11:22 am: on the train from Berlin to Cologne (Köln) for my Fulbright Orientation. I love the feeling of sitting on a backwards facing seat on a moving vehicle. Sometimes, I feel the most at home when I am moving.
Learning a second language as a young adult is fascinating. It works so much for me and so much against me to be hyper aware of the progress I am making...and of all of the things I am lacking. Especially the things I am lacking. Every day I am getting more comfortable speaking and understanding many, many new voices. I have SO much studying to do in ways of expanding my vocabulary and making sure I am not making so many dumb pronunciation and grammar mistakes. But, I do have a few small victories to report:
- Completing a verbal survey by a concert usher in German at the Berliner Festspiele.
- Recognizing accents of people from Cologne on the train!
The past week has been about relaxing and settling in before my assistantship officially starts next week. I have been taking advantage of my Monatskarte, which allows me unlimited train travel around the city and surrounding areas. I visited Berlin Wansee with a dear friend, tried out playing in a community orchestra in Charlottenburg, saw some great concerts, and went to a number of government offices to try and figure out my residence permit and registration (more on that later!, UGH).
In an effort to furnish my bare-bones Zimmer (room), I claimed a SITZSAK on free your stuff Berlin, which is an awesome facebook page where people from all over the city post about things they either need or have to give away. I myself was not sure what a SITZSAK was going to be. Turns out it is a giant bean bag meets dog bed…for a bear. Anyways, after about an hour of convincing, Luc agreed to come with me to pick it up. Though reluctant at first, I can assure you that we had a great (read: unforgettable) time lugging this thing with us on a 35 minute journey that included walking, stairs, the U Bahn, and the Strassenbahn. :-) Guess I will be taking out the trash for the next few weeks...