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Friday, October 29

We Do Not Talk About Sunday

Well, apart from right now. Other than that, Sunday did not happen. At all. Ever. The cunts.

Oh, and this post will be littered with the "c" word, so if you get offended by it, don't read on. Don't say you haven't been warned.

We all know what Sunday was about. Sunday was the most important game of football in recent years. Arsenal's attempt to remain 50 (50!) games unbeaten was to take place at Old Trafford, home of the most hated team in the Premiership (I refuse to reference any sponsors of English football leagues, especially The Championship. This, and the move of Wimbledon to Milton Keynes, is everything that is wrong with football today. Rant over).

It was a big game. The media had built it up for days, if not weeks and months. Apparently Sky had been billing it as "50:50" for a good week or so. I can't get my head round that one, to be honest. Why 50:50? Surely just "50"? What relevance did 50 have to M*n "cunts" *td?

And, of course, having looked forward to it for weeks and weeks, and having planned my entire Sunday around the game, I overslept and missed the kick-off.

Yes, I know that the kick-off was at 4pm. Yes, I know that means it started at 5pm over here. Did you not read the post about Saturday night? I was absolutely twatted, and didn't get to bed until fuck knows when. This is the first time, however, that I've slept in that late. Honest!

The worst thing was that I'd woken up a good hour or two earlier, but felt so hungover and ill that I'd deduced the time to be somewhere around 11am or midday. There was no way I could wake up any later and still feel that bad. Usually I sleep through the worst of any potential hangover, and only get the lingering after-effects (aching legs, thirst, slight headache).

Upon waking on Sunday, I had a proper hangover, and felt terrible. No worries, I thought, I won't get up, but will just lay in bed for ages and possibly go back to sleep. I then had 2 hours of tossing and turning, but not once did I dare get out of bed and check the time. It would have hurt my head too much to force the blood flow to go 12 inches higher to my brain.

The first swear word of the day (if we discount those said before bed that morning) was uttered at approximately 5.18pm. That would be when I got up and looked at my clock. I like saying "Fuck" out loud when there's no-one else around, although this time it was more of a self-admonishing type of "oh fuuuuuck!"

I had an ultra-quick wash, threw on some jeans and my Arsenal shirt, grabbed a jacket and legged it out of the door. I didn't trust a bus to turn up on time (they're shit on Sundays), so I almost ran to O'Reilly's, the pub where the game was on. I live about 15-20 minutes away by foot at a normal pace, but I managed it in less than 10 minutes. As a bonus, I found an unopened chocolate bar in my jacket pocket, which gave me the energy to make it all the way. Mmm, instant glucose energy boost.

As I got near the pub, I started imagining worse-case scenarios, such as us being 3-0 down already, or someone having been sent off. Imagine my relief as I rushed into the pub to find the score still 0-0. Not that that lasted, the cunts.

I ordered a lemonade and a beer from the waitress girl (yes, even in an "Irish" pub they insist on having the German waitress service), downed the latter in one and set about the important task of drinking on an empty stomach. Always a good idea, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

A few of my friends were there, including the girl who is a Gooner too. She even had a season ticket for last season, the bitch. I hate her and I love her for that. I got a few questions about the night before (remember that I didn't spend the night with them, but with another group of friends), but I was engrossed in the football.

I don't think I've ever sworn so much and so vocally during a football match before. I absolutely fucking hate Man Utd (it pains me even to type that name), possibly more than I love Arsenal. I hate every single player who wears that shirt, I hate that fucking cunt of a manager, I hate their cunting fans, I hate the media for loving them, I fucking hate Man Utd. You get the point.

The only player I was possibly going to make an exception for was Rooney. I loved him during Euro 2004, and he really is the future of English football. Unfortunately he now wears that fucking cunting Utd shirt, which makes me hate him at least a bit. He was however one of the players that I didn't swear at too much.

Until the fat fucking cheating cunt went over in the box, that is. The fat cheating fucking cunting cunt.

The language that came out of my mouth at that point would have offended even a builder. I was so unbelievably angry, incredibly so. I just kept on swearing, and loudly too. I didn't give a shit if the bar was full of Utd or Arsenal fans, I was going to swear, and I was going to make sure everyone heard me.

The phrase "fat fucking cheating cunt" must have passed my lips around 23,564,729 times in the space of 20 minutes, as well as swearing at all of the other Utd players.

ESPECIALLY Gary "cunt" Neville.

If there is one person on this planet that I wish would die in the next 5 seconds, it'd be Gary Neville. I hate him more than the rest of the Utd cunts put together. There is no rational reason for this. OK, so there is. He's a cheating, fouling, dirty cunt of a player who also tried to get the England players to strike over Rio's ban. He wears a Utd shirt, which is bad enough, but is also just a huge cunt of a player. Watch him play sometime. He commits loads of horrific fouls, never gets booked, and is always in the ref's face whenever another Utd player falls over anywhere near an opponent. I fucking hate the cunt.

Have I made this sufficiently clear? I absolutely, totally and utterly HATE Gary Neville. I couldn't care less if he scored the winner for England in the World Cup Final, I'd still pray for his death in the changing rooms immediately after. I fucking hate him!

