hallooooo freunde, i’m sorry that i’m so lame and can never remember to post; i will really try to keep these frequent and relevant.
so far, i have learned that berlin is the city for rallying. we start our mornings at around seven AM, and finish our nights anywhere between 7 PM and 1 AM, on the weekdays. berlin nights go well into the early morning, with some clubs opening at 7 AM to let the determined and ambitious in.
an example: friday, i was up and out the door by about 8 AM, going to my german intensive course, which that day was essentially a scavenger hunt around mitte. my group was all up in the museumsinsel. we then went back to IES to create small presentations, presented to the class, had small discussions, and then were out by about 1 PM. we went to lunch, in this case a small italian restaurant, where i consumed a mountain of risotto with eggplant puree and asiago cheese (and, of course, ginger ale), and then all went home after a little walk around. we all separated for about 2 or three hours, and then quickly met up again in prenzlauer berg, yet another neighborhood in former east berlin, close to mitte. a group of about 10 or so of us grabbed some beers for the road, casually enjoyed those on our walk to a pingpong bar called dr. pong, where you pay a 2€ cover charge and go in and watch people play pingpong. it was a perfect example of hipster berlin, with an old foosball table for two, a mix of surfer rock, beatles, and traditional german music, a simple and cheap bar, and, of course, pingpong. you put down a 5€ deposit to get a paddle, and then can play chinese pingpong, otherwise known as around the world. we stayed there a few hours, and then went to a local absinth bar for a few hours, and then after that over to two different clubs. we got home at about 7 AM. then we did basically the same thing last night, got home at 8:30 this morning. this is most definitely the city that never sleeps.
i am slowly getting closer with the people here in the program, it’s a little overwhelming sometimes but nonetheless positive. it’s like being a freshman in college again, you make a lot of friends very quickly, and then really get to know people you are with and the place you are at. i like it, i like the people i’ve met and the places i’ve been. i got a vpn so that i can watch american tv on my computer, and all of the commercials are for things like oreos and american food–i can feel homesickness starting to creep in. but i have yet to become jaded, and i’m pretty good at keeping the honeymoon stage for new places going for longer than usual. i am happy, and am finally ready after taking it easy in college for sophomore year as well as last semester to have some crazy adventures (yes, dad, all while keeping my health and safety in mind, don’t worry c: ).