Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ready or Not!

Tomorrow morning I fly to Toronto then to Munich then to Cologne, where I find the main bus terminal and look for all the other sleep-deprived Americans. We'll all try to stay up until a normal bedtime in Germany because that's majorly helpful with jet-lag. (No joke) It'll be fun.

Cologne Cathedral. Very gothic.
Of course, I don't have to wait until Germany to start making stupid cultural mistakes. Oh no. I have those mistakes covered right here at home. See, I went to the bank to get some Euros, because trial-and-error has taught me that the only thing worse than exhaustion when you first land in a foreign county is exhaustion and no local currency. Being the seasoned traveler that I am, I asked for some of the money to be in small bills so I don't hand a cafe worker a fifty when I'm trying to buy a cup of tea. (Fun story: in Trinidad, I handed an ice-cream vendor a hundred Trini dollar bill to buy my 2.50 Trini dollar ice cream. She wasn't happy. I got a lecture) So I say "can I have part of that be tens, fives, and ones? And some twenties too?" and the nice bank teller says "sure" and I go on my merry way. When the money comes in, there's a note that apologizes for no one-dollar bills, because every country in Europe has dollar coins. Which I knew, of course, being in England for a year...

No one-euro bills. Unfortunately this is not my money.

I'll be hanging out in Cologne for a while after my orientation is finished on Wednesday while my teacher-contact gets home from school. So, anyone who has been to/heard of Cologne, what should I see? My luggage will be in a locker in the train station. I will be footloose and fancy free. Also tired. (Please use small words)

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