What is Foreign Exchange to Me?

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

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Waaaaaaaay to Fast

Today Is

I don’t care what your calendar says;oh anne it’s not June. Because you see, not only have I not seen sun since the 31st of May, but if it were June then I could truthfully say, “I fly back to California next month.” and that thought makes me want to do nothing other than cry (which if you know me at all, you know that means a lot). I may have had the hardest, strangest, most challenging year of my life, but it’s also been the most interesting year… the most rewarding year… the best year. I don’t even say, “I’m flying home next month.” but rather, “I’m flying back/to California.” because Germany has become my home.

triple aYesterday was the day that flying back soon really hit me because I went to my first goodbye party. I went to see my best Finnish friend Akseli because he leaves June 12th.I ended up traveling about seven hours throughout the day just to see Akseli for three hours, but it was totally and completely worth it. Anne and I went together and we reunited “Triple A” (Angie, Anne and Akseli, the left-handed akseli party 2American/Canadian/Finn) one last time before our unofficial road trip across the U.S. that will hopefully take place sometime before we all die. Anne wrote a contract on my German flag in permanent marker and we all (unknowingly) signed it, so I guess it simply has to happen now. akselis party

Random Person: “Where are you from?”

Me: “California.”

Random Person: “Woah! You have such great German!”

I’ll never understand why I “have such great German” after telling someone my name and where I’m from. I mean honestly, I’ve lived here for ten months… I would hope to have learned AT LEAST that much.

FotoLast Sunday my extended family (this time from my host-mom’s side) was in town and we all biked about 40 miles to the “Frühlingsfest” (“The festival of Spring”). A lot of the major roads were closed for the bikers and the day is supposed to celebrate biking and the good weather… while we did see lots of bikers, good weather was rather nonexistent. It rained harder and longer P6030233than I’ve ever seen before, but of course, we were troopers and toughed it out! By the time we got back, I was so soaked that it looked like I decided to take a bath fully clothed. But we still had fun and enjoyed the concert.

I think the only thing I won’t miss about Germany is the German opinion of Americans. I have learned (and strangely enough, I also heard this from a friend’s grandparents before leaving for Germany) when I say, “I’m from California,” I’m just about the coolest thing since sliced bread. Everyone excitedly asks me about the weather and San Francisco (which I live about 45 minutes from), but if I say, “I’m from the U.S.A.” I often get death stares. I’ve even been told I couldn’t possibly be American because 1) I don’t have a strong foreign accent, 2) I’m too intelligent, and 3) I’m not fat. People look through pictures of my friends and say, “Wow, did you Photoshop these photos? None of your friends are fat!!” I cannot begin to describe how much that (for lack of better wording) completely pisses me off! I’m sorry to disappoint, but not EVERYBODY in the U.S.A. is overweight. There are even people who are underweight (shocker there!), myself being the perfect example.

  Really American woman? Come on, lets change how people see us!

On the note of German stereotypes/prejudices, this guy has an interesting opinion.

P5150195This past weekend my friend Mathis was in town so we all got together Friday and Saturday evening, whether it was to play foosball, or darts, or watch a random live Acoustic artist… whatever it was we did it was fun. Not to mention somehow or another, before my Europe tour Mathis and I randomly decided we would get married… which is funny because not only does he have a girlfriend, but of all my GermP6020199an friends he’s the one I see the least because he goes to university somewhat far away. Nevertheless, every time I failed miserably at darts (so… pretty much every time) Mathis would say, “Come on I have faith in you! My future wife can do anything!” and of course, whenever I wanted something to drink, he would get it. ^^

I once read:

  1. The United States of America, commonly called by its last name America, is the most powerful and influential country in the world. Therefore, it is also the most hated.
  2. Most ancestors of Americans are immigrants with more than half from Europe. Europeans seem to forget this part and just think that Americans have no ethnicities in order to make them as distantly related from them as possible.
  3. America has a porn empire. But unlike Germany's, it's not going to make you vomit.

I have to admit, the third comment made me laugh. Germany seems to be known for having soft porn on the normal television channels and in the newspapers/magazines and unexpectedly seeing it always activates my gag reflex. It probably has something to do with growing up in a different culture.

P.S. I don’t remember if I mentioned how sunburned I became on the Europe tour, but just to give a visual aid, this picture was taken after I had had the burn for three days.


P.P.S. My little brother is 13 today! Happy Birthday Nickie! Red heart

nicke and i

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Days in Germany