Tuesday, October 6, 2009

From Baltimore To Berlin And Beyond

Well it has now been a week since I left the United States and been a week without internet so this post is going to be on the longer side. So I'll start at the beginning, way back on Monday night, while I was visiting my girlfriend in Baltimore, with a late night trip to the emergency room, everything ended up being okay but it was still a very stressful and scary trip involving not getting to bed until 4 a.m. and a wake up call of 6:30 a.m.

On Tuesday morning I spent my last afternoon with my girlfriend before I left. It was very sad leaving and contributed to my departure sneaking up on me. Even while I was sitting in the airport in Baltimore to leave, it still hadn't sunk in. Before I knew
it, I was sitting on a plane to London. The flight to London didn't seem too bad, it was actually kind of enjoyable even though I probably only slept a total of a half an hour.

When I arrived in London on Wednesday morning, it was raining (raining in England? go figure). At this point I was tired but not about to pass out because chances are I probably would have been up then anyways. After a couple of hours in Heathrow, I boarded my plane to Berlin. On this flight I only got in about a half an hour of sleep. Wh
en I arrived, the airport was small compared to Heathrow and the passport control and customs were right outside of the gate.
By this point I was starting to get very tired. To get from the airport to the train station, I needed up having to take a bus, the subway, and a commuter train. There probably would have been an easier way, but I was tired, alone, and carrying all of my belongings with me across Berlin.

After spending an hour or so in the train station I finally boarded my two and a half hour train ride to Rostock. During the trip I was very sleepy, but
I managed to stay awake for most of the time (long enough for a bunch of drunk men in lederhosen to stick their heads in my compartment and ask if I was a terrorist anyway).

I finally arrived in Rostock and got on a streetcar and headed in the direction of my hotel. It's now almost nine at night, and everything in town is very empty, quiet, and dark. To really set the mood for me it started to rain as soon as I stepped out of the street car. It took about twenty minutes of toting all my things back and forth through small, narrow alleys, but I finally made it to my hotel. I had now traveled almost 4000 miles and been (more or less) awake for 36 hours.

Oddly enough because of the amount of required consciousness of my trip, for the first night I seemed to have avoided being jet lagged. In the morning, I woke up feeling very refreshed and well rested even though I woke up at 8:30 a.m. I got directions at the hotel on how to get to my apartment. It figures that as soon as I started walking towards my apartment it started to rain, so I decided it would be worth it to take a taxi. When I finally reached my new apartment building, I came to a locked front door with no idea what to do. Eventually someone who is on their way out lets me in. I then went to the basement to wait to get my keys and everything and there is only one other person waiting down there so I'm not quite sure what is going on. I did eventually get my keys and moved into my apartment. It was a relief to finally get to stop carrying everything I owned around with me.

So now here I am, in Germany and it's finally set in that I'm really here. The main thing I would mention about how I felt through my trip was how big of an effect doing everything alone had. It really was a lot harder and more lonely than I would have though traveling for 36 hours straight across 4000 miles. As of right now, I still do not have internet in my room and I've finally made my way to an internet cafe to post this. I'll put pictures up too in a couple of days but for right now they're not cooperating. Overall, it's been pretty good so far. I was glad to find that my German was still good enough to do everything I wanted/needed to do. So at the end of my first week here, it's been very tiring but I'm also very excited about being here. It's going to be an exciting six months.

-Update: I added a few pictures that weren't working earlier.

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