Saturday, May 30, 2009

Zweite Tag

I don't know if I will update this everyday but I have some time right now so I figured I would write while things were still fresh in my mind.
Today we met up at 10 am with Professor Bohn who is in charge of the program. He talked to us for VERY long time, in fact few people could get a word in, and he took out to lunch at a German bakery for sandwiches. I had a nice crusty roll mit Kaese, Gurcken, Tomaten, und Salat (cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce). Es schmekt mir gut! Next Prof. Bohn took us to one of the few areas in Darmstadt that existed pre WW 2 (the entire city was vaporized during the war). It was a beautiful Catholic church that was built for the wife of one of the Hessian (Darmstadt is in the state of Hesse) leaders. She was Russian so the church was built in the russian style with the gold turrets. We also climbed the bell tower and were able to look out over most of the city and see Frankfurt. After walking around a bit more and getting fed more trivia and non stop chatter from Prof. Bohn we went grocery shopping again since the stores will be closed tomorrow since it is a sunday. We also found out that Monday is a holiday so we won't actually be starting work until Tuesday. I atleast am going to try and visit either the castle that Frankenstein lived or Heidelburg. Another plus I found out after meeting with Prof. Bohn is that we're getting paid more than I originally thought and we get meal money (which means I will be practically starving myself to save that money also). This just means more money for travel!!
After returning to the apartments, Mandy (another girl from the REU) and I decided to go running. We ran through a park nearby as well as through part of the city. We didn't get lost once and it was super nice out! I actually feel like I can get around fairly well on my own now. Later we went to the store to buy a frisbee and soccer ball but it was closed already. Tomorrow we are going to head to a nearby lake which I am super pumped about since I originally thought there would be no water nearby. Mandy and I are also going to go to a Catholic mass tomorrow and a church we found on our run.
Some more observations I had today: In grocery stores you must bag your own groceries and the cashiers are VERY efficient! You need to have everything bagged immediately when they're done checking you out. Also, you pay for grocery bags, meaning just one more incentive to reuse bags! Why oh why can't we do simple things like this in the states??? Also, we got the low down on recycling. You get 25 cents for bottle returns here and when you only pay about 50 cents for half a liter of water this is pretty good! Food waste is composted and there are separate bins for plastic goods (including all containers) and paper. This is all fantastic! Just another one of my frustrations with the states! I have only taken a few pictures so far but I will put some up soon of the apartment.

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