A week had passed since I arrived in Germany, back in June. I was pretty tired of eating out, and I wanted to cook something at home or at least have food in my fridge. So, as anybody would do, I went to the supermarket.
I know! There’s nothing fantastic or worth writing about going to the supermarket… Except when you have absolutely no idea how things are called in German and you end up spending two hours wandering around the halls and starving.
That’s exactly how my first experience in a German supermarket was: Not normal. At all.
This is a preview of The German Supermarket Experience…When You’ve Just Arrived in Germany.
Can you? Over on Book Punks, I talk about why living in Germany has turned me away from fiction about the war
“When the hype for Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity was going around, I found myself forced to confront a new wall in my reading tastes, an allergy of sorts. I can’t read fiction about World War II. I don’t want to read fiction about World War II. Get that shit away from me—what are you kidding?—gross.
“It is a result of living in Germany. I have been here for almost ten years now, and I can’t recall a single day in recent memory when World War II didn’t come up. Let’s look at one week in the life.” Read more here.
This is a preview of The Week in Germany: WWII Fiction, Winter in Bavaria, Empty Houses, & Difficult German Words.
Andrea is a law student from Genoa, Italy who’s doing Erasmus at University of Bonn. This weekend he’s visiting me in Heidelberg and I seized this chance to compare our German Erasmus experiences.
With our young minds, we live, observe, and make our naive reflections. We treasure the opportunity of doing Erasmus in Germany, therefore we explore with big eyes and laugh at tiny obstacles. For the first post, off we go with some polemics!
When do Germans drink alcohol?
Anytime is a good time for drinking in Germany. While in Italy, Andrea explained, people only drink when evening begins. Italians don’t consider alcohol a daytime thing.
This is a preview of Thoughts on Germany From an Italian and Chinese Erasmus Student.
Zeit meines Lebens habe ich gehört, dass meine Heimstadt die tollste, spannendste Stadt auf der Welt sei. Sie ist allerdings die Stadt, die nicht schläft: New York. Bis vor kurzem war ich mit der Aussage einverstanden. Der Verkehr, der Lärm, die hetzenden Fußgänger: Alles weist auf einen bestimmt ruhelosen Ort hin. Ruhelos sicher, aber schlaflos? Ich kann mir nicht vorstellen, dass New York nie zumindest schlummert. Man muss halt ein Wochenende in Berlin verbringen, um „schlaflos“ kennenzulernen.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: This Time auf Deutsch.
They say that life is not about the destination, but rather the journey toward it. In the case of finding and establishing a career path in Germany, that statement has never been more true. It is not so much about what one wants to become, but rather how one plans to even get there.
As a student looking to start a career in Germany, one faces many obstacles. These challenges include applying for a residential/working permit, or even attempting to understand why your end income seems so meagre after tax contributions. It is a complicated system when one is initially exposed to it, but bear in mind, it is a system that works.
This is a preview of How to Launch Your Career in Germany.
Yesterday I visited the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial (Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen). I’m currently auditing a B 2.2 language course to sharpen my German skills, and one of our assignments for this week was to visit a memorial in Berlin and write up an account of our general impressions. Among the list of possible locations were the Holocaust Memorial, Jewish Museum, and Checkpoint Charlie, all of which are relatively central and have become rather touristy in recent years. Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, however, is in north-east Berlin in a more-or-less uninteresting part of town. If the name sounds unfamiliar, I had no idea what it was either until very recently.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: Stasi Gefängnis.
Things seem to be simmering down now, but lately relations between Germany and the U.S. have been less than perfect. I’m not sure about the media coverage back home, but here every newspaper is filled with headlines about the NSA affair that’s taken the world by storm.
Luckily tensions aren’t running too high in my apartment. In fact, last week my landlady, Renate seemed much more concerned with a local project that she’s been working on for the last fews years. Allow me to explain.
Photo courtesy Patrick Molligo
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: Guerilla Knitting.