What is Foreign Exchange to Me?

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

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Karneval, Fußball, Austauschstudenten… It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This

The ONE thing I knew I wanted to do in P2181266Germany before coming was go to a soccer game, and I got my wish Thursday night when some Rotarians called me late afternoon and invited me last minute (dankeschön!). Soccer games in Germany are like entering a new world, and even for people who hate soccer (which I don’t), the games are still a lot of fun because the crowd is so entertaining, it's almost distracting from the game even. I felt like I had to P2161119go through airport security just to enter the stadium. First, I was checked with a metal detector, then thoroughly patted down (by a women, they have separate lines depending on genders which I found interesting), and then the bag checkers even looked inside my camera case, despite it being about the size of my fist, as well as in my hat despite it being on my head. Hannover won 2-1 against Club Brugge, a Belgian team, and I lost track of how many yellow cards were given, as wP2161128ell as how many people were taken off the field on stretchers, needless to say it was not a clean game, but the atmosphere was indescribable and definitely not ‘typical cold’ German.

Jordan: “Four people yesterday asked me if I speak ‘Russish!’”

This weekend all the exchange students goP2171152t together in Hundisburg for a Rotex Weekend and to celebrate ‘Karneval’ (pronounced like Carnival). I had to travel with the train for four hours to east Germany, which is a lot more depressing than west Germany, which made me even more thankful to be placed in Hameln here in west Germany. For the first time since being in Germany, I saw ‘meadows’ of dead yellow grass and something about the atmosphere was simply colder. Two of my closer exchange student friends live P2181180in Wolfsburg, which is the first town on the division line of what was once western and eastern Germany, and the difference in the towns’ atmosphere is unbelievable. Only in Germany can you casually say “I slept in a castle this weekend,” and it’s unbelievable how many different cultures we had packed into one place.

Angie: “Weird, I’m not even cold.”

Leo: “Woah! You’re outside in Germany without a sweater in negative degree weather and your not cold!? You’re being German-ized!”

Sunday evening after getting home, we (being me, my host-brother, and his girlfriend) went outdoor ice skating in my town, whichP2191322 was awesome… I had never been ice skating outdoors before. My host-brother’s girlfriend is here for the week because she lives in Southern Germany and has the week off due to Karneval celebrations. Sadly, Lower Saxony doesn’t get the week off.

Tuesday evening, I saw Ziemlich Beste Freunde (Intouchables is the English title) in the theaters with my friends Leo and Johannes, as well imageas my host-brother and his girlfriend, and if anyone is ever looking for a good movie, I’d highly recommend it. I can’t guarantee the English version is any good seeing as I haven't seen it, but the German version was hilarious and my friends brought me chocolate to school today as a way of celebrating the fact that I actually understanding everything in the film, including the jokes.

Finally, I move to my third (and final) host-family Friday (so if you write me be sure to get my new address!), which is exciting, but I’m sad at the same time, the Körfers have become my real family, words and gestures combined cannot describe how much I love these guys. Red heart


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Days in Germany