So whilst other people (i.e in germany) are just beginning their second semester , my entire academic year has now finished! The summer holiday starts now , and I am making ready to leave Erasmus! Crazy times! What a year!
It’s the annual two week student binge drinking festival at the moment , Wappu, which started yesterday and apparently is a pretty big deal. Personally , I’m all about sitting around with beer and talking to your friends , but with the days counting down till I blast off to Germany to begin my new life , almost an unofficial second erasmus, I don’t really feel like relaxing , all systems are go here. I’m chisselling away slowly at my new dissertation – trying to wrangle my new Finnish data set’s into something that looks hot, whilst steadily getting ready to leave Finland…forever. I mean , I’d still like to come back one day , maybe if I hear they are having a really cold winter I’ll fly back up to Oulu to see what -40 or -50 feels like , and I still have unFinnished business with the elusive wilderness huts, but other than that , I reckon Finland is done.
So , onto the next adventure! And all of this with the shining star , the buried treasure, the glorious prize of my erasmus year , the fabulous german wonderwoman. I feel like an arctic explorer who trekked for days through the arctic wasteland to find a rare lost diamond, and now I’m flying back to safety on the return trip to fame and fortune!
So , for me the Erasmus year is technically almost coming to a close , as I leave soon , for good , out of Oulu and out of Finland! But to me, It doesn’t feel like Erasmus is finishing- I’m going not to England , but to Göttingen, Germany where I will live for the summer! For me it feels not like an end but like a beginning- and seeing as there I will be living around the univeristy , and be speaking a foreign language for once, its almost like for me this is my real foreign language Erasmus starting now!
I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do this summer in germany , obviously my wonderful girlfriend is there , the whole reason why I’ll be there , but she’ll be universitying for the entire summer ,whilst I….um…well…yeah…I’m sure I’ll find plenty of things to do. I’ll be living in a miniscule student apartment with the Dove in a university city , So I’ll get a bike , join the erasmus society and make friends with the foreign crowd , I’ll practice German and I’ll search out some part time employment, preferably that doesn’t require being fluent in german , perhaps as a mute bicycle repairman. The wonder of having english as your mother tongue is that lots of people want to speak it ,and already I’m arranging some situations where I am being paid to speak english in received pronunciation and tell people correct grammar and how to pronounce stuff. I want to check out all the shops , the landscape , the people and the culture, and on the weekend’s I’ll go and check out the various cities and sights of germany. I’ll be speaking german on a day to day basis, which should inevitably lead to some hilariously embarrassing good old fashioned British misunderstandings. Luckily, germany is right in the hub of europe, so if you drive for a bit in any direction , you can cross one border and be swilling wine with the French aristocrats , eating cod liver pate by the sea in Denmark , admiring some tulips by the windmills in Holland , or even be getting to grips with a new alphabet in Poland. Of course , the big idea is that ,as well as a new adventure , I’ll be learning more german every day, and maybe I can get good enough to get some kind of job and…start to have a real chance of living in Germany one day.
Luckily for you all, I’ll still be a blogger until August, so the blogs continue. I’ll still be technically a student- I’m writing my disseration this summer , and hanging round with students , near a univeristy , eating in a univeristy and so forth, so its not too much of a change. But also , this can give you a different insight , on living in a different country in a diffferent way, for a kind of extended holiday/making it in a foreign country.I mean I’m not alone here, but this is a pretty different experience , living for three months on foreign soil without the structure or community that erasmus gives you. I of course have the Dove to take me under her wing, but when she’s at Uni…I’m just a foreign dog roaming the streets trying to cut it in a foreign country , no different to polish immigrants in england; I’ll be a migrant worker , coming over here, stealing our german women (technically just one woman , but the most beautiful one) , stealing our jobs , with their funny ways and strange accents, send me back home! That’ll be me!
So for those with foreign tastes that imagine one day actually living overseas , maybe I can shed some light on what its like trying to live in a foreign language and a foreign country.
This time its a real mystery- what will the future bring? What am I actually going to do for 3 months in Germany? Will I understand anything/anyone? If your looking at the accompanying photos , prepare for a change of pace- probably fewer incredible icy landscapes and more…I don’t know , me standing infront of signs or perhaps some castles , or me holding famous beers or something, perhaps I’ll buy some lederhosen to liven it up. Who knows where the adventure will lead(erhosen) next? I’ll try to keep the number of blogs solely about the german language to a minimum , but believe it or not it is quite interesting, so I’m not making any promises.
Anyway , I’v still got a while in Finland still , So although my thoughts and heart are already in the next dream destination I’m still living here, so time to snap back into reality , crack on with the disseration/crack open an expensive Finnish beer. Nähdään!