School and hiking boots

Today was the second day of school, and the first day of real lectures. Particle physics in German was quite an experience.. I’ve never concentrated so hard to understand, my brain was working at least 150%, trying to understand the new words fast enough to learn the things, before the lecturer moved on to another subject. In the end, I think I understood the most important things, but it was still a nice punch in the face -start for a day.

I’m also beginning to be very grateful for our school system in Finland. Especially getting lunch here has been made extremely difficult:

  1. In the student cafeterias and restaurants, you can only pay with your student card. This works by loading money on the magnetic card in separate machines. Too bad for those who haven’t yet received their student cards due to some un-concievable problem within the university (I know a lot of people here with this problem..)
  2. You have to pay for every item you take on your tray. In Finland, we get everything for the single price of the lunch: meat-dish, side dish, milk/juice, water to drink, bread, salad. Here you have to pay for everything.
  3. No water. REALLY WHAT KIND OF SELF-RESPECTING EUROPEAN COUNTRY DOESN’T GIVE YOU EVEN TAP-WATER WITH YOUR LUNCH?!!?!
  4. expensive. Today I paid 6,75 euros for my lunch. It included meat (some kind of pork), potato dumpling (Kartoffel Knödel), salad, milk.
  5. Deposit. These germans are just crazy about deposits. Do they actually fear someone will want to take home the crappy plastic plate or tray?! Where’s the trust?!

Luckily though, due to this ridiculous system, there are lots of other places you can eat lunch. For example you can buy a XXL-hotdog for 2,20 euros. It should be very tasty and big. I will try it tomorrow. Tomorrow I will also take my own water with me to school, so that I can drink something with my lunch.

Ok. Now that that’s out of my system, I can proceed to more happy subjects.

Last Friday we had our final exam for the German intensive language course. It went OK. After the exam we had some time left, so we went (the entire group + teacher) to the Löwenbräu Bierkeller, for a midday beer and Weisswurst (since Weisswurst is only to be enjoyed before noon). Our teacher also taught us the proper way to eat a Weisswurst, which was not as simple as one might think.. After the midday-beers me and a couple of my friends came over to my place to continue drinking beer. In the evening, we pretended to be architecture students and joined in their pub-crawl in the coolest bar-region of Munich, which happened to be right next to my house!! We also got (really good) free pizzas from a good Italian restaurant that was one of the pubs to be crawled. In the end, still pretending to be cool hipster architects, we went to their after party on the roof-cafeteria of our university (where the view of the rooftops in Munich is pretty cool!). We’ve also eaten lunch one time there..

The following Sunday we went to the mountains with a couple of friends from the language course (Erik(Sweden) and Sandro(Italy)) and a couple of friend from my house. It is pretty nice that you can get from the city center to the mountains in one hour with a regional train! With the Bayern-ticket the price was also quite good, only 8 euros /person for the whole day. I had bought new hiking boots the day before, since I’m planning to go quite often to the mountains. Our target was the Wank, with it’s peak at 1780 m, we had about 1000 meters to climb. It took us about 3 hours to get to the top. The views were pretty awesome, of course. In addition to my lunch sandwiches, I treated my self to nice knödels from the restaurant at the peak. For the main course I had a tasty Speck-Knödel, which was a potatoe-ham-bacon-dumpling in nice fatty broth. For dessert I got a humongous Germknödel, with vanillesoße. Sadly I didn’t take any pictures of these pieces of art, since they were just to good to do anything else than eat them. We also had plenty of fun, thanks to the name of the mountain.

On the way down I noticed that my new shoes somehow didn’t fit my feet! I think the sole was too small :(((( For the evening I was almost certain that they would only end up being a 150 euro lesson, to test the shoes more thoroughly out when buying. But, luckily (I’ve had some luck here so far :)), my roommates said that I could try and return them. So, I spent the evening scrubbing the evidence of our small mountain excursion from the boots, making them look as good as new. The next day, I managed to change them for better (and more expensive..) shoes!! Scrubbing off ALL of the dirt was sadly impossible, so when the salesperson inquired about the residual dirt, I embraced my inner actor and told her that I just took them for a small stroll in my yard.

Phew! I think this is enough for today 🙂

The pictures are, as always, at http://sonkeri.1g.fi/kuvat/Timo+Kerola/

A couple pictures: