So today I realized that technically this is my fifth day, but my first day I arrived in the evening, so I guess that doesn’t really count. J Anyway, today was a very good day. I feel pretty much back to normal. This morning I awoke with some anxiety, but after the first Pause (break from class) my anxiety started to slowly slip away, and the rest of the day was just wonderful. I went shopping by myself (there’s an Aldi’s basically right across the street from where I live), then I went back to my apartment and finished unpacking, which is a sure sign that I’m doing much better. Then I went to a church meeting for new believers in the Church inBerlinwith some sisters, and I listened to my first German gospel message. It was absolutely wonderful and refreshing. There was a sister there who speaks what is known as “Berlinerisch”, which is basically the dialect that native Berliners speak. I could hardly understand a word she said! But it was wonderful to see and fellowship with some believers. Tomorrow a group of us are going ice skating. I’m looking forward to it! Right now, however, I’m pretty tired, so I’m going to turn in. Gute Nacht! 🙂
Today was a lot of fun. I went ice-skating with some sisters, which was a lot of fun. I had the concept that most if not all Germans knew how to ice-skate, but the people at this skating rink were just like at home, with some showing off and others just learning how to ice-skate. The only difference was that this skating rink was outside. It’s not cold here, however. It’s pretty much the same asGeorgiaright now. I’ve been leaving my coat at home and just wearing sweaters because I get too hot.
Here are some things that I have noticed aboutGermany:
1) The weather is pretty stable (so far as I know.) Something that’s kinda nice aboutBerlinis that the weather isn’t crazy like inAtlanta. If it starts out cold, it doesn’t warm up in the middle of the day and then get cold again; it just stays cold. So that makes it easier to dress for the day. Something that surprises me about the Berliners is that they get cold even when it’s not that cold. Even though this week has been abnormally warm, everyone wears coats and scarves and warm hats. I personally don’t think it’s cold enough to wear all that, but I guess the Germans are just used to wearing all that. Or maybe I’m just weird. 😛
2) The Germans have reeeeeally warm blankets. I am never cold at night! And the beds are also extremely comfortable.
3) The transit system. Need I say more? It is soooo easy to get places! I bought a Monatskarte which is good for 30 days, and you can use it on the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, Tram, and city buses! When you get on the train, you can just walk on, even if you don’t have a ticket. But if you don’t have a ticket with you and the Fahrkontroller comes by and asks to see your ticket, you have to pay a 40 euro fine. And if you don’t have 40 euros with you, you will be escorted to an ATM or taken to the police. So far I have never met a Fahrkontroller. They don’t come by often, but it would sure be bad if they came and you didn’t have a ticket.
4) Germans (and Europeans in general, I believe) love to save energy. In the apartments stairways, you have to turn on the light if you want to be able to see and it will automatically go off after a certain amount of time. The escalators don’t start moving until you approach them. And elevators don’t always stop at every floor, so you have to get off at the closest floor and then walk up the stairs the rest of the way.
5) Lots of people smoke. Thankfully they are not allowed to smoke in the train stations or on the trains, but as soon as they leave a station they light up. This isn’t too different fromGeorgiaState, though, so it hasn’t been that big a shock to me.
6) Lots of people ride bikes, and it’s pretty easy to get around on the streets with a bike because most streets and major sidewalks have bike lanes. As a pedestrian, you sometimes have to be careful, but I’ve been told there aren’t many accidents here.
7) Businesses close very early, like around six o’clock. So if you need something, you might want to get it in the morning. There is a supermarket near my apartment that is open until 10, but that’s considered very late here.
Well, I think that’s all for today. Tomorrow is the Lord’s table and I need to get my sleep! 🙂