Reid/Male/21-25. Lives in Germany/Saxony/Dresden/Altstadt, speaks English and  . Spends 80% of daytime online. Uses a Faster (1M+) connection. And likes Rock Climbing/Politics.
This is my blogchalk:
Germany, Saxony, Dresden, Altstadt, English, , Reid, Male, 21-25, Rock Climbing, Politics.

::Journal::



 

Old.Reid.pre.2001
 


09.30.2002 :: To Hell and Back

Forgive this entry, for it is a mishmash of previous things I wrote down over the past two weeks. It basically summarizes my trip here.

The Saga Begins...
The Singapore Airline 747 I flew over on. Huge fuckin' plane

At least it wasn't made out of Legos!

The flight was pretty damned cool. I actually wrote an entry I never posted about it. Maybe I'll get to posting it.

The flight was only 6 hours 35 minutes. It felt faster. I managed to get 2 hours sleep, which I thought was a mistake in my grand calculation. It turned out to be a good thing.

People in Frankfurt spoke pretty good english, and I didn't have much trouble getting out of the city. It was the train ride when things started going wrong. The attendents on the train didn't speak english. There was a transfer in Leipzig and nobody could tell me where the busses were. Well, the train was delayed until 1905 (was supposed to get there at 1835). The bus left at 1900. Public transportation, by the way, *always* runs on schedule here.


So I missed the bus and had to wait until 2100. That sucked.

I managed to get a room at the Hotel Burgk. The taxi driver that took me didn't speak English. I had to write down on some paper where it was I wanted to go, and it took him a minute to figure it out.

The woman at the hotel didn't speak English (we're sensing a pattern here, no?). But I managed to get a room and pretend I was a deaf mute.

German alarm clocks reading 0 at midnight)

I spent two nights at the hotel to sort of regroup myself, and figure out what the hell I'm doing. Day two in Germany (Thursday) was when I figured out about the Zalussengescheid. What an ordeal that little piece of paper causes.

Anyway, I managed to meet up with the interim secretary (the main secretary for the CL program is on vacation in Spain, how nice), and she gave me a 10 page instruction booklet on things I have to do. Basically it goes something like "Bring your passport, visa, zalussengescheid, etc, to the studentenwerk, get a room *reserved*, go to the bank with the paper from studentenwerk, open an account, fill out an automatic payment form for the studentenwerk. Then, go to the university and register as a student with the previous two pieces of paper. Then, go to the studentenwerk and confirm your room. Then get medical insurance. Then go to the police and register as a resident. Then go the studentenwerk and get your room. Then go to the university and get to enroll in classes. Then register with the immigration authorities." Failure to do the police and immigration thing means you get arrested and executed. Or maybe it was deported, I don't know. I don't speak German after all :).

You have to do everything in that order, because everything relies on the paper you got from the previous stop. It's like a bad Sierra puzzle game -- if you forget to get the dehydrated water from the shuttlepod when it crashes, you're screwed.

Anyway, complaints about German beauroucracy aside, things ain't so bad, especially now that I have a room in a dorm and I have ethernet access.

I stayed at a youth hostel for a few days, and even managed to "hack" the computer there into giving me unlimited internet access for only $1.50 (usually it's $0.10 a minute). The day I left, I taught some other people the trick. Unfortunately one of them got busted and the computer had a sign on it that said "Out of Order" (well, I guess it said that, it was written in German...) and the keyboard was gone.

While at the hostel I went wandering.

Almost everybody in Germany smokes. Here is a cigarette vending device on the street outside my hostel

First stop: Internet cafe to send some emails

One thing that sucks about *all* the internet cafes in Dresden is that none of them will let me plug my laptop into the 'net :(.

Floodwaters still being pumped out of the Hauptbanhof

After wandering for quite a long time, I had to pee badly. One of the most annoying things about not speaking German and not bringing my dictionary along with me was that I didn't know how to say bathroom. "Wo ist die wassercloset," I now know. The gender articles are still giving me some trouble though. I guess coming from learning two non-gendered languages this is natural though.

Anyway I ate dinner at a little Lebanese restaurant a block from my Hostel. The people there don't speak English (surprise surprise), but I managed to sit with my dictionary and the menu for a while and figure things out.

My salad, making me overcome my fear of cucumbers

Apparently, the germans like fried cauliflower (or the Iraqis do) and eggplant with potatoes.

