I woke up at 7am, my alarm going off. I normally wake up before it goes off but it was a tough way to start the day. Showered quickly after reading main news sites briefly (lakers win!) and then have some bread with butter and liverwurst, probably the first time in my life that i had that for breakfast (knowingly) and I almost never eat breakfast.
I left at 7.42, giving Chick F a kiss on her cheek as she slept on, took my bike to work. I missed my turn to the “bike highway” by the river and realized my mistake, turned back 10 meters and changed my mind again, taking a different route to work. I saw one of the students smoking a cigarette outside the building, something I’ve never seen at that job, and went upstairs and taught 4 people ranging in age from 35 to 65 about irregular past tense verbs and a little survey “what makes a good friend” where they have to rank different statements like “someone who listens to my problems” and “someone who has the same interests as you”. That job went from 8am to 9.15am and then I went downstairs, rode my bike 30 meters to the corner and parked my bike. I’m wearing a golf t-shirt, army shorts and flipflops and walk into the most expensive law office in town.
I had a “full house” today from 9.30-10.30am, 5 lawyers, 2 of them partners and 3 associates and we read an article about an Italian guy who was detained upon arrival in America for 10 days for no known reason and would not be released even after pleas from one of Virginia’s senators. Then we started going through different “values” like “power corrupts” and “everyone should receive free medical care when ill” and they have to agree or disagree with those statements. It was fascinating to see how they were able to parse these short statements. I had 5 lawyers breaking down 2-word sentences into 5 minutes of discussions of the implications of how the sentence was worded. We then spoke about the previous night’s Germany-Belarus friendly soccer match, then about South Africa’s chances of pulling it together enough for the World Cup in 2010.
I left at 10.30am and rode my bike in the “wrong” direction for 2-3 minutes to put some air in my tyres (haha, just kidding, tires. been teaching too much British English of late) but the combo bike/book store was gone. Some other foreigner working on taking the shit out of their said in bad German, “everything gone”. No air for the tires.
I went to the English department to make copies. It took me about 20 minutes to get 260 copies made because the the machine was acting up. I saw a co-worker who was sporting a small shiner. Apparently he took a dive on his bike in front of the cops in the center of town at midnight on a Friday night and had to endure the ambulance coming and another cop car coming to make him do the breathalizer.
I then decided to spend more on coffee because I wanted to sit in one of the beach chairs a cafe had. There is 1euro coffee at one place in the old town but this other place it ended up costing 2euros. But the chair was great, I I read the paper for a bit, some of my new Mark Twain autobiography. I saw an old student riding by and he stopped for a coffee, we talked of ex-girlfriends and new girlfriends. He went to class.
Another class of mine came to meet for lunch. We couldn’t eat where we wanted and had to go to the next restaurant where the service was horrific, the timing of the dishes could not have been worse with one guy finishing his lunch before anyone else got theirs, and then bade them farewell and rode my bike 10 minutes to the gym where I met a fellow english teacher. He hit it hard for an hour, talking about how drunk we were at my birthday party, vacation plans (he’s doing Tuscany and back home for Thanksgiving) and sports.
I rode my bike home, went down to the cellar to try and throw some stuff away but couldn’t bring myself to do it and ended up bringing a couple of things up.
That was more or less the first 9 hours of my day. I spent 37.50euros (including that month’s gym membership) and earned 116 euros, fyi.
I’m leaving you with one of my favorite squares in Freiburg…