First Sights & First Meal
On my second day in the city (and first full day), I needed to accomplish these errands:
- Register in the city
- Buy an adapter with an American grounded option
- Either only buy a SIM card to put into my old Swiss phone, or buy a SIM card and buy a new phone
I went to the center of Luxembourg City because that is where the registration office is located. I thought I would look around the city a bit because I knew I would get lost… I ended up in Place d’Armes. Here’s the sightseeing I did before finally finding my way:
When I was registering, the man who was putting in my information did the following things wrong:
- Assert to me that I needed a visa, even though I insisted I didn’t. He needed to check with someone before he finally agreed with me, unsatisfactorily.
- Spell my name incorrectly (Beata Safarri).
- Ask me to provide my old Swiss address, and when I told him I only remembered the street name, he said that was unacceptable. I asked him why he needed it and he said he needed my previous place of residence. I told him I lived in Switzerland 4 YEARS AGO. He asked for my permanent address which should have been obvious because he had my passport.
- Not ask me the exact date of my departure. How else could he believe I’m only staying in Luxembourg for 88 days if he doesn’t take a look at my ticket?
Thankfully, though, the registration process concluded with my having successfully registered. I came upon an Orange store so that I could buy a SIM card. I bought a 10 € card, the salesperson put the card into my Nokia phone and Swisscom blocked it. 😥 We tried my LG smartphone, which blocked the SIM also. Finally, the salesperson offered me a 19 € phone they had in stock. It’s an Alcatel OneTouch which I was not familiar with before. Whatever, now I have a phone for emergencies.
I come upon a Microsoft store and notice in their window that they have adapters! I had looked for hours… I ask the cashier if he has any grounded American adapters (in French), and he walks over, picks one up and asks me (in English), “This one?” I look at it excitedly, and then say that when I speak French, no one switches over to English. He smiles and says that my French is good, but English is his favorite language, so he likes to speak it whenever possible. He says English is his favorite because it’s so casual. He speaks these other languages: Luxembourgish, French, German, Portuguese, and understands Spanish and Italian. He told me this funny tidbit:
I watched an American comedian once, who said that this is the difference between English cursing and German cursing. In English, speakers are very general and just say, “Fuck!” when they’re mad. In German, speakers are very specific and say, “Fuck me in the knee! (Fick mich im Knie!)” or some other body part, depending on how vulgar they wish to be.
When I got back home, I ate the couscous and chips that I had bought the previous day and pretended that I wasn’t still hungry. I worked on my New York Law Course videos for the rest of the day. (To take the New York Bar, I need to watch 15 hours of videos–which cannot be fast forwarded–before I register to take the New York Law Exam, the deadline for which is February 14th. The New York Law Exam is at noon EST March 16th, while I’m still here…)
As for my first meal, I meant my first cooked meal! I ate it on my second full day here. These are the products I bought:
Some of the boxes were exclusively in German because they were imported from Germany. Before I bought the products, I needed to theorize about how to cook them, loosely translating the German. Obviously, when I got home, I double-checked with Google Translate. More and more, I’m finding that I need to learn more German to get around here… And to think I was told I’d be just fine with my French here. After I prepared the dishes, they looked like this:
I got a little too full… 😛 Maybe I will try this cooking thing.