Sunday, September 14, 2008

First inbound meeting

Well the first inbound meeting was this weekend. It was a day plus an overnight stay. It was held in Oldenburg which is about 100km away from Meppen. I went with the other guy in my city, Patrick from New Zealand, and two rebounds. Originally we were supposed to get the train at 9:00 but Kiwi called my house at 9:15 saying that the first class we had to go to was canceled so we could catch the one at 10:00. Kiwi's host father picked us all up and was at my house around 9:55. We literally got to the station ran to the ticket machine and jumped on the train. We had a short lay over is some random small train station so we all had coffee and chatted about exchange stuff. We caught the next train and arrived in Oldenburg at about 11:30. We walked about 1km to the rotary hall where the meeting was. There were probably about 200 people in the main lobby so we all wandered as a group for a few minutes. After talking with some people Kiwi told me that we didn't not have any classes until 18:00 and we were free to wander in the city. He left and i stayed back and talked with a bunch or rebounds and outbound, mostly trying to convince the outbounds Canada was a better choice than USA. After a while all the outbounds went for a giant meeting into a lecture hall and the rebounds and me stayed out side. I talked with a bunch of rebounds from USA and New Zealand and they all gave me just general tips about exchange and told me about what the rotary clubs here are like compared to North America, this surprisingly was very useful. At about 14:30 a Rotarian came up and talked to us and asked us some questions, when it came to my turn I told him in German that i didn't understand and i was an inbound from Canada. He got quite angry with me and started asking why i wasn't in my classes, and literally dragged me into a room where i found 50 some odd inbounds all listening to a presentation. He called over an older Rotarian who was sitting at the side said something in German really quickly and left. This Rotarian spoke enough English to explain to me that apparently classes had been going since 9:00 (it was not at least 15:00) and that it was a requirement of my exchange to be in them. After i explained my side things got sorted out, apparently because my friend from New Zealand was already here for 6 months he didn't need to do orientation and since i had not been to a local Rotary meeting yet my club had not given me my information.

I joined the class at the end of this presentation which was basically the same the we had done in Erindale and all the other exchange students said i was actually luck to have missed it all. After that we went up stairs to do some role playing stuff. Basicly there were 2 different classes, one would do role playing the other would have an information sesion. Well it was our turn to do role playing. In my class it was about 90% mexicans and brasilians afew americans and one canadian. We had a really bad skit about drunk driving and after one hour of pure torture we went to the lecture hall where both classes met up and we would preform our skits for eachother. This is where i found that infact we didn't have 90% mexicans and brasilians, it was really more like 95%. The other group was entirely mexicans and brasilians plus a Finish person, a French Person, and two canadians, and afew Americans. The two Canadians were both a year younger than me and girls, one came from a tiny town in Manitoba very close to Selkirk (where derek is) and the other came from somewhere in B.C.. We did the presentations for eachother where i realized exchange students are not picked for their acting skills. We got out grabed all our bags and headed to a school gym across the street where would spend the night. Dinner was at 19:00 and it was only like 18:30 so we all mingled. I met two cool Americans (well as cool by American standards) and we talked about all the halarious stuff that has happened on our exchange so far. Before eating dinner we had to bring our bags into the gym, they got checked to make sure we wern't sneaking in drugs or alcohol. They guy who checked my bag was talking to me and asked about where i was from and how things were so far. After he finished checking my bag he told me i had done a very good job of hiding anything i shouldn't have brought. We ate dinner which was just some plain bread and spagetti.

After we finished eating dinner the Rotarians told us we could go into the city and just wander around. On our way out the same guy who checked my bag yelled at me not to get TOO drunk well i was gone. Me and the two Americans wandered around the city together for about 2h, again we talked about all sorts of stuff. Sometime around than i got the nicknames "Prodigy Child" (hahaha i know) and "Human GPS" (Because i always knew where we were). We got back to the gym and met up with a large group of people leaving and decided to join them. They asked me to lead them to a street with a lot of bars (this was the Mexicans and Brasilians) so we walked to one. They all stood infront of afew bars for about 30min but no one was willing to go and try and buy some alcohol (even though it is legal to buy at 16 here) so they went to a pizaria and bought some. The group went to the river which was just outside the down town and sat around and talked. One american was COMPLETLY drunk and was trying to jump into the river. Another group of exchange students walked by who were going into the city and the non drunk people (which was only me and 3 Americans now) very quickly joined them. We went to a nice bar in town and just sat around talking. No one in this group got drunk, but eventually the other group found us (along with the really drunk American). We all stayed around until the bar started to close, probably about 23:00. So we all walked back to the gym, well i walked, some people had more of a drunken crawl.

When we got back to the gym i went and sat with the two other Canadians. they were having an argument about abortion. It was not my best idea of the night to join a debate like that. After that ended we all talked about how the school system compared to Canada and realized school in North America is a joke, 2 years ahead of Ontario and 3 years ahead of Manitoba and B.C.. I left after they decided to try sleeping and rejoined my 2 American friends. Earlier that night probably around 22:00 some Brasilians and Mexicans had turned on some music and started dancing. It was currently 2:00 and they were still dancing. The 3 of us sat there talking and watching the dancing people as we slowly fell asleep. At like 4:00 we realized that they would never stop dancing so we decided to try and get some sleep. Probably about 3h later at i woke up and they were still dancing!!! I don't know how they do it. My American friends and I all decided to get some breakfast so we went into town and found a nice Bakery. They each had muffins and coffee and i had a croissant and a coffee. They were astonished i drank it black because one girl had 6 sugars and 6 creams. We walked back to the gym and packed our stuff. There was a large group picture. Me and the other Meppen people had to leave early to catch our train. We said goodbye and left. I slept most of the train ride, than when i got home i also slept.


littleredsweater said...

Take Photos! We want to see what things look like!

Mark Sikora said...

may i ask who you are first?

littleredsweater said...

Check your e-mail