I just officially ordered my first cup of coffee in German! Granted, it was a Starbucks counter, so I guess you could say that I felt more comfortable! Other times I've wanted to say it, but at the last moment I get frazzled and wind up mumbling in English. I'm relieved that I broke the ice, and that nobody laughed at me!
A few more wonderful things about Antwerp before I move on: i found a yoga studio in the "Zuid" area. Notonly did I get to take a great yoga class, but there was plenty of water and spiced tea in cannisters for us to take and no additional charge to borrow a mat. I had the same kind of comforting feeling as I got from taking ballet classes, but with no stress or pressure. It was wonderful!
Just before leaving Antwerp I grabbed a waffle from a stand outside of the station. This waffle was so beyond any other "Belgian" waffle I've ever had. There was sticky caramelized sugar along the top, and this thing needed no additions. It was absolutely perfect.
Yesterday I ventured by train to Dortmund, and the trip was longer than expected because the trains seemed to be having some technical difficulties. Dortmund is very close to Dusseldorf, and about an hour from Koln. For a little while it seemed like i would miss my connection to Dortmund, and instead spend the night in Koln. Luckily there were plenty more trains to Dortmund, and I made it safely to my hostel. This hostel is very nice, and I paid for a 4 person dorm, but the room was empty except for me. It's awfully nice to be able to really spread out for only 14 euros a night!
I took class with Theater Dortmund this morning, a very nice smaller company with a wonderful repertoire and a full year contract, with benefits! A few dancers were very nice and outgoing, but the majority of them stayed clear away from me. I can understand this, it was a very crowded class. I was very impressed with the company.
Tomorrow I have class with the company in Dusseldorf, Ballett am Rhein. I can't cancel my second night at this hostel in Dortmund, so I'm planning on taking a very early train to Dusseldorf to take the 10 AM class. I'm looking forward to it, even though they don't have any openings at the moment. Part of the fun of this trip is getting to experience all of the different companies, in addition to looking for work. So far I'm having a great time!
One reality of the trip is that I can't really afford to be missing class every other day or so while traveling and panning. So far it's going pretty well, but finding class and staying in shape is definitely a priority.
Stay tuned this weekend for Berlin, and hopefully Hamburg by Monday, and Dresden on Wednesday. Of course by now you can see that the plan changes daily, but that's the blueprint.