Well, Sinbad's (the name of the place) scores some serious points for being the first swag in Germany that was 1) filling, 2) tasted good, 3) was vegetarian and 4) wasn't pizza.

My brother and Dad met me here and we wandered around a bit, but I'm still sketchy on what we did as my mind was thinking other things. A few things? Yes, we went to Konigstein Castle down south of Pirna.

Konegstein (25k image)
Konegstein, as seen from the castle lookout tower

Well, Erik and Dad left on Friday morning, and the fun began with matriculating. Nobody there spoke English, and I needed a piece of paper that said I graduated from college. I brought it to them Today, even though they already had it on their file (after all they admitted me with it, the Computational Logic secretary said so when I got a copy from her). Tomorrow is the immigration authorities. That's going to be a real treat, I'm told. I'll start taking pictures again, now that I can recharge my camera batteries and actually have something to do with the photos....


09.27.2002 :: Good news!

I think I get internet access in my flat tomorrow. Pictures pictures pictures if that's the case. For now I quench my internet addiction with yet another internet cafe (same one I met the psycho at the other day).

My dad and bro skipped town this morning. I think we were all getting on each others' nerves a bit in the end, so it was probably a good idea.

So I went and tried to matriculate at the University again. This time they said I needed my college diploma and wouldn't let me matric without it. I also need to enroll in health insurance, pay the semester fee, etc. But, I can supposedly get my student ID card and computer account on Monday if all goes well. Since I have enough of my shit done to get internet access in my dorm though, I'm pretty happy. So long as I can find a 10B2 to 10B2 converter tomorrow, that is...the annoying thing is that my dorm building uses thinwire networking. So, of course, I'm at the mercy of the stupidity of the people further down the hall from me. Ohwell, it looks like nobody around here has computers/uses the dorm ethernet, so maybe I'll be okay. Maybe I can even get a job administering things.

Funny thing of the day? Going back to the Computational Logic floor of the Informatik building and being told that I could not plug my laptop into the network, for "security reasons." I then portscanned the computer, and among other things, it was running OpenSSH version 3.1pl2. You really just have to laugh. System administrators that don't subscribe to CERT, obviously.

So I bitched at my girlfriend about all the trouble I'm having here getting into the stinking university I was accepted to. Seriously, it's as though the university doesn't want me to even get registered for classes, there's so much paperwork. I have a folder with 35 separates that I've "read" and signed (I use read in quotes because everything is written in German, which I don't understand). I really can't recommend that anyone go to school in Germany, as the amount of paperwork is a full-time job in itself.

Maybe posting tomorrow? If not you'll know my internet access is hampered by 1) the administrator being lazy, or 2) my not being able to find 10B2 -> 10BT converter/hub (wouldn't suprise me, as 10B2 was used for maybe a week in the late 70s by a few network guys).

Tchus.


09.25.2002 :: Re: Dresden

Funny, we have a woman in the internet cafe that reminds me of my cousin. She's always right, we're wrong, it's obvious, isn't it? I think I dislike that sort of personality. I've become stubborn in my open-mindedness, I think. When other people aren't, I disrespect them. Ohwell.


09.25.2002 :: Day 7: Still not King

Don't have any internet access still. It will be at least a week before I can get it in my dorm. I try to convince myself that once I get some real 'net access I'll be back "home."

Not much happened today, other than buying sheets for my bed, getting the forms for my flat's internet connection, and hanging with just Erik most of the day.

In other news, Justin is back in Japan, somewhere I half wish I was. My brother and I went to a sushi bar in Neuestadt, Dresden. It was kind of funny...I said to the chef "Kore wa ii desu ne," and then "ite imasu kara, die reshnung onegaishimasu." He didn't seem to understand either time. Turns out that he is laotian and doesn't speak english. Ohwell.

Later for now.


09.23.2002 :: More in the former communist bloc

Another interesting day, wandering around with my brother and my dad. Still no internet access, though I got my dorm room. Trouble is, it is not wired. The building itself is, but it is up to the tenant to drill holes in the floor and run the cat5 out under the floor to a switch on the floor. How unamerican!

Not having a laptop means that I had to hack the computer downstairs in the hostel. I found a bug with it that allows a javascript popup window to stay open and stop the counter from going after you deposit coins. So 1,00 euros buy you unlimited access! Vedy goot.

Unfortunately, I still can't hook up my digital camera, nor can I really surf..surfing feels weird in this place, the machine is in a huge open area and people look at me funny, typing in English.

