It’s hard to think. It’s hard to breath. It’s hard to fathom that this year, this experience, this lifetime has to come to an end. I was born August 9th, 2011. I couldn’t speak, I didn’t know what was or was not acceptable, but I grew up. I grew old, and will die tomorrow, July 19th 2012. However Germany will always be a part of my second life. I’ll use the hottest summer my hometown has had in years to my advantage by hanging my washed clothes outside on a clothing line like I did all year in Germany despite the constant rain, rather than just using the dryer. I’ll ride my bike *assuming I still even have one* around town, and speak English with awkward German expressions that make no sense when literally translated. I have indeed, been Germanized.
The past week was a week full of way too many goodbyes. Goodbye to my wonderful host-families, goodbye to my exchange student pals, goodbye to my German friends, acquaintances, and teachers alike. Even my history teacher got teary-eyed when I told him I was leaving, and told me he will miss his walking dictionary. But don’t worry Germany, because you can bet, I’ll be back.
Saturday my friends through me a going-away party for me where we had yet another scrumptious Thanksgiving feast. Unfortunately it is literally impossibly to find a full turkey in Hameln this time of year, so we managed with four legs and a turkey breast that we got at a market. Thankfully, it wasn't nearly as dry this year as it was last year. And afterwards, I couldn't really say what we did because the time flied, we joked around, wrestled, took silly group ‘photos, went to Burger King around midnight and got 10% off our meal because of my friends works there. It may not sound like the most exciting of events, but it was one of my favorite Germany memories, just because all my friends were together (even if they weren't all there for the group photo! :p ).
There are few German words that I will have no choice but to incorporate into my English vocabulary. (Those of you who personally know me in California, I apologize in advance.) Amongst others, these words/expressions include, ‘bescheuert,’ ‘tanzen auf der Nase,’ and ‘heyho.’ Now, please let me explain.
Bescheuert: The German word ‘bescheuert’ (pronounced like bee-schoy-ert') means something like silly or crazy, hence the phrase “Bist du bescheuert?!” (Are you crazy?) being a common phrase to hear on the street. Not only do I simply like this word, but if you look up the meaning on www.leo.org (the most popular online translation dictionary in Germany) the definition will not be something simple like ‘silly’ or ‘crazy’ but rather ‘one beer short of a six pack.’
Tanzen auf der Nase: I don’t know what it is with German, but it seems to have lots of wordplays involving noses. This one in particular translated to “they’re dancing on the nose” and is often used to describe someone whose being fussy or misbehaving.
Heyho: Heyho, one of the most common greetings amongst the youth of Germany is a TERRIBLE greeting for a person to use while speaking English. This will be extremely difficult for me not to use when greeting my California friends and family before I explain the word, so please, do not be offended if it seems like I’m walking up to you and greeting you with “Hey slut!” Really, that’s not at all my intention.
Rather than describing my last day of Germany with boring old words, I’m going to end this post with a series of pictures from my last afternoon where I visited friends and host-families for the last time this year, because after all, a picture is worth a 1,000 words.
It still hasn’t hit me that I’m flying back tomorrow, aside from all the “see you laters” (Note: Not ‘goodbyes,’ but see you laters) and the special things my friends and host families did for me, it felt like just another normal day in paradise. I’m not flying home, I’m just flying back. While California may be where I come from, and will always influence my behavior because I spent the first 17 years of my life there, home is where the heart is. And my heart, is in Germany.