Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It was nice to stay in the hostel for more than a week but now it's time to say goodbye

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! It feels so good to have finally signed the lease for the house and be able to unpack my suitcase!!! After staying at the backpackers for a week and having a great time there and meeting lots of nice people I'm about to start packing my stuff and bring it to my new place. It took about 2 hours to go through the papers etc until we finally got the keys to the house.
After checking out the house a little more we decided to go to Walmart to get some stuff. We didn't need to buy a lot cause whoever lived there before left pots, pans, plates etc. We just got a few things so we can clean the house.
We don't have internet for now but I hope that we can get it soon. It's only a 30 second walk to a university  building with wifi so I might just go there to check mails etc.

Btw our house will be very international with a French, Norwegian, Spanish, Canadian and German girl :D

Monday Madness & To-Do List Tuesday

We had an appointment to see the international house monday at 1.30pm and 3 girls of our group were waiting in front of the house. One girl was supposed to come a little later as she didn't arrive in Ottawa before 2pm. Another girl was supposed to be there but was on a house viewing tour through the city and couldn't make it. When the mysterious "Cécile" from off-campus housing didn't show up by 2 I went to their office. Apparently they had forgotten to contact us because Cécile was in a meeting to sign a lease.... They told me that we should wait until the group was complete and then come back to the office so they could show us the place. Nicola (from Australia) had another house viewing at 3 and we had to find somebody else as the 5th person (which we did in the office; a Spanish girl I already messaged with on fb) so when we had a complete group together at the office at 3.30 Cécile's assistant told us that it was now too late to see the house :( bummer! We set another appointment for tuesday morning and just went to the house next door where other students had just moved in so we could take a look. The place looked pretty nice and we were all sure we would say yes to 'our' house the next morning. Nicola had to decide in the evening if she wanted to take the international house or another place. She decided to go with the other place but fortunately I had a few backups and a lucky Norwegian girl made it into the group.
This drama took a few hours so by the time we left the housing office and I wanted to register for two more classes and pay my insurance, the other offices were closed already :( bummer No. 2!
Monday evening we wanted to go see the light show again but since it had rained a lot during the day and more rain was forecast the show was canceled so we all went to a bar (I guess +20 people).

I managed to get a lot more done on Tuesday! Starting with the house viewing at 9.30. The house is really nice and we all agreed to definitely take it. We hoped to be able to sign the lease the same day but Cécile did not have time for us that day either. (I'm still not sure that she really exists! I won't believe it before I see her :) She is like Charlie from Charlie's angels. Only hear about her but never get to see her). We got appointment on Wednesday 11.30 to sign the lease.
We were done at the house at around 10. 30 so I managed to go to my faculty and register for two more classes. They let me into the public relations class so I'm pretty excited about that.
Then I went to Tabaret Hall to pay my insurance which took me more than an hour :(
When I got to the hostel Sasha (from France) and Dale (Australia) told me that they bought pretty cheap pillows and blankets at Sears. The store is closing so they're having a big sale. I went there and was very lucky to get the last pillow for $5 and a blanket set with sheets, pillow case and everything else you might possibly need for your bed for only $30. The woman there was so sweet and scanned all coupons she had and I didn't even need to pay tax!
Tuesday evening we went to the light show and after that a bunch of us to a bar for some beer :)
I crossed a lot of things off my to-do list ;)

It's wednesday morning 10.30 and I'm about to leave to sign the lease!! I really hope that in a few hours I can say "I have found a place!" :D

Saturday, August 25, 2012

This country is expensive!!!

I managed to get a lot of stuff done the past 2 days. I opened a bank account (which is surprisingly for free; with limitations though), finally decided which phone company to go with and I am one step closer to finding an apartment.
It's unbelievable with what stuff Canadians try to make money.... phone plans are so expenisve!!! I decided to go with Fido and for $20 I get unlimited texts and 50 anytime minutes (Freiminuten). Funny thing is you need to pay an extra $6 a month to be able to see what number is calling you - even if you've saved the number in your phone. That's ridiculous! Food is also quite expensive here!
Concerning the apartment: I decided to try one of the pretty expensive "international houses". These houses are located right next to the campus and have 4-5 bedrooms for students. We need to get a group of 5 people together to be able to view the place on monday. We've found enough people already so for now I'm waiting until monday to see if it works out.
Apart from all the organizing stuff it's really great. The people in the hostel are nice and we're hanging out together in the evenings and helping each other getting things done here :)

Btw: they're just reporting about the women who has been killed by a tiger in the 'Kölner Zoo' today on Canadian TV right now.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First day

So today was my first day in Ottawa and I already saw and did a lot of things.
I slept quite well altough it was a little warm in the room. Around noon Georg (another student from Bonn) and his study buddy picked me up at the hostel and we went to the university to get some information on what we need to do next etc. and got out student IDs.
Later we went to the mall to grab some lunch and try to find out what mobile phone service is best for us. I got a bunch of flyers now and will figure something out, it's pretty expensive here compared to Germany ( I miss you BASE even though you suck... :D).
We also strolled around parliament hill and saw some of the government buildings which are really beautiful and got a look to the other side of the Ottawa river which already is Quebec.
Now I am back at the hostel and doing some more research on phone stuff, bank accounts and apartments....
In the evening I went to a light show with some others who are staying at the hostel. It's called "mosaika" and it's a light show on the parliament building that depicts Canada's history. It was pretty cool. Of course, stupid me forget to take her camera chip out of the laptop so I only had my phone to take pictures.... Fortunately, the show runs every night until september so I guess I'll go back there and take some proper pictures. (Btw I have an album on FB)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A loooooong day!

Haha it actually took me three tries to write the title correctly cause I am soooo tired! :D

Everything with the flights, suitcases and visa worked well (except that my carry on kinda broke) and I arrived in Ottawa about 1 1/2 hourse ago. My study buddy picked us up at the train station and drove us to the hostel. The hostel seems pretty nice so far and all I'm going to do now is get ready for bed and sleep! There are a lot of things waiting for me the next few days.

By the way: it is 4.10am in Germany now, the sun already set at 8pm and it was raining when we arrived. Just in case anyone wonders ;)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Almost counting the minutes

In about 11 hours I will leave Germany for seven months!! First stop Amsterdam, then Montreal and after another two hours on the train I will be in Ottawa (Ich glaube 02.30 deutscher Zeit) - hopefully!
Everything is packed and I hope there are gonna be some nice people working at the check in tomorrow who don't make me pay for 500g overweight for my check in and/or carry-on suitcases or my slightly oversized handbag ;)
I'll try to get some sleep now! "See" you in Canada :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

About time I start blogging again!

I remember my plans to replace my German blog/homepage with this one after I left the US almost two years ago...didn't really work :D
I guess now is the perfect time to try it again because I will be leaving for a semester in Canada in one week (August 21st).
Preparations are pretty much done: Got my visa, registered for classes, booked a hostel for the first nights, moved out of my room in Bonn and already started packing! The first goodbyes have also been said and many more are following this week :( But this time I'll only be gone for seven months and we all know how fast time goes by!
The first thing I'll have to do in Ottawa is to find an apartment cause I didn't get on-campus housing and  finding a place from here is kind of difficult :) Classes start in the first week of September so I'll have some time to get settled before that.

That's it for now! Au revoir and bye bye!