Two random updates:

Sometimes the university passes out “Unitüten,” which are basically free gift bags full of stuff. They always have a CapriSun and some dish soap and some useless coupons that no one uses, but other than that the mileage can vary significantly. The last one contained eyeshadow from Kazakhstan and a cookie, among other things. Two days ago, the standout item was a bottle of Beck’s. Otherwise, the bag was unremarkable (some Müsli, a coupon for a car rental company, an energy drink, some Crystal Lite, and menstrual pads). I know that Unitüten might seem silly and underwhelming coming from an American perspective, where universities throw free stuff at their students all the time, but the German unis don’t even offer so much as free coffee or tea after guest lectures. So getting a gift from the student life folks is pretty thrilling, beer or no. But the beer definitely helps, as reflected by the incredulity of my friends’ messages above.

In totally unrelated news, some one lost their pet turtle and has posted signs offering a reward if anyone should find it. I guess there’s no rose without thorns.