I'm in my third week of adventures in Berlin and there's simply too much to tell. The delay in the creation of this blog is pretty much due to the limited wi-fi access I have here (total shocker and biggest disappointment) and probably also because I'm having too much fun. Nevertheless, it's up now and this is what I've learned/seen/done so far:
1. Buildings are super colorful (and so cute!)
|Juxtaposition of a rigidly designed building from the Nazi regime |
and some purposefully fun, new architecture
2. The playgrounds are so epic
|Found this gold mine on the way to the cemetery.|
3. Cemeteries here are absolutely beautiful (kinda morbid, I know. But so interesting!)
|See what I mean?|
4. There is a museum for basically everything
|Film museum would probably be my favorite.|
5. Public transportation rocks
|Because you can PTFO anytime! For the record, that is not me.|
6. They have decent Chinese food (thank goodness!)
Funny story: My first real culture shock was walking into this restaurant and being handed a menu in German...definitely the first time I've ever gone to a Chinese restaurant and didn't know how to order. It was a real struggle.
Upon returning, however, we discovered that most of the waiters speak Chinese so it's a goal of mine to become homies with all of them. Might as well practice Chinese while I'm in Germany, right?
|This is a Durum from Mustafa's.|
The culture here, unlike in the States, is to NOT be excessive. Germans don't waste food; they don't waste energy; they don't waste words; and, most importantly, they don't waste time. Our first lesson here was basically how to be prompt (hahaha sad, but true). On another note, they literally party until dawn. I have so much to learn.
Speaking of learning, I suppose I should also touch on my academic life since I'm studying abroad, after all. My favorite class is definitely German. The first week here (before classes started), I walked around not knowing a lick of German (quite the opposite of my experience in Shanghai). Honestly, I felt pretty silly and ignorant so I was extremely relieved when German class finally began. Still, I kind of suck at it and am too embarrassed to actually use it in public but I DID order food seamlessly in Deutsch last week and was rewarded with a delicious Durüm (which is basically a German burrito). That was quite an exciting moment.
Needless to say, it's been a pretty good time. I'm relieved to have made friends and was graced with the wonderful presence of Carla Ni, a friend from Santa Barbara who stayed with me for a week. It was comforting to have a friend around to tackle my introduction to Berlin!
P.S. It started snowing today!