Yes, that's right. They put me, a non-drinking, non-smoking
physicist at the university's pub for non-commissioned officers.
Not that it was a bad
job, mind you. We frequently
got days off, I had lots of time to read while on the job (the Uffzheim
isn't all that busy most of the time...), and the tips were pretty decent
most of the time. It was just frustating to be working in a pub when less
than one hundred meters away there are several university institutes with
lots of job openings for people with my qualifications...
But this is going to change soon. As you might have noticed,
I used the past tense - for I will start at a new job on Monday. Or rather,
two new jobs. On Wednesdays to Fridays, I'll work as tech support at the
military staff of the university. I just hope I won't be asked anything difficult
- I'm more of an end user than someone who can memorize every detail about
a piece of hard- or software, though my computer using skills aren't too
And on Mondays and Tuesdays, I will work at the
Institute for Thermodynamics
, doing real scientific work at last. I don't know yet exactly
I will do there, but apparently it will involve some high-power laser systems...
Anyway, my stay at the pub wasn't a complete loss. First
of all, I got to meet lots of people who work all over the university (I
believe this is called "networking"...) - which could be useful one day,
since I am currently considering working here on my doctorate after I complete
my term of service. Secondly, the tips went a long way towards improving
my lousy wages.
And finally, I now know how to pour in a
. You never know when that kind of knowledge might be useful...
As I have said previously, I'm now stationed in Munich.
I haven't seen much of it yet - the pub opening hours are rather long - but
I've gained some first impressions of the city by now.
First, Munich - and the surrounding countryside - is flat.
Really, really flat, and almost perfect for storing heat. Sure, you get to
see the Alps in the South when the weather is good, but that's no compensation.
Back in my native Franconia we have high places and we have low places -
and there's a noticeable difference between the two.
Second, the city is cramped. This shouldn't have come
as a surprise - after all, Munich is the third largest city in Germany, and
the most expensive to live in - but it still takes some time to get used
to. Shops which would cover huge areas in my hometown of Erlangen, or even
neighboring Nuremberg, are squeezed into a tiny corner here. The Inner City
around the main train station is a maze of tiny shops in long passages...
I wonder how people in New York or Tokyo cope with this?
And finally, some bonus material: Actual images of German
This is me wearing my field uniform.
This picture was taken in February, immediately after I had taken my Pledge
as a German soldier. The green beret with the golden oak leaves means that
I am a member of a Jäger
company. If I remember my instructors
correctly, we are basically a type of infantry who hide in the forest, let
the enemy pass us by, and then take a few pot shots at some tanks from behind
if we are feeling uppity that day...
Note that I wasn't grinning because I was proud to have
taken the pledge, but because I knew I would soon be sitting in a car driving
homewards... You never appreciate your weekends as much as when you are going
through basic training!
This is me wearing my dress uniform
- to be specific, the dress uniform of the Heer (Army). The Luftwaffe
(Air Force) and the Marine (Navy) have different dress uniforms.
That's it for today! I'll write more about my new jobs
when I get around to it...