Week 1 | Settling in Offenburg

It's official! I'm really doing this and the day has come. I'm here for almost a week and I think I'm settling in okay. It's just that there's so much new stuff that I have to get used to. It's been awhile since I blogged too. I just lost my will to write much anymore. I want to write in everyday but that's kind of impossible since I'm always out and about and I am really tired when I'm back home. And blogging takes quite a lot of time from me.

Said goodbye to my family and my boyfriend before I get on the flight. I felt really lonely right after I got in and I think I was in a trance, I didn't know what I was doing or what I should expect anymore. It's my first time being away from everyone I know and of course for the longest time. I was quite blur actually, even when I got on the plane, I sat at the wrong place and the person looked kind of pissed off at me for sitting at his place. I'm stupid. I thought there would be many empty seats because when I choose the seats, many were empty. 

TIPS: Best to choose the side seats even if it's not beside the aisle. I choose the outer most from the middle section, and it's not really convenient since there could be like 2 people wanting to get out occasionally for toilet or whatever, and you might have to get out of the way. That's what I think anyway. 

My flight arrived one hour late so I had to run(well, I wouldn't call it running, since I took a HUGE luggage with me). In the Frankfurt airport, you have to pay 1€ for the luggage trolley. I went and took that, and it turns out I don't really need it because I only have like 1 huge luggage and a backpack with me. And the train station weren't in the same terminal so I had to leave the trolley after a few mins walk to get into the bus to get to the train terminal. Stupid. I almost missed my bus because of the trolley, since I have to push that thing through a whole lot of people into the correct place and then only I can get in the bus. And did I mention, my luggage was HUGE and HEAVY!? But the people were really nice because they kind of helped me when they see I'm having a hard time with it. Bought the ICE 101 ticket to Offenburg and it costed me 54€ (train ticket) + 6,50€ (tax & service fee). It's a really expensive ticket but it's fast. The journey was 2 hours long from Frankfurt to Offenburg. Oh ya, the weather is very very cold and.. hahaha I think I'm silly because I started to play with my breathe since I was exhaling little white clouds.  

I found out that if you buy the train tickets online, it will be much much much cheaper (much more cheaper if you buy it early) BUT you have to take that specific train. As for the original price, you can take the train at any time as long as you are on the correct train. Oh, and you have to have a valid credit card (for non-EUs) which must be yours for identification purpose. I wanted to buy it online but I didn't have my own credit card and I was afraid that my flight would be late and I have to "burn" my tickets. Better to stay on the safe side. 

It's really a pain when I don't know any German because all of the people speaks in German and most of the older ones doesn't speak English. When I was in the train, I was asked if I could move my luggage elsewhere because I was blocking that one seat. I think the train was full or something so he had to sit beside me. I tried to tell him that my luggage was too heavy for me to pick it up and shove it above me (where you usually put bags and luggage) but we didn't understand each other. I feel alienated because he was speaking with another guy and they are both speaking Deutsche and I had no idea what they were saying. It's all good after that but I had to really squeeze in my luggage with me and my legs were a bit cramped though. 

Arrived at Offenburg safely and it was really cold (and I stress this again). As a Malaysian, I'm not used to the weather. Lucky for me, it was quite sunny on the day that I arrived. Apparently, it always rains here and the wind is crazy some times. I have a first-hand experience of that on my third day here. My umbrella was no use to me because the wind was too strong, and it almost flew away. 
I was greeted by Karin, my tutor and her husband, Jakob. They were a really nice couple and were easy to talk to. Jakob was very funny too so I wasn't bored, not even for a second. 

Saturday is shopping day. At least that's what I think. So, on every Saturday the city centre will have plenty of stalls selling fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, meat and etcs. I didn't notice much, but I think I'll go check it out again maybe this Saturday. 

