Friday, June 11, 2010

Initial thoughts...

Well, I arrived to Berlin safely and everything is going great so far. These past two first days have mostly been about adjusting, but we are slowly getting used to their customs and culture over here. The hardest thing for me is to try not to flaunt that I am an American (since they are not too fond of us). Some people are really nice and friendly, but some are not so friendly or are impatient because of our unfamiliarity of the way ‘they do things’. So far, I’ve tried to blend in…but my German language is horrible…it’s not a language that rolls off the tongue like French does. There words are typically longer and harder to say, but I am least trying to learn my manners… (Danke), which means thank you. Anyways, I think the hardest adjustment so far was the northern hemisphere’s abundance of daylight. The sun sets about 10:30 pm, but it rises at about 4:30 am. I enjoy the longer days in the evenings, but the mornings not so much….the sun wakes me up and it is harder to go back to sleep. But I am managing to get use to it. My mom would love it because it fits her ‘abnormal’ sleep schedule. The other thing that we have had to get used to is no air conditioning. We are using cross ventilation to cool off our apartment and the cool breezes feel nice. Unfortunately, the weather has been kind of hot lately, but luckily a cold front is coming in this weekend. But I am not complaining….it’s not as hot and humid as Louisiana weather. The air is clean and refreshing here; which brings me to one of my most favorite things about Berlin as a city so far…they are very green. Recycling is a big deal here where you get money back from returning your bottles and most of their buildings use passive cooling. It is also a very clean city, you never see trash on the ground, everyone is walking, and there are many bikers (which is probably why Europeans are healthier than Americans). All of these attributes give Berlin a clean and safe environment for their pedestrians. I am enjoying the peaceful noises from what does not appear to be from a city because I can hear the birds chirping outside of my window and enjoy nature without the interruption of vehicular traffic noises. I even got to enjoy a morning run with David this morning through Tiergarten, under the BrandenBurg gate, and past the Brittish Embassy. We saw several bunnies in the park, which made me miss my two at home (Delbi & Thumper). Our apartment is within walking distance from the Brandenburg gate surrounded by all the embassies, the holocaust memorial by Peter Eisenman (I can see from my window). Anyways...I am enjoying myself, and I'm already learning a lot. I'm having to refresh my memory of world history from high school..with WWII and all the additional details. Dr. Etheridge (my history professor) will be joining us on Sunday. So he will be filling us in on the history of Berlin of course, where as Mr. Caldwell (my architecture professor) will tell us about the architecture; that is obviously my area of expertise and I can easily comprehend and get excited about all of the architecture. I am equally anxious about learning a lot from both subjects in Berlin. I have lots of questions and hope to find many answers within my month of studying.

No comments:

Post a Comment