Wednesday, January 9, 2013

26.11-2.12: Semester is 1/2 over and trip to Ulm

This week Herr Kornetta notified us the semester is half over. Whaaaaa?!?!?!? How did that happen so fast? It amazes me every day how fast time has flown! It feels like I have been here for a few weeks. But at the same time it feels like I've been here my whole life. Love and hate that mixture of feelings. Sabrina and I both agree this summer went by much slower. 8 weeks this summer seemed like a life time compared to how quickly the past few months have passed. I have been here for 8 weeks at this point, the same amount of time I was here this summer. It does not even come close to feeling like the same amount of time. I think a lot of it has to do with the routine I'm in. I go to school every day. I go to Adelberg on the weekends. It's pretty much the same day in and day out. This summer we went on trips and every week was different.
Anyway. This week was fairly laid back.
Friday was the big BW-Stipendium Jahrestreffen in Ulm. I know... translation please? I'll give you that AND an explanation. So I (along with a few other of the Erasmus students) am here on a scholarship. I still had to pay a good chunk of money (tuition for GV, plane ticket, etc) but the scholarship I have covers the rent for my room in the Wohnheim, my health insurance and then some. I may actually come home with extra money. That would more than thrill my father :) Well this scholarship (stipendium) came from the state (Baden Württemberg hence the BW). They hold a bi-yearly thank you event (Jahrestreffen) for all of the scholarship holders. This event was held in Ulm, a city not too far away. About an hour and a half from Schwäbisch Gmünd by train.
There were 5 of us from the PH that went to this event (Orsi, Mascha, Yulia, Dayna and myself). I haven't spent that much time with them, so getting this Friday afternoon/night together was nice.
I met them at the train station in SG after my praktikum. Bert and I had attempted to walk to Burger King (shout out to you Angela! :) ) and I just about made it there before Dayna let me know they were on their way to the train station. NUTS! Oh well. I don't need the fat and grease anyways.
We all got there, chatted for a bit, and then got on a train. It was so stinking cold! It was the first time I was wearing my big wool coat and I was still chilly! We stopped to get coffee and hot chocolate but I wasn't really in the mood. We had a tiny map that was of no help to us and had to ask a few people how to get to the convention cener where the whole thing was taking place. Eventually though we did make it. We shed our coats, signed in and quickly talked with Frau Becher. She was so happy we were all there. There were a few hundred of us packed into this tiny room. There wasn't anything to really eat or drink. It seemed like a real bust. There were different languages flying everywhere. It was almost overwhelming. I met a really nice guy from America and within moments of walking away, didn't seem him again, ha. Must have gotten swallowed by the crowd!
Suddenly there was this giant puppet person coming through the door. It was so weird, but totally cool too! It was made of a wicker like material and there were at least 5 guys making him move, plus the guy on the side making the music and noises. The "man" walked through the hall doing all this "cool" stuff (it was a giant wicker puppet. anything and everything it did was cool). Then it opened this giant door that lead to hallways and these big rooms. There was a room with chairs, tables, and a big stage. We all took a seat and the whole thing began. Not nearly as much of a bust as we thought! Well there were multiple speakers. Then there were 3 presentations. By the time all of the talking was done it had been 2 hours! We didn't think we would end up staying that long!
We were then dismissed to do any of the activities that were taking place in the convention center. The line for food grew instantly to an insane level. We decided to find a place to sit and wait until the line got a bit shorter. Dayna and I got something to drink at the bar and found a seat upstairs. There we met this really nice German guy who would be going to study in South America. We all chatted and had a nice time. Finally, Dayna and I got food. There were lots of traditional schwäbisch dishes. So delicious! We looked at the clock and scarfed down our food. Ulm had a big Christmas market up and we wanted to go see it before heading back; and I had a specific time I wanted to take the train. We had just under 45 minutes to go to the market before my train left. We walked through the main area of Ulm, took some pictures, but by the time we got to the market it was time for me to go to the train station. The other girls decided they were going to stay another hour so I headed back alone. I found my train (and triple checked to make sure it was the right one) and headed to Göppingen to spend the weekend with Sabrina. She was there to pick me up and we had a normal, low-key weekend.

Lots of love from Germany!

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