The past week or so has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me. Now that things are finally settling down, I sometimes feel a bit homesick. Don't get me wrong--I love it here. But sometimes it is hard to think how easy and familiar everything is back in Maine. Something that I've noticed bothers me, though it's really not a big deal, is that I am still a bit of guest. This is how I know: I always get offered food first. Sometimes I feel like screaming 'Why do I have to be first!? I don't know how things work here, All I want to do is copy You!'
Yesterday, Tuesday, was a full day. I went with my host mother and sister to IKEA, for the first time in my life! My favorite part was the huge room full of bedrooms. Maybe I am tired... Then we payed a lovely visit to Oma, my host mom's mom. We drank tea and coffee, and ate home made plum cake that my guest father cooks every Sunday. Then we looked at photographs (I am beginning to know all the family, at least in pictures) and watched old movies that all the cousins made when they were kids. Very funny. Oma told me that I had very good German, which was very nice. I can understand now almost all that happens, except when I'm taken by surprise. It was pretty exhausting though, concentrating so hard all afternoon, and by the time I got home I felt like crashing.
Today was strange. In a way it is sort of a small, condensed version of all the ups and downs that I have gone through, and will no doubt continue to go through. This is how it went: In the morning I felt listless, and a bit frantic at the same time. I talked a lot with some other exchange students on facebook, with my ipod, which is always stressful just because it's so small and sometimes inconsistant. I miss a lot of messages, and don't see chats at all unless I'm waiting for them. I knew the last thing I wanted to do was stay at home all day, because especially at this time it is important for me to stay busy and keep my mind occupied and happy. I have been wanting to go to the library for a while now, since I only brought one English book with me and I've already read it several times. I talked to my host mother about it, and she was so nice and called the Stadtbucherei for me, and asked about what I needed to get a library card. Which turned out to be my passport and official proof of residence. So that meant that I had to go to the Rathaus and get a special paper to prove that I live where I do. It's very close, and so I walked there right away and got all that I needed very quickly and easily.
Then, I made the great first expodition, and walked right past the huuuge Stadtbucherei without even seeing it. Oops. When I knew I'd gone to far, I turned around and felt silly at how obvious it was. I walked in through the doors, and it felt like heaven. People must have thought I was crazy because I was grinning like mad. The first thing I saw was a little Flohmarkt (books for sale) and on the shelf were two American College books. I wanted to laugh out loud. I skimmed the pages on Bowdoin. Then I got my library card, and went exploring. The library is big, and spacious, and warm, and comfortable, and it felt like home. Downstairs I found the books in other languages. I paroozed the French books, but since I didn't know what to look for I moved quickly on to English. It's hard to describe how I felt. Just like there was this huge well of happiness in me, and I was riding totally on some huge natural high.
I ended up picking out The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood. She is one of my favorite authors, and since I loved Oryx and Crake I'm excited to finally read something else by her. I also picked out Franny and Zooey, by JD Salinger. I'm doubly excited because it is by one of my very favorite authors, and it was recommended to me last year by a really good friend of mine. So at this point, as I was walking out of this gorgeous library with two goreous books in my hand, I felt on top of the world. And then, I got in the metro, and it didnt drive away, and it kept getting more and more crouded, and my happy bubble burst. The beginning of the book also reminded me of my life, which was strange, and disheartening. When I finally got out of the bus near my house, it was raining, and I sprinted home feeling empty and like a ghost.
It was all very strange. I feel fine now, though, especially because it is supper time. So tschüss, and guten appetit!