After a day of traveling (or two or three, or just one never-ending day, I kind of lost track with the time changes), Ich bin angekommen! (I have arrived!) The travel was fairy uneventful but a few highlights for those interested:
- I got upgraded to first class on the first leg of the trip! Sadly not the trans-Atlantic leg, but hey I’ll take it! No, I did not eat the offered salmon (not really a salmon fan). Neither did I partake of the free alcohol, thought the sparkling water and free almonds were quite nice. Extra leg room was also appreciated!
- A guy in my row on the transatlantic flight decided to watch a movie at such high volume that I could clearly hear it, while wearing earplugs, from two seats away. I found this slightly ridiculous, and I also feel rather sympathetic toward his poor ears.
- I am fairly certain that I may have been the only American on the flight from Zurich to Bonn. It was both exhilarating and slightly terrifying to realize this is all really happening as I listened to German coming from all directions.
We arrived, I found my bag (yes, singular!) remarkably quickly, and got a Wi-Fi connection to get in touch with Vicky, the new housemate who was picking me up. After finding Vicky, hugging, and officially meeting, we set off for home via bus. It was nice to have a buddy for my first German public transportation experience!
We arrived at the flat, where I met and chatted briefly with another of my new housemates. Vicky and Sonja let me settle in and unpack a bit and then we had lunch together. – some cooked veggies with pasta and, of course, sparking water mixed with fruit juice. Somewhere around this point, I got really time-confused and, after lunch, asked them, “Is the clock broken?” For some reason, though I knew I had arrived in the morning, I thought we were preparing and eating dinner, and that it was evening. In fact, we had just had lunch and it was early afternoon! Hence my confusion when I looked at the clock and it said it was 1:45 pm.
Surprisingly, despite fairly little sleep on any of my flights, and thus having been up for a lot of hours straight, I was still feeling fairly energetic and awake. After getting that straightened out, Vicky and I went out for a bike ride. Vicky showed me around, stopping so we could both enjoy a to-go latte from one of her favorite bicycle cafes (Delicious! And typically nice and strong!) . After going by the University buildings and some nice fields good for running/jogging, Vicky showed me the Rhine (I didn’t realize how close it is!) Then she took my to the Münsterplatz, a lovely square with typical European cobblestone streets, and cafes spilling out into the pedestrian-only streets. It was fairly quiet, as it was Sunday and most shops were closed.
We passed by one of Vicky’s favorite bakeries (closed, sadly), but then found a lovely little cafe where we sat for a while to chat in Deutsch/English, and enjoy some hot chocolate with foamed milk (Heiße Schokolade mit Schaum). By this point my never-ending day was starting to catch up with me, so when Vicky and I headed back home, I basically just got ready for bed. After misreading the clock yet again (18:30 is 6:30, not 4:30!), I dropped off to sleep. I woke up around 1 am, and then around 5 am, so the jet lag was definitely quite present, but thankfully, now three days in, I would say I’m mostly adjusted. All in all, a fantastic first day! I’m excited to see what the rest of this week brings!