June 2, 2012- We arrived from Berlin yesterday, things are back to normal now. It has been a pretty quite day, I promise to post about Berlin tomorrow.
June 29, 2012- Berlin is unlike any city I have been to in Europe. In my opinion, it really is the definition of a city, mixed with modern and old styles of architecture. Next to the Brandenburg Gate, which is over 200 years old, there are sleek embassies and office buildings. Like Hannover, the contrasting styles benefits each other.
After a ride through the subway, we arrived in the city center. The most prevalent sights in Berlin are all within a mile of each other. This allows easy transportation and convince for Germany’s largest city. Everything revolves around a park named the Tietergarten, kind of like the bullseye of Berlin. So from the Tietergarten it is easy to navigate the city streets.
We had dinner along the Spree river, and now are back at the apartment we rented. Tomorrow is a trip to the capital building, I’m sorry that I don’t have much to say, but I will later.
June 28, 2012- Sorry that I’ve been kind of hit and miss with my posts lately. Been pretty busy here. Though I am proud to announce that meinfernweh has been viewed in 28 different countries, with a little bit less than 3000 hits.
Now down to business, the last post had to do with sports here in Deutschland. Well I did play soccer with some kids, and kind of got my butt handed to me. Then yesterday I played basketball with at a local recreation center. I may have had the upper hand skill wise, but I wasn’t even close to the physical shape everybody else had. It was crazy, a three hour practice filled with the most agonizing drills. Coach Watkins and Tucker had nothing on these guys. (My old basketball coaches.)
Next, I attended my first Rotary Club meeting today, and it was pretty awesome. I mostly just met with Rotary members and communicated with my broken German. It was fun to spend time with other Rotary kids, there was four of us at the meeting. Two were from Brazil and the other was from Texas. After the meeting, I was invited for drinks, but declined the offer. None of them realized that I was fifteen. Anyways, it was good to see an American again.
Tomorrow were going to Berlin, unitl next time.
June 27, 2012- In Deutschland, there is a saying for when somebody has completed half of a journey. ”They’ve gone over the hill.” Symbolically I guess that does make sense, the hill could represent a journey, and reaching the pinnacle may represent some sort of achievement. The reason I’m talking about this is because yesterday, I pointed out that I was over halfway done with my stay. Immediately, almost in unison, my host family remarked that I was over the hill. Not sure why I’m sharing this, just thought it was interesting.
Secondly, I’ve gotten really into the local sports here in Ronnenberg. The schools do not have teams, so most athletics are done recreationally. In my opinion, it makes it better, kids can just have fun and not worry about coaches or games.
I played soccer with the neighborhood kids, being an American, it wasn’t exactly my forte. Soccer is one of my favorite sports, and I have played it for most of my childhood. Yet, there was no way I could prepare for these kids. Sixth graders were probably better than I was, everybody seemed to effortlessly handle the ball and play there position. I just tried to stay out of the way, but I did get in a goal at the end.
In a few hours I’m supposed to play basketball with some kids, I don’t really know what to expect. I’m better at basketball than soccer, definitely. Just hope I don’t come across the next Dirk Nowitzki . (Famous German basketball player.)
June 25, 2012- As promised by yesterdays post, I’m gonna catch you up on what happened this weekend. After a two hour drive north, on a highway that allows speeds up to 90 mph, we arrived in the seaside town of Cuxhaven. Mostly known for its seaside hotels and large mud flats. A mud flat is the natural phenomena of water disappearing due to tidal phases. The moons gravitational pull on our oceans causes daily ups and downs of the waterline, but in the far north and south of the globe, the tides are much more dramatic. During a full moon, water will be pulled back farther than five miles. In some cases, you can ride a horse to a nearby island or put on your rubber boots and go for a stroll. Fun as it sounds, if you wait to long to return to shore, the water can dramatically rush back on you, leading to disastrous causes. Besides that, it’s quite the neat experience. Due to the timing of my visit, the mud flats only extended about fifty yards, better than nothing, I guess.
After the beach, we had a quick bite to eat, and were on our way to Bremerhaven. Bremerhaven is your basic industrial city, overrun with ports and factories, with not much substance to it. You could compare it to any major sea port on an American coast, it’s still nice. There, we met my host mother’s aunt, Marget, and her uncle, Conrad. After initial greetings, we had dinner at an Italian bistro and went for a walk.
By the way, in Germany, a twenty minute walk, can easily turn into a two hour walk. The highlight of our evening stroll was when we took a turn into the harbor. We were going down a peninsula, when the bridge opened up for a boat. It took nearly thirty minutes for the bridge could come down, and for us leave. Not a good thing for when your bladder is acting up.
That night, my host brother and I slept on mats in an upstairs room of the house. They had no extra beds, but these things did the trick. It had been a long day, and sleep came pretty easily.
By morning, the sound of seagulls gawking woke us up abruptly. That and the distant smell of fish intestines isn’t a good way to begin your day. Bremerhaven is Europe’s number one export of fish. Which made it the ideal place, to have an entire days meals, featuring fish. Over the past two days, I must have eaten my weight in fish. (You would hate it hear, Julia.) I’m not even sure what most of the fish was, but I ate it.
Now were back home, it was a nice little excursion for the weekend. Allowed me to get a different taste of German life, away from the suburbs and cities. Also, the museum count for the trip, is now five. I’m gonna start counting, anybody think we can break double digits over the rest of my stay?
