Wow I can’t believe I finally made it here. It has only been a few days and I have already fallen in love with Berlin. The culture, the architecture, the people. Just everything has been so amazing. So the flight over was not so amazing. It was my first time flying and being tall made it impossible to sleep. Also the fact that there were three babies around me did not help. However, after I made it to Germany, I found a bus to get to the hotel. The bus driver probably has one of the best mustaches of all time. It is curled and I asked how much it costs and he answered back in English which was great. I speak German at a very basic level but everyone spoke English so it was not a big deal. Anyway, I get to the zoo station (right by the hotel) and I am starving. Of course the first thing I see is McDonalds, so I go in. My addiction has no bounds. It is pretty much the same and so I get my usual and walk to the hotel. It was a four or five star so I was chilling in a very very fancy lobby eating the cheapest food. There was no one to be seen so I waited patiently and after fifteen minutes luckily enough, my roommate came in the door. He is a senior at Old Miss (everyone wants to be a part of the mason nation right?) and we went up to our room and got settled. After a quick meeting with the rest of the group, we headed out to a dive bar. It was one of the most interesting looking places I have ever stepped into. So we had a beer (which is legal in Germany for me) and had a long discussion. He is also involved in on campus ministry and so that was cool that we were able to connect on that point. We then moved from the bar to a restaurant to get some food. I am very picky so I was really worried about trying the German food. As you can see I got the Curry Wurst. This is one of the main dishes in Berlin. It is sausage with curry on top. They don’t really use disposable utensils so that is why you see the weird popsicle thing coming out of it. I ordered almost my entire meal in German but then the guy behind the counter asked whether I wanted sparkling water or still water (still is no bubbly) and I just didn’t understand the German words and he kindly switched to English. After that we walked back to the hotel and fell asleep. Little did I know that Jet Lag effects me really badly. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since I have arrived in Europe. The hotel for all its glory and wonder it had no free wifi so staying up late was also really boring. The next three days were all tours all day. The first day was about the World War Two era which was really cool but many buildings were either torn down or destroyed. Because I don’t drink soda, I ended up drinking water and beer basically. This is not a big deal but I was very worried about sending those pictures back home and my parents thinking I am a heavy drinker. The days were very long and tiring so there was not much going out at night. The next day was cold war era Germany and we saw the wall and a secret communist prison. Our tour guide was super knowledgeable and spoke amazing English. The prison tour guide only spoke decent English so our full tour guide had to translate which had some interesting moments. The third day was modern Germany. All the architecture was amazing. Here is their congress building. We actually had an opportunity to meet with a German member of parliament. He spoke about all the foreign policy of Germany which was really interesting. It made me more excited about getting into international relations. We had gotten really close to the tour guide. We talked and asked him where to go and hang out at night. He told us places to go and because we had a hard time reading the sign and map, we got a little lost in East Berlin which is a little sketch. Overall though, I enjoy getting lost in the city so wondering around by ourselves was awesome. The next day we got a lecture from a professor at the free university of Berlin which is where there is a semester exchange program. I want to go. I feel like in order to get a job in the state department, I need to have more experience abroad. So that is running around my head. That night was the most fun of all. We decided to hit the club in Berlin. Our first stop was to tango. Yes I said tango. Our tour guide knew of an amazing place. So we followed him and ended up at the oldest dance hall in Berlin. It was shut down in the 1940s and only reopened in 2005. It looked as if we took a time machine back to the war. It was amazing. I was not so good at tango but it was alot of fun. Our next move was to “the hardest door in the World” everyone said they turned away ugly people and the dj at the tango told us “Good Luck. I hope your tour guide knows a good bar near by or better yet, the door man” I was incredibly worried and afraid of being turned away. The main group of fourteenish split up into smaller groups. Only four of us got in. I WAS ONE OF THEM! AHHHHHHH I felt so good about myself. The inside wasn’t really amazing. It was an old factory playing techno music which was really cool but not my scene. So after a while the four of us left and we ended up at a student club with the others. The student club played American music and German pop stuff. That was really cool too. One of my best club experiences. We danced until five in the morning. The next day I basically slept all day so it was boring. Then we drove to Poland. That will be part of my next post.
For the class we have to write a blog/journal which was very hard to do since there was no internet. So we ended up sitting in starbucks for a couple of hours. This time was extended because I have been applying for jobs at home and sending a ton of emails and getting emails. It is so much harder to do work from home when the time difference is five hours. Also, trying to keep my family informed is hard because I don’t know what to tell them. I don’t have time to go into to much detail but I am afraid I’ll forget it all by the time I get back. So I am sending them a ton of pictures and I hope that is enough.
It isn’t all amazing over here. The weather is frigid even though it is abnormally warm. I have to wear about three layers. Also, I miss home and it stinks to see all my friends having fun with each other on break and also seeing status updates from the Mason Basketball games. Although I would love to stay here for a semester, I just don’t know if I could leave America behind. Overall though, I am having a good time and I hope your break is going well. Hold down the fort until I get back. Next post will be Witam z Gdańska i Krakowa.