My first meal in Germany was a kebab which is just superb okay. It was very cheap too, I think it was like 3€/4€+ or something like that and that was my lunch and dinner. I only manage to eat half for lunch and doggy bag it back home for dinner. Can you see the amount of meat there? It's heaven I tell ya. There was a lot of other choices too but all of them are in German. *cries* 

Since I didn't know Deutsche and I didn't even know about the existence of carbonated mineral water, I just took a bottle of this in the kebab shop. Pop it open, drank it and was disgusted by it. I don't really like to drink carbonated beverage and this was just plain weird for me. Was ist das!?!? Maybe it's a thing, but it's definitely not my thing. *shows tongue*

 A sneak preview of the view around the city. These are just some random pictures I took on the first day i arrived here. Thought I'll just slot them in here, just because.

I think I'm in love with my heater, I wanna get married to it. I didn't even feel like getting out of the house. Hahaha. I think the lifestyle here is very healthy. Even for me, I am sleeping before 12am and waking up at 6.30am/7am in the morning. Every morning I had breakfast, take a 30 mins walk to campus. Even for our class, we have 30 mins break time where we could have snack time. Then, back to classes again and it's lunch time. The crash course in the Hoschule is really fun though because they really pack in events and activities for the students. The food, oh my gosh, they were so very generous in that. Ach, it's a shame I didn't take a picture of them, else you'll know what I mean. I'm so used to not taking pictures anymore since I'm not blogging much these days. The cheese, they have so many cheese here, I'm not used to it but I think I'll learn to eat it here. With bread? or so... We also had a coffee and cake session too and they have a lot of them. They were seriously very generous. I guess it's a great intro to German desserts. :D My favorite was the Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich)! 

This is the view outside of the window of my room. I'm pretty fortunate because I got the biggest room in the house. I'm actually living above a bakery shop. Now I can have bread anytime in the morning. Hahaha! I also met Sevda, my super lovely housemate. She's been a really big help to me since I arrived. I don't think I can manage this well if it weren't for her. 

The system is very different from home too. It's very systematic I guess. I have three types of trash bin at home. One for paper, one for food waste and the last one for plastics, milk cartons and those thin metal thingy. Garbage separation is very important in Germany. And the house chores. Okay, even though we have this in Malaysia too, but I think we never followed them. Haha! Here, every week, one person will clean the toilet, kitchen and sweet the floor. This week, I'm in charge of the toilet. :( LOL, so not used to cleaning. 

Some pictures I took during the Sunday when I'm walking around the city, since I have nothing better to do. Oh, did you know, on Sunday, everything is closed? Including shopping malls, pharmacies and even food places (but some restaurants are open). 

The church right outside my living place


The houses here are really beautiful and some of them have really beautiful themes. The sculptures and all that. Each and every building are different from each other and they really put a lot of thought in decorating their surroundings too. This is my kind of thing!

 I don't know why but I just chose to eat my dinner in an Asian restaurant, a Viet one. Unfortunately, the Viet don't know how to speak English and the menu... Well... I chose the one I knew how to read. The Pho Bo since I was missing the one I had in Vietnam. But....

The Pho Bo was so German-ish! Gosh, it doesn't seem Vietnam-ish to me at all except for the type of noodle. It has mushroom, carrot and cabbages instead of bean sprouts and basil leaves. Sad face. Well, what do ya expect aye? 

This is my everyday route scenery to the campus. There's a number of parks here, and it's not a surprise. Everyone is so healthy, they are just out and about. Walking and cycling when it's all sunny.

And me being the typical Asian to take a selfie while I take a long cold walk. Lol.

On Monday, my German crash-course begins. I lost my badge on the first day too but I was not using it anyway so.. Oh, and I got a free chocolate! 

