I meet my boss here yesterday at the train station; she is Romanian, and is really nice and helpful, but she seems to know only a little bit more German than I do – well, we speak English among ourselves.
We went straight from the train station to my lodging place, a small but rather cozy attic room on the third floor, and to my surprise, the room is very furbished, including bed linens and even cups and plates! Apparently my landlady is very nice and provided me with those small items when my boss (who found the room for me) told her that I’m coming from afar and only stay for a short time. I met my landlady, who only speaks German, to sign the lease today, and she was indeed friendly, but I had major difficulties understanding her, and I hope that won’t lead to problems later on!
Even though I went to work today nevertheless, I’m feeling predominantly tired because of the luggage-carrying, lots of walking, and jetlag. The workplace, the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, is located in the middle of the forest in the back of the Karlsruhe castle, and we had to take the shuttle there from the southern part of the city where I live. The building where I work hosts a few research groups, composing of (as I gather) mainly PhD students and their advisors; I’m the only RISE student at this moment, but there are one or two more coming to at least the research groups in the same building.
Everyone seems to be very nice, but as always I still felt a bit awkward with strangers. At least half of all people I met today were Germans, but there are quite a few foreigners, including my boss, so I heard lots of English intermingled with German, and of course whenever I talked, I was talking in English. The building is entirely Linux based, which is a bit of shock to me even though I’m fairly comfortable in Linux and I also felt quite lost when the computer first refuses to log me in (it turns out to be a network problem) and then KDE refuses to start (I ended up having the .kde configuration folder from root, otherwise KDE won’t start up for me). I was also stuck with Firefox 1 because I haven’t figure out (i.e. I don’t have the password for root) how to install Firefox 2. For everyday needs including the all-important food, I already went to the supermarket here twice, but I’ll left that for later since it’s time for sleep now since I’ll be up early tomorrow…