June 23, 2012- Turns out, Oda’s family does have internet. Bremerhaven is a very interesting city, mostly know for its industrial side. Germany’s leading exporting source, the majority of German cars will travel through Bremerhaven at one point.
We had abendessen (dinner) at a nice little Italian bistro. The owner tried to joke around with me, but I couln’t understand a single word he said. Turns out he spoke a mixture of German and Italian, so “Germalian”.
I’m typing on a German keyboard, which is very challenging, all the letters are mixed up. Anyway, I’ll be back in Ronnenberg by tomorrow afternoon.
June 23, 2012- Hey everybody sorry for not posting yesterday, I fell asleep to early and never got the chance. Turns out we didn’t go to public viewing, but the game was still a good one. 4-2 Germany over Greece.
Were about to leave for Bremerhaven, so I may not be able to post for the next two days. I’ll get you caught up Sunday.
June 21, 2012- Here in Europa (Europe), there are two basic religions. First, you have whatever deity you pray too. Jesus, Buda, Allah, Gaga (last one is for all you hipsters). Then you have a shared faith that all Europeans share.
Fußball to be exact, and the weird looking B is pronounced as two s’s, so it’s more like Fussball. Now that I think about it, sounds like foosball, but that’s not important.
In America, we have multiple sports that we all watch, but here, there is quite the monopoly on sports. Soccer is king, and nobody is going to dethrone it anytime soon. I can almost guarantee that every five mile radius has a soccer field, intact our neighborhood has its own. Leon and I will go there in the afternoon to play a friendly game.
Almost every major city will have its own professional team, intact, most countries will have their very own league. Here in Deutschland, it is call the “Bundesliga”, which loosely translates to “Premier League”, which may be a rip off of the English one. From a young age everybody is drawn towards not only the traditions, but the passion one has for following their team.
Now some of you will say that soccer is boring, or that too often it ends in a draw. But, when that leather ball does go through the net, pure excitement.
Public Viewing is where I will be going tomorrow, which is basically like a giant party for watching the soccer match. They’ve been know to have riots, if the team loses. But I think Germany can win!
I’m not really sure where this post is going based on the title. Wasn’t really sure what to write about today.
The name of this blog, is mein fernweh, and for those of you who have read my Bio page, you already know what that means. ”My lust to travel”. I can assure all of you, it is quite the lust, I want to go everywhere and do everything. Until now, I’ve done everything with my family, and for less than 10 days. Never have I put myself truly out there. For the past fortnight (I like to use that word), truly have I experienced something new, something fresh. There is no sprinkled layer, no mask over what life here is really like. As a tourist, you never feel like any experience is genuine of real.
Today, I experienced a bit of weakness, I woke up this morning feeling home sick. I was kind of angry, I’m missing so many good sporting events, summer memories with friends, and even the whole experience of sending my older sister away to college. I’ll see her when she actually leaves, but I’ll miss orientation, and time that the two of us could have spent together. (By the way, have fun at orientation, Julia.)
Then I found something out of all the sadness, a peck of happiness. I realized, this is what I love to do. ”My lust to travel” is much more than a scrapbook of memories filled with landmarks and highlights. A lust to travel comes from a desire to experience and grow as, not only an American, but as a person.
So far, this experience has taught me some pretty important things-
1. Adapting is more than just eating the food or dealing with the negatives, it’s accepting those negatives and turning them into positives.
2. To spend time away from your family, is a time that should be used to grow as a person.
3. If you really want to learn something, you have to get out there and do it. I can love museums all I want too, but unless I experience it, I’ll never truly understand it.
-and I’ve only been here for two weeks, who knows how many more epiphanies I may have.
The title of this post is Home vs. Adventures, and I’m still not really sure where this whole thing is going. I know there will never be any other place like my home, nothing can replace it. There also nothing that can replace the feeling of experiencing something fresh. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that once all these great memories are made, I’ll have my home waiting for me. After realizing that, all of my home sickness disappeared.
At the begging of this blog, I posted a Frank Herbet quote-
“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.”
At the begging of this trip, I was asleep.
I think I’m beginning to wake up.
June 19, 2012- When you read the title, you probably read it again, just to make sure you’d read it correctly. Why would somebody go strawberry picking? On a tuesday? In Germany? Well person asking rhetorical questions, here is your answer.
I don’t know.
But I will say that those, were some pretty darn good strawberries (forgive me for me southern rhetoric). The farms out here have a great system, anybody can go out to the fields as long as they pay a small fee, and pay another fee according to how much their strawberries weigh. After riding out to the fields, my host brother, his friend Janick, and I picked about three baskets of fresh strawberries. We should be set for the next few days.
Secondly, I traveled into Hannover for the third time today. My host mother’s mother and I both went to a museum, by ourself, and Oma speaks no english. Although the premise could be found in a sit com, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. We spent a lovely morning together, walking through the Hannover City Museum. She mostly just pointed at stuff and told me the German word for it, I did advance my vocabulary though. For example, I now know that beaver auf Deutsch (in German) is Bieber. So thousands of German girls who like Justin Bieber, technically see him as Justin Beaver. The things that make me chuckle. Also, I didn’t realize that all of the descriptions of exhibits would be auf Deutsch. So I pretty much just got to look at stuff, which did take out the whole learning experience.
For those of you who don’t know me, I really like museums. It’s no secret. A day spent at a museum, is a well spent day in my book. Since telling my host family that I like museums, they have taken full advantage of it. This was my third museum, and were planning on visiting at least four more.
Now I’m back home, just kind of hanging out. I have school tomorrow, so I should probably be asleep.
Until next time.