I'm not used to this view though. Haha! Apparently most of the students has a pretty good knowledge of the German language. We were all separated into 3 groups and I of course, is in the beginner level since I have like 0.5% knowledge of the language. Shame on me, should have taken German when I was in the university!

and this is Mr. Karl-Heinz, our language teacher!
My Karl-Heinz is a really funny and great teacher! The classroom was very new too and they have this really high tech-y whiteboard, as you can see above. It's so much different from MMU, I'm so not used to it. I feel like I'm from a cave or something when I saw those. An electronic whiteboard, I mean how cool is that??
Thanks to the wind. I look fabulous.
The weather here of course is unpredictable and it was raining when I was walking back home and the wind was so strong. I almost lost my umbrella that day because the wind almost blew it away. It was a really funny scene I think, if you were to witness me chasing my umbrella while I was holding groceries in both of my hands. In the end, I chase it down, umbrella slapped me, shove my umbrella away and I decided to just run all the way back home looking like a madwoman. Note to self: always bring a hair tie with you so that you can tie it up to avoid the wind from messing up your hair.


I can have hot chocolate now for 80 cents. Weeeeeee~! Oh ya, I realize they use a lot of different coins here. My wallet has a whole loads of them and it's so heavy. They have like 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents and also 1€ , 2€ in coins. It seems like loads to me because I'm so used to just 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents coins in Malaysia. I'm always embarrassed to used them because since I'm not familiar with the coins, I'm always afraid that I might be too slow when it's my turn to pay for stuff on the counter. I'll usually just pay with the paper money and then my wallet will just bulk up with all the changes. lol.

Tuesday we had a city tour with the Senior Service. All I can say is that they are all very young at heart. I was together with Mr Paul the whole day and he is kind enough to tell us the histories of some of the buildings and churches. That is him in the picture, the first one from the right.

Whenever it is sunny, you can see a lot of people on the streets. No matter what time it is. I mean like 12pm - 6pm, if it's sunny, people will be walking, drinking coffee, eating apfelkuchen and just chatting away. Don't look down on the German senior citizens, they can walk and cycle.. A lot. More capable than me, that's for sure! 

This is one of the apotheke (pharmacy), pharmacy is seen a lot on the streets too. You can find them anywhere.

I've never really been inside a church before and it was just an amazing experience. It was breathtaking. And lucky for us, someone was playing the organ when we were there! It was perfect.

At the end of the city tour, we went to have a coffee session at some cafe at the top of a building. It felt really fancy and I had mohnkuchen (poppy seed cake). I also tried the apfelkuchen (which was huge), zitronenkuchen (which was superb!) and banana pancake(? I guess? Not sure what the name is). All of them are sooooooo yummy. But sure wallet pain if I'm to order those stuffs and eat it alone. Not to mention the calories. :P

Pose for the camera! 

The wonderful view of Offenburg

Wednesday was Kaffeeklatsch day! That means coffee and cakes time! They really went all out I think because there were so so so many kinds of cakes on the table and we can just take how many we want.  

I got myself two slices of different cakes, a small portion of a crumbled berry pie (?), a cream puff and a mini donut. They were all so very good, I wish I had a bigger tummy so that I could stuff myself with more of the yummies. That's the bee sting cake that I was talking about, the one with the almond crust and cream in the middle. YUMMY!!!!

And at the night of Wednesday, I went dinner with some Malaysian students who are studying in Offenburg. I was lucky enough to get their contact from my housemate, Sevda. Like I said, she has been a big help to me since I arrived here. We went to Coyote Bar and just talked a lot! I had a really great time because I got to listen to all sorts of interesting stories and stuffs from them and they gave me a lot of useful advises too. Oh, I found a running buddy too and I can has 9km run in a few more months! Yay!!

I never thought that I could clique that well with strangers but it was so natural to me right now. If it was the last year me, I wouldn't even dare to do something like that. The experience I got right now, is so overwhelming and exciting. It's a little scary at first but it was loads of fun, meeting new friends, experiencing new things, and looking at breathtaking sceneries. Even if it's only a week here, I feel like I've been here for awhile! Everyday was hectic for me, and when I come back to my room, it's always time for me to go to bed. I want to blog but it takes so much time out of me. I'm so lazy to even proofread my post right now. This post is getting kind of long, so I'm going to end here and start another post for newer stuff. 

I'm going to try editing the videos I've taken too and see how it goes. :) 

Signing off. Ciao!

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