But seriously I'll update after I get back to berlin I PROMISE
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
So I know that it has been a while since i updated my blog, I really should be better about that, it's just that every time I would sit down to my computer with the thought of updating my blog, I really didn't feel like writing. I promise that I will be better about updating in the future. This post will probably be pretty long seems as how its been like 2 weeks since my last post, even though that time has gone by really quickly.
Ok as you can probably guess by the title, last week I started school. School here is really different than in America. It's more similar to how college scheduling works, where you don't have the same classes every day. Also, when there are free periods you're allowed to leave the school. The first and second periods are combined to make one 90 minute period, then a 20 minute break, then the third and fourth periods are combined for another 90 minute period, then another 20 minute break, then 3 45 minute periods. I have a lot of free periods because I was not able to take French or Latin because I have never taken those, so they just gave me free periods instead, so I ended up with 2 days with 3 free periods, 1 with two free periods and 1 day with 1. So for example on Monday's I go to school at 8:00 AM and am Home by 11:30 AM, because I have the last 3 periods of the day free. I have to say I really like this format for scheduling better than the way we do it back in New York. Unfortunately I can't understand anything that the teachers are saying, unless it's in English class. For the most part in school I just kinda sit there doing nothing, trying to translate what the teachers or saying or any handouts that we get in class. I have a very strong feeling that I am not going to learn anything much the first couple months of school, but I knew that even before I got here. For some reason this week a lot of my teachers weren't there in class, so a couple of the classes got cancelled, and some of the others were with different teachers. Overall I'd say that school is pretty good, I really like how I don't have to go as much as I did back in the States.
Other than school I haven't been doing that much during the week. For some reason last Tuesday we didn't have school, so I met up with some of the kids from my school and we went on a little sightseeing tour around Berlin. Berlin is a really great city, It's very different from New York and most of the other cities in America. I might have already talked about this I don't remember whether or not I did, but Berlin really doesn't have any skyscrapers like most of the cities back in America do. It's a lot of older style smaller buildings, but the City is huge area wise. It's a really beautiful city too, there are parts of it that don't look so great, but there are some building like the Berliner Dom that are just so amazing.
On the last two weekends I've met up with some of the other exchange students who are staying in Berlin. It's really awesome to hang out with them cause they're all really cool, and also they know like exactly what you're going through because they've done it themselves before (and they also speak english :D) I've also gone to a party at one of the kids in my school's house which was alot of fun.
Ok well for some reason this post has taken me 3 days to write because I keep getting distracted while I'm writing it, so I'm just going to post it, I'm sure that i forgot something that I wanted to say, but i can always add that later.
miss all of you!
P.S. My host brothers Benedict and Julius are the most amazing people in the world and should be given Noble Prizes for their lives. (good enough?)
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
So its almost ten thirty here in germany which is really strange, seems as how my body thinks its only 430 cause i havent adjusted to berlin time yet. That really hurt me last night when i couldnt fall asleep til 630-7 am, but heh atleast i was able to see the sunrise through my window. The past two days have just been more settling in and not really doing much, but when you sleep til 2-230 there isnt much time left in the day. Yesterday I got up and ate breakfast/lunch which here in germany consists of Rolls with like jam, JIF, nutella, honey, butter or like meat and cheese. One of the things that ive noticed so far is that i really haven't been hungry since i've gotten here. I don't know whether that's due to nerves or the time adjustment or whatnot, but i really have not been eating that much which is strange because i usually eat a good 6 meals a day at home. I went to the gym yesterday with my host brother, and we took the bus there, the buses are really wierd cause its like 2.10 euro for a ticket that only lets you go one way on the bus line for 2 hours. We tried to get back the other way using the same ticket but the driver saw :P. So we came back and ate dinner (italian pasta) and then i tried to go to sleep, which didnt really work as I stated earlier. We didn't really do that much today but we did try and go down to the local government office to get my residency form filled out but they were closed, and we opened a bank account too. I start language school tomorrow which is good, but its a four hour long lesson so thats kind of daunting. It's good that I learn as much as i can before i start school on Monday, but four hours is still kind of long.
I'm going to go see if i can actually sleep tonight seems as how it is 11:00 pm here but i don't know how that is going to work out.
Monday, August 24, 2009
So after a very very long flight i have finally made it to berlin. My family ist sehr nett which is very good. I have two host brothers and a hostsister who is in New Zealand for a year.
