September 8, 2013: Deutschland parties hard, or at least harder than me

So it’s been a couple of days since I’ve shared what I have done, and most of it I would say does not fall into the most interesting things I could probably be doing, but they are still important. I finally have my German bank account and I am officially enrolled at the Friedrich Alexander Universität (FAU), both of which processes ran incredibly efficiently. All I essentially had to do was have my specific documents and passport ready, and sign a couple of things, and done. So in about a week I will receive my student information via snail mail, which I will then have to activate my account, and then, finally after another couple of weeks of waiting, I will have my student ID, also sent via snail mail. It makes me wonder why it takes so long to get all of this done. In America, one day is all you need and you don’t have to go in and change your password. It’s kind of annoying how we also have to wait forever to get our student IDs. How am I supposed to buy my student transportation tickets that my program says I need to buy, when I can’t prove I’m a student? And yes, my American ID won’t work. I tried. Also an important annoyance to note, I have to renew my student ID here every semester. For €42. Sigh.

 

So after we were finished with all of that, we had the rest of the afternoon to blow. Since we were both bored but not quite ready to eat yet, I ended up riding my bike around with an Irish guy named Sean. Sean was pretty interesting. He is studying law, so I really learned a lot about not only Irish and European law/history, but he also told me a couple of interesting things about the States. There was a lot of talk about politics, and the US’s role in the world. Surprisingly enough, he believes that the US feels pressured into policing the world by many of the countries in the UN, who won’t really do anything themselves, and he finds this unfair. Not what I expected to here from a European, especially when many Americans themselves feel like the US is doing this on their own accord and that we should really back off. It was fun. We ended up grabbing some fish and chips at Nordsee, which is a chain fish place here. They were pretty good, just wish they had vinegar.

 

That really wraps up my Friday. Nothing too eventful, unless you count finding some of the best tasting soda I’ve ever had as a major event. Most people don’t. (For the record it’s carbonated orange juice with some lemonade mixed in). Saturday I would say was much more interesting. I got up and did my usually random ride around Erlangen on my bike. I had no real goals, so I just explored various ways to get back to my dorm. Then I did some reading in the park and took a couple more pictures, which I posted some already. After that I went to the grocery store and picked out some dinner, which ended up being couscous with feta, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, and vegetarian sausage. It wasn’t until about 8:30 that I actually left my dorm for what would be my first bar/club experience in Germany.

 

I met up first with a couple of people from another group, but people that knew Sean: a girl Jemma (sp?) from Essex, another girl Ella from Poland, and a guy Josef from the Czech Republic (actually his name is something else, but I couldn’t spell it if I tried and he told me I could call him Josef anyway). We talked for a long time waiting for everyone else to arrive. It was quite nice, even though we waited until 10 for everyone to get there (we had more than 25 people show up actually!) Now let’s see if I can remember everyone: Arielle (who I actually met on Friday) who is from Belgium and is one of the few people I know that thinks the French language is ugly, Marco from Slovenia, Micheal from Poland (I also technically met him on Friday), Marky (sp?) from the UK, Colm from Scotland (who I met Thursday but just last night learned his name), Helena from Barcelona. There were far more people who I met, those are just the main people I hung out with the rest of the night.

 

We started out by going to a nearby bar and having a couple of drinks. It was here that I learned a major cultural difference between Americans and Europeans, or at least Irish, Scots, Brits and Americans. I commented on the fact that they were talking about drinking shots when they were currently working on their second or third beers and how that would make them sick. They all turned to me with curious expressions on their faces to which I replied, “You know, beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.” That was about the time they started laughing at my “song” and told me that Americans don’t know how to drink and that you obviously drink beer first. Let’s just say, I’m not convinced.

 

After awhile at the bar we made our way to a club. It was apparently ’90s invasion night, because many of the songs brought back fond memories from my childhood. The atmosphere was pretty good, but there were a lot of people down there. Yes, it was in a basement, which means no windows and certainly there are no ceiling fans in Europe, so there wasn’t even that comfort. The air was stifling and reeked with body odor and hormones, but it was still fun. There were several times where I pulled out my own fan and just fanned myself and others on songs I didn’t know. The biggest difference I noted was the way people danced as opposed to the way people dance in America. There was absolutely no twerking and there wasn’t a whole lot of grinding either. It was kind of nice, but then again I felt a bit out of place since I do ultimately dance like an American. It was also nice not having to worry about some stranger rubbing his penis all over your ass while you were dancing. That just didn’t really happen. Granted there were guys present within our group, but when one of the girls got hit on, the guy came up and talked to her instead of just rubbing his junk on her. It was nice. He also had the appropriate response to walk away when I pulled her away (don’t think I’m a cock block, she was obviously not interested).

 

So all of this is going on and we are having a good time and I was just thinking that it had to be close to 2 so I pulled out my phone and looked at the time, it was 2:30 with no sign on closing any time soon. I was starting to get tired at that point (one thing is that at least when the bars close at 2 you have a great excuse to head on home) but I decided to wait until someone else wanted to leave. I waited until 3:30 and I was still the first one to suggest going home. Not that they didn’t want to either, I just was the first to speak up. Finally after all of the good byes and the incredibly slow walking, it was about 4 in the morning. Luckily enough for me there was someone else in the group that lives on Hartmannstr. so I convinced him to walk home with me instead of ride his bike. So much thanks goes out to Marco for this. If not I could have easily stayed with one of the girls there, but I had my contacts in and no case to put them in to sleep. So then we had a 30 minute walk, part of the way we went we walked with Marky and they talked about America. It was kind of funny because they were talking about American stereotypes in Europe and Marco had some reservations telling me what he heard on some show about Americans, like I haven’t heard negative things about American before. I’ll give you two guesses what the main stereotypes were: fat and stupid. It was no surprise, especially since most Americans are portrayed this way in many many many European movies. The first coming to mind is In Bruges. Anyway it is interesting that so many Europeans have gone to America expecting everyone to be rather large, and are surprised to see that many are not.

 

So after getting home, with my legs screaming from all of the bike riding, walking, and dancing, I finally went to bed. I didn’t wake up until sometime after 2 and laid in bed until 3. I may have screwed myself up by going out last night, because I may be back on American time. Hopefully not. We’ll see. No real pictures to add to this post, but I may be able to find one that another person took on facebook and post it later.

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1 Comment

  1. Raegan said,

    September 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    So much fun!!


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