I’m answering the question, “what’s it like?” So here are some people that have defined the trip with their appreciable personality, philosophy, and appearance.
We spotted famous actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise in Bremen several weeks ago sporting classic aviators and a trim short-sleeve white button-down. After insisting that we address him as Ben (to protect his fame, of course), we compromised with “Com Truise.” He proved to be nothing like the arrogant, egotistical character he often plays on screen.
We found this male model and UFC fighter posing beneath a statue of a great general on his warhorse in Koblenz. Despite inciting riots within our dorm room with pointed questions and probing critiques, we learned to appreciate Zac’s depth of knowledge in and out of the classroom.
Here’s a group of vagabonds I stumbled upon while hiking near Dresden. In the words of the one in the front right she’s “an arrogant pig and [the girl behind her] is a ditzy mermaid.” These two young women have something of a riff developing between them. Previous blog posts written by a certain Genevieve and Madeline document this. We spent a lovely afternoon taking in the vast plains, forests, and mesas of east-central Germany.
On a different note, I met up with an old friend who was an exchange student in my home town for a year. Lucie lives in Potsdam, a beautiful old city (an apt descriptor for most of the places we’ve visited on this trip) southwest of Berlin. We spent the afternoon catching up from the past 4 years over ice cream and a bottle of the local brew.
So what has Germany been like? As you can see, it’s mostly American youth and old cities. Throw in a few enthralling stories from the Calvin professors, interesting German professors, nightly homework, lots of bread, and various embarrassing miscommunications, and that sums up the rest. To be honest, it’s difficult to describe acutely what living here is like. Most of the experience, in my view at least, has been significantly colored by group dynamics, which aren’t easy to write about to an audience not present.