So I went to bed at 10:30 pm local time. It is now 4:30a and I wonder why I am up. But I don’t think it matters. My body was in survival mode in the refreshingly cold weather. But regardless of finding out how the bus system works or calling a taxi and giving directions, I was in a state of wonder. I am here… And it is hard for me to believe.
I started winding down once I had found the place to stay. Admittedly, I was a bit rusty with my German when I took a taxi to meet my couch surfing friend, Leopold. But once I arrived(it was a bit early), I immediately felt welcome here. He had a German friend over and was working on his computer. Better to leave it to him, or so I thought, we began discussing many things related to Germany such as the economy, the Euro and how things could fix it. I felt so… On par. I was glad that I kept up on world happenings.
Eventually the conversation turned to things like local dialects. There are accents in German as well, so in some parts of Germany, a Berliner may not understand someone who is from the south of Germany, and vice versa. I told them that the same thing happens in America as well, and I noted how someone from Montana may not understand someone from Georgia, and so on.
The topic eventually moved to how Americans are perceived by Europeans in general. The way I felt about many Americans is also how the stereotype is perceived here. This was reiterated from my discussion with Mattias earlier: Americans seem to only be concerned with what is right in front of their noses, and rarely will see beyond it.
Often times what a German thinks about is very global, and how what they do ripples out into the world. Leopold’s friend, Norman, is a cab driver here. Norman was relating to me an event he had with an American in his taxi where the American tried to pay in US dollars, and became upset when he refused. He said, at this point, that he decided he didn’t know how to speak English. I was face palming the entire time, because I know Ameircans like this exist en masse. We both agreed that it would be like trying to pay for a cab ride in Texas with Euros. America, we are not king. Get over it. Hah!
A German beer later, the need for sleep was finally setting in and Leopold could see it. After explaining how a few of the things worked around the house (the toilets are awesome!), I settled in on the couch and pretty quickly fell asleep.
These next three weeks are going to be packed full of learning and beauty. I will get pictures to upload tomorrow and put it in an entry for you all.
…here I am world, you couldn’t stop me after all.