Berlin week 2

This week has been extremely busy with classes picking up. I spent the weekend in Prague which was only a 4 hour trip via train from Berlin. Prague is amazing!!! Walking through the old city, I felt like I was transported back in time. Many of the buildings, castles, and churches that I explored were over 500 years old. I was amazed by the St. Vitus Cathedral, built in 1344 (atleast started) this building towers over the old city, as it is on top of the largest hill. Walking through it, I was struck by the Gothic style and the intricacies of the masonry and art work. Generation upon generation committed their lives to building this cathedral, they built it both as an expression of their faith, and a display of craftsmanship and art. In doing so, they created a monument that astounds people to this day. City planners in Prague make a point in that part of the city to maintain the traditional look of the buildings. They do this so well that, while I was there, I felt as if the defenestration of Prague could have happened last week. The only thing that broke the illusion was a large Starbucks store conveniently placed next to the castle.
as far as classes go, they have definitely gotten more difficult. We are asked to talk with a partner with specific prompts in mind such as, “an interesting time in your childhood”, or “what are your future goals”, then we must explain to the whole class what we found interesting while talking to your partner. For exercises such as these you must past, present, and future tense sentences so naturally these type of exercises, although difficult, really help my grammar and confidence in speaking German. There are also grammar writing exercises and vocabulary quizzes.
Berlin city living is definitely something I can get used to. It amazes me everyday how diverse the city is. Walking to class every morning I hear atleast three or four different languages. Also different neighborhoods or parts of the city have completely different vibes, for example stadtmitte district is definitely the classier, more expensive part of town which caters to the well-off, but take the S-Bahn for 6 stops (10 minutes) and you’ ll be in Kreuzberg, the hipster capital of Berlin. Pro tip, try to go to all the coffee bars in Kreuzberg if you are a coffee fan, noone makes a better cup of coffee than a hipster barista, and Berliners take pride in their coffee, to them it is a science. Also, there are so many coffee shops that you’ll never run out of options.
I have also met many people exploring the nightlife of Berlin and have picked up some slang that is commonly used by natives. My favorite phrase is “Auf dicke Hose machen”, literally translated this means “To act as if you have fat pants”, needless to say when I heard someone say this, I was completely confused. I found out that it really means to act like a braggart. “fat pants” refers to someone who has alot of cash in their wallet so their pants are “fat”. to make as if you have “fat pants” is to act as if you have alot of money and are showing it off. I will be writing again soon to talk alittle bit more about the Berlin nightlife, and also the amazing museums that are here.

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