Bochum

I’ve arrived in Germany. Quick observations: Santa is everywhere, women are tall, and it’s frigging cold. I hope it’s not a sign of things to come, but the trip hasn’t started off in the best of ways. I’ve experienced equal parts confusion and annoyance.

In my stopover in Seoul I was led the wrong way for my connection, through immigration. The dope at the counter didn’t even recognize that I had just come from Pusan and had a ticket to Munich, even though I told him as much. After he sent me through, I found myself in baggage claim. Shit. I wound up being paraded around Incheon by officials, visiting every bureaucratic office along the way.

On the long flight to Munich I was seated right in the kindergarten section, with a gaggle of children doing what they do — being loud, pesky creatures. The kid sitting right next to me was blowing his nose every five minutes. Not sure if my sniffling is the cold, or a cold.

Once I arrived in Dusseldorf, I had to find my way here to Bochum. I asked information, and he said, “ah, it’s easy; take the train. Go upstairs, blah, blah.” I guessed which platform I needed because the guide was a twisting platter of angel hair pasta. I was cruising along on the train, hoping to hear the word “Bochum.” When I didn’t after six stops or so, I asked someone, and he said “Oh, next stop.” Glad I asked when I did.

When I got out, I found myself at a train station that was not Bochum. OK, what now? I asked some nice girls, who told me to get on the U-ban and follow the signs. I had no idea where my hotel was, so I stopped at the station that had a bunch of other connections, thinking there had to be taxis there. My instinct was right, and I took a 5 Euro taxi to my hotel. Three hours after landing, I’d finally gotten to my bed.

I blame all this on overconfidence. “Oh, I’ve been to Germany before, I’ll be fine.” So I didn’t do research before leaving.

I succeeded in finding and visiting the university today, but failed after many attempts to find free internet access. Actually most of my day has been spent looking for a free connection. No luck yet. My T-Mobile allotted time ends in 6 minutes. Better just post this puppy.

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4 Responses to “Bochum”

  1. Well, what a lovely adventure. Ah, travel. I take it you are not responsible for the students who are attending with you.

  2. Students didn’t make the trip. It’s a long story.

  3. Maybe the women are tall because you have been living in Asia!

  4. Well of course! :)

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