Thursday, August 6, 2009


[ registration ]

In the classroom, it was very nice to see the other CBYX participants also waiting for class. Everyone already had stories from the weekend, you now know mine, and there was a lot to share. Some students are currently living at the Carl Duisburg Center, which has many floors for student housing, since their host families are currently on holiday. The first day was not necessarily for language classes yet, since there were still a lot of papers to distribute and fill out.

Amongst these papers were official documents for our bank accounts here, identification with the Carl Duisburg Center, distribution of our id cards, bahn cards [ one of the great perks of being a CBYX student - 50% off all train fair in Germany ], and finally, one document that is particularly unique to Germany - die Anmeldung, the official registration for residency/arrival. This contained basic questions, such as where we were born, to whether we were married or not, to the more obscure, like our parents' birthdays... But this is a document that all Germans must fill out when they move, and as foreigners living in the city, we must also be registered with local documentation. This just goes along with the noticable characteristic that Germans enjoy registering and classifying everything. I think this will just be the first of many unique applications that I will hear about in Germany. Regardless, it made me feel more like a resident.

The rest of the morning contained a little more culture training very similar to the seminars in DC. We were all able to ask some questions that we already had thought of from the first weekend of living with families.

" Do Saarbrückeners really say Ciao when leaving... or is that just my host mom, Angelika? "

head tilted sideways
"hmm... I think that is just Angelika..."

The CBYX students are scattered all over the city, and some even outside the city, so everyone is traveling from different directions. There was a peg board that showed where everyone was as well as a calendar of events around town as well as the local clubs.

On our tour of the building, we all went to the very top - to the roof, and since the CDC is on a high hill, we had a great view of downtown Saarbrücken.

The center had many other facilities since it housed students, including a library and computer lab. Many Americans were excited by the beer vending machine in the basement for .65 cents - to which the guides added the disclaimer " Just note that Germans normally don't drink before 3 ... "

Since the break was short, we would not have the opportunity to go out and do what we pleased for lunch like we would normally do, so we ate upstairs in the little cafeteria at the CDC. The Center is actually a transient home for many groups coming to learn German, and in the cafeteria we were neighbors to many Chinese, as well as Nigerian and Brazilian people. In line, I tried some of the very few Mandarin phrases I could remember from high school, and it was a neat experience that got me some excited thumbs up from the Chinese.

Overall, the day was simple, and just one to complete some required registration. The next day would actually allow us to start rapidly flipping through our dictionaries.

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