I promise that it isn’t that I forget this blog is here, it’s just that I am constantly busy here. Which is good, right?
So, I suppose the last time I wrote was the 15th of August. A lot has changed more or less since then. I’ll just give you the brief version as to not bore you. My roommate, Joe, moved out on August 31st, leaving my vulnerable to receiving a new roommate at any time. Me and Joe got along just great. We had the same schedule and completely respected each others property and sleep. We had tea almost everyday after work with our friends from down the hall, Dannie and Ash. Dannie also unfortunately left at the same time as Joe, leaving both Ash and I slightly uneasy. It may sound exciting to some, to meet someone new and and get to know them over the last few months of my time in Paris. The problem was that, people are showing up on as short as 3 week contracts to work at Disney for a prince that likes to spend a lot of money at Disneyland. He commisions a show every year and Disney hires hundreds of new people just for the couple of months. My fear was that I would be stuck with a roommate for a few weeks, they would leave and I would be hanging from a thread again. I’ve heard too many horror stories with roommates at Pleiades, so I decided to move out. So now I live on my own in my 17 m^2 apartment and I am absolutely loving it.
I started using this grammar book that a friend recommended to just keep up on studying French and it has been an absolute blessing. It’s very helpful and very methodical. I look forward to opening it everyday and reading the lesson. I highly recommend it to anyone who is wanting to learn French.
And that’s what the cover looks like. I don’t know what i’m doing, it’s late.
I just got home from Berlin yesterday! It was an absolutely incredible trip. I saw so many things and just to be in the city was absolutely amazing. My first impression of Berlin/Germany was being completely lost in a place that I didn’t speak a lick of the language. I wandered around for an hour or so with no sign of my friend Miriam anywhere. We finally found each other at the first place I was. The next day, we did quite a lot. We visited the Jewish Museum. That was really interesting. I didn’t realize that there were thousands and thousands of German Jews. I thought most of the Jews were found outside of Germany when Hitler invaded other countries. There is so much history leading up to Germany in the 30’s that was really interesting to learn about in this museum. Most of the time in schools, we just learned about WWII, but never the hundreds and hundreds of things that surrounded the war and caused so many terrible things to happen. I could go into it for hours, but i don’t have the time at the moment. Definetly visit this museum if you have a chance. I thought it was really interesting too that the museum wasn’t a WWII museum; it was literally a “Jewish Museum,” all about their culture and their history. I think the one thing I learned from the museum and from my friend is that Germany really does feel absolutely terrible for their past. Even now, they learn about WWII every year in school. Walking through the museum, my friend hardly read the posters because she already knew so much about the war. And, Germany feels so bad about their countries past, that their lack of nationalism has caused them to not want to wave their flags in their homes. Up until maybe 5-10 years ago, Germans didn’t wave their flags for fear of looking too prideful in their country and be accused of being a neo-natzi. The reason I think this is really sad is because it could have been any country. If Hitler sweet talked his way into control of Austria or Italy or Spain or somewhere else, the blame would have been put on that country. But it wasn’t the country that did it, it was the people in the country at that time. There were many Germans against what happened, but they were simply outnumbered. I also think it makes me angry that they are learning about WWII every year, to teach kids that this shouldn’t happen again. But like I said, it could have been any country. Germany should not have to suffer even now for what happened 70 years ago. Yes it happened and it should be remembered OF COURSE, but why are they living in oppression even now. If Germany has to stress anti-war education, so should other countries. It could be anyone.
After the war museum, we went to the east-side gallery. I got some great photos there of the remaining pieces of the Berlin wall. It was so surreal to be in a place where so much history took place less than 25 years ago. The wall is extremely tall and must have daunted people in their dreams for years. They had some pictures of what it looked like in the 60’s and such. The amount of barbed wire and wooden barriers and such is absolutely incredible. We also saw Checkpoint Charlie, where the Americans, Brits and French had tanks pointed directly at the Soviets, who had tanks pointing straight back. One just waiting for the other to fire. They were like that for 24 hours at one point. If you don’t know the history of Berlin’s east/west situation, look it up. It is absolutely fascinating. We walked a little on the east side of Berlin, which is still a somewhat poor, run-down area. It’s a bizarre city really. But up and coming. They are still trying to redistribute the wealth among the east and west side I believe, as well as trying to make the east look more like the west. Later that night, we went for a drink at a local pub and my German friends showed me some of their favorite beers. First of all, AMAZING beer. Not too sweet, not too sour. Secondly, about 1/4 of the cost a beer in Paris would cost. I need to go back to Berlin for a beer tasting session I think. As well as find these beers in the states. And the second day, we didn’t do much other than sit by the “Spree” ( I think that’s how it is spelled) and talk and enjoy that perfect weather. It was a wonderful trip, just what I needed.
But getting home. These are the kind of things that make me want to return home ASAP. First, my plane was late. We ended up leaving an hour after we were supposed to. “Ok,” I thought, “no problem, I can still make it home on the train no problem.” I was wrong of course. I got back to the airport to find the first of three trains I needed to get home was out of service. So I had to take a bus, which was crammed to the brim with people trying to find a way around the train situation. Finally got to Paris where I had to take the Metro to a bus station. I caught the first night bus I could home which got me home at 2:45 in the morning. I should have been home no later than 12:30. But the airport staff decided that even though the train was down, they didn’t need to increase the buses or anything like that. Everyone will figure it out for themselves. In America or in England, if there was a public means of transportation that was out of service, another means would be offered. So, if the train is out, INCREASE IN BUSSES. Every 10 minutes instead of every half hour. People probably got home WAY later than I did. It makes me crazy sometime. But still a good trip and I made it home safely. :)
Sorry for the long post. This is why I need to post more often. Happy readings! And I would love to hear from any of you via e-mail or post! My mom has my new address. I’ll be coming home in just 100 days or so. See you all soon!