Friday, August 17, 2012

Wuppertal + Köln/Cologne

Hallo Leute,

Last weekend:

Friday night was the work party the interns threw for the other employees. 'La Dolce Vita.' It was really nice! Not many people from the office could come, because everyone is always on vacation here, but it was still a nice party. I won a Bocce Ball set in Bingo. Score! I think it is too heavy to take home though, I only have 8 pounds free in my suitcases... so I think I will leave it for the roomies. I left the party fairly early to make sure I would be up for my train Saturday morning. Here are a few photos I took off the server of the party. *there was a photo booth*

decorations for the party


Saturday I got on the train at 9:30 and headed to Wuppertal.
Train struggles:
I bought a BahnCard50, which is a discount card for the German train company that allows me to purchase 50% off tickets, I was considering the BahnCard25, but you cannot buy last minute tickets with that discount, so I went with the 50. I bought the student rate, I think €120 and submitted my documents online for them to verify that I am a student. I guess I didn't look closely at the activation date, or it changed when I submitted or something, because the card wasn't active until August 15, and my train was on the 11th. The website allows you to buy tickets with any discount and doesn't verify that you actually have the card, also didn't know that. So I had to pay another €80 on the train. Then I realized that I forgot to put Landor on the address thing, and in Germany there is 1 address for the whole building, so if the name on the mail is incorrect it won't go to the correct mailbox. I called the number for the BahnCard people and got passed around from person to person until someone could update the address thing. My card arrived. Lesson learned, don't buy anything online/register for anything online in Germany because you WILL mess it up and it will be expensive.

arrived around 1:30 and Morgen and I grabbed some groceries, she was making a carrot cake for her birthday, and some champagne(just needed it) then we dropped the things off at her apartment... Wuppertal is HILLY. rough.
We walked around Wuppertal for a little bit, did some shopping, then got ready for the Opladen beer festival. link is German, but I think there are a few photos. Morgen and I were NOT mentally prepared for the size of this festival. It was a multilevel outdoor field thing with tons of tents of beer and snacks and bands and people. I think we were too hungry/full/tired/overwhelmed, so we did not take advantage of all the beers. Got some delicious potato pancake type things. I think they had a different name than Kartoffelpuffer though... We left fairly early and got on the train back to Wuppertal. Met some people on the train and talked with them for a bit until we realized that they were not being friendly/expressing interest in the fact that we were learning German, they were being mean and rude. Sometimes it is hard to tell. Genuine interest or mockery.

Morgen and Franzi with the Fuchs coaster. Fuchs=fox

Sunday we went to Köln/Cologne and visited the Lindt Chocolate Museum, there were some cool things in there... a lot of artifact type things though. I was hoping for more GIANT vats of chocolate and production type things. After that we met up with Franzi, Morgen'S roommate, and climbed to the top of the Dom. 550ish steps later we were at the top. Note on the stairs: THEY WERE TERRIBLE. very tight spiral stairs, and instead of designating one stairwell for people going up and one for people going down, everyone just crammed into the same one. And there were not many, if any, windows in the stairwells. I was pretty sure I was going to die on the way up, upwards people were on the inside track, which was NOT enough room for feet. I think Morgen has a picture, I'll steal it when she uploads it. Excellent views from the top. We climbed back down and looked around the inside of the church, my camera died so Morgen has the pictures, stealing them later. We grabbed drinks from Starbucks(close to the station) and tried to buy cookies or cake and the barista was an ass, so we skipped it. Morgen asked for 'Lemon Cake' which was written on the sign and then went with 'Zitronenkuchen' also on the sign and the guy was a jerk about it, so we left. Then we headed back to Wuppertal so I could catch my train back to Hamburg. It was a short visit, but Cologne seemed really nice. It was a sunny and hot day so everyone was lounging outside by the water. I was especially jealous of the tiny kids in their underwear frolicking in the water. I think I might be too old for that though. Schade.

This week at work has been pretty good, weird levels of work though, I'll be swamped for a day(last week was busy) then have a day with nothing. I had working in the basement last week, which was great! A homeless man(der Penner=rude word for a bum) climbed in the window and a coworker had to chase him away. never a dull moment in the basement.

After work tonight I am meeting up with my Mitfahrgelegenheit, ride share to Berlin, then I am couchsurfing with a girl from Norway. Two new things, if they work out, I will be able to save a ton of money in the future for traveling. I am meeting up with Benny in Berlin too! We met in Copenhagen and will both be in Berlin this weekend.

Schönes Wochenende!

** fuchs is sometimes used as the German equivalent of Ginger

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