I set two alarms last night, one for 7:30 this morning and one for 7:31 this morning, just in case the alarm-goblins visited my phone during the night. But apparently they were hungry, because nothing happened at 7:30 or 7:31, and it was by the grace of God that I woke up at 8:30. So I rolled over, looked at my phone confused for multiple seconds, trying to grasp just what it is the Muses of Time have against me. Then I jumped out of bed and got dressed at the speed of light and ran down the EXTREMELY LOUD stairs. I had to be in the classroom at 9:00, and I had absolutely no idea where, in a city of 65,000 people, the classroom, let alone the Bauhaus University, was.
If I were a guinea pig, I would have looked like this:
So then I pulled out a map of the city, found something that looked familiar, and figured out the way to the closest Bauhaus University building. Then I ran there, asked for directions to the Sprachzentrum (language center) which I assumed was where the classes would be. It was around a corner, through an alleyway, and down a street on the left. I ran there and ran up to the second floor (which is actually the third floor in American floors). Then I recognized the sound of someone I knew talking and ran in the room at 9:05 AM. I felt like the worst-ass person in the city at that moment. Assuming "worst-ass" is the superlative of "bad-ass."
Classes started out very easily. I have three classes: one on the language, one on economy-German, and one that isn't actually really a class at all. It's a series of essays I have to write and some projects to do over the next six weeks.
After classes, I went into the city and found a stand that sells Thüringer Bratwurst. Along with a Drogerie (drug store), two barber shops, two antique shops, an Indian store, two toy stores, and countless restaurants. The amount to explore here is almost overwhelming. I picked out some things for people back in America. Also, I ran into this guy (the one in the middle) in one of the stores. His name is Bernhard "Kani" Kanhold and he used to be the lead singer of the band Rest of Best. It was cool- he was wearing a leather jacket and an American flag tie. I got his life story from the owner of the shop. He fell in love with America at a very young age, learned to play guitar, and went to the United States. He joined a band and wore a different pair of Elvis shoes every day. At some point, he stopped being in the band and went back to his house, which is just a block from the store I was in. He had just fallen on the way into the store a few minutes before, and was on his way to the hospital to get checked out. As soon as I walked in, he asked me if I liked Goethe, Schiller or Herder. I told him that of the three of them, I was the biggest fan of Herder (never actually heard of him). He showed me a huge 400 euro bust Herder for me to buy. I said I would think about it.
After he left, the store owner gave me a free postcard with the band on it. We got to talking, and when they found out I was from Atlanta, they told me they would give me an autographed picture of the band by the end of the week if I came back. I should really figure out something less than 400 euros to buy in that store...
While shopping today, I found proof that the dollar is secretly stronger than the euro. The cost of my items was 3.98, and I handed the cashier a 5-euro bill. She handed me a 1-euro coin and an American penny in change. God bless the USA.