:

Post a Comment