So, this was my birthday. But I didn’t tell anyone. You know that awkward feeling when people are singing happy birthday to you? That’s how I feel, all day, every year.
I woke up feeling incredibly refreshed. I got a solid eleven hours of sleep, which was much needed after the flight to Germany and a full first day. The breakfast at the hotel was incredible. The only food that you would not see at a hotel in the U.S. was the cold cuts, but all the food was of much higher quality than at home.
After breakfast, we took the tram to the University of Augsburg. As soon as we walked out of the hotel I realized that I forgot my tram tickets, so I ran back up to my room to get it and caught up with the group before they got to the Koenigsplatz. While they do not check the tram tickets frequently, it is a 60 euro fine for not having a ticket. When we got to the university, we finally got to meet the German students in our groups. The German students in my group were Lara, Patrick, and Annabelle. We were given about an hour to prepare an introductory presentation about our company, SGL. Given my inclination towards procrastination, the limited amount of time was not a cause of distress for me. I think that our presentation went well, and our group worked together effectively despite having just met each other.
After the presentations, we went to Mensa, the main dining hall at the University of Augsburg. Well, we tried. Finding Mensa proved to be a challenge, and we had to ask several German students for directions before we found it. The food was amazing. Unlike the food at Market, it actually looked and tasted like food. I still have no idea what half the food I ate was called, but it tasted amazing.
After lunch, we took a campus tour guided by Josipa, Lukas, Dominic, and Laura, the German students coming to Pitt in the fall. While their campus is smaller than Pitt, it is much more spread out and green. After the tour, we split into two teams and were sent on a scavenger hunt. We were tasked to find different dates, names, and take pictures at certain locations. My favorite part was recreating the statue in front of St. Anna’s Church. My least favorite part was when we had to go into the crypts of two different churches. They were poorly lit and had dead people in them. Besides that, the churches were awesome. There just is not that type of architecture or history in the U.S.
After we finished the scavenger hunt, we stopped at the outdoor café in the town square for ice cream. I had erdbeereis, which is just ice cream with strawberries in it. Afterwards, we met the other group at the biergarten, where we got free samples of (non-alcoholic) beer. The best part was we got to go down the big metal slide. It was right next to the rail yard, so Josh was freaking out about trains (Josh loves trains). I also found out that my team won the scavenger hunt, which was nice.
We left the biergarten and walked back across town to meet the supervisors (Dr. Feick, Arielle, Sonja, and Simon) at a pizza place for dinner. Everyone ordered pizza except for Liam, who got filet. The pizza was good, but not that different from good pizza here. I found out that pepperoni in Germany is not the same as pepperoni in the U.S. After dinner, we went back to the hotel.