What is Foreign Exchange to Me?

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

Google Translate (Google Übersetzer)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Just Believe (Yes, that’s Cheesy. I’m Aware)

After looking through random old “Notes” P6080263I have saved on my iPod, it’s funny to try and remember a time when I didn’t speak German. It’s actually hard to tune-out and not understand German now. If anything I have to focus more when people speak to me in English. If anything, thinking about flying back to California is scary because I have to switch languages again.. it’s not even that I have two totally and completely different lives on different continents, but I have two totally and completely different lives in different languages.
German Friend: “Angie! I learned a new English song today!”
Me: “Really? What song?”
German Friend: “Row Row Row Your Balls!”

After things like this, I can’t help but laugh, and my friends almost never understand why. I feel like they sometimes think I’m crazy because I understand all the indescribable English connotations and can’t help but laugh at them.
This past weekend was the last Rotex P6080255weekend so all the exchange students (or all the ones still in Germany anyway) got together for our last weekend together. It’s weird to think how I’ll never see a lot of these people ever again but I know no matter what continent I travel too, I’ll always have a roof over my head because exchange students simply have a bond and always look out fP6090289or other exchange students. Friday we went night swimming in a freezing cold pool, and Saturday we went kayaking on the Elbe River. Though our kayaking trip was only around 6.5 miles, it got really tiring, so the only thing my friend Jordan and I could do to keep paddling was sing annoying ‘repeat after me’ songs loudly. We may have annoyed everyone on the river, but at least we had a P6090294good time. Saturday night we had a “Public Viewing” and all watched the first German game in the “Europameisterschaft”  which was Germany vs. Portugal(where of course GERMANY WON!). I don’t know what it is about seeing the words ‘public viewing’ on signs and banners everywhere… but they just make me think back to times when everyone would gather together to watch someone be stoned or hanged to death.
*Correcting mistakes in English Class*
Me: “They said ‘much’ instead of ‘many’ and ‘against’ instead of ‘…anstatt.’ What’s ‘anstatt’ in English?
Julie: “…instead of.”

I felt so stupid. Not only could I remember the German word and not the English word in front of my English class, but I had already used the same word twice in the sentence. Just goes to show how German has been eating away at my brain.
Because the Rotex weekend was so far away, I stayed Sunday night in Genthin P6110341with my friend Eli. After signing each other’s flags (similar to the American custom of everybody signing yearbooks, the exchange students all exchange and sign flags from the host-country), I realized how many memories I have of Eli from this year despite living literally on opposites sides of the country (which in Germany doesn’t really mean too much, but still). Eli was the first person I talked to on the international flight, the person whose iPod I found and had sitting iP6110347n my room for three months, the exchange student whose always been there to Skype when I just needed someone who spoke fluent English. I’m really glad I got the extra day with just him. He’s from Illinois and I’m from California… so if nothing else at least we’re from the same country…
People frequently ask me, “How long have you been in Germany” and it’s so weird that I can truthfully reply “over 10 months” now. I’m not sure if it feels longer or shorter… but it doesn’t feel like 10 months. What’s even weirder is I don’t really remember having a life in California where everything is done in English… I feel like I was born here in Germany and magically acquired the ability of speaking perfect fluent English…

Tonight Germany plays against the Netherlands! GO GERMANY!
Maybe The Game Will Be Something Like This xD

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Days in Germany