The first week in Berlin, Germany, flew by for me. Berlin did not feel like culture shock; however, I learned that it is exhausting to have the native language not be my native language. Speaking in German is difficult, but the German class we are taking helps remind me of the German I learned second semester, which I had forgotten.
I do like the food here in Germany, which surprised me. From currywurst to döners, it is all delicious. It’s not what I am used to, but I am enjoying trying new foods. When we went to the KaDeWe, a giant everything store, the size and variety of food blew me away. In the KaDeWe, there was not one food I could think of that wasn’t there. Including the KaDeWe, there are a lot of reminders of the Wall still here in Germany. There is a path on the ground marking the place where the wall was, and often there are stories behind locations of buildings. There is a lot of history in Berlin, and I am enjoying learning it. For example, I learned that Napoleon rode through the Brandenburg gate and took the statue on top; Hitler rode through the same gate with the statue after invading and conquering France.
The public transportation system’s efficiency surprised me as well. I don’t often ride the bus in the U.S., but here in Germany many people do. It takes some getting used to, but I’m becoming better at finding out which buses I need to take. I can now appreciate how useful and efficient public transportation is.
There are some things I miss about home. I miss my family most. I see things around the city and think of them, and I can’t wait to show them all the pictures and tell them about everything I did. I also miss air conditioning. So far, we have not had many hot days, but yesterday it was very warm and I couldn’t help thinking about how nice it would be to have AC.
There are also things I wish I could take home with me. The ice cream here in Berlin is amazing. They have a lot of different flavors, but every flavor is delicious. I wish I could take the weather back as well. It is mostly sunny here, and when it rains it still isn’t very cold. There are also few humid days, which makes it nice to be outside when it’s sunny.
Overall, I have enjoyed my first week in Germany and am looking forward to the rest of the trip. I look forward to learning more of the language and experiencing more of the culture. God has blessed me richly this first week!