january seemed like forever, but now february is almost over and it seems like it has been only days. somehow i am eighteen. i bought a certain substance yesterday and was not asked for an id. i am going next week to bonn, leaving on monday afternoon and coming home on sunday.
last saturday, i said goodbye to an exchange student from the us, karen. she was only here for a half-year, and we'd hung out a bit, but weren't incredibly close. nevertheless, i went to the trainstation on saturday morning to see her off.
it wasn't a terribly glamorous affair-- it was cold and rainy, and she almost missed her train, and nicha and i were running around, looking for her. but her host mum was crying and her friend was crying and then, to my surprise, i was crying too-- i don't think it was really that i will miss her, although she was lovely-- i think it's more some sort of jealously, knowing that she was going home and that i am still 5 months away.
it's not that i'm not having fun, but exchange is just not what i expected. it's a lot of hard work, and it's a lot of misunderstandings. it's a lot of frustrations, long-lasting moments of confusion-- interspersed, of course, with moments of laughing and perfection and other things. i can't decide sometimes, when i have bad days, when i am exhausted, when even the german i KNOW i know can't be used, if i would be happier at home.
but other days-- i couldn't be happier. it is odd, but i suppose...
i've started my new speaking course, and have discovered that skipping approximately 2 books into the final level and being in class with people who've been in germany for 1-2 years makes the class difficult enough to be interesting. i've missed some grammar stuff, and i still win at speaking, but i actually need to work at the exercises. which is nice. it's nice to be challenged.
on thursday, i went with my old class to berlin. i was reminded again why i moved-- because they are somewhat inconsiderate, incredibly clique-y and well... i don't know. i ask a question, and no one bothers to answer. and on friday, we had to make posters (in english) and they were just... meh- meh- meh translate! and it's annoying, but my new class is love. my old class has two folks that were exchange students in the last half-year, and they are back. the girl was in canada, and i think that perhaps we will become friends.
so, berlin was snowy and cold and wet and my belly hurt. i think i am getting sick. but it was a nice day, full of galavanting about and riding public transport. we started off the day at the airport where the candy bombers had dropped their loads that supplied the allied sectors of berlin for almost a year, and then saw the brandenburger tor, potsdamer platz. i got to go to the ddr museum, which was also quite interesting. i bought a new shirt, since i no longer fit into like any of my old ones. we ated pizza, and listened to a man speak who was held in solitary confinement for 9 YEARS by the DDR. he was amazing to hear, and i only wish i had understood more of it. there is a museum at checkpoint charlie (the mauer museum) which has all sorts of information about the wall and ways people escaped from the ddr. the links are in english, by the way, so if you want to read more about them.
then, on friday, we made posters. on friday night, i helped set up a surprise birthday party, made baileys, baked a cake and then celebrated. today i am packing for my trip to bonn, and then tomorrow is karneval and the survival camp for the new afsers. unfortunately, no pictures, since i killed my flickr upload limits for february.
lots of love