You don't know just how angry I'm getting thinking about him whilst typing him. If it weren't late at night and my neighbour wasn't already in bed, I'd probably make some neanderthal screams to vent my anger. The keyboard simply cannot express my hatred for this cunt.

Every time he got near the ball on Sunday, I'd be begging someone to break his legs or kick him in the face. He received almost as much of my vitriol as Roo-cunt-ney did after his 6.0 dive in the area. The fat fucking cheating cunt. I still can't get over a penalty being awarded. Campbell didn't get anywhere near the fat fucking cheating cunt, let alone give him a touch.

I've been a witness to some iffy penalty decisions, courtesy of being an Arsenal fan, but this one really takes the biscuit. This is worse than Jeffers against Liverpool (he was shoved, but milked it in his fall) and Pires against Portsmouth (where he was actually tripped, no matter what non-Gooners tell you). This was just a dive by a fat fucking cheating cunt in the biggest game of the year.

And it wasn't as if Mike "cunt" Riley was going to refuse the Stretford End's cries of murder. 8 penalties for Utd in 8 games at Old Trafford? That's not coincidence by any stretch of the imagination. Why doesn't he just produce Fer-cunt-guson's brown envelope with a was of cash? The cunt.

I was absolutely seething by the end of the game, more angry than I've been in a very long time. I couldn't stop swearing and venting my anger at the screen, nor could I actually believe that we'd been cheated out of the game by a fat fucking cheating cunt and a spineless cunt in black.

I was sooooo angry.

I had to calm myself down a little, since I then went to dinner with a few female friends, but on the inside I was a pool of rage. I can feel it welling up inside of me again, just writing about it all.

The absolute fucking cheating bastard cunting cunts. Now I hate them even more.

And I especially hate that fat fuck.

Oh and cuntface Neville. If someone could kill him, that'd be great. Preferably in a slow and painful manner. And with a video camera recording the events, so I can watch it again and again. That'd be great, thanks.

Sorry for the foul language and unabashed rage, but this needed to get out in the open. This blog is my life, and this kind of thing makes me very angry. Very angry indeed.

The cunts.

Thursday, October 28

Be Thankful For What You've Got

Having just had a lecture where I was bored senseless, I want to quickly write about a few things that I've noticed in my second week of classes. They're not massive, world-changing things, but nonetheless I'm going to write about them.

The first is this random custom of German students at the end of each lecture, when they either all knock on the tables or give a round of applause. Honestly, as soon as the lecturer finishes his last sentence you're deafened by knuckles on wood for about 30 seconds.

Yes, I appreciate that they're thanking the lecturer, but it is very strange for me. Thanking the lecture full stop is very strange for me. We simply don't do it in England. Are we the exception? Are we thus rude?

If you consider that rude, you should try going to one of my lectures. They are all 2 hours long, but it seems that the average German student has an attention span of only 70-80 minutes.

Shortly into the second period of each lecture, especially my Thursday morning Criminal Law one, practically everyone starts talking. And not quietly either. There are numerous conversations at normal volume, which in a room of 150+ people soon adds up to a wall of noise.

I find it quite difficult to follow the lecture anyway, and this exacerbates the problem (everytime I use / see that word I think of Shaun Of The Dead. That's one funny film). This then leads to me switching off completely, as I did this morning. It's even more difficult to zone back in when you've not listened for 30 seconds if everyone else is drowning out the lecturer's voice.

Can they not whisper? It would probably be OK if they whispered and kept relatively quiet, but they are just blatant with their disdain for the lecturer and the other students. This, to my mind, is rude.

Finally, I've found myself, for reasons that I'm not entirely sure of, becoming absolutely fascinated by this blind girl in my lectures. She's in most of them, and I notice her around all the time.

I can't say exactly why it is that I'm fascinated by her. I definitely don't feel pity towards her, more a feeling of admiration. It's absolute chaos in our lecture theatres and in the corridors immediately pre and post each lecture. And that's not to mention the world at large. I have the utmost admiration and respect for anyone who gets through life, and especially for those who are afflicted by something like blindness.

I also find myself being eternally thankful and lucky that all of my senses work. I know you are always just a heartbeat away from something happening to them, but I take them all for granted. We simply don't appreciate how lucky we are to be able to see, hear and speak. We take it for granted, when we really shouldn't.

I would love to speak to her, but I keep thinking of an episode of Off Centre, a crappy American sitcom that I've seen a couple of times. In that episode, there is a deaf girl who turns out to be an absolute bitch towards everyone, almost as a response to the niceness that everyone puts on towards her. It's almost understandable, but at the same time it's exaggerated for the purposes of comedy. I wouldn't think that this blind girl is anything like that, definitely not, but I don't want to embarrass myself either.

After all, how do you start a conversation? "So, how's that blind thing working out for you?" I think not. So, until I can think of something worthwhile and not patronising to say, I'll leave it be.

Can't we all just get along?

Tuesday, October 26

Well, Friday Was Pretty Crap

But thankfully Saturday was fucking brilliant.

Friday was almost a complete washout, saved only by going round to a friend's place to watch a DVD with a load of other people. I hadn't seen Wedding Singer in a while, so it made me laugh. You can't ask for much more from a comedy, I guess.

I spent most of Saturday afternoon trying to watch Premiership football on my PC, via ESPN in China, but without success. Unless you count jerky movement every 30 seconds as success. I don't.

