15 August 2007

Erik in Europe, Part 1

So I'm currently sitting on the floor in the Dusseldorf airport waiting to go to Helsinki and I thought I would point out a few things already:

1. My blogger account is showing all the instructions/menus in German.
2. My iBook has decided that this is an excellent time to start having logic board problems ... again! Luckily, I got approval to teach a Freshman Research Seminar, which comes with $1500 that I can spent on a computer, which I will be doing (unless Apple gives me a shiny new one because my iBook logic board, between the two they've given me already, has failed SIX TIMES).
3. I tried to buy a cheap mobile phone and could not get my phone card to work with it. I have no idea if I'm just an idiot, or AT&T are a bunch of liars or maybe the girl I bought it from in the airport was just confused, but I gave up. I just left the phone with the confused girl because I didn't want to drag around a phone that I couldn't call the US with, and who am I going to call in Germany? That's 10 euros (~$15) down the drain.
4. Speaking of down the drain, I am currently paying $10/hr to access the internet here at the airport.
5. Being in Germany marks the first time I've been in a country where I don't speak the language (considering I speak only Spanish and English). I do not like it at all. For one, I feel like the Ugly American when I have to admit to only speaking English. Two, I feel completely confused by very many things. The airport at least has signs in English and German, but the episode with the phone was an utter disaster.

Hopefully Helsinki will be more forgiving ... now, I think I will "Post Veroffentlichen" this post.


michelle said...

i was just wondering how you were getting along...
german is easy. it's usually a conglomeration of about 5-6 words all stuck together into one. no pesky spaces to worry about. conservative people those germans. :)

can't wait to read more.

biglou said...

Interestingly, this is the conversation that I have had with Emily multiple times:
Me: "Travel is scary!"
Her: "No, it's great! Sure, you have to deal with unexpected things, but you figure it out."
Me: "But if I don't speak the language, how can I figure anything out!"
Her: "Hand gestures are universal!"
Note: I have been to ~7 countries, she has been to ~30.
Have fun in Helsinki!