After starting off as one of the worst days I can remember, the day managed to cap itself off OK. I won’t go into details about the bad side, but there were several highlights:
1) I found an awesome wineshop. Living in wine country is definitely a cool thing–the sheer abundance of cool wine shops is testament to that. Today, I found what is, so far, my favorite. Sitting in the basement of one of the Altstadt’s medieval buildings with stone walls and exposed beam ceilings, it exudes the most wonderful atmosphere. It’s pretty small, so the selection isn’t great, but the coolest thing are the different liquors and wines that are basically on tap. For the liquors, they sit in large glass vases, for lack of a better term, with a sort of hose tap arrangement. You get a bottle (they have baskets of new, empty, unlabeled ones there) and fill it up, for rather affordable prices. For the wines, there are basically taps sticking out of the wall. There are, I assume, barrels of wine behind them (since you can see empty ones out back), and again, you grab a bottle and fill. The wines are all table wines, but are very cheap–the most expensive is around 4 euro/liter–but look perfect for cooking or just quaffing with dinner. I’ll be returning, probably tomorrow, and buying a few bottles of different types of wine. I may also break down and buy an Eiswein, a dessert wine where the grapes are left on the vine well into winter, where they freeze on the vine and are then pressed, making a sweet, very intense wine.
2) A random act of kindness by the woman working the bus ticket counter came at just the right time to keep me from exploding.
3) Pesto filled gnocci.
4) I formally met all my roommates today, and was pleasantly surprised at how much of their conversation I understood. We met to setup a cleaning schedule for the suite, and sat around talking for about an hour afterwards, which was nice. It takes away most of the awkwardness that came from me being a foreign student here that they didn’t know (they all lived together before) who doesn’t know their language very well and thus doesn’t speak much.
Also, I’m supposed to be getting campus internet in my room in the next couple of days. That’ll be nice as the internet I’m using now has gotten progessively slower as more and more people have moved in and begun using it. I’m not, however, crossing my fingers about the campus internet–from what I’ve heard, it’s not fast either. Internet access really just isn’t the necessity here that it is in the States.