Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Reflections on a Year Abroad

Yes, indeed, I haven't updated this blog in quite awhile. Between this entry and the last, things that have happened: I turned 21, went to Munich with Ashley, the World Cup came to an end (with Italy winning the title, unfortunately, but nonetheless, Germany put up a good fight), the end of the semester (had to write 3 papers, 1 exam), went to Croatia with Ashley for a week and tanned, and most of my friends have left for home already.

Due to the fact that hardly anyone is left (with the exceptions of Cam and Zoey who are both busy anyway), I have had much time to myself between research for my thesis and napping to reflect upon this year and how I have changed. For one, I am not looking forward to going home as much as one would think I would be. Instead, I think I'm more upset about the fact that I have to leave this wonderful city and go back to really studying (ie: classes meeting more than once a week for only 1.5 hours at a time).

This year has been a life changing experience to put it simply. I have learned much about myself: I am more independent than I thought so, my academic limits were pushed (writing academic papers in German, anyone?), I'm more open to new experiences (drum 'n bass, foods, beer), and I have a passion for Fußball (um, soccer). I think the independence factor is what surprised me the most. Looking back, finding an apartment was probably one of the most challenging things I've done, but look how well that turned out. I made friends through and with them, had tons of fun, learned tons of vocabulary (very useful stuff, too, like, "Es geht mir auf die Eier!"), and had help on papers.

I'm not quite sure what I will miss most about Berlin. Drinking beer on the street. The U-bahn announcement, "Einsteigen, bitte. Zurückbleiben, bitte." The annoying street musicians on the U- and S-bahn. The Turkish market on Tuesdays and Fridays. The dogs running around without leashes. The nightlife...And then there are the specific people and places that I will miss, like my roommates, the Oberbaum Brücke, Rosi's, crazy Julian (although I haven't seen him in awhile), Görlitzer Park, Wannsee. Going back to Middlebury will be a huge change.

If I had to choose ten songs to represent this year, I know what they'd be. Of course, many of them are World Cup songs, but it played such a prominent role during second semester. (Hence why I had to stress out at the end of the semester to finish my papers on time because I watched 58 of the 64 games) I would choose these songs, but not in any specific order:

1. Wir Sind Helden - "Nur ein Wort"
2. Sportfreunde Stiller - "'54, '74, '90, 2006" (or 2010, both versions)
3. Nena - "99 Luftballons"
4. Bob Sinclair - "Love Generation"
5. Seeed - "Ding"
6. Oliver Pocher - "Schwarz und Weiß"
7. Texas Lightning - "No No Never"
8. Tocotronic - "Meine Freundin und ihr Freund"
9. Farin Urlaub - "Zehn"
10. Franz Ferdinand - "Do You Want To"

In reality, I've actually made a playlist on my iPod like I do every year and it has 40 some odd songs in German and English. I know that when I hear these songs all together, it will remind me of the times I've had here.

Although I am leaving in 2.5 weeks, I know I will be back. I've already started looking for jobs here in Berlin for after college (if anyone knows of any job in the music or film/TV industry here, drop me a line.) and hopefully it will be just as much fun, if not more so.


Joel W. said...

That's awesome you had such an amazing experience. Self-discovery is very key to young adult life. Don't know how the weather is there, but the U.S., for the most part is enduring quite a heat-wave. Drought in the midwest and southwest. NYC reaching record temps. Craziness. The world is melting!! ahhhhh I hope the airlines have calmed down enough for when you fly back to the states. I hear it's crazy in the airports. Have fun and be safe during your last couple weeks in Europe!

Anonymous said...

hey great post, i too traveled to berlin this summer for world cup and have been looking for some of those songs that you listed there for ages! big help. thanks. there is one though that they played at the fan mile quite often, it had a bit of a reggae feel to it and a distinctive sort of whistle part inbetween the verses. any idea what it is? and it's not the bob sinclair song, i often got the two confused. i heard it everytime at the fan mile

Anonymous said...

haha nevermind found it