30.10.2000 (mo), Karlsruhe, Germany
I will go to America.
Just a few facts: I am cigarette smoker, coffee drinker, hate shirts (because I have a small-button phobia) and I am used to talk about everything without thinking it over (enclose sex, age and death), hate sports (too lazy)
I know, it will be hard for me I leave my friends, my family, my cats and my country and have to live ONE YEAR in a country which is in the opinion the bitter fluid they call "coffee" is coffee. A nation which is in the opinion to be able to brew beer (remember Monty Python "American beer is like making love in a canoe... you ask why? - Fucking close to water.")
I've never been before to America (never been outside Europe except Tunisia (never again) and Bavaria) but I am well prepared: I have read the "Lexicon of American culture" so I know everything about American soaps, sitcoms and Letterman.
I am able to differentiate between baseball and cricket (colored wardrobe vs. white wardrobe), football and American Gladiators (women on the playing field), USA and UK (one letter), America and Great Britain (no queen), lorry driver and truck driver (baseball cap with Coca Cola sign), lift and elevator (at least 20 floors), either and either.
I am well prepared to answer without angriness or astonishment:
- "No I have no weapon... yes, really we are not allowed to own weapons without reason."
- "No, we don't have a Kaiser anymore."
- "No, Heidelberg is not the capital city of Germany."
- "Yes, we can drive as fast as we like on the highway."
- "Yes, in Germany McDonald sells beer."
- "YES, WE CAN SMOKE WHEREVER WE LIKE!"
America I am on the way.
03.11.2000 (fr), Karlsruhe, Germany
Having the first look to www.atlanta.com.
My final opinion was: nothing of interest to find on this site. Then I looked to
the clock, spend 3 hours on the site but cannot remember any specific
information. Except a article about the Atlanta Falcons and their offense and defense
play problems (issue?). As well a article about "Cokes"
issues in Mexico ("Pepsi" is prosecuting Coke because of there
monopolist activities in Mexico). And I found several sites which offers
conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius (www.uncwil.edu/people/dixonrd/tempconv.htm)
(and figured out how to do: from Fahrenheit to Celsius subtract -32 then multiply
by 5 then divide by 9). This day Atlanta has 12 degree Celsius (53 degree Fahrenheit).
Atlanta is called (or calling itself?) "Sports capital of the world"). I learned about the Atlanta sport teams: Braves (baseball, www.atlantabraves.com), Hawks (basketball, www.hawks.com), Falcons (football, www.atlantafalcons.com), Thrashers (hockey, www.atlantathrashers.com).
I am going to live in the "sport capital of the world", oh wow, I am not interested in sports at all. (May this give a good chance to me to become the most abhorrent foreigner in the town. Not only not to have any knowledge but to have no interest. ;-)
05.11.2000 (su), Karlsruhe, Germany
Heared again about the American habits never to talk about sex, age or death. (Three of my favorites.) Its hard to believe this is a American habit. They have Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler (sex and age).
10.11.2000 (fr), Bretten, Germany
Got the form for the visa request (to work for a year in America) this day. Very funny to answer the questions "Do you ever have
consumed or dealed with drugs?" (no ;-), "Do you intend to initiate or
take part of any criminal or subversive activity in the United States?"
And below this block of questions: "If you have answered one of the question above with "Yes" this does not necessarily mean your visa request will be rejected...".
Now I know: the Americans trust in the honesty of emigrants. (This also explains how existence of the Mafia in the US;-)
13.11.2000 (mo), Bretten, Germany
Ooops, had my first support with a American customer this
day, called him at 20:00 GMT+1 (13:00 US), opened the talking with "Hello
Mr. Smith, this is Christopher Frank from Germany speaking. My colleague told me
you got a few problems starting up our server system may I help you with this.
Have you checked the SQLServer is running properly?"
And then I listened to a few seconds silence, then he answered: "Hmmm, ... yes, its working. May I have a different issue. (A few days later a colleague - Ronald who has experience with Americans - told me a: "Americans never have problems. A problem is if a A-bomb is destroying the White House, everything else is a issue.) Also I missed to "small-talk" before talking about anything else and I speaked to him as "Mr. Smith" (not as "Michael"), introduce myself not as "Christopher", ... - I am sorry Mr. Smith - will never happen again.
23.11.2000 (th), Karlsruhe, Germany
80 DEUTSCHE MARK FOR A TIE!
A tie is a small piece of woven fabric, sewed and ironed. What the hell is justifying these expenses? Silk? Silk is made out of the bottoms of caterpillars!
And I told her before we start shopping: "You are not allowed to decide for a tie at all!" (she helped me to choose the suits)! Last time she did I had to pay 70 DM for a (quite nice) small piece of woven fabric (made of silk too) and figured out (a few months later) the cleaning of a complete suit (including the west) costs 12,80 DM and the cleaning of a silk tie costs 13,90 DM. (Its always the same talk to women and if they are smiling and nodding - forget about it its just like to talk to a wooden trestle.
OK, America I am prepared: now I own 4 suits and two ties (70 and 80 DM) if I come back to Germany next year and haven't to remember at least 10 positive remarks ("Oh, Christopher what a nice tie, is it made out of SILK?", etc.) I will tell everybody - based on my one-year-America-experience: "The Americans may are clever and have introduced mankind to phantastic technologies but they are unable to separate silk from dung!"
24.11.2000 (fr), Karlsruhe, Germany
Atlanta reports 44 F (=6 C), cold, cold. (I am going to get used to talk about the weather.)
02.12.2000 (sa), Karlsruhe, Germany
Nothing happened. Sorry about that.
05.12.2000 (tu), Karlsruhe, Germany
Now I am a IBM user. I get my Notebook for America a IBM
ThinkPad PIII 500, I have to work with (on) him for a year so I tried to get
used to him. It works fine. Especially I figured out this computer has several
qualities which are similar to mine. If he goes asleep and you wake him up
(press any key), he will wake up, startup display, starting the drive for,
display login dialog and you login, then - exact 31 seconds after wake-up - and
he will go asleep again (phuuuiiiiiiii...).
So you press again any key and he wakes up again, startup display, starting the drive, display login dialog and you login and have a look at the dialog-info box "The CD-ROM drive CD3348 now can be removed." (with a simple OK button).
06.12.2000 (wd), Karlsruhe, Germany
Oh, dear god.
Halflife will not run on Windows 2000!
What should I do this year?! Playing Commander Keen!?
I searched the web for 2 hours to get information about how-to run Halflife on Windows 2000 but I get no information about it (you never will find what you are searching for on the web). At last I tried the Halflife Chat room and a other player told me they (who is they?) are working at a patch for Windows 2000.
Please, please - hurry with it!
20.12.2000 (wd), Karlsruhe, Germany
Atlanta reports -4 degree Celsius. (Karlsruhe has 12 degree Celsius.) I'm losing the mind I will move to a "warmer" climate.
22.12.2000 (fr), Karlsruhe, Germany
Yup, pragmatically I am on the way. Yesterday I (respectively
a colleague of me) booked the flight to Atlanta. At 17:45 I will reach Atlanta
Hartsfield first time, is Atlanta ready for me? (who cares?)
Today I will go shopping with Annette again, I will try to get her away from any tie-selling shop or organization - may I succeed, anyhow: I will inform you about the result.
And I will go to my hometown tomorrow to coach my mother, my sister and my brother in law about using the Internet. Therefore they will get my computers (one to my mother, one to my sister and her husband).