Berlin is a lot more laid-back, a lot more “chill” than what I would have thought. I had anticipated the city to be quite busy and I expected a sort of “chaos” to crowd over one like myself from a small town in Michigan. However, contrary to my expectation, the city as a whole seems to have a certain “chill order” to it which has made it a lot easier/more comfortable to adjust. I did not expect that I would be able to get by so easily with such little ability to speak German. Nor did I expect to see so much greenery in the city. I also expected more interaction with German people, but so far most of our interaction has been with Calvin students/profs… Also, I feel like everywhere I go, many people look at our group (or small groups) traveling together and think to themselves “ugh, stupid Americans…”
Things that I miss from home?
I miss my family and friends. I miss the culture (of my hometown) where you can say hi, wave, smile, etc. to/at just about anyone–even people you don’t know. I miss having broader internet access, “normal bedding and pillows,” and a glass of milk at dinner. I also miss more “open spaces” (fields, etc.). I also miss not having to carry my wallet and passport everywhere I go. But perhaps most importantly, I miss drinking fountains and better/broader access to water. Seriously, how do Germans stay hydrated???
Things that I wish were at home?
The public transit here is awesome–it’d be cool if there were more efficient public transit in downtown places (or perhaps there are and I am unaware/uninformed). And the food. Currywurst and Doner Kebaps are the best.