So, hanging out with the internationals on Thursday was a blast, and ended up being significantly less expensive than I anticipated, too. The Russians paid for most of it, saying that was just how they do it, and we could pay next time. I of course mentioned that there probably wouldn't be a next time, it being probably my last time in Heidelberg for a while, but that didn't seem to faze them. I spent the night at a Japanese guy's apartment, who has been living here for about a year and a half. He's a cool fellow.
Friday morning it was back to Rimbach, and the opening conference for the Martin Luther Schule. Truthfully I didn't understand the vast majority of the things they went over, though Annett helped me figure out some of it. I was introduced to the faculty, though just by a sort of "By the way, this is the new guest teacher, welcome." A stand and a wave to the other teachers, that sort of thing. After the conference I sorted out my contract and whatnot, so that I now officially work for the school. Yay! Also, the loan from the school went through fine; since I don't actually get paid till after my first month, the school lent me a sort of interest-free advance on my first paycheck that has to be paid back by the end of the month. It's rather helpful.
Friday night I wanted something to do, and didn't have any plans, so I went to a bar that Annett had said she thought I would like, Die Sonne, and as soon as I ordered, the bartender says in a vaguely New Zealand/German accent "Where you from?" We get to talking, and it turns out another of the guest teachers, Devin, was something of a regular there. The bartender's name is Christoph, and he pulled up a chair and drew himself a tall beer and we talked for a while, until the bar started to get a little busier.
Turns out he's the owner, not just the bartender. He'd been to New Zealand for some time, and dated an Irishwoman for a while, and had lived in Cleveland, of all places, for something like seven weeks, and his English was great. He was hilarious, too; he and his employee, a 20 year old girl named Janna, made a couple jokes about it being a gay bar, and her being his husband, and him being her wife. We talked quite a bit, and I had a number of drinks; after the first two, I asked him what his favorite whiskey in the bar was, because he and I had talked about various liquors and the merits or failings of them, and he brought over a bottle of sixteen year old Scotch that he said was "his baby." He poured me a glass of water to wash the previous drink off my taste buds, and then poured me a bit of the Scotch in a cognac glass, and told me to take my time with it. He needn't have bothered. It was pretty potent stuff; really strong flavors, the kind of Scotch that you can feel the vapors of before the liquid actually touches your mouth. Not something one should drink quickly. Normally I'm not much for straight liquor, and a bottle of Scotch like that would probably last me a year, how strong it is, but it was good. It was a great night, just sitting and chatting with him and Janna, and for a little bit a couple of the other guys at the bar.
Christoph gave me his number, and said if I needed anything at all, I could give him a call, or stop by the bar to talk to him, and he's do his level best to help me out, and he meant it. We'd talked a lot about travel and people and the random things that happened when you were traveling. When he was in Cleveland he wasn't working, so one day he went out wandering around a bit, and ended up chatting with a construction worker (the guy was looking for a light, and Christoph had one on him), and ended up sitting around talking with the whole crew for a while, and became their regular gopher, hanging out with them and getting lunch for them while they were working, etc. And one time when he was in the McDonalds they usually sent him to, a bus broke down outside, and a woman came in saying they had about thirty kids, all cognitively disabled (I don't know if that's the correct term or not, but it's an accurate description), and he said it was the coolest thing he'd seen. No one took charge, or said "Okay, here's what we're going to do," or anything like that. Everyone just got up, walked outside, helped the kids down from the bus, and the lady working the register called up someone, presumably the manager, and said "Yeah, we have like thirty handicapped kids whose bus broke down coming in. On the house, right? Yeah, I thought you'd say something like that. Just wanted to check." And these random folks in the McDonald's sat and helped feed these kids, helped put them back on the next bus, and went about their days. The story really had nothing to do with him giving me his number and offering to help me out and show me around, etc, but it was a good story.
Saturday I went out with Annett and Timo again, and had some drinks, which was a different experience for me. Since people in Germany can drink beer, etc, at 16, and hard liquors at 18, it is not uncommon to see students in the bars in Germany. So since we were there for a former student's birthday, a number of the people there are actually still students at the school. Thankfully none of them were in my classes; they're all 12th year students, so I don't have any of them in class, because I think that would have been just too strange for me, starting out school after having been at a bar with my students. The good news was that I discovered a bit more interest in dancing, including from a couple guys, so that's helpful.
Today I watched a couple soccer games; the city of Rimbach has a couple teams, and I went to the field and watched both games. Both teams lost, today. The first, well, they didn't really seem like they wanted the game until the last twenty minutes or so, at which point it was about 3-1, though they should have gotten a second goal; there was an offsides call made that didn't seem right. But oh well. The second game Rimbach should have won; they were controlling the game for the first 70 minutes, and had a number of opportunities, whereas their keeper hardly touched the ball during that period of time. As so often happens, though, the other team stepped it up in the last quarter of the game, and ended up putting one in, and holding onto the lead. That game got pretty rough near the end, too.
School starts tomorrow, though I don't have to be there particularly early (woohoo!), and it'll mostly be getting used to the classes and things of that sort. I have dance and I have English, so we'll see how they both go! :-D I have to organize my after school conversation classes and (hopefully) another dance group myself, and advertize for them. So that will be fun. :-) Anyway. That's all for today!
P.S. My neighbor is amazing, and brought me soup the other day. She's Hungarian, and evidently just enjoys giving occasional gifts of food and the like. It was good soup ^_^