Most of my usual group of friends were in Mannheim, the next big town from Heidelberg, doing a bit of shopping and mooching around, but I couldn't be arsed with that. I've had enough being dragged round shops by my Mum over the years, so doing the same with 10 girls wasn't for me. Although I did hear that the two guys eventually just said "fuck it" and went into one of the Sex Cinemas. Fair play.

They were heading back to Heidelberg when I texted them to see what was planned for the evening. They were all up for going to Bar Drei (see previously for the legend of Bar Drei) at about 9.30, and just drinking the night away. As much as I love Bar Drei, I always see it as an end of night place to go, when all of the other bars in town have closed. I wouldn't like to go there sober and spend all night there!

Becks then rang me, since it was easier than texting. I said that I wasn't hugely up for going to Bar Drei, but if we were all doing that, then I'd probably meet them there. I still wasn't hugely enthusiastic, so I texted GTIMPBSIITAGTKABB (I really need to come up with a better name) to see what she was up to that evening.

She replied saying that she was having dinner with a few people at her place, having a few drinks and then going into town. She also invited me to come along, an offer which I readily snapped up. Wicked, drinking and getting to see GTIMPBSIITAGTKABB, all in one night.

As soon as I'd sent my reply to her, I got another text from Becks, saying that they were coming to mine to play a few drinking games and to then head on to Bar Drei a bit later. I had to tell them sorry, but I've made other plans now, I'll probably see you in Bar Drei later on. I don't think they took that too brilliantly. Well, you shouldn't invite yourself round mine like that.

That happens more often than I care for, to be honest. I have a load of DVDs here, as well as a few films on my own burnt DVDs, so everyone tends to invite themselves round to mine when we are at a loss for things to do. The first few times, I didn't mind because generally I initiated the idea. Recently, however, it's been a case of "Let's go to Rob's" whenever we can't think of something to do / are too hungover to drink. I'm too nice to refuse, and I do enjoy the company of my friends, but it'd be nice from time to time to ask, rather than tell me that they're coming over.

Mini-rant over.

So anyway, I grabbed a bottle of wine from the local shop and headed up to GTIMPBSIITAGTKABB's place. I timed it just right, as they were serving up dinner when I walked in the door. It's a good feeling to be handed a plateful of food as soon as you've taken off your coat. It was tasty too. The food, not the coat.

The wine was cracked open, even without a corkscrew. We'll ignore the splashes on the carpet for now (not my fault!) and skip straight to the drinking games. I taught everyone Pyramid, which is my favourite game ever. A description? Well, if I must.

To play Pyramid, you need a pack of cards, lots of booze and a group of willing victims participants. Lay out a triangle of cards on the floor / table, with 5 on the bottom row, 4 on the next and so on. It should look like the arrangement of ten-pin bowling pins, except with 15.

You now have 5 rows of cards, with one less on each as you approach the peak of the triangle. Here is where a little bit of maths comes in. Not too much though, since you will be getting pissed. Each card on the bottom row (the one with 5 cards) is worth 2 seconds. The next row has cards worth 4 seconds each, the third 6 seconds, the fourth 8 seconds, and the single card at the peak is worth 10 seconds. The seconds refer to drinking time.

You then deal the rest of the cards out to everyone playing. Everyone is allowed to look at their own cards and keep them in their hands. The dealer (or whomever) turns over the bottom-right card (from the row worth 2 seconds each), and counts down from 5 to 1, before saying "OUT".

In those 5 seconds, anyone who has a card of the same value (a 2, a Jack, a 9, whatever) can lay their card on top of the card that has been turned over. At the same time, they say "Fuck [Insert Name of Another Player Here]". What this means is that the named person has to drink. However, the countdown goes back to 5 seconds, in which someone else can put another card of the same value down and say "Fuck [Someone Else]".

If they're feeling mean, they can say the same person, or they can nominate whomever they want. The nominated person can also defend themselves in this manner. It's great fun to have someone say "Fuck Rob" and then to lay a card whilst saying "No, Fuck YOU [Name]". Grudges also build up quickly, which gets important as you move up the triangle.

When the countdown reaches OUT, the last person to be "Fucked" must drink. The time they have to drink for is equal to the value of the card turned over, times the number of cards there. This sounds complicated, but isn't. For instance, if the first card is turned over on the bottom row (worth 2 seconds, remember), and 2 people lay the same value card on top, the last nominated person has to drink for 6 seconds. 2 + 2 + 2 = 6.

Thus, when you get to the upper echelons of the triangle, the time adds up dramatically. The final card, being worth 10 seconds by itself, could result in someone having to drink for 40 seconds if the other 3 cards of that value are placed on top of it. I know because I have done it. I got through about 3 bottles of beer doing that damn 40 seconds.

Phew, that turned into a bit of a lengthy aside, but it was worth it. This game needs to be spread around the world, because it's fucking brilliant. You get so drunk playing it, and it's hilarious fun. As I said, you remember who stitched you up in the last game you played and then fuck them over in another game. Great fun!

Anyway, getting back to the subject at hand, we played a couple of games of Pyramid, which ended up in all of us having to do some fairly lenghty stints of drinking. Sorry, I've said all of us, but haven't mentioned how many were there. There was myself, GTIMPBSIITAGTKABB, Helen, Rachel (all English, and whom I already knew), Pete, David (American guys, new to me) and Martin (an Hungarian guy who was great fun. Turns out he's in a number of my law classes, as it happens).

