Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Setting up

16 March 2010

Today a continued effort to acquire permanent cheap lodging.

Four slices of bread, tea, jam, butter and chocolate were our breakfast, included in the price of the room. We had that as early as we could so we could go sort out our lodging issues.

We couldn't leave our bags at the hostel because it was about to close for the day (it's only open in the morning and evening) so we had to take them with us. Once back on campus we were directed to the office we had to see about lodging in the secondary location. Once there we were redirected to an insurance company and were told to go to the dorm we were assigned to.

The insurance company was rather easy to get to and to deal with. The problem came with going to the dorm. A trusty GPS pointed us in the opposite direction, as there were 2 streets with the same name, the dorm not being in Metz itself but in a neighbouring town. By the time we realised it was already the lunch break (11:30 -14:30 if i remember correctly), so we thought we'd go to the college and get enrolled. They were on their lunch break too. At this point we wanted to cap out at the dorm until it opened and were planning our trip. One thing I love about the bus stops, is that most of them come with maps. 

Fortunately at this point our contact-teacher spotted us and offered us a ride to the dorm. We managed to just miss him the day before, it's a good thing he came back from lunch early. After another trusty GPS almost got us lost we finally managed to do (most) of the paperwork and get rooms.

The dorm

From my window

The rooms are not too small, they contain a bed, a desk, two chairs, a fridge - really useful - a window and a sink. Toilets and showers are down the hall, a kitchen is upstairs and a laundry room - which I have yet to see - is in a nearby building. Another nice surprise, a thing I'm again not used to is that the shared toilets and showers are spotless.

The view is to the inner courtyard, green, pleasant, with the occasional dog droppings under the window. This unfortunately comes at a price, as the wifi only reaches the rooms on the opposite side of the hall, which have a delightful view of the parking lot.

My room never looked this clean again

Unfortunately by the time we got back to the college building, there was nobody left to handle the papers needed for enrolling, so we were told to come back tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime the teacher who we're supposed to work with gave us a short description of the experiment he's running and what he expects from us.

A... statue? on campus

An amphitheatre on campus, never went inside
Food and back again
With no student papers, and no previous knowledge, we ate at a cafeteria, fortunately we had exact change though we needed a special pay card. Food was, cheap, good and more than enough.

I had a small shopping list: an extension cord, a prepay card, headphones. After following wrong directions twice, I thought myself lost, then I remembered seeing some gargoyle encrusted triangles the other day, which helped me find myself again. I could buy none of the things on my list as the shops had closed, and worse, the last bus to the dorm left 10 minute before I got to the bus stop, if the bus times weren't written down at the stop I might have waited for a long time. A taxi solved that problem.

One of the cafeterias

These mark out tourist routes across the town,
each route has its own drawing

Le temple Neuf de Metz

The Cathedral during daytime

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