August 2004


Settling In

Wow-what a day Thursday was- I did an amazing number of things considering my sleep deprivation and general attitude toward life.

I went to bed last night around 8, and then woke at midnight, and several other times-each time I made a pilgrimage to the bathroom. From having to walk 10 feet to the bathroom, I was suddenly faced with a trip of about 30 feet: across the foyer; slip by the kitchen and into the bathroom.

I used the kitchen door to shut off the bathroom once by mistake — the apartment is littered with doors that bump into each other. The one from my bedroom bumps into the one for the living room-in fact if the living room door is open too wide, it blocks the bedroom door. I discovered this accidentally today.

Anyway, I woke at 8:30, not by choice, but because there was a dog outside my window down on the street barking at something. I have no idea what because I really didn’t want to get out of bed – but I forced myself to do so. Grabbed a quick shower and then walked the block and a half to the train station. It really is that close-I go out the door, around the corner, down the block, across the street and then onto a dirt path that I followed around to the front of the station.

There was nothing in the station, so I walked through the station until I found the automatic ticket machine on the platform. Thankfully it had English instructions and I figured out how to apply my BahnCard 50% off discount and I bought a round trip ticket.

From there I took the short train to the main train station where I had 10 minutes to kill, so I bought two Berliners-a jam filled pastry. I managed to make my request known in German, and I got what I ordered, and everything else, I didn’t understand. I was able to look at the price of the Berliners in order to find out that I owed €1,10.

The trip to Jena was otherwise uneventful and consisted of me snoozing and looking out the window and wishing I were back in bed.

Once at the office I started being vaguely productive. With K’s help, I ordered my real BahnCard 50, took care of some ticketing issues, and other administrative tasks. I also started work on the Small Business Economics Journal, the journal for which I am the managing editor. That work consisted entirely of putting the files into two filing cabinets until I ran out of hanging folders. The rest I stacked neatly on a shelf.

I was also pleased that my two boxes showed up today: one via UPS that held a lot of documents for SBEJ and academic books, whilst the other, via the US Postal Service, held personal books galore. All of that has been neatly shelved.

I kind of hit a dead-zone after that where I was tired and wanted to take a nap, but didn’t. Instead I was unproductive and did nothing important?arranging cards on the shelf, including the fantastic card from Dr. Bonser-“Thank you, or as they say in German, “Donkey-Chain”–complete with a picture of dancing donkeys in a chain.

I went home with I in her car back to Weimar (oops, I bought a round trip ticket yesterday, so I wasted €2,10 on the return). Max came along with me to try and help me set up my T-DSL and T-Online account. He had done this before, so he was an expert-and he ran into precisely the same problem that had been run into last January.

T-Online 5.0 does not work with English based computers.

Strange since my computer, I thought, was running a German version of Windows XP. Perhaps I have Anglicized it too much. I tried switching the regional setting to Germany, but that didn’t seem to help. The only thing I did learn was that I could better control the clock in the control panel and finally get it into the 24-hour clock mode. It’s currently 09:40, not 9:40 AM, as it would have read yesterday.

Max kindly called up the T-Online services and they are shipping me an older version of the software, one that will work with ye-olde English Windows, and, perhaps more importantly, I was also emailed directions on how to get connected to T-DSL without having to use the T-Online software that I cannot understand (nor want) in the first place.

(T-Online software provides a number of useless features like a photo manager, online banking, lobotomy services, etc… much like AOL, but in German only. Since I don’t need any of these services-I know how to manage photos in Windows already, my bank has its own software, and I have multiple email accounts on the web-I’d rather not install them.)

Once we had gotten to this point, Max and I headed out of the apartment into the center of Weimar where we met a number of colleagues for beer and dinner at Cato, a nice place near the marketplace. The only downside was that it took an hour for our food to arrive. I understand that service levels are different, and I’ve been told to expect this, but I was anxious about my luggage.

I think other people thought that the German efficiency was not that great and that although the plane landed at 8:30, it probably wouldn’t get to Weimar until 10 or 10:30.

I left after finishing my dinner-I ran off just after 9, and got home just before 9:30.

I kid you not, no sooner than I had put my key in the door to my apartment building than a taxi pulled up with my luggage. I couldn’t have timed it any better.

I lugged my suitcases upstairs, unpacked them, and then headed back to the bar, just in time for everybody to leave, so I didn’t get to have a drink or anything. I came back to the apartment with David where I wrote part of this report and went to bed.

Thursday was a good day.

1 comment to Settling In

  • IUMike

    Well done! People are often so nice when they know you are new to the area…Though so far, I haven’t encountered as much of that in sunny Cleveland 🙁