Here I would like to write a simple outline of my daily routine at RUB, so one can get the impression of what it is really like to live here, including all the trivialities of life (which are really the most substantial part, if you add them all up).
Let’s begin with my phone alarm clock waking me up at 8am. I get out of bed at a varying level of dreariness depending on how late I stayed up the previous night (I usually find midnight to be an optimal time to go to bed). I immediately go to my window and slide the curtain over so I can see what the weather looks like. This is usually a good indicator of how my day will go (as I’ve found a high correlation between the weather and my general mood on a given day. eg. a rainy day means a glum attitude, while a sunny day usually gets me energetic and generally happy, although it’s not always so black and white). Then I’ll open the window to feel the air, giving me a hint on the type of clothes I should wear that day. After that comes all the usual morning preparations, breakfast, usually a piece of toast or two with apricot jam, along with a banana (As a side note, I’ve found it very difficult to find a jam without added sugar, as I usually strive to do at home, despite the extensive variety of jam brands). Then strap on my backpack and my green shoes and head off to campus (about a ten minute walk to the engineering building where most of my classes are). Just before nine o’ clock, there is usually a stampede of students walking into the campus to begun there day just as I am doing. So, I make my way to German class, the first class of the day, in a different room depending on the day of the week (sometimes in the 04 floor, sometimes in the 3 floor). Which reminds me: I should take a moment to explain floor numbering in campus buildings. The 0, or ground, floor, is at river lever, as I’ve been told, which means all floors below that level have a “0” in front, going backwards. But, to my relief, this does not mean the zero levels are in a basement. Because the campus is built on a hilly area, there are windows and sunlight in abundance on every floor.
So, German class ends around 12:30, at which time I usually go to the mensa (described in a previous blog post).
Between classes there are many options of where to go. Of course I could always go home if I wanted to, but I tend to stay on campus until classes are finished for the day. During that time, I’ll typically go to the library or a computer lab to do some studying or check emails, etc. The second class will end at 5:30 pm at the latest, which gives me a few hours of sunlight to explore the surrounding neighborhood, or do some assignments/extra studying. One day, for example, I went to downtown Bochum to buy some shoes and a desk lamp. Shopping is always a good way to test my progress in German; a challenge I willingly accept at every opportunity.
Finally, it comes time for dinner. Usually I like to cook my own food, as a way of saving precious Euros, and also because I enjoy the art of cooking. Sometime I’ll eat a veggies sandwiches using fresh produce from one of the nearby markets, other times I’ll cook spaghetti with simple tomato sauce. The options will surely expand with time, as I get more accustomed to the routine.
Finally, the sun sets through my window and the day begins to end. I’ll spend some time chatting with my roommates in the common room, then finally go to bed, where the same general routine will being again in the morning.