Friday, July 29, 2011

Laura in Germany, part 2

The last time you heard from me, I had been in Aachen for 2 weeks. Now I have been here 2 months. My, how the time flies.

I will tell you about my job. This is the rheology lab, where I work when I am not working or napping at computers in the
computer lab. the thing to the right of the monitor is the rheometer. I enjoy my job.
Mostly it is mixing suspensions and measuring viscosity and analyzing stuff. Pretty chill.
I've been here for 6 weeks so far, and I have 2 weeks left. The people are all very nice, and a surprising number of them watch (and quote) Big Bang Theory. Sometimes, I speak German with them, but mostly we speak English. Oh well. I use my German at the bakery.

On weekends I travel. Elizabeth told you about Salzburg. That was a highlight. Others include:

...biking across the Netherlands. One of the other American students here and I biked to Maastricht, which is almost in France or something! It was about 3o km, which took us about 3 hours. Um, and then I didn't feel like biking back because it was uphill and I am fundamentally lazy, so I took the train, which was fun except for the part where I dropped my bike almost on a Dutch toddler, and I got to practice my Dutch to find my train. My Dutch is the same as my English, only more apologetic. This was the first time I have been in a country where I don't speak the language at all, and I think the experience made me a less judgmental person. Anyway, the countryside was very beautiful, even though it was kind of filtered because I was wearing my free yellow Golden Gate Fields sunglasses. I did not get any nice pictures for you because I was on a bike.

...Berlin. This is a picture that I took of a statue, a crane, and a skin care ad. I was in Berlin for about 26 hours, and it wasn't enough time to see much at all. But I had a good time, and got to hang out with Elizabeth. We bought a bread book. We are going to bring German bread to French House. This was my second time in Berlin, and I still don't really know how I feel about it. Parts of it are very pleasant; some are green. It's is very big. And kind of gritty. Yeah, I think this picture pretty much sums it up.

...and of course, Paris. This is a picture of me looking at a fence in front of Sacre Coeur to see how sharp it was. It was nice to see Alan, because sometimes Europe is lonely. We admired espresso machines and stand mixers in the department stores, contemplating which we would buy for French House if we had lots of money.

That's about what I've been up to. On Monday I have to move out of my dorm into a hotel for 2 weeks, because our dorms were only available through July. This means I will get to talk to my Hausmeister in German again, which always makes me feel competent. It also means that this weekend I have to pack up all my stuff and figure out where the trash goes. As Liesl would say, "Wheeeeeeeeeee!"

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