Day Four: Turkish Delights

I’m coming to you live from a fetal position on my bed. Late to bed, early to rise is a recipe for disaster. Despite my Großer Brauner this morning, I was a slug the entire day.

Orientation has officially begun and I think I understand less now than I did when I started. We spent the majority of our day today playing icebreakers. Did I mention I hate icebreakers? I especially hate hackneyed, poorly organized icebreakers. You and I can pass oranges with our necks all day long, but it won’t help us get to know each other.  You know what’s a great icebreaker? Sitting us down like the adults we are and actually explaining to us what is happening the next two weeks instead of hearing flutters from one person telling me we’re going to see the Romeo and Juliette opera, while another one says during our trip tomorrow we won’t have lunch served but we have dinner, and still a third tells me we won’t have dinner but we’ll have lunch. They split the entire OK Program into two huge groups for the trip. My group of about 50 (maybe?) students is going to Linz for a guided tour of the city and a museum. The other group goes to Graz, and so next Saturday we’ll rotate.  I STILL don’t have the Internet to check the weather, so it looks like I’ll pack for a day in Calgary: my rain jacket layered under my snowsuit on top of my bikini. I’m quite happy I decided to do this OK Program, however. It looks like we’re going to have two weeks of absolute chaos sprinkled with a touch of Austrian culture. One girl looked up from her schedule to me and shrugged, “I guess we’ll sleep when we’re dead.”

And dead I certainly am. I ate my dinner in my bed, which is surprisingly less luxurious and more pathetic than a breakfast in bed. I suppose when you’re curled around a plate of crackers and cheese in your sweatpants while absentmindedly staring into the middle distance, it’s a sad sight regardless of the meal. After such a long day of learning, talking, and orange passing, I was ready to go home at lunch. But after we wrapped up the activities for the day, the group of girls I was with wanted to go to a tech shop called Saturn and IKEA for some small things. Our plans changed to just IKEA and then IKEA turned into a small Turkish shop on the complete opposite side of town that was supposed to have such a cheap and varied selection of random items to make it worth the trek.

I felt as though I had walked into an overpriced dollar store. It was dirty and tacky and, in the end, more expensive than my trip to Moma with my buddy on Wednesday (it also had significantly nicer stuff, thank goodness). Fortunately, I didn’t bother to buy anything and instead opted to be a pack mule for the thousands of bags we brought out of the store. On the way back home the girls optimistically said they were going to go grocery shopping, but as everything here closes at 7, we had half an hour to get back to our dorm, unpack our haul, and head back out again and finish our shopping. Not likely, unless someone was willing to carry me in a Snugglie. And apparently no one was. As a result, I had crackers in bed.

On exchange and in bed by 8? There’s no shame in that.

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About j.ball

I took all the thoughts rumtumbling in my head, and I put them in this blog.
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