My father, brother, and myself went to sort of acquaintences in Dresden for dinner. My dad met this couple on the 'net (of all places). They made us a good vegetarian meal, and told stories of living in Munich and what life was like in East Germany around the time of the collapse of communism there. My how things have changed! They have two children with Harry Potter posters in their bedrooms. It's pretty bizarre.

Tomorrow perhaps, rock climbing? We might head to the Saxony Alps and try some climbs. No guidebooks, we'll just wing it. My dad and brother have a new philosophy on rock climbing...no guidebooks at all. They're coming of the opinion that planned routes are lame, it's like going to an amusement park and saying you rode space mountain. So have a lot of other people. Maybe that's why there is a climb in the Gunks is called Disneyland? Climbing up some random cliff face that maybe nobody has done before might be more fun. Even if you can't tell people it was CCK. What we wonder about is the rather strict Saxony climbing regulations on their limestone. Supposedly no metal gear is allowed, and the Saxons have mastered the art of jamming knotted rope into cracks for protection. I guess my dad has some idea how this works, but I'm rather clueless still.

I'll write again if we live.


09.22.2002 :: You know what sucks?

Being in a foreign country, where they don't let you use your laptop, being forced to use a crappy computer with a sucky crippled browser that no longer works with your webmail service for no good reason. So yeah, I'm stuck in Germany unable to read or write any email. Sorry to anyone trying to get in touch with me -- I've tried several internet cafes and nothing's going. I'm guessing something is broken on the webserver for the college.

Anyway, I met up with my dad and my brother here in Germany...their first day in the country. We drank a little too much, and I need to wake up in the morning, so I'm going to sleep.

'night. Maybe some pictures tomorrow? Only if I get moved into my dorm room.


09.21.2002 :: Mineralwasser

Apparently it's impossible to find regular water in this part of the world, unless it comes from your own sink. I just bought a bottle of "Naturliches Minerallwasser" and it's carbonated. Ohwell.


09.20.2002 :: Yeah

So I have been able to check my email for the first time since I left today.

I got a lot of "When are you going to update your journal?" emails.

Well tonight is the night. Sort of. I have a lot to sort out here...I cannot get my laptop on the internet until I move into my dormitory. Moving in is a complicated process, which requires me to have my Zallungesbescheid, my university admission paper.

Apparently, the University doesn't keep a record that they admitted me. At least they don't have the ability to look it up or whatever. So of course I left my Zallungesbescheid with my mom in the US. She managed to scan it in and email it to me, but by the time I got to an internetcafe earlier this afternoon, the Studentenwerk was closed (everything in Germany closes early Friday).

Anyway, when I'm settled down I will start writing more in earnest, and posting some rather fun photos. Until then I'll be roughing it.

Tchus,
Reid


09.13.2002 :: I forgot to finish my rant

But I'm posting it anyway.

Ted came over to say goodbye to me, it was entertaining as always.

Ted (16k image)
My alter ego

I sold my car finally. The hungarian guy I showed it to bought it!

Money (39k image)
1500 smackers!

I moved all my crap down to New Jersey. Went to the dentist, clean checkup but I have to get a tooth pulled Monday before I leave for Germany. Had a fun conversation with my grandparents this evening...I really like them which is weird because of generational gap. Ohwell. I'll write more when there's more to say, right now I'm just running around a whole lot with too much to do and no time to say.


09.11.2002 :: Meta picture gallery

Some people heard me say recently that I wanted to "Go to floor." They asked me what the hell I meant. Well, here is what I mean.

Syracuse-floor-bed (27k image)
My bed

Anyway today was my quasi-last day in Syracuse. In reality I will be here for more time, depending on if/when I actually sell my car. MaryKate called me tonight and said she wants to buy my car, though she is the fourth person to say so in the past few days so I am not keeping my hopes terribly high (no offense to MK, just that I can't depend on money that I don't have in my pocket, and I'm a bit jaded after the last three people :)).

So...tomorrow *might* be my last day in town. I hope.

This afternoon I went down to M-Street for some grub and decided to add some pictures to my meta gallery.

Meta-picture-1 (35k image)
A picture of a girl taking pictures

Meta-picture-2 (47k image)
Another one

I think photographers often think that they are not a part of their environment, that they're just these observers unstuck in time. They're not. Okay, so I admit, I read Slaughterhouse Five today so I have a few things on my brain.

Tonight I went out for late-night dinner with Megan and Toni. It was unintellectual but unboring. And Toni got a kitten, which is fun to torment. Not as much fun as Annie's kitten though.

