Coming up on the end of my first week here in Germany, I can talk about some of the adaptation issues I have been coming to terms with the past few days.
#1. Walking everywhere. This I remember well from living in Vienna for many years. Walking about an hour a day is no big deal if you live in Europe, but it has been a bit of big deal for my legs to adapt to the amount of walking. Today was day 7 of being here and the shins and legs are trying to adapt with their morning stiffness and reality of adjusting to all of the walking. No wonder I remained slim when I lived in Vienna - the walking burns a lot of calories.
#2. I had to buy a wine opener as my hostess did not provide one in my loft apartment, so I went shopping yesterday and debated between getting a Swiss Army knife with a corkscrew, or just getting a normal corkscrew. The Swiss Army solution was nice, but pretty expensive. I settled on quite a unique little pocket corkscrew that travels well and is very form-functional. It works well and I think it looks pretty darn cool...
I took the group to our first lunch at a restaurant we will be eating in quite a bit the next few months...
It's under new ownership by a man named Luigi Greco. He is young, energetic, Italian, and will take good care of us between now and the end of April for our lunches.
#3. Jet Lag sucks for me! I've dealt with it since 1990 on a regular basis. No matter what I have tried over the years - it always takes me a full week to adapt. Last night was the first night I slept normally from 10 pm to 5 am. I am hoping tonight, after a 75 minute Zone 2 bike ride and a full day with the students to make it a few minutes longer tomorrow morning. Who knows?
#4. The language has bounced right back for me after not having lived in a German speaking country and using it every day since 2003. I was worried the first few days, but here at the end of week 1 and all is coming back at a good rate of remembrance. I've moved beyond functional to actually doing quite fine.
#5. One can choose - as a leader - to be a Den Mother, a guarded Paternal figure, or a mix of both to guide the experience of the students. I think I am in the "mix of both" category, but certainly will try to "be all that I can be" to the group of 11 that are here.
Today, we took pictures for our monthly rail/bus card, visa, and anything else we might need. Those that wanted to get a SIM card for their phones to be able to use their US Smart Phones here in Germany got set up. The rest of the day was pretty relaxed as we talked about their host family experience last night to make sure everything was going to be fine, had lunch, decided on a meeting point for tomorrow's day trip and got everyone home on the right bus or train.
Saturday day trip #1 tomorrow to Stuttgart to see the Art Museum, the new shopping city, walk the shopping district, and choose a ballet as well as an opera performance at the State Theater to purchase tickets. A lunch thrown in there at some point as well.
Monday will begin the official classes from 9 - 12, and 1:30 - 3:30. I've got a few miles to go with my syllabi in the next 48 hours to say the least...