Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Willkommen in Deutschland!

Hallo friends and loved ones!

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! 

1 comment:

  1. Great blog, Michelle! I love seeing your adventures play out in real time. Looks like you are living your experience to the full. Keep the posts coming! PS: I'm thrilled to see the word "homies" is still alive and well. Are you a 90s child or what?