We polished off numerous bottles of wine, including their attempts at Pink Stuff. I think I've mentioned what Pink Stuff is here, but I'll just refresh your memory. It's strawberry fizzy wine, only 99c per bottle, and it gets you very drunk. We call it Pink Stuff, GTIMPBSIITAGTKABB, Helen and Rachel call it Giggle Juice. They'd also found other flavours, which I ended up having to try. It'd have been rude not to. So take note and learn that the Pineapple flavour is disgusting (especially after 24 seconds of it), whereas the Raspberry / Blackcurrant one is rather tasty, perhaps even preferable to the strawberry stuff. But give me a beer any day.

The girls were starting to worry about getting ready to go out, what with it already getting late and them being quite tipsy. Helen and Rachel disappeared back to their rooms to get changed, but as we were in GTIMPBSIITAGTKABB's room, she had to take her stuff into her bathroom. She was really uncertain what to wear, and kept asking us if she should wear a skirt or not.

She's really tall, and looks great in a skirt, so we all (including the girls) told her that she should. As she was on her way out of the room, she said something like we should tell her if she looked terrible. I called out after her that of course I would, to which she came back to the doorway.

The other guys were talking about something else, so she was able to ask me directly what I meant. I told her that I'd be completely honest, and that if I thought she didn't look right, I'd let her know. In a nice way. Correspondingly, if she looked fantastic, I'd tell her that too.

I don't know if I'm reading into her facial expression something that wasn't there, but I swear she appreciated that sentiment a lot. Her face just seemed to light up. It could have been wine flushes though, I guess.

When she came back into the room, she did indeed look amazing, which I made a point of telling her. At least I'm slowly making my way into her good books. Perhaps a little too slowly, but that's always been my style / shortcoming. As you all know, I'm thoroughly inept around women, and there's been no miraculous change since that night at the end of August. Long-term readers know what I'm on about.

We were finally all ready to go into town, so we grabbed our coats, the last bottle of wine (white, eurrgh) and walked to the bus stop. I'm pretty sure I was arm-in-arm with GTIMPBSIITAGTKABB for that little walk, but that's meaningless.

Isn't it? Damn it, now I'm putting thoughts into my head. Dangerous, over-confident type thoughts. Out, out damned spot.

At the other end, we wandered up to the door to Billy Blue's, which the girls had told me is "really good" (put a Leeds accent on to get the full effect) on a weekend. We were still all swigging from the bottle of wine, as well as being loud and English, due to the drunkenness, which I think was the reasoning the bouncer had for not letting us in.

The bastard.

He said something in German, then repeated it as "Regulars only on the weekend" in English. I said "Honestly?" back to him in German, and he just repeated it back to me: "Honestly." I was definitely up for having words, such as asking how exactly you become 'regular' if you can't get in in the first place, but I bit my tongue. There were ladies present, after all, and I didn't want to make a tit of myself.

Instead, we went over the road to a bar called Gecko's (after I disposed of the wine bottle round the corner. It's still there, I checked as I walked past last night) for a quick drink and to make a decision as to where to go. GTIMPBSIITAGTKABB and I both had Mai Tais, which are great little cocktails, if a little strong. We were chatting for ages, although I'll be damned if I can remember what about. The alcohol from playing Pyramid was starting to kick in.

We then headed up to a place called Amadeus, which is the usual Tuesday-night hangout for all of the European students here. It's not a bad little bar, but it wouldn't have been my first choice for a Saturday night out. Nevertheless, I was 100% behind the decision to go.

Ulterior motives? Moi? Oh do be quiet at the back.

There were a load of other people waiting for us at Amadeus, again not from the usual crowd that I hang out with. I knew them all, but they weren't part of my everyday group of friends. Sometimes I feel like a bridge of some sort between my group of friends and a few other people. They're perfectly nice and civil to everyone (well, except maybe The Features. I might explain that one some time, but probably not. Aren't I the tease?), but they don't seem to make a huge amount of effort to be friendly with them.

I do. I like making new friends, I like meeting friends of friends and so on and so forth. I can't be doing with confining myself to one group of people all of the time. I was the same back in Melksham, a situation I have explained before. I have my mates, my drinking and footballing guy friends, and then I have my friends, the people I'm really close to. I'm the only one that ever crossed that divide, and it's almost the same here. I love my group of friends to bits, but I also have other friends that I want to do things with.

And no, not like that, those of you who are sniggering in a dirty way.

I don't remember drinking a huge amount at Amadeus, because I was dancing quite a lot. Yes, with GTIMPBSIITAGTKABB, but also with other people. I seem to remember being handed a tequila shot to do, which I did, but also almost promptly threw up. I fucking hate tequila, and I've no idea why I did it that night. Probably because I didn't have to pay for it, and was just handed it off of a tray. Does me.

I've no idea what time we left Amadeus, or how we got back to Bar Drei. I'm assuming either a taxi or bus, because we couldn't have walked that far. Definitely not. To be honest, I don't even know who went to Bar Drei with me. I bumped into Helen and Rachel on Sunday night, and they told me that they hadn't gone. I think it might just have been me and GTIMPBSIITAGTKABB. Can't be sure though.

