Getting Stranded in Germany

After my ‘interesting process of departure’, finally I arrived in Bremen. I arrived at 8 o’clock in the morning. Me and Ari are welcomed by one Indonesian student who study at the same Master Program Course but from earlier year. With all the luggage, that make us look like country people who come for the fist time and seek for a new life in a big city, we went directly to the Goethe-Institut (GI) at Bremen University. We take tram no.6 that goes directly there.

Okay, now here’s some background. The reason why we fly to Germany at 29 July is because GI said that the language course will started at 31 July. (The language course is mandatory for us before our Master Program started). And they also mention that if we come earlier than 30 July, our accommodation will not be ready yet. So if we want to come earlier than 30 July, we have to be ready to stay somewhere else. And before we fly, we have confirmed about our arrival there.

So, when we arrive at the GI, we also meet other people with big luggage. It seems that this day is the day when everybody starts coming. But then, when we introduce ourself, the GI people say that we’re too early and our accommodation isn’t ready!!!
Oh yeah please.. please.. give me another joke…

They say that there’s an arrangement from our Master Program Course for our accommodation. But the most important thing is that, our accommodation will be available starting at 1 August! Great!!

Of course I complained. I told them that I already confirmed about my arrival in this exact date. However, it doesn’t solve anything as the person who reply my email is on leave :(

To make everything clear, the GI people will confirm with the student tutor of our Master Program Course. But apparently this student tutor hasn’t come yet. So, to prevent us in waiting too long, the GI people tell us the way to a cafeteria and then we are expected to come back at 11.00. Since our friend is still with us, he offers us a better place to eat, a Turkish restaurant downtown. So, we’re heading to downtown, this time without the luggage as they’re allowed to stay at the GI office.

At 11.00 we’re back at the GI office. The people there confirmed us that our accommodation only be ready at 1 August. If we want to confirm with our student tutor, he has came and ready to meet us. So, to be sure, we’re heading to our student tutor and ask about this accommodation problem. Of course he said that he has informed GI that our accommodation can only be ready at 1 August. He didn’t know where the miscommunication starts. Well you tell me, of course we don’t know that either. Maybe he doesn’t tell clearly to GI people or, maybe GI people are too busy in preparing all the accommodation. (Summer is the time where the classes are full). Who knows? All I know is that not only us who has to suffer, stranded in the country that we never been visited before. I also notice there are 2 people who have the same problem like us i.e. the accommodation aren’t ready yet. And by the way, the course is started at 1 August. The 31 July is only a date for placement test. And all these information we just got when we’re arrived. Nobody or no letter ever informed us before. Now I really wonder where the miscommunication is started…

As a ‘solution’ we are told to stay at a backpacker’s hostel in town for our 2 stranded nights. Luckily, our friend can look for available rooms, and of course they are free. It’s a flat of Indonesian students where most of them are on vacation. Only 1 person stays and the flat still have 2 available rooms.

But even to stay there, we have to undergo a complicated situation. At first we’re just heading there cause my friend really sure that we can use the rooms. The flat is far away in the opposite direction from GI. Imagine how we have to carry our luggage to the tram and drag it for about 10 minutes crossing a big road before finally we reach the flat. But when we get there and ring the flat, there’s no answer. And my friend can’t do anything, like calling, cause he doesn’t have any credit in his cellphone. Oh yeah, to give more dramatic event, it’s raining…

Then, my friend thinks of another solution, which is to send us to another place. So again, we drag our big and heavy luggage back to the tram towards whatever… I just want my day quickly over. But in the middle of our journey, my friend suggest us to go down at the city centre and he’ll look for a public phone and try to call the flat again. And so it happens. I am at the city centre of Bremen, where the views are nice and beautiful, but I am not happy. But I thankful that I am not alone in facing this situation. If I were alone, probably I do nothing and just cry hard in the city centre.

So, after waiting for my friend who left us to find a public phone, finally we can go back to the flat. My friend says that the person is sleeping so he can’t hear the door bell ring. And this time, after God knows how many times we have to drag the luggage, it’s for real. We’re welcomed to the flat and we’re allowed to stay for 2 nights.

Lesson learned: Prepare for the worst even though you are sure that everything is under controlled.

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