The hours before my delayed 1:10pm flight pass easily in the Amsterdam Airport. I decide to wait by the gate. But I can't find it. Gates 15-30 one way, Gates 10-14 another, Gates 1-7 somewhere else. Where are 08 and 09? Near the security exit of the Terminal, there is a smallish sign that says, "Gates 08-09 -->" pointing to a door sealed with a key-card lock. An employee comes along, opens the door, and when I try and follow he says, "No, no." Apparently, the door to Gate 09 doesn't open until an hour before the flight leaves.
Sometime later I return with the door open, and descend a flight of stairs to the secret gate. We bus to the plane, and I realize my sense of déjà vu stems from the fact that Andrew and I were delayed to this same gate a year ago. Uneventful Flight.
In Munster I head to the help-ish desk to find my delayed flight luggage, making friends with the old German woman I saw back in Frankfurt being delayed to the same flight. To my astonishment, the luggage followed my progress perfectly and I walk out in time to catch the 2:30pm bus. But the bus costs money, and there's no Currency Exchange in this airport either. I ask around, find a Geldautomat, and bus to Osnabruck.
Nadine meets me at the stop, and we bus to the secondary campus--which I remember from the barbecue party last year--where I meet Dr. Figura. He drives me to Quackenbruck--which I learn comes from the onomatopoeia of the German frog croak, "Quack," (I don't mention we think that's what ducks say, but I do say we think frogs go 'ribbet' [much smaller frogs in Florida]) and the "Bruck" which means "bridge," together referring to the noise made by crossing a bridge sounding like a frog (he didn't show me a specific bridge so I don't know if it's a certain place)--while I try to stay awake.
He drives me all around Quackenbruck--literally, the whole town--in under an hour while pointing out restaurants and shops. He shows me where I live, and how to get to DIL. I'll show you in a picture, there are signs up in the shape of arrows so I can't get lost on the way to work, they knew I was coming. Inside DIL I meet several people and the janitor/caretaker, who hands me the keys (1 for the outer door, same for the inner door, 1 for my door, 1 for the balcony [really], and 1 for the mailbox [I'd say, 'send me letters,' but I'm not sure of my address]) and shows me around my new home. It's quite nice--I'll send pictures--and he proceeds to show me around town. All of it. Again.
But, I'm tired and probably need to see it again to remember anything, so I welcome it. He shows me the train station, which I'll need tomorrow (this morning), and a local pub where we drink a coffee. He leaves, and I realize what my room is missing. A closet. (more on that later.)
I spend the rest of my time that night trying to unpack while fighting waves of intense sleepiness. I manage, mostly, and go to bed early enough to wake up at 7:00am the next morning. You'll see why soon.