I'm hoping that everyone will join me tomorrow in a media blackout. I will not be reading the paper, listening to the news, watching TV (though I have not watched TV in over 6 months so that isn't very hard) or even reading internet sites (no news sites, no blogs, no nothing. Not even the funny one in which you slap a monkey). I will not even be reading my email. Not that I could anyway, there was a huge power failure on campus tonight so none of the mail servers are up there. "Why not read your email?" I hear people asking. Probably because I got a spam on the 10th announcing 10% off the prices of computers at a certain online store, in commemoration of September 11th. Am I the only person that thinks that's just sick? "Lots of people lost their lives, let's celebrate with deep deep discounts! Be buying, people! What are you, a terrorist!?!"

My rant will go up on the 12th, though I fear it's stupid and has probably been said before, only much more eloquently than I am capable of with my lack of language.


09.09.2002 :: Last Dance

My weekend began as follows.

Sidewalk (34k image)
Going to work on Friday morning

Rachael (22k image)
Hanging out with Rachael who shows up at my office at 10am

Came home, showed my car off to a hungarian woman and her friend (who didn't speak english). It was fun to hear him asking questions, having her translate, me answer, her translate back. I always think of what happened with the first programmed language translators. When you translated "hydraulic ram" from English, to Russian, back to English it said "water sheep."

Silliness aside, I then went partying with Steve (not Stephen).

Steve (25k image)
Steve sobering up to drive

Woke up Saturday morning with a mild headache and showed my car off to an indian girl that could barely drive. It was highly amusing, as she was a really bad driver. Hopefully she'll offer something, but I'm afraid if I sold the car to her she'd kill herself.

I was supposed to show my car to another indian gentleman on Saturday afternoon but he was a no-show, wasting my time. Instead I went for a bike ride. Then I went to Rochester.

Me-Roch-end (17k image)
Me, compiling the latest kernel on Annie's bed

Annie-Roch-end (22k image)
This photograph is an attempt to make my girlfriend look homely so that nobody will try and steal her away while I'm gone :)

It was a nice weekend with Annie and her new roommate (see above picture, off to the right). I think we're both a bit bummed that I'm going away, me probably a little less bummed than her (just cuz I get to go to new places). What to do though?



09.05.2002 :: No Subject (really, honest!)

So.

Push (38k image)
PUSH
Syracuse University supports pushing for a variety of objects, including limits, walls, babies, and bowel movements

Wandering around campus today and checking out the babes, I realized something. In 5-10 years, we're going to be looking back at current fashion and laughing our asses off. Hard. This is so worse than the 80s. Like, totally. What's up with falling off sweatpants and unnatural tans? It reminds me of the 80s solid colored baggy sweaters. Then I laugh. Fashion is all about control -- You have to spend a lot of money to stay "fashionable." Every year, fashion takes some new twist and turn, and if you don't spend several hundred bucks on new clothes, you look stupid. Bah.

I went to my old apartment company and bitched at them a bit about our damage deposit return. They have somewhat appeased me, but not by enough. I also finally got the form for my USPS insurance check (note that's the form, not the check, and that the claim was originally filed July 27th!). I got two phone calls tonight about my car, too. One person is stopping by tomorrow evening and another wants me to drive it to his house Saturday afternoon. Oh, and my other computer sold on eBay. Life is good.

Speaking of eBay, it's pretty interesting that they're being sued for patent infringement. My roommates spent a good while talking all about patents, copyrights, and trademarks tonight. I think that a patent for an online auction is kind of ridiculous, but the idea of patents is still sound (just horrible horrible execution, and some people in the patent office need to be shot). Something that may win you over on the whole intellectual property thing is this little story. Give it a read, you won't be disappointed.

Oh, and I'm writing a rant too, with my tenative title being "Why the Liberals are Losing." Kind of harsh, as I consider myself to be fairly left-of-center about most things. But maybe I'm not? But mom, I don't wanna be a republican!

All this running around is kind of a downer though. I don't get to see my girlfriend as long as I want to this weekend as I'll be showing off my car. Well, hopefully the woman tomorrow will buy my car, then I don't have to show it to anybody else :). I feel a bit on the guilty side about Rochester though, like I'm short-changing my girlfriend on our last opportunity to be together for a long, long, long, long time. Wow, maybe I've really turned into an asshole? Doesn't the asshole always get the girl though? Maybe I have ;-).


