“I think it’s important to find the little things in everyday life that make you happy.” – Paula Cole
I could see the plan starting to be built. Being the first day of semester, I packed my bag like any other (new book with new stationary) and reached my building 15 minutes prior to the class. TU Chemnitz has 4 campus buildings and mine is the oldest one of all (176 years)! So clearly, as I reached, the first thought I had was “I’m at Hogwarts!!!” (Finally!) The doors were huge, opened automatically (because of sensors) and the floor creaked, lights were off but as soon as you enter the corridor they switch on and most importantly, I couldn’t find my class! The buildings had dead ends and so many ways that at one point I didn’t know where I was, I could see some other main road from the window all together.
I reached my class right on time (with help of plenty of people on the way) and took a seat. The class was huge! These kinds of classes are assigned to us only when we have some special seminars (if they exist in our college that is) and then the professor enters. Class began and it went on like any other (not much difference between classes though) except here they were using presentation slides (PPT) and he went on explaining. I couldn’t help but notice, many other students of class were drinking coffee, juice and a drink called Club-Mate (a very German drink and to any Indian tastes like boiled Jeera water) and since the water bottles were carbonated, they make that sound when you open. Half an hour later, one person opened one such bottle, and as if it were a signal to others, it happened one after the other.
One important thing that I noticed was, Professor didn’t seem to be bothered at all (if it was India, that person would be thrown out of class by now, along with others). So, that’s good! Class was done, one and half hour seems to fly (only on the first day of course) and it was break.
Here, each one makes their own time table and decides which class to take which not (and there is no attendance). So according to my time table, I had one more for that day but after lunch. I happen to meet my German buddy on my way to the canteen, and she was going to meet a friend of hers there. So, I was asked to join and I didn’t want to leave this opportunity of meeting more people.
Now this person, whom I met, was almost completing his final thesis in my department and same course! So, to my luck I could clear all my doubts, asked him all possibilities of everything that could happen in the next 2 years. The next 45 minutes that followed, helped me so much, that to this very day, I thank him for all the guidance! He gave me an insight on all the professors, subjects, which to be away from and which I could manage, and all the chances of internships and thesis outside the university.
In the mean time, I completely forgot about lunch and my buddy taught me how the system works here. In the card that is issued by the university, is to be credited with any amount of money as per individual and then when you join the queue for respective meal, you just place the card on a machine that deducts that much amount from the card. So, this can be recharged as per your convenience, need and at any time (I have never recharged for more than 10 euros at one time, till today).
I took their leave, not being able to thank them enough and in my hunt for next classroom.
Day came to an end, and it was nothing but awesome! I loved learning so much (I am not referring to classes.) Went to supermarket and once I was back, I made my first proper meal on that hot-plate. Gobi aloo sabzi and roti!
Weeks came and went and things started to change, just like the color of the leaves on trees from green to beautiful mustard…