Germany is getting a little too cold, too fast for my liking. Last night, I had on my winter coat and scarf, and my teeth were still chattering. I am really okay with winter, when the time comes, but right now, all I can dream of is rolling hills of brilliantly colored trees, crisp air warmed with sunlight, and jack-o-lanterns on every porch. I want a real autumn, with real autumn weather, but it seems that Germany decided to skip one of my favorite times of the year.
I did get out of the city this weekend, which was quite a relief. I went to Potsdamm, where the famous Schloss Sanssouci is, the German version of Versailles. I traveled there by motorbike (as the passenger of course), and although the ride was a bit chilly, it was absolutely exhilarating. I need to do things like that more often. The palace itself is quite beautiful, as well as the extensive gardens, but strolling through the yellowing trees, I found myself missing home more than ever, probably the reason for the previous paragraph actually. I want nature, but not just a park. I want to be in the middle of nowhere, with no chance of anyone strolling by. I want to gaze at the open sky at midnight and see the milky way. I want hills and open air and no people around to sour my day. I guess I'm just not as much the city type as I once thought. Fun to visit, but I think I am actually meant to live in the middle of nowhere.
Don't get me wrong, I am still absolutely in love with Berlin. I just think that after six weeks, the initial shock value has worn thin, and I'm now finding myself resenting the fact that I can go clubbing every night if I want. I'm tired, really tired. I've been having the time of my life and meeting loads of people, but I'm craving a steady, somewhat quiet lifestyle, similar to how I would work and live at Knox. I want a schedule and serious homework and tests. I want going out to be something special. So, I'll make some changes. Top two priorities, find a dance class to take (I'm going crazy without it!) and speak more German. Apparently I speak German with a French accent. Who knew? Let's just hope it goes away...
One absolutely random thing that happened to me this week: I met someone who graduated from Knox. Her name is Holly Oberle (if any of you might know her), and she graduated in 2004. I was at this conference for women in Security and Defense positions in the U.S. and Germany (which was extremely interesting. ), and we noticed she was American, so we started asking her questions, and that's when I figured it out. After my initial freak out, we gossiped about Roger Taylor a bit, and the German department. It was just pretty surreal because I never expected to meet someone in this gigantic city that had anything to do with my tiny school of only 1300.
I am taking this class called Portable Roots about immigration in Germany, and it is extremely interesting. There is a huge Turkish population in Berlin, and I finally learned why. I am also taking a film class that is coming from a pretty technical angle, so we'll see how that goes, especially auf Deutsch.
Okay what did I learn about Germany this week...
1. When you buy a recording of the National Hymn, there are no words, only music. If there are any lyrics, it is only the third stanza because it is now considered the only appropriate part of the German National Anthem, and even then, most Germans don't know the words.
2. There is actually a club in Berlin that is 21 and up. It's called Watergate. It the first time I wasn't allowed to enter a club here, but it made me feel like I was right back in the good old USA.
3. No butter on popcorn at the movie theaters, only salt. It was the saddest moment of my life when I discovered it. Also, there is a curtain for the screen and it closes between the previews and the movie.
4. Apparently the U.S. is actually far ahead of Germany in numbers of women in the military and Security and Defense positions as well as the Bundestag.
Okay, Hausaufgaben time.