Friday, September 3, 2010

Oh yeah, I'm in Germany

I keep having these moments throughout the day where otherwise simple tasks are complicated exponentially by the fact that, oh yeah, I'm in Germany. Case in point: I'm running out of clean underwear. Currently I'm at threat-risk level orange (which I think is the default threat level in America, but if we were assessing the ACTUAL level of risk to me running out of clean underwear, I would be at orange, right below red). Because I don't want to hit threat level red (because that would mean I'm going commando), I decided to do some laundry today. Also, I don't have any clean shirts and my jacket is starting to smell like a dirty hippie from the northend. Or a European! Ha ha, I'm so funny.

First off, it took me a while to find the facilities. Whilst on my journey to find the washing machine the other night, you will recall I was distracted by Asians overreacting to a domestic housecat. After wandering around the basement of my building for a good five minutes (by the way, not something I recommend. There were what I can only assume to be warning signs, as would be indicative of their bright red color and dominating black letters in bold I'm sure telling me "cross this door and the Hausmeister is going to steal your kidneys") I finally found them in some sketchy backroom next to the ping pong tables and vending machines selling Coke and beer. Having successfully located said facilities, I started to head back upstairs to gather my dirty laundry when I noticed that I did not recognize the words on the machine. Oh fuck me. The fucking washing machine is in fucking German. I stared for a good two minutes, thinking that I could figure out what each word meant. I mean, I've been doing laundry for the better part of my adult life. How much different can it be? Alas, I was quite unsuccessful in my translation attempts. I ran back upstairs to get my German-English dictionary, went back downstairs and translated each word on the machine (turns out I wasn't even looking at the washing machine, I was looking at the dryer).

I decided I didn't have the energy to attempt to do laundry, especially since I have a meeting up at the campus at three and don't want to get half-way into my washing of the clothes before having to leave. I'd probably have to fucking re-translate everything anyway.

On a different note, I'm finally legally "registered" in the city of Saarbruecken. Oddly enough, one of the questions the woman asked me was my religion. Huh? I thought for a second and I was like "none?" What an odd question. Katrin told me that in Germany, the church and state are very closely connected, which is supposed to be different in the states, but whatevs. This explains, though, all the crucified Jesus(es)--what the fuck is the plural of Jesus? Is there a plural? What if I see more than one--in those small towns in Bavaria. Creepy or not, Germans love them some crucified Jesus statues.

We also stumbled upon the local market in Saarbruecken and I was so freaking excited. Apparently it takes place three times a week, so guess where I will be going to get all my fresh veggies and cheese and meats and breads? I just finished eating my gouda, salami and tomato sandwich on fresh cooked bread. Heavy sigh. It's amazing how good food can make life better.

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