They told me that I'd walked her home, but I have no idea what time that could have been. I reckon it was sometime around 5, but it may have been half an hour either way. I distinctly remember only getting a goodnight kiss on the cheek, no more, but I truly cannot dredge up from the old archives what we spoke about in Bar Drei.

For an hour. Hmm.

All in all, I had a fucking great night. I was out with a load of wicked people, went to a couple of great bars, had a dance, had a load of drinks, and possibly put some groundwork in with GTIMPBSIITAGTKABB. You never know when that might pay off.

Christ, I'm worrying that I'm beginning to sound obsessed. I think it's just because all of my friends keep asking what's going on with me and her, and if I really like her or not. I keep denying everything, but then at least one of them reads this blog, which kinda screws up my keeping shtum.

Oh well, this kind of thing has always happened with my blog. Meh.

More Photos

I've just done a quick update to the PhotoBlog with a load of phone photos from September. I'll leave those lot up for a few days before I put the next batch up.

Oh, and for those who are interested / obsessed with this kind of thing, GTIMPBSIITAGTKABB is amongst them. I'm not giving any clues though, you'll have to read the captions. Hold your mouse over the thumbnail for each photo's description.

Well, I Deserved To Get A Bit Drunk

After all, I had done a whole week's worth of lectures. Oh, and shush at the back those who are saying "But you only did 3!": I deserved to go out and celebrate the end of the first week of classes with all of my friends.

We'd decided to do something a bit different from our usual Thursday evening of O'Reilly's - The Dubliner - iPunkt - Bar Drei, just for a change. Let's be honest, after a month or so of doing that every Thursday night, you need a change. We weren't skipping the drinking part of the evening, just altering the locations.

The first stop was beer pong and various drinking games at an American friend of ours place. We've gone round there quite a bit recently, but I always feel a touch guilty in that my group of friends seem to arrive as one and then leave as one halfway through the evening. I happen to like being there, and I enjoy the company of the hosts, even if they are American...

I find it a little rude when we turn up, crates of drink in hand, drink it all there, and then run away to another bar as soon as we run out. It's not dangerous or painful to socialise with another group of people from time to time, and it can be good to hang out with other friends away from your usual crowd as and when you want to. A similar thing happened on Saturday night, which I was moaned at about the next day. I'll get to that in another post.

So there we all were, hanging around inside and outside of this student hall, playing a bit of beer pong and Fuck The Dealer (a great card game, but I can't be arsed to explain it here. I think I may have done it already on this blog at some point. I'll hunt it down).

My usual group of friends decided that it was time to make a move and shift on to The Dubliner for a few drinks there before making our way to some random club. We'd only been at the American's place (OK, for sake of argument I shall name her Jillian, since that is her name) for an hour or so, and I was having a good time, so I told them all I'd catch the next bus, in 30 minutes time.

They were a bit iffy with me, but said fair enough. I carried on with my game of beer pong (which I lost by a huge amount. I blame the random Polish girl I was playing with), as well as chatting to a few other people I knew there. Before I knew it, I'd missed the next bus, which meant another half-hour wait. Whether that was deliberate on my part or not, I'm not entirely certain. It could have been some sort of subconscious thing, but more than likely I just plain lost track of time.

That's what I'm claiming if anyone asks.

I stayed for another game of beer pong (lost that one too, if memory serves), some more beer and an exchange of phone numbers with Jillian. Not for any getting-together reason, as far as I know, but simply because I didn't have the number of any of that group of friends. I always find out about any such gatherings through a 3rd party or the grapevine, so having a direct contact would be much easier.

That's what I'm claiming if anyone asks.

I do get on really well with Jillian, she's great, but she's got a boyfriend back in the States (I think), and I'm still sort of after GTIMPBSIITAGTKABB. I don't think there's anything between us, but a 1.30am text from her on Friday night / Saturday morning inviting me to play Twister has made me think twice. But no, she's a good friend, no more.

That's what I'm claiming if anyone asks.

I eventually got to the bus stop, and went with Justin (another Yank) into town and to The Dubliner to meet everyone. We were dying for the loo (incidentally, that phrase attracts an inordinate amount of visitors from Google, according to my stats), so rushed in, said a brief hello as we passed everyone, and practically jumped down the stairs to the toilets. That'll learn us to go to the loo before going on a 15-minute bus ride. You learn something new every day, as the saying goes.

I was bought a cocktail by Kevin, an English friend of mine who claimed he owed me a few drinks. I'm not the type to argue such a suggestion, so buy me a drink he did. Cheers Kevin. The rest of my friends were getting quite pissed by this point, having been apparently been bought loads of drinks by some random American guy in the pub. This isn't to say that I wasn't feeling mildly inebriated, because I was.

Hence my agreement to go to this random club elsewhere in the town. At least it was somewhere new, rather than iPunkt for the 86th time in a month. I was also interested in seeing what a German take on a nightclub would be like. I would say something like efficient, but my experience of Germany so far has been anything but.

