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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day 3

Today was definitely a work day. We checked out of the first hotel this morning after eating breakfast. Since the unit wasn't in till 9am we wandered around the post for a bit looking for coffee. On post they take US dollars. That was an issue for me the first day because I had packed away my US money. Today I was up on it, and was able to pay for the coffee and lunch later.

We worked late this evening to get the classroom computers all imaged for all three of the other classrooms. The publications - the booklets that follow our slide shows when we teach - are now in Frankfurt (Frankfort? I'm again drunk and don't remember...) and tomorrow the guys will drive over there to pick them up. This will take most of the day for them (and that would be if they knew where they were going in the first place...), and the rest of the classes start the next day. Hopefully they will get back in time tomorrow afternoon to finish setting up the other 3 classrooms. I start teaching my class tomorrow morning. I am all set up. It will be interesting to see if teaching an active duty unit is any different than the National Guard units I've had so far.

It was almost dark and starting to rain when we finally checked into the new hotel. It is very different than the first one. In some ways it is probably much more typicaly German. There is no elevator, and the rooms are on the second floor. The one guy who speaks very good English carried my heaviest bag up the stairs for me. He wanted to talk politics, mentioning that we would be away for our elections while on this trip, and who did I expect to win. He mentioned Mrs. Palin, saying that the German people find her comments 'interesting'. I muttered something to the effect that she is embarrassing. I didn't have euros handy to tip with and I hope I didn't offend him by not tipping. Roy and Travis brought my other 2 bags in from the van because it was starting to rain harder and they didn't want to wait on me to get back, getting wetter in the process. I managed to carry the second heaviest up the stairs, and Roy carried my rollaway up for me.

I will miss the restaurant at the other hotel. The guys like it here better. This is more common German cooking, I think. The waitress had to get a translation book to help us figure out the menu. I missed the small book that listed 4 courses, with only a choice between 2 main courses that the other place had. Here we have a set amount to 'spend' at dinner, which wasn't difficult to stay within. However, the food lacked the subtlety of the light sauces and such that the other hotel had. Oh, well. The first hotel was much more upscale in pretty much all ways, but this one is still very much above my usual fare in most ways. I do like the shower here better. No fridge in the room here like we had in the other hotel, but the closet is very large.

The inability to understand basic signage and such is beginning to wear on me. Constantly hoping that the locals will speak my language, and being basically helpless if they don't is also tiring. Being wary of driving is hard for me, not knowing basic road signage (like that some of the streets are one-way), and not being sure what foods are that are set in front of me at restaurants is also difficult. I think after 3 weeks I'll be ready for home.

I stuck to drinking beer tonight instead of wine. I'm still looped, but not quite so badly as the past 2 nights. Since I teach tomorrow I need to unpack now and try to smooth the wrinkles out of my dress clothes. Roy asked to 'borrow' an iron at the front desk after dinner and was informed 'tomorrow, the iron is already loaned out tonight'. Sigh.

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