Hello! I know you all enjoy words and stories from Morgan; however she’s allowing me to share a few thoughts from my study abroad in Berlin on her blog.
I have been in Berlin for 6 days. It’s already gone by so fast, but I have 26 days to go. Each day consists of learning more just about the culture and ways of the locals. I don’t think I’ve necessarily gone into culture shock, though I am constantly aware of how I may not be fitting in or going against the German grain.
I can enter a room and feel almost alone because I know none of the language. Have you ever felt that? It isn’t a bad thing. I don’t let it bother me, but I can’t even be comfortable because I have no idea what is being said. What’s more, Germans stare. Outright STARE. I’ve read before that they don’t mean to be rude when they stare, so I take no offense to it. Yet to visibly watch someone observe you is an odd feeling. Did I pass your test? How long did it take you to figure out I’m American?
Luckily, I have found a place that makes me feel comfortable. I feel peaceful when I am within nature. Now, this does not mean I actually enjoy hiking and camping and building fires. The part I enjoy is seeing the different pink shades of flowers. I like to feel the chill of the wind. I like nature. When I found a rose garden in the park across from my hotel, I found a comforting place.
Of course, this garden is attached to a biergarten, and several people frequent this park. Being there, though, makes me feel like I can finally relate to the locals. I, too, want to sit by the river and sunbathe. I want to take my book and read on a bench like the locals do. I finally feel connected here.
Slowly, I’ll be more at ease in an unfamiliar place. I have mastered the apology (“Entschuldigung!”) when in a conversation. I’ll stare back just as hard when people watching at a cafe. I’ll learn to go along with everyone else as much as possible. Until then, you’ll find me in the park across the street.