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Posted in uwm with tags , , , on September 9, 2008 by krpwcz

i finished my summer internship at illustree in the end of august. it’s been some rough weeks and i was pretty exhausted in the end… i’m still extremely glad i did this awesome experience, the work was great and i’m kinda sad that it’s over already…

afterwards i spent some time with friends and family in austria and started preparing myself for the trip to wisconsin (visited doctors, bought a new suitcase, etc.). on wednesday flo came to grieskirchen, so we could leave early the next day. my dad brought us to the airport in munich at 8am, where our trip to chicago started. the flight (through copenhagen) went good, except for a random body check i got into in denmark. they brought me in a room, x-rayed my shoes and kept asking me if i am transporting any fish. whatever.

we got to chicago at about 5pm (midnight in “normal” time). after passing the american border, where we had to fill out our names, passport numbers, visa numbers, etc. for the 100th time. at least now i know how to spell “karpowicz” correctly. from the o’hare international airport we took the coach usa bus to wisconsin. tom, our landlord, got us at the amtrak station in milwaukee and took us for a short car trip through the inner city. after 22h of traveling we finally arrived at tom’s house (a 100 year old victorian style house) and drank a beer with him and his wife helen. we fell asleep quickly (we haven’t had any sleep in the plane).

we spent our first morning in the united states by eating helen’s delicious chili for breakfast (she has 1337 cooking skills). afterwards we went to the pick’n’save to do some shopping and were surprised by the range of snacks they have… 50 meters of snacks and various tortilla dips… and everything is so huge =)

after a visit at a liquor store, where we equipped ourselves with plenty of “milwaukee’s best” and “pabst: blue ribbon”, we spent some time chillin on the terrace at home. we also made a long walk through milwaukee and got to know beautiful bradford beach (which btw is only 10 minutes from home).

on saturday we made another car trip with tom and went to the indian summer festival afterwards ( it was pretty nice, although i found it a bit kitschy. anyway, the festival grounds in milwaukee are awesome and we’re sad that it was the last festival this year. we went downtown and were at a mall (where i couldn’t resist buying a nintendo ds ^^).

on sunday we were too exhausted from the 20+ miles we ran around in the first days, so we just went down to the beach to chill. great weather, and the water was not that cold for september =) on the afternoon tom showed us the north and east of milwaukee and took us to “kopp’s” where we ate ice cream (delicious, but as everything in the u.s. it was huge) and (also huge) burgers. we went to bed early to be fit for our first day at work.

the next morning we went to the university. of course we had to fill out immigration forms _again_… so not only the food is huge in the u.s. but also the bureaucratic machine…

we got to know the faculty and staff we’ll be working with, everyone is extremely nice, so flo and me feel very well here =) we got assigned our office (michael fruehmann’s old office in fact) and started tidying it up and setting up computers for us to work. i’ll post pics of our office asap =) in the evening we watched our first NFL game with tom, who explained us the rules, and helen, who made another great meal… it was a great evening and an awesome game (green bay packers = win).

i’m sitting in our offices atm, we haven’t got a specific project to work on yet, but we got some time to set up our pcs and live ourselves in.

our general impression of the united states is very positive: we’re extremely happy with the place to stay michael found for us (thanks again), tom and helen are great people and we already feel at home at their place.

the people we are meeting at the university (staff & students) or at shops are much friendlier than ppl are in most places in europe. milwaukee itself is very beautiful, i’m constantly trying to save that beauty in photographs =). the only thing annoying us is the fast food (and very expensive healthy food)… we can’t imagine eating at burger king etc. each day…

sorry to every1 that i didn’t answer msgs / mails often in the last weeks, it’s been a stressful time =)

btw: flo and me started uploading our pictures on my flickr account, there should be a way to embed it in wordpress.