09.04.2002 :: This, Doug, 's for you

So Doug and I have been going to see our friend Ellie at the church coffeeshop. She hooks us up with free caffeine (which I'm beginning to consume mass quantities of, unfortunately).

Ellie (26k image)
Ellie (Arroway?)

This girl is pretty cool. I'm trying to convince Doug to ask her out (he wants to, just lacks confidence :)), so write him an email and convince him to ask her out. Benefits of Doug and Ellie getting together? Well, Ellie and I have the same birthday, which would make him remember when mine is. Weird though, I had never met someone with my birthday before...

Family (16k image)
Weird

While sitting around in my apartment I started spying in the courtyard. The chinese couple pictured above was just strange. They sat a good 3 feet away from each other while their son rode his bicycle in the fire lane. The window in my living room was open and I could hear that they weren't saying anything, just watching. The scene struck me as bizarre, and I like bizarre things, so I took a picture. Why the distance, I wondered? Does having children around make parents more distant, as though any display of affection in front of the young ones will warp their brains? Suddenly my own brain wonders.


09.02.2002 :: Back in the thick

So Annie left New Jersey on Sunday afternoon, an afternoon of rain and boredom and nostalgia and all those things. I wanted to go climbing or sailing or something, but the weather sucked too much to do anything but drive my "new" car (1991 Subary Legacy wagon).

But....Sunday did let me see some people.

Raible (25k image)
Steph Raible

Steph and I grabbed some coffee at Starbucks (hiss, boo, evil) and gabbed about where our lives are going. We try to do this several times a year, but we usually only end up getting together about every 6 months. Cool to see where she's going with her life, she's a person I probably will never lose touch with.

After that, I went to Kat's, and immediately left to get a birthday cake for her mother. Then I ran into more people.

Lauay (41k image)
Lauay!!!

While out with Cliff and some other kid that I forget the name of, we ran into Lauie at the Acme. Then I went driving with Lauie to try and get Kat's mom some birthday presents. It didn't work, but we ran into more people at WalMart.

Mroczkowski (15k image)
The Mroczkowski Brothers, Matt (L) and Andy (R)

I probably have never written about the Mroczkowski clan before in my journal. Andy was a good friend when I was a socially inept high school weenie (as opposed to now, when I'm a socially inept grad school weenie, but ohwell). As much as I disagree with his religion, I am grateful for knowing him, because he introduced religious ideas to me and that made me more of a scientist, and better able to stand up for my beliefs. Oh yeah, and he has a walrus rib over the door to his house.

Well, the party went off all right, I went home kinda earlyish to sleep some, and ended up oversleeping. So I hit the road in my new car, said goodbye to both my parents and even my brother (rare that I say goodbye to people, maybe I'm becoming more responsible?).

While on the highway, I got a tasty treat.

Gelati (19k image)
Yum

Galati is a very tasty treat, and I've been trying to find it for weeks, but none can be had in Syracuse (you can always let me know if you know where to get some). I guess German lacks all things frozen....


09.01.2002 :: Not at the Car Wash

I haven't been up on the news lately, so forgive the blatant lack of links.

Annie and I did a late night drive to New Jersey on Thursday night. We ended up at my Dad's in New Jersey on Friday morning, about 2:00AM. Dad and I left for New York City at about 7:30, and barely made it there by noon (partially my dad's fault for not bringing his phone book the first time :)). We had to run for 2 miles in the city to get the Consulate on time, and got there with 7 minutes to spare.

NYC-germanconsulate (25k image)
The doors to the Consulate

Being completely destroyed as I was, from lack of sleep, I went out with my dad Friday night. We met Annie, Fritz, and their mother in Philadelphia for some dinner and beer. Stayed out late, woke up early Saturday....

Met up with Erik early Saturday morning. We went cruising in his new wheels.

Erik-Jeep (50k image)
1984 CJ7

Hung out with Erik, Annie, Dad most of Saturday afternoon in Manayunk, PA. Ate lunch on the canal, went to my mom's for the big dinner finale.

Then....drinking Saturday night with Erik and Annie. I was destroyed, could barely move by the end of the night. Managed to snag a picture of Annie at our evening thingie.

Annie-drinking (20k image)
Ain't she cute?

Unfortunately I learned that Medford Lakes (my dad's town) has some thieves about. It looks like someone stold Annie's car cd player and a bunch of her CD's. Booooooooo them. Why do people gotta steal from people with no money, huh?


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