I have to say that it was pretty fucking good. It was absolutely rammed, and it was almost shoulder-to-shoulder dancing, but the atmosphere was fantastic. The DJ was pretty competent too, and played some wicked tunes. It was all hip hop and r'n'b, but it wasn't cheesy stuff. Well, apart from that Fatman Scoop song, but we were dancing away by then, and enjoying everything too much to care that it was a crap song. I may haven even sang along. Shame on me.

We were dancing in a group right next to a podium of some sort, and there were some hilarious people up there at various stages during the night. We had the two white girls who thought they were booty queens, shaking it for all they were worth but just looking ridiculous, two white boys blinging it as much as possible (again just looking like twats), and another couple of random girls who thought they were all that. They weren't, needless to say.

A couple of my friends got up there, and I have to say that they were the best of the bunch that I saw. And no, this isn't biased, they were literally the best. OK, let me rephrase that as "the least ridiculous". But you get the point.

By about 2, most of my group left, but I was quite happy to stay and look after the one girl who didn't want to go home just yet. This would be the same girl (Laura) who ended up asleep in my room the other night after we'd got pissed up at Bar Drei.

No, I'm not interested in her either, but she's a great laugh and I like being around her. We danced for ages and ages, had a drink or two, and then danced some more. It was great fun, and was the first time that I'd danced properly since arriving in Germany. I'd danced once in iPunkt, but I was royally pissed and don't properly remember, so it doesn't count.

We shared a taxi home, even though it meant a huge detour past my place and up to hers, and that was that. No, nothing happened. Don't get your hopes up on that one. Remember, I am the so-called Asexual Worm. My reputation always precedes me.

And so ends another night of drinking, except on this one I wasn't all that drunk. I only had about 10 drinks, and they were spread out over a long period that evening. I made up for this sobriety on Saturday, don't worry about that one.

Monday, October 25

And So To Classes

What with me being a student and classes having started this week, I figure that I'd better write something about them. I'm clever like that.

German universities are very, very different from English universities. Here, students are expected to be a lot more self-reliant and independent. For example, you have to sort out your own timetable the week before classes begin, so that you know which ones you can attend, and work around any clashes before they happen.

Luckily, one of the few things that I attended during the Orientation week was a 2-hour session going through the entire booklet which listed all of the lectures, seminars and other classes in the law faculty. This was extremely helpful for us foreign students, as the tutor pointed out which classes would be suitable for us, and which we would have absolutely no chance of understanding.

Armed with this information, I put together my timetable last Thursday. Yes, I was in fact sufficiently organised to do that. Don't worry, it won't last.

My original intention was to do as little law as possible whilst out here. It's not that I don't like law. OK, yes it is because I don't like law. It's taken me two years to realise this fact, but at least I now know it. I don't want to go into law as a career, and I aim to take the least amount of actual law modules in the next two years, both here in Heidelberg and in my final year back in London.

Of course, it didn't quite work out that way. I wanted to do Criminology whilst I'm here, but to do that you need to know German Criminal Law first. Hence German Criminal Law finding its place on my timetable. Hopefully, Criminology will be offered again in the summer semester, so I can do it then.

European law was the next entry, mainly because I already know it like the back of my hand. It was my highest score in the exams at the end of the first year at King's, and I still remember the vast majority of it. My reasoning for taking it again now is that it will help my language so much, because I won't really be listening for meaning whilst in the lectures. I'm even getting my mum to bring over my old notes and textbook when she comes to visit for my 21st birthday (19th November, put it in your diaries).

I then added German Civil law to the list, because it is a 5-hour per week module. I have to get a certain amount of Credits each semester, and these are awarded corresponding to the amount of hours you study each week. I need 20 credits per semester, and a 5-hour per week module gives you 8 of those credits. Oh, and it's supposed to be the foundation of most further modules too. I guess that's important as well.

My next choice was Latin for Lawyers. I really want to study a language whilst I'm here, and unfortunately that Spanish class I registered for has fallen through. And by fallen through I mean that you have to pay quite a high fee to do it, one that I'm not willing to pay.

By doing Latin, I can make up for not doing Spanish, and it also counts towards my 40 Credits target for the year. The Spanish class wouldn't. Two birds, one stone. The problem with the Latin module is that it isn't every week; instead it is in a block of classes over the space of about a week, sometime in December.

The plus side of this plan is that my weekly timetable becomes even less packed than it already is. By squeezing an entire semester's worth of classes into a small block, it frees up some more space in my usual timetable. Maybe for classes, but probably for procrastinating. Hurrah!

My final choice was German Constitutional Law. Again, I've already done a bit of this, which should help me somewhat, but it was very basic, and it was taught in German back at King's, when my language skills were, shall we say, slightly lacking. At least I know the basic material.

The fantastic thing about this timetable is that somehow I ended up with Mondays and Fridays off. Yes, I have a 3-day week! How fucking brilliant is that? Oh, and call me a lazy, layabout student, I don't mind. In fact, I subscribe to that stereotype in a big way.

I thought that it got even better, since my Tuesdays didn't start until 3 in the afternoon, but it turns out that that was an error on my part. I'll explain why in just a second.

I'll just note here that I am only doing lectures this semester, no seminars or tutorials. This isn't because of any laziness or fears about the quality of my language though, but instead because the tutor in the Orientation Week explicitly recommended us to not do any seminars until the second semester. Suits me fine, I have to say.

