February 16, 2004

Language Classes

I took a long walk today. The temperature is quite nice, not as I'd been lead to believe. It snowed and was pretty cold the first two days here, but since then it's been quite tolerable. I still need my winter coat, but don't have to wear a sweatshirt under it.

I took my new digital camera out with me. By "new digital camera" I mean "Kevin's old digital camera, which he gave to me when he bought his new digital camera." I took some pictures of the neighborhood and things I found interesting along the way. I'll have to have Kevin make a picture page for me, since I don't have either the software to download them from the camera or Photoshop to size them correctly. I'll try to get those up as soon as possible.

In the meantime, you can check out the Miniatur Wunderland that Kevin went to on his birthday. It's a giant model railroad, which is right up his alley. I have to admit, after seeing the pictures, I'd like to go there myself.

I walked down to the Gänsemarkt and had some pommes mit käse-sauce (fries with cheese sauce). Unfortunately I forgot my purse, and while I had enough money in my pocket for pommes I didn't have enough for a drink. But I survived.

After that I walked down to the water (lake? I don't know. Have to ask Kevin) and went down to where I thought the post box was, but I couldn't find it so I must have been on the wrong street. I wandered around for a bit and then made my way to the Colón Language Center to sign up for my class. I walked in and said, "I'd like to take German lessons" and was pointed to a desk. The man asked, "Are you a beginner" and I said, "Yes!" Well I answered so quickly and enthusiastically that the whole office laughed (as did I). He explained some various options and I signed up for a class that runs 3 days a week for 2 hours at a time at 11:30 in the morning. Unfortunately I was the first person to sign up for the class at that time, and they need 5 people to run the class. It starts on March 2nd, so there's about 2 more weeks of registration. If the morning class doesn't go, I can join the evening class which already has 6 students. I really would prefer the morning class, so I'll have to evaluate my options if it doesn't work out.

I tried a new route walking back and think that it will be more direct. Unfortunately, the streets here curve and are at odd angles so sometimes you have to walk backwards to go forward. I also passed the post office, so that's a good thing to know. As it turns out, it doesn't matter that I couldn't find the post box.

I had wanted to take a picture of the stamp machine, conveniently located next to the post box. These type of machines do not dispense stamps, but rather they have a blank stamp that they print the amount onto, much like the stickers you get at the counter at a US post office. The unfortunate thing is that the machine doesn't make change, so whatever you have leftover gets put on a stamp. Kevin ended up with a 5 cent stamp. Very helpful, since it costs 1.55 Euro to go to the US and 1 Euro for a postcard.

Scout is still feeling a little anxious. She's fine when we're both home, but she doesn't like it much when we leave. This morning after Kevin left she was really clingy. We went for a walk before I left for my long walk, and it shouldn't have been anything new. For years the pattern has been to take her out, bring her in, put her in the crate, and leave myself for whatever. Today she really didn't want that. After I shut the door to the apartment I could hear her barking. Fortunately she stopped by the time I made it down to the elevator, and she didn't bark again until I walked into the apartment when I came back, so that's good. I worry a lot about her barking because our hallways echo badly, and I'm not sure how thin the walls are. The good thing is that when she does bark (at least when we're home) she only does it for a few minutes before settling down. The problem is when she's doing it late at night. Anyway, I hope that the longer we're here the more comfortable she will become.

Posted by Shelby at February 16, 2004 07:18 AM