My flight from JFK to Amsterdam was supposed to leave at around 3:40 pm on saturday, so we got to the airport around One o'clock ish. I met caitlin the exchange student going to neuruppin (a town about an hour outside of berlin) in the airport and we boarded the flight at around 3:50 or 4. The captain came on the PA system and said that because there had been a flight to amsterdam the day before that had been cancelled, that Northwest (worst airline ever) had rescheduled the flight for the same time as ours. Unfortuently i guess they forget to tell the catering company that there were two flights because they had only made food for one of them, and of course they had given it to the other plane. So the captain said that it would only be 30 minutes or so before we would get food for the plane. I don't even know why we needed food on the plane, but apparently we did. So after waiting for about 2-2.5 hours, the captain came back on the announcement system saying that it would take another 90 minutes before we could get food for the plane, and that we were going to be able to deplane and then reboard in an hour or so. So northwest gave us 10$ worth of food vouchers to get in the airport, but there were only two restaurants in the entire terminal, so the lines were like 20 minutes long. So we took the bus back out to the plane at like 7 or 730, so were all sitting on the plane assuming that we have food, and about 20 minutes later they ask us to clear the aisles to make it easier for the caterers to do their job. So it takes them 15 or 20 minutes to cater the airplane, so were finally ready to go at about 820-830 ish. By this time almost everybody on the plane (there were tons of people who spoke spanish, i guess amsterdam is one of the most popular ways to get back to spain because the amount of people who spoke spanish was about the same as the people who spoke english) knew that they were going to miss their connecting flight. The flight attendants said that the agents automatically rebooked the flights and that all we had to do was print out new boarding passes once we landed in amsterdam. So finally after waiting for pushback and everything we taxied around for like 20-30 minutes for some reason, we finally took off at 9:50, 6 hours late. We should have been almost to Amsterdam at this time, the flight was ok after that, the food we waited so long for really was terrible, i wouldve have rather left on time without the food, but we couldnt. So by the time we pull into the gate in amsterdam its almost 10:30 amsterdam time. I should have landed in berlin by now, but because of the delay we had to get on the next flight. So there is a transfer station right outside the gate that we went to, they had a bunch of computer terminals there, but everybody was using them so we had to wait yet again. When i finally get to the computer i swiped my passport then entered in which airport i was going to, and it came up as no flights booked. I just figured that maybe it had accidentally booked it into the other berlin airport (Templehof instead of Tegel, the one i was supposed to go too) but i got the same error message. So i tried again and it printed out this ticket that said i had to go to the agent, so i asked the KLM representative about it and he gave me a number and told me to wait in line. So after about 20-30 minutes (the transfer station was a zoo) I finally got to see an agent for KLM. Caitlin had automatically been booked on a flight that boarded at 11:55. KLM was great, they were really nice and they gave 10 Euro food voucher a 5 minute phone card and a 50 euro discount on the next flight on klm. I tried to use the phone card to call my host family but unfortunetly i could'nt get the phone card to work, so i had too run through the airport and after waiting in line at passport control for a little bit (and making a complete fool of myself, the passport agent asked me if i was travelling alone, and i thought he said turn around so i turned at hes just there laughing and im like ohhh) I had to go to like the other side of the airport to catch the flight, and i used caitlins phone to call my parents to tell them to call my host parents, we boarded the flight and in about 55 minutes we had landed in berlin. Surprisingly the Berlin airport is very, very tiny. Probably about as big as islip, if not smaller, which is surprising for the third 2nd biggest city in europe (4th if you count russia). I got my bags (they lost caitlins bags) and "went through passport control" (the guy working there just waved me through, he didnt even look at my passport) and i met my host brother benedict and my host mother. We went to a brunch at their friends house, where i met my other host brother julius, and my host father. After staying there for a couple of hours we went back to the house where i was showed my room and the rest of the house. I took a shower and started to unpack, we had a simple meal of bread meat and cheese (i can't remember the german word for it). and then at about 9 i went to sleep and slept in til about 230 this afternoon.
Ill say more about what i did today later on, but its 11:15 here so I am going to sleep.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
So in a little over 63 hours ill be on a plane headed to Amsterdam. I'm not gonna say that I'm not nervous or scared, cause that would be a flat out lie. It's more like worried about the fact that i don't speak german, and the fact that i still have soooo much to do before i leave. I still have to do basically all my packing, and i have to clean my room up so that the girl who is living with us (who we picked up tonight) can stay there instead of in my brothers old room. Now despite the fact that I'm kinda nervous I'm also ridiculously excited, I really can't wait to be in Berlin, even though I am gonna miss everybody here sooooo much.
I probably wont update this again until i leave, so until next time most likely in Berlin!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Hey everybody, just wanted to have a post to introduce myself. My name is Chris, I am a 16 year exchange student from Long Island, going to live in Germany for the year (hence the title of the blog.) I will be staying in Berlin, more specifically in Zehlendorf, an area about 15 kms south east of the teirgarten. I leave in just 9 days!! I am busy packing, shopping, cleaning my room up for the girl from venezuela living with my real family while im gone, and, oh yea, attempting to learn some german. My knowledge of the language is little to none (i had to use babelfish to get the word in the title for introduction >.<) but a very gracious couple has been tutoring me for the last couple of weeks. I'll update more when it gets more interesting, but for now I figured that an introduction would suffice.