And so I launched myself into the first week of lectures. My first was Civil Law at 3 on Tuesday. Suffice it to say that I was bricking it. Would I understand most of what the lecturer was saying? Would I understand any of what he was saying? Would I wish I'd never moved out to Germany? Would my trousers fall down as I walked into the room? You know, the usual kind of worrying.

The lecture was only an hour long, and the guy spent a little while explaining which textbook we should buy, and what the course roughly entailed. He then launched into a 35-minute piece about how you should love law if you wanted to study it, and that if you found yourself being bored by it, or not enjoying it, after a semester, you should drop it immediately.

He carried on in this vein for a little while, waxing lyrical about the role of law in society, and about how it wasn't a given that you would make loads of money by doing a law degree. Just before the end of the lecture, he asked how many Erasmus students there were in the room. Erasmus being the exchange programme between European universities that I'm on.

Myself and about 10 others put our hands up, out of around 150 people in the room. He then asked how many other foreign students were present. Another 90-100 hands went up. Then followed the LLM (Law Master's Degree) students. Another 30 or so people fell into that category. Being a little confused, he asked how many students were actually in their first semester (i.e. just starting university).

I think there were less than 5 people in the room. He realised that he'd just wasted a big rhetorical speech on people who already knew all of that bullshit, and were a good few years into their law degrees. There was a good deal of smirking and sniggering going on in the room, I can tell you.

As we made our way out at the end of the lecture / waste of time (waste of time is going to be a running theme), he said something about repeating this speech tomorrow in our next lecture, when hopefully more first-timers would be present. I didn't quite catch it, since I was in a hurry to get to my next lecture. Yes, in a hurry to get to a European Law lecture. Who would have thought?

Of course, the room was too small for all of the eager, budding Euro-lawyers. And when I say too small, I mean that we needed about another 50 seats. It was fucking hot too, because there were so many people crammed into a small little lecture theatre. After about 25 minutes of sitting around, we were led up to what I guess must be the Great Hall at Heidelberg. A fucking massive place, it is.

I spotted the one other girl from my home university, and sat down next to her. I don't really know her, and she was never one of my friends back at King's, but any port in a storm. We exchanged our impressions of the preceding lecture, and got ready for 2 hours of being talked at by a thoroughly old lecturer, about something which we already knew. Joy of joys.

I was pleasantly surprised to both stay awake for those 2 hours, and to understand most of what was being said. Admittedly, as I've pointed out, I know the material, but it was interesting to hear it described in German and from a German perspective, because it can be very different from the English point of view. They were in the EU from the start, after all, whereas we gatecrashed the party a lot later in the day.

All in all, I felt pretty damn good after the day's classes, since I'd understood a lot more than I was expecting to, and also because the lectures themselves were fairly interesting. Another bonus was the coherence of the lecturers. My worst nightmare would be to have a lecturer that I simply couldn't understand. It would be so difficult, and would persuade me to not turn up at all.

The only negative that I can draw from the day is that I realised that I absolutely have to concentrate solidly for the entire duration of the class. As soon as my mind wanders, whether it be in English or German, I lose the thread of the lecture completely. It then takes a minute or two to pick it back up. I suppose that I should be concentrating anyway, but I've never had to do it to this extent. It could be a case of 4 espressos before each lecture.

Boy did I need some espressos on Wednesday. That and a large mallet to bludgeon the inept bureaucrats at the law faculty. Fucking unorganised idiots.

I had (supposedly) a 9am lecture and an 11am lecture, which meant having to get up at a ridiculously early hour. 7.30, to be precise. The 9am lecture was German Constitutional Law, followed by the second lecture of the week in Civil Law.

I managed to make it to the lecture on time, which is in itself an achievement worthy of note, but the room was decidedly empty. There were a few people dotted about, so I grabbed a window seat (force of habit) and watched people come in.

By 9.10 the room was still mostly empty, maybe containing about 30 students, but the lecturer was nowhere to be seen. It was here that I began having doubts as to what the fuck was going on. In the module guide book this particular class was scheduled for a Tuesday, but there was also a slip of paper with all of the late amendments inserted, which said that there was an additional class on a Wednesday morning.

I'd figured that this was to avoid clashes for students with other modules, and that there was in fact two seperate classes for the same module. When I looked a little closer at the listing in the book, the module was in fact for 4 hours each week. i.e. both lectures were for the same module.

It then dawned on me, and just about everyone else in the room that we hadn't gone to the lecture on Tuesday, where they were all probably told that the Wednesday lecture wasn't happening. Fucking great news. They could at least have put a note on the door or something! Stupid German bureaucratic incompetence.

I now had an hour and a half to kill before the next lecture, so I bought a couple of textbooks that I needed, before heading to the student cafe to chill in there for a while. I surprised myself by understanding the vast majority of a newspaper I picked up in there, which is always good. I really do think that my German is half-decent now, although my speaking probably lets me down a bit.

It was then time to head back into my uni building for the second lecture of the day. I was already irritated that I could have stayed in bed for an extra hour or two, so having the second lecture cancelled did not leave me in a great state of mind.

The room was packed, busier than it had been for Tuesday's lecture, and it was really loud, with German voices rising high from all around me. The lecturer once more wasn't there on time, but I've come to assume that this is normal here. I contented myself with looking out of the window and trying to listen to various conversations in my vicinity. This is definitely the best way to pick up German, just sitting and listening.

