What is Foreign Exchange to Me?

"A year of of my life. My life in a year."

Google Translate (Google √úbersetzer)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

50 Days Today! :D


Okay, first and formost, German has some serious issues. Like, seriously ( Alison, please tell me you get the reference!). Why are "awesome" and "horny" the same word? Awesome and horny are completely different things and should therefore be very different words. This would make me much happier so the next time I'm speaking about one of my California friends and I say"So-and-so ist super geil!" people won't laugh at me for calling my best friend horny.

Also, this will sound pathetic, but for the first time this week I saw a couple excluding themselves in one of the corridors to make out and it made me feel more at home. I really hate it when people do that in California because you walk around the corner and your like, "Woah! Hello there!" but seeing it made me feel more at home...

So last weekend all the exchange students had a Rotex weekend in Hannover where we had a "crazy themed" costume party... it was a blast and while I remembered my camera, I left my memory card in my computer... It was great to see everyone though, we feel like one giant family... just how it should be! :)

Things are becoming more familiar here and the American equivalent that used to be so familiar to me is beginning to sound weird. That being said, I STILL turn the faucet to the left for cold water (they say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, yet I have been here 50 days today... twice the amount of "habit forming days" and I am STILL not used to it!) and I still think it's odd when people 'air-kiss' me hello. Though hand-hugs are slowly but surely becoming a universal concept (my school friends will get this reference :) ).

And finally, I feel as if I am in between languages as I no longer seem to speak 'proper English' but my German is extremely lacking. I understand/speak enough to hold a conversation, but I am nowhere near fluent. It's funny though, because I have realized when I do speak English, I speak it the way that people here speak it... which is not necessarily always correct.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

And Now For Something Completly Different...


Rather than the usual "this is what happened this week" I'm going to describe the highlights of the week in quotation form (with a little description after each). :)

Angie: "Hallo, Ich bin Angie, die gaststudent aus Kalifornian."
Teacher:"Wie lange willst du hier?"
Angie:"1 Jahr."
Teacher:"VFejdejkvbgejkvghvv (At least that's what it sounded like...)."
Angie:"....was?"
Teacher:"VFejdejkvbgejkvghvv."
Angie:"....was?"
Johannes: "She's never taken a German class..."
Teacher: "Oh wow, I'm impressed you already know so much German!"
~I surprisingly get that a lot... in my opinion my German is HORRIBLE.~

Johannes: "Sorry I'm late to school, my cow was stolen this morning."
~I have the greatest friends. ~

Leo: "Angie! I looked up turkey recipes last night... but I couldn't understand any of them! All the turkeys were in... L-B-S!"
~I was born on the day of American Thanksgiving, so my friends promised on November 24th, we would have our own Thanksgiving here in honor of 'trying new things and cultural differences.'~

Johannes: "Sometimes... when you talk about something I don't know about.. I feel like I live in a small village... in Siberia."
~Apparently Germans don't have "mood rings."~

Angie, Leo, and Johannes: "Yes! We are officially the happy face climbing club!"
Leo drew happy faces on me and Johannes during Geography on Monday and later that evening we went rock climbing where we created the 'Happy Face Climbing Club."

Leo and Johannes/ Felix T., Johannes and me :)

Needless to say, it's been a pretty fun week.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Colloquialisms

Johonnas: "A month ago I never would have thought that I would be here... walking my bike... to go rock climbing.. with a student from America."
Angie: "...Well who does think that??"LinkLeo: "Guys! How did you know what I was thinking last month!?"
Johonnas: "Sometimes, fate pleasantly surprises you."

American English vs. German
American English:
My knight in shining armor.
German:
The dream of my sleepless nights.

American English:
It's raining cats and dogs.
German:
It's raining little dogs.

American English:
Beating around the bush.
German:
Walking around the hot porridge.

American English:
I have a song stuck in my head.
German:
I have an earworm.

American English:
Entanglement or telepathy.
German:
Different people same thinking.

American English:
Fight fire with fire.
German:
Shooting at flies with cannon balls.

American English:
I lost my train of thought...
German:
I lost my red string...
Some Popular "Unfriendly Friends" (False Cognates)

hell = light
mention* = people
damit = with it/with that
war = I was


* Spelled like English pronunciation.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Can Anyone Say Deutschland!? :)


German is probably the most literal language there is, and I love it. For example, the direct translation of ‘pocket’ is ‘pants bag,’ ‘bracelet’ is ‘arm band’ and ‘bags under your eyes’ are ‘tear sacks.’ It’s awesome. Now if only I could pronounce the words.

