after a week, things are finally settling into some sort of (wildly unpredictable) rhythm.
this is elvis.
my first international flight was absolutely hellish: and, once cleared from the chilly purgatory of films-that-no-one-wants-to-see and reconstituted orange juice, all of the afs kids coming into germany sat in a big hallway for quite a few hours and looked around in a daze. they fed us sandwiches and lilt and herded us onto nice strassbahns and then proper trains and we were off on a jaunt through the german country side.
don't be deceived: this was gross.
from the train...
the place that i call home is a tiny town filled with red roofed houses and odd one way streets that aren't actually one way. i live very close to a big city, though, reachable by public transport (about forty minutes away, 20 driving).
each morning, i go with my host-sister Doerte to the Gymnasium. from there, i ride the strassbahn into the city. i walk through cobbled streets of a city that has yet to wake up: workers in paper booties reset store mannequins and men in orange suits sweep the streets. it is cold and the sky is gray.
i have four hours of intensive language school all in german (it's a german-as-a-second-language deal) and then i come home. i have a hot lunch with my host-sister and mum and then i study. this week, my sister is off in canterbury, england. today, after language school, i went to do a bit of shopping: it is very cold here right now, and the wind makes it even chillier.
my language school:
a poster we made:
two brief anecdotes about shopping in germany:
1. people can tell from the moment i open my mouth that i'm not a native german. when i tell them that I'm from america, people are mostly excited. i get complimented on my german and asked where I'm from in America. I've taken to saying that I live about eight hours out of new york city, since it's some sort of holy grail. so, standing in the cash-register line is always an experience.
2. today, i went to h&m. this is not a surprise, in and of itself. i found a gray peacoat, which i liked, but the gray was not a very happy color. so, i wander off and i see another h&m! and inside, there is beautiful purple peacoat, but they didn't have it in my size. i thought that it was perhaps not meant to be and headed off again. finally, i found a third h&m (all within blocks of each other) and found the purple peacoat in my size. so, moral is: there are a lot of h&m stores. there are different things on sale etc. in each. makes for an interesting day.
in the past week, i have baked my host family apple pie and cupcakes, both of which were a big hit. they don't have cupcakes here! i baked the apple pie on friday. it was nice to do something productive, since i feel a bit as if i'm floundering sometimes, what with my somewhat horrible (but getting better in amazing leaps and bounds-- i'm making sentences!) grasp on the german language. i also officially have a residency permit-- not bad, aye?
this weekend, i went to see mamma mia in german in a small, old cinema a few towns over. it plays one movie a week: it was weird to see an english move in German, since the mouth movements didn't match up. Also, the songs were still in English, with subtitles. Then, on Sunday, I met my Betruer and then my family and I drove to Hannover to drop my host-sister off at the airport. I'm actually only 45 minutes out of Hannover-- pretty snazzy...
coming soon: more about home and school!
all the love