Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Weekly Overwiew..

Why do I keep doing this to myself?! It's like I'm too busy to write, so I just go to bed, but really ... I haven't been doing anything but reading this week.


Finally, I got a real plan tour! I got to work at my usual 7 AM and sat down, started my computer and realized that I had forgotten about the tour. I looked down and saw that I was wearing carpi's and sandals. Crap. Not really plant visiting attire. I had to bike home and back again quickly. I think that's the fastest trip both directions I have ever made. I left work around 8:30 AM and was back here just slightly after 9 AM. I decided to change my pants and shoes so it took a bit.

Once I got back to work, I just sort of spent some time online reading articles about the steel and tube industry while I waited until 10 AM for my tour to begin. A bit before it was time for my tour, Dominik asked if I was ready and we walked to the front gate. I got a hard hat, pullover steel toed shoes (slippers?), ear plugs, and a hair net. Why did I need a hair net?! Well, I guess they were 'community' hard hats...

We then walked to the 'Magazine' where I was to meet up with my tour group. The group would consist of students working for Benteler but these students were just beginning their studies there. They were probably 18 or younger. I arrived much earlier than the rest of them and met up with the guides. There was more than one and maybe four others that were training to become guides. It's interesting to see the constant education going on here, I like it. It's like you're never done learning, which I don't think you ever should be.

We went to go on the tour once the students showed up but none of them had hard hats or earplugs so we had to go to the other entrance and get them for them. We broke off in two groups and began our tour. It was interesting to see this process with steel as it is nearly the same process I saw while on a plant tour in Holland, MI at the Benteler Aluminum Systems plant. It was much hotter here though!

Of course, I don't have pictures of the tour because that's not allowed, but I found a good video to show the process again. Just ignore the beginning and the totally retro music, it's a good view of what I saw. Of course, this isn't at Benteler, but a competitor of ours and this is only the process for Hot Finished Seamless (HFS) tubes.

My plant tour lasted until 1:30 PM so my whole day was basically shot. I found some work to keep me busy so I stayed until I finally went to pick up my Visa! It is now completely legal for me to live and work in Germany! Woo!

I called Herr Blume in the morning, he's like my caseworker I believe, and he told me I didn't need to make an appointment I just needed to show up between 2 and 4:30 PM. I went to the office which is a sad place and quite dirty. It's like they added color to it to make it look nice but it just looks depressing, I can't imagine working there. It was hard enough to visit so many times.

While I was looking online for pictures of this depressing building, I came across this website. It tells all about the city of Paderborn (even some in English) and things to do here. I found some new museums I have to check out!


On Tuesday I got to work at my usual 7 AM and started up the computer. Luckily, I had some work to finish up from Monday and I quickly set to work on it. Around 10 AM, I grabbed my things and took my bike to the bike shop near work. I really needed a light and a bell on this bike since it's my only for of transportation and I don't need any tickets.

I took the bike in and in broken German explained that I needed a new light on the bike as well as a bell. They took the bike and told me I could pick it up the next afternoon. Crap, I wasn't banking on that. That means I had to walk home on Tuesday and back to work on Wednesday. It's not a bad walk, but it seems much longer when you walk than when you bike.

Getting back to the office, I finished my project and returned the completed work to the guy who asked me to do it. It's nice that he's keeping me so busy. He gave me another task and I set off on it. I even threw in my own ideas and he enjoyed that when I turned in the final product.

Of course, it's not finished, but I'm still working on it! And who knows, maybe I'll get more work when I'm done!

Around 4 PM, Dominik pulled me out of my work so we could go to "our restaurant" (not mine and his, but the department's) the same one we went to for lunch as a department after the move.

The EM is finally over and Germany didn't win. They were knocked out in the semi-finals by Italy. Sad day for the country as everyone expected them to win it all. Italy and Spain were the two teams to play in the final and Spain dominated. Honestly, I don't know if Italy was aware of the game going on around them.

Since the EM was over, we had to celebrate Katharina winning the betting we had for the winning team. We used Kick Tipp, a website used for this exact thing. Each of us paid in €10 at the beginning and in the end we all had dinner and drinks together.

We had frikadellen, potato salad, pasta salad, and beer. It was delicious! Frikadellen are almost like hamburgers but you just eat the meat, no toppings. They're onion-y and almost breakfast sausage-esque.

I think I had four beers with the guys (Katharina went home sick during the day and Sandra was at home with her sick three-year-old) and I was getting tired.

I think I'm turning into my dad, because I can't sleep past 5 AM anymore during the week or 9 AM on the weekends. It's messing up my days!

I decided to walk home from the restaurant and saw some people playing volleyball outside the B.I.B. and they invited me to play. I told them I needed to change and I would be down but when I got back, they were gone. I wound up in bed reading like every other night.

You'll probably be seeing a lot of this girl, Riva, the duck
that Andrew made me. Mind you, I had to perform surgery
on her since she was in such bad shape after the trip here
via post. She's doing well, though we have found she can't
hold her alcohol well. We'll have to work on that.


Happy 4th of July!
I walked to work on Wednesday morning which meant, that for once, I wasn't the first person in the office. It felt weird coming into the office at twenty past seven and someone was there. Wednesday was like the rest, I did a bit a work but honestly didn't keep too busy. The morning flew by and the afternoon dragged on but I still had a bit of work to do, so it wasn't horrible.

I got to pick up my bike in the afternoon and it only cost me €20 for a new light, a new bell, and the work. Not bad if I do say so myself. I rode my bike home, happy as ever that I had it back. I forgot how far it seemed when I had to walk to work and back.

When I got back to my room, it finally it me that it was the fourth of July. Here I was, working all day, and it was a holiday! I didn't even realize it! I decided to go for a bike ride and return my empty bottles for the deposit money. I needed beer for the night!

I packed the bottles up and went off to the store. I wasn't sure which store I was going to but I found a new path to take. It goes over a bridge over one of the rivers in town and through some forest. Eventually I ended up back on a path I knew and took a path toward the road and one of the grocery stores, Lidl.

I stopped in a 'getrank markt' which is a store that only sells drinks so I could drop off my bottles. Unfortunately for me, the woman working was in a bad mood and yelled at me for bringing her plastic and aluminum cans and bottles. Jeez! She took the glass ones, gave me my money and I was out of there. I went to the Lidl down the road and returned the remainder of my cans there. They had a machine like the ones I was used to in Michigan and it didn't yell at me! While I was there, I looked around the store and found some beer to buy.

I also bought more hair dye. Don't worry, it's not for now, since I just 'changed the color' two weeks ago, BUT it's for when I'm desperately looking for something new. I decided to go with red this time so, we'll see if I get the courage to do it. (Notice Riva, she totally made me buy it...)

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