My first week in Berlin

After an eight hour flight to Charles de Gaulle, where I promptly got lost and barely made my connection, I finally arrived in the German capital, home of the Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor, Berlin wall, and so many other famous landmarks and historical events! Needless to say, I had trouble containing my excitement, but the brisk 48 degree Berlin weather and slight drizzle that greeted me were helpful in that regard.
I soon found my way to the apartment, which I share with two others who are in the same program. One is from Tunisia and the other Israel, both speak very little English which is really helpful for practicing my German, but not so much when they are trying to explain the rules of the apartment to you. So far I have only encroached on two of their rules.
I am amazed at the progress I have made in only a week of constantly speaking German. I have gotten much more used to the grammar and have even picked up on a few colloquial phrases. So far I have only made a handful of embarrassing language mistakes, which I count as a success. There are only two other native English speakers in my class of fifteen and I think that has helped.
Also, everyday after class I set off to explore different parts of Berlin. So far I have done touristy things and taken photos at the Brandenburger Tor and Reichstag, which will probably be uploaded to this blog later, and explored the Tiergarten. Berlin’s Tiergarten is similar to New York’s central park, except it is much much bigger. It is amazing, and impossible to describe in the few words I am given here, so I am going to leave it your imagination.
Overall the transition to life in Germany has been much smoother than expected. Its always interesting to see the small differences in the ways other societies operate. I quickly learned that everything is closed on Sundays and people do not say thank you for things as much in Germany. Pro tip, if you ask someone for directions and they cannot help you, do not thank them, this is seen as sarcastic and taken as an insult. I am sure there will be many other little things to come in the next nine weeks, so stay tuned in for the pro tips.
This weekend I am going to Prague with a group of friends and will continue exploring so I will have more to write about next week. Also, I will be visiting the museum island in Berlin. This island consists of five museums full of sculptures, paintings, and many other awesome things. The way by which much of this art came into German keeping is questionable at best, however: this is still a place renowned for its collection, so I cant wait to go!

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