Thursday 17 November 2005

Slightly Undercooked Bratwurst Completes Initiation

This is a further update about my progress in Germany. I've been getting on quite well - much better than I had anticipated, to be honest. I feel that by ordering a Bratwurst from the 'Ratskeller' for lunch, I have become fully attuned with the local culture and ethos.

The company has helped me set up my bank account - this was largely due to the tremendous efforts of the young German bank manager to overcome his own limited English, so that my English friend Matthew (who was also having his account set up) and I would not have to overcome our own language impairments.

I am now waiting for the key card and PIN to arrive, so that I can actually access my account. Of course it has nothing in it, so I will have to try to transfer a small sum from home to tide me over until payday, which comes but once a month in these parts. At that point, as the bank manager put it, 'All things are possible'.

My parents have responded to my adapter woes by sending me over an Australian power adapter - this should arrive soon apparently. With this and my bank account, I will have everything I need to fulfil my destiny and acquire a phone plan, allowing me unheard of powers of wireless telecommunication throughout the country.

I have started taking German lessons with some others from the company. The teacher speaks not much more English than I speak German, which as you can imagine makes communication difficult. The lessons are very basic - at the level of "Ich heiße Michael" and the like, so the content is not too challenging, but it is good practice nevertheless.

I have ordered some audio tapes (actually audio on SD cards) to help me learn, but these won't arrive for several weeks. In the meantime I plan to write a small script to test me on my German vocab - this is what I did in school when studying for tests, and I found it quite helpful.

I apologize for the lack of photos - I have already been upbraided by several people over this. I will try to have a bit of a photo taking session - I guess I have never really been much of a photo person, but the site does need some more colour.

Generally I have learned my way around town quite a bit better. I at least know where the major shops are, so if nothing else I can buy myself food. I bought myself a copy of Civilization IV, but I have to play it on my work PC, since my laptop is not up to the task. Also the manual is in German, so I have to learn how to play the hard way.

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