After about 25 minutes, a random guy came into the room and went to the front of the class. He explained that he was from the law faculty, and that the lecturer was running late. He then said that the guy was just going to repeat yesterday's lecture, aimed at first years, so the rest of us could leave.

Yeah, cheers for that. Why didn't he fucking tell us that at the end of yesterday's lecture?! Fucking incompetency. I could still be in bed! Mmmm, bed.

I wandered back to the cafe, since I'd bumped into a friend who was making his way there just before my (missing) lecture. He was there with another friend, a Swiss girl who did law too. We talked for ages, mainly about EU law, because she was studying it but didn't understand what it really was. The Swiss, the perennial neutrals, aren't members, you see? We were flitting between German and English, because she wanted to improve her English, and I wanted to make sure I knew some law vocabulary in German, but I think we managed to understand each other. At least that's one friend in the law faculty. They're like gold dust at the moment.

The rest of the day was a bit of a washout, if memory serves. A friend came round so that I could fix her computer (I'm the resident computer genius / geek in my group of friends. This is the third I've had to sort out so far), but I can't think of anything else that happened. Boring, I know. Sorry!

Thursday was another 2-lecture day, one at 9am and one in the afternoon. Only one of these was fucked up, which is a half-decent ratio, all things considered. Ooh, cynical.

The 9am was German Criminal Law, which I knew absolutely nothing about. Once more the room was over-full, with people standing along the walls on both sides. I lucked out, managing to get a seat somewhere near the front. No window to stare out of this time though, mores the pity.

The lecture was once more a bit of an organisational and introductory affair, with no mention of the law itself just yet. I managed to understand the vast majority again, which is always a bonus. I think I've been quite lucky so far in that none of the lecturers speak incomprehensible German. They're all quite clear and relatively easy to follow. Of course I don't understand everything, and some sentences lose me completely, but a 75%-ish amount isn't too bad. Hell, that's about how much I understood at the start of the first year back at Kings, and they were all in English!

One thing which I did notice this week is that German students are really obnoxious and rude towards the lecturer. They constantly talk throughout, and not always quietly either. One example is during that lecture. We had a break halfway through for about 10 minutes, yet when the lecturer returned it took him another 10 minutes to get his voice heard above the rabble. Even when he did begin talking, there was still so much noise around that I could barely hear him, even though I was only 3 or 4 rows back. It took a big "shush" from someone in the middle of the benches to quiet everyone, which I think must have embarrassed the lecturer somewhat.

I went home for a couple of hours between classes, and then headed back into town for my 2pm lecture. I'm getting bored of that bus ride, I swear. Same old, same old. At least I have my iPod. I'd be at such a loss without that thing.

This lecture, or lack of was a comedy of errors, to say the least. It was my final Civil Law lecture of the week, so I went to the usual room. I wandered in, sat down (by the window, hurrah!) and looked around. After about 5 minutes, I realised that I didn't recognise a single face. Admittedly, I know barely anyone in my lectures anyway, but I know enough to recognise some faces. There was simply no-one I could remember in the room, so I pulled out my timetable to check where I was supposed to be.

Naturally, I was supposed to be in a completely different room. Were you expecting anything else. I grabbed my bag and coat and left the room without looking back, perhaps fearful of a room full of people smirking at me. I didn't hear any raucous laughter as I walked away down the corridor, so perhaps it's just my paranoia.

I found the lecture room I was supposed to be in, but once more it looked a little empty. Sure, there were people there, but nowhere near as many as for the other Civil Law lectures earlier in the week. I sat down at the end of a row, next to some random guy, and was just getting my things out of my bag when a stack of handouts were passed around.

Seeing references to Criminal Law on them, I asked the guy I was sitting next to if this was a Civil Law lecture. Nope, he replied (in German, of course. My German's not so bad as to force me to ask this kind of thing in English), this was a Criminology seminar for 3rd year students.


Once more I grabbed my stuff and practically ran out of the room. As I left, I checked the timetable on the door, and sure enough the scheduled lecture for that room at this time was the one I was supposed to be in. I tried to figure out what the fuck was going on, but to no avail.

As I went downstairs, I bumped into the one other law student from Kings who is over here in Heidelberg with me. She was equally lost and confused as to the whereabouts of our lecture, but we asked the Hausmeister (secretary / handyman for the building) if he knew where it was. He mumbled something about our lecturer being around from 11 to 1, but wasn't any more forthcoming with information.

This left us even more confused, but I made the executive decision to say "fuck it" and go home. That was my week finished, after all. Not bad at 2.30 on a Thursday afternoon. I couldn't be arsed with chasing around the building, trying to find my class, especially since I'd already missed 30 minutes of it. Yeah, so I'm lazy.

And that about sums up my first week of classes. Of the 6 I went to, only 3 actually went ahead as planned, and one of those was wasted on me. Two lecturers didn't bother to turn up, and the other was simply nowhere to be found. Hopefully this week will be different.

On a positive note, however, I still have a 3-day week! I can cope with 3 9am lectures if I get a 4-day weekend. It's all about giving and taking, right?

It leaves plenty of time for drinking, which is always a good thing. As I proved to myself on Thursday night. Stay tuned for that write-up.
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