We ate lunch at the mall, which was good because I had only eaten a granola bar and a banana that day. Remember, the night before my dinner consisted of an apple as well as bread and butter. I was ravenous. So, we went up to the counter and I prepared myself to order my first meal in German. "Lasagna," I thought "I can say that word."
When my turn came to order the man asked me what I wanted. "Ein lasagna, bitte." Nailed it! He popped that puppy in the oven and I slid over (those of you who know how I move know it actually was a sliding motion and I pointed my toe while doing it) to the man taking drink orders. I managed to communicate that I would like wasser--mit gas, danke--and he said something I did not understand at all.
"You need to pay him." Bettina told me.
Oh. Didn't nail that part. One of the quirks about Germany is that they don't necessarily stand behind the register when they ask for the money. For example, someone will scoop some ice cream for you and then immediately put their hand out for you to pay. In the US, if they are behind a counter they usually walk over to the register and then ask for payment. That's made me look like an idiot a couple times, but I'm getting the hang of it.
Now, going back to the lasagna, I know you all are thinking, "It's your first real meal in Germany and you order Italian food?" I assure you the irony was not lost upon me. However, I have seen surprisingly few German restaurants so far--perhaps only two--and none of them were in that food court.
So, we sat down and I attempted mimic the way Bettina ate. Here is another quirk about Germany: they eat almost everything with a fork and knife. Using my fork with my left hand was really difficult, but I wasn't about to wuss out and use my right hand. Plus, it kept me from simply digging my entire face into the lasagna and eating it like the animal I truly am. Actually that's very tempting right now.
After eating we went and bought a cable to connect my computer to the internet (they don't have wifi) and a Thunderbolt connector because MacBook Airs do not have LAN ports (which is what they use for the internet). Afterward we went to Ikea and bought bedding, dishes, and towels. The bedding is much different than what Americans use, but I think I am going to dedicate an entire post just to how weird my dorm is. I will tell you about it then.
We went to the university and after about half an hour of trying to connect to the internet there it finally worked. I stayed and tried to contact my friends and family while Bettina went and bought a SIM card so I could have a phone. She is letting me user her old Motorola Razor. In Europe you can buy a new SIM card and load it with money and refill it when you need it. Very handy. However, the SIM card she bought did not work. She tried it on multiple phones, but it would only make outgoing calls and texts, not incoming ones. After about an hour of trying to figure out how to fix it we gave up.So, at the end of the day I had neither internet nor a phone, even though Bettina and I had poured hours of our day trying to get them working.
I am so grateful to Bettina for spending her entire day off helping me. She in particular, but also the rest of the International Office, have been a dream to work with I don't know what I would have done without her help.
In the next post I will tell you about Amsterdam!
P.S. If there are spelling and grammatical errors in my posts I don't care. Proof-reading posts? Ain't nobody got the time for that.