Monday, January 17, 2011

the winning streak week

This last week has been one of my very best here in Germany. After vacation it was as if almost everything just started falling into place. I gues it's hard to describe what makes a week good--mostly it's just little chats with people that make you happy, or hugs that you get, or sentences you realize you understand completely without having to look a million words up in the dictionary. In any case, it literally flew by and I still can't believe that today is already the 17th.

My classes were generally good-- the ones I don't like, or don't understand (like Deutsch and Bio) I read through. I have now finished my first German book: Das M├Ądchen mit dem Perlenohrring. I'm very excited, and have now started reading Twilight in German. (So far the fact that I'm reading it in German is its only redeeming factor). My Spanish teacher, who is probably the nicest, coolest teacher I have this year, was kind enough to treat my like everyone else and give me a grade. At the end of the semester everybody gets a short one on one chat with the teacher in the hall about their grade. She told me there how cool she found it that I have come to Germany, learned perfect German (I disputed that), and am learning Spanish (and French) on top of it all.

But in fact, if I can judge how good my German is getting by how bad my English is becoming, my German is doing pretty darn well. On Friday evening, as my sister and I were walking out of the metro station to meet a friend before we went to the Abi Party, I said to her 'Do you think I could up the down escalator to go?'. Only upon reflection did I realize what had come out wrong. On Sunday, as she was correcting the pages I write in German over my day, I was writing in my diary, and wrote 'Birte's friends were already there while they had to learn for their Abi'. For those of you who aren't so familiar with German, 'weil' (pronounced 'vile') means 'because'. It also happens more and more frequently that when the other American exchange student and I speak in English, we say things that are in fact a direct translation from the German, like 'By me it doesn't give that', and so on.

Anyways, yes, on Friday my sister and some friends and I went to our school's Abi Party. Abi Parties are sort of the equivalent of the school dances to raise money for the Prom, which is the Abi Ball for those in the 13th class who have made their Abitur. There are however, quite a few differences between Abi Parties and school dances. This party started at 10 and went til 5, was in an actual club, smoking and drinking were not a problem, and there were no teacher and parent behaviour-police. The music could have been a bit more interesting, but it was still a lot of fun. We left two hours before it ended and took the night bus to one of the big U-Bahn stations, and from there we took the U-Bahn to a stop not particularly near our house. We would have had to wait at least an hour before our bus started its first rounds, so we walked, perhaps a bit more than a mile. I wouldn't say it was fun, but with two of us it wasn't bad.

Saturday was of course a slow day, until the evening when I went to a game evening with my liason and some of her friends and her friend's friends. It was fun, but quite challenging to try and play games like Dictionary in a foreign language. It was around midnight when I finally got home. I ended up calling my host dad and having him pick me up from the metro station. That was actually unnecessary, because once I got there I saw that my bus was coming in 12 minutes and there still lots of people about. But I guess it's better to go with your gut.

Sunday I went with my host parents to look at the Main, which has overflown onto the street. It was funny to see the swans on the grass, and the benches 25 feet behind them all deep in water. We also climed the Domturm, the tower of the big Church, which was over 300 steps up this tiny narrow spiral staircase. The view was incredible and the weather was surprisingly gorgeous, and we took a lot of photos. After that we went to coffee, and went home. My sister had a Sushi-Abend with her friends, and it was really nice to sit around the table with them. I am a bit jealous though-- I want friends like that too!

All in all though its been an absolute corker of a week, and I'm almost a bit disappointed to be starting my Praktikum today. But that's a whole new adventure, and I will definitely write about it in a week or two. Ciao!


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