Once we made it into Braunschweig we were greeted by Tobi, Mariko's supervisor, once again. He drove us home and helped us drop off our luggage.... and then was kind enough to take us to IKEA for some essentials. And this was both of our first time in IKEA!! I'm curious to compare a German IKEA to an American IKEA.... have to check one out back in the states to see if anything is different. We got mostly kitchen and bathroom things, as we brought nearly everything else with us.... if you're surprised you should have helped us carry our luggage, then you may not be.
Tobi left us fairly early Friday, and both Mariko and I were quite tired.... I made dinner and we promtly fell asleep shortly after. As is the case in all new places I woke up quite early... a little after 8ish (with no alarm). I immediately started thinking about the apartment and where everything should go. Then I moved everything around, while I think Mariko was laughing at me in the background. So far the pictures of our apartment are prior to everything being moved.... I'll try and get some new ones shortly
|Our lovely little kitchen!|
|Our couch (now a part of the bed) and Mariko chowing down|
|Bed and desk|
|A real shower that doesn't switch from scalding to freezing randomly|
|Everything is very white if you couldn't tell|
|The only place for our clothes... luckily its got cubby holes|
|Our large balcony|
Saturday was a more of a lazy day for us, but Tobi and his girlfriend, Wiebka, showed us around the city center (which is where EVERYTHING in Braunschweig is). They treated us to some hot chocolate and a waffle at one of the cafes looking at the Schloss. And speaking of the Schloss, it isn't your normal castle... it is very different from every other castle I've seen in Germany so far. The original Schloss was destroyed during WWII, as was most of Braunschweig, and was a city park until a few years ago. They decided to rebuild the castle, but make some major changes in its design. The outside of the castle is built in the same manner as the original. But the difference is on the inside...... they rebuilt it as a mall. The entire inside is a shopping mall, something that you would see in just about any American city. Walking through it I almost expect everyone to speak English.
The rest of our introductory weekend was rather slow, as Mariko tried to figure out where things were. Luckily we have two grocery stores fairly close to us, and the best part is that Mariko's is only about a 15 min walk from work. Sadly though, the train station is about a 40 min walk due south of us.... which doesn't feel that much with all the walking I've been doing, but definitely wish it was closer.
Monday loomed quickly and then the week began. Mariko started her first day in the lab and I walked her there to make sure she knew the way (its fairly easy now and I don't worry about her getting lost anymore). After that I took it upon myself to wander and discover as much of Braunschweig as I could.... which I am still trying to do, but not as badly as before. Our days go about the same: Mariko heads off to work around 9ish (I usually accompany her). I go out walking around, doing what ever shopping we need done and getting internet for a short time at Starbucks (we still don't have anything in our room yet). A short rest for me at home and then I usually pick Mariko up at work. Back home I start dinner, we watch a movie, play some computer games and then to bed. It's a rather simple life we have right now, but at least I am getting a lot of exercise and practice cooking/cleaning.