A group of 11th grade boys have ‘taken me in’ so to speak and I spend most of my free time with them. I have at least one of them in almost every class so they try and translate the gist of what’s going on for me. I make fun of their English and they make fun of my German, it’s all good and fun. Also, they take turns giving me German grammar lessons which is defiantly needed seeing that German grammar is NOTHING like English grammar. German can be very deceiving when translated directly to English. For example, the direct translate of “I want to poke you” is “I want you, to poke.”
I still have not gotten used to turning the faucet to the right for cold water, you probably think I’m kidding seeing as it has been over 5 weeks sense I arrived here, but I’m not. It’s so frustrating. I’m kind of hoping I just suffer through it for this year, so when I go back to California, I won’t have to get used to turning it to the left again.

I spent the past weekend in Wolfsberg with exchange students Jordan (from Michigan) One (pronounced Oh-nay, from Mexico) and Ryan (from Washington). Jordan’s host sister gave us German lessons and we went to a Rotary party where I got 74 old Danish/German people to get up and dance. I felt very influential and it was quite fun. They were also impressed that I knew how to dance so well, and I wished my friend Greg Martin (who was a huge inspiration for me to go on exchange) was there with me, partly because he went on exchange to Denmark two years ago, and partly because I love dancing with him.

All in all, I don’t see how Germany could get any better. Ich liebe Deustchland! :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Deutschland

It's odd living in a country where 1) pubic transportation actually works and 2) scarves are not JUST a fashion statement.

As of yesterday I have been here 4 weeks and tomorrow marks the day that exactly one month ago I left for Germany.

Today was one of three days I will spend in Rintlen at the Model United Nations Conference. Though students have been preparing for this for weeks, I found out on Tuesday and was invited to join the elite group of students because the conference takes place in English, just as the United Nations would. Today, after several hours of debate, China, India and Russia joined forces against Pakistan (my country) and Afghanistan to start the third World War. I really hope nobody in this group ever becomes a politician because despite all the fun we have had, everyone has horrible negotiating skills.

The past weekend all the exchange students got together for a fun weekend of swimming, ropes courses, dancing, eating, singing, and just getting to know each other. It's crazy how much Spanish I still speak despite having not used the language recently.

I'm finally getting all my classes sorted in school, though I still frequently get lost. It does not help that I have never been to an indoor school before. And here in Germany, it frequently rains harder than the water comes out of the shower.

I am also beginning to officially settle in with my own group of friends despite the language barrier. (Today, a friend of mine was trying to ask how I was getting home so he said "Angie, how are you getting fetched?" When I looked at him funny, he said "I mean.. how are you getting hooked up.. are you.. no no, are we hooking up?" It took me a moment to explain why what he said was so funny because I was laughing to hard.)

Overall, everything is fantastic though. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

And They Call This Summer?!


Top Three Things That Will Take Me All Year To Get Used To:

1. The freezing weather! It's colder here in 'summer' then it is for me in winter!
2. Turning the faucet to the the right for cold water. I just can't seem to do that.
3. "Air-kissing" hello.

You would think the longer I’m here, the more familiar things become, but it’s actually quite the opposite. The more time I spend here, the more differences I notice. For example, the doors open in the opposite direction, have the handle on the opposite side, don’t make the same sound when they close and are generally heavier. People ask me what I miss most from California, and aside from the people, the thing I miss most is the doors. That, and the 'taste' of the air.

All the inbounds in District 1800 (my sponsoring district here in Germany) had orientation in Gifhorn last Sunday. There are close to 60 of us from at least 20 different countries around the world. There was so much culture in that room. The orientation went well though and everyone seems to get along excellently.

I can make excellent small talk in German now (a vast improvement from last Thursday) and I actually have to think about what I want to say in English when writing to my friends and family back in California. It’s very odd. I feel like I’m losing my English. I don’t remember how to say basic sentences sometimes and I’m even worse at spelling now, if that is even possible. Also whenever I read something in English, I automatically translate the words that I know into German and am beginning to think in German. It’s very… different.

I have resorted to wearing two long sleeve shirts under my sweater, leggings under my jeans, and at least two pairs of socks daily (one of the pairs being fuzzy socks!) and it's 'summer.' I'm going to be in for a rude awakening in the next couple months.

Days in Germany