Assimilation

Berlin is truly a magical city. I feel like I’ve already explored so much of the city, but then I turn around the corner and without fail, there’s always new discoveries to be made. The nice thing about the city is that everything is connected by the bus, tram, U and S-bahns, and apparently ferries? If you buy one transportation ticket, you can ride all the transportation lines for an unlimited number of times. Is navigation complicated? Yes, but definitely doable. I am directionally-challenged to the worst degree, but I’ve managed to find my way to school and back in a 40-60 minute commute every morning.

I love my host mom. She likes to knock on my door just to have a conversation about my day. According to the other interns from my class, I really lucked out. My host mom speaks good English, she likes to talk to me, and she lets me mooch off her wifi.

My language teacher, Konstantin, is super funny and awesome. He’s led us in German raps and the other day, he brought a ukulele to class and sang to us in German. There’s also a man in an apartment across the language institute. He’s become a familiar sight to all of us, since he’s always standing on his balcony in the same purple and tie-dye pajamas, smoking. We’ve nicknamed him Jerry and made jokes about him in German.

Some observations I’ve made:

  • German eat a lot of meat, cheese, bread, and cabbage. A typical breakfast is some variety of meat and cheese sandwich.
  • Mohawks are definitely in style.
  • Food is very inexpensive but German Starbucks is terribly expensive.
  • There is no free water at restaurants. Water is priced very high in Germany.
  • TJ Maxx is called TK Maxx.
  • Primark is like the European version of Forever 21.
  • Everybody smokes and drinks. Sometimes people even drink on the tram.
  • German doors are the worst. I can never tell whether to push or pull, they have pretend fake doorknobs, and the doors are difficult to close/lock/open. I embarrassingly got stuck in the bathroom once and the host son had to come save me.
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The Brandenburg Gate

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The Reichstag building

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The Holocaust Memorial. Walking through the pillars was really an experience I think that tastefully conveyed the magnitude of loss. There was also a free Holocaust museum underground.

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Spree River in Berlin

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