So, finally I arrive in Germany!
The year in Finland had truly come full circle, with the lakes melting back into their former liquid form, the birds and insects in the trees again, and the sun shining. Thus I flew via Denmark, which was cool, in the two hour stop over I stared thoughtfully out the windows, and lost 7€ in a two currency vending machine trying to buy a bottle of water. Also, you could buy beer (Carlsberg, obviously) in the vending machine- crazy eh, any kid could buy a can! If the vending machine worked that is, instead of just stealing your money and making a funny noise.
Anyway, Copenhagen was a good stop off point, half way between Finland and Germany, and sort of half way between the cultures as well- Danish sounded a bit like German, and it was all a bit German and efficient, but still with the isolation and weirdness of Scandinavia- and out of the window what did I see- trees, green, so green they looked like they had been painted with luminous paint or they were UV of something! Mad! They were everywhere, so green, the sun shining so hot! Incredible.
I took the train from Hannover airport to Göttingen, and there it was gorgeous weather, the sun shining, t-shirt and shorts weather, so hot! And everywhere, life, birds, deer, bees and birds, green fields of seeds and huge leafy trees. I hadn’t realised how much I had missed seeing life and living things until now, it was an unexpected surprise that Finland gave me as a parting gift.
In Germany I bought a bicycle for seventeen euros from a police auction ,and then set about repairing it- it was about rideable to begin with , and after an hour or so of tinkering it was absolutely unrideable as I’d totally messed up the spokes on the back wheel so it wouldn’t turn anymore! Classic! A few more hours of fiddling and it was about rideable again, and now the brakes are tightened and it goes! We went to see the Dove’s family , went for a celebratory boozefull walk across the countryside with her friends to celebrate a local festival day , and now back in Göttingen the daily life continues! Only days into the German summer, I’ve already learnt a bunch of new words, and we spoke German for a few days, but it was tiring- I’ve got good hopes for the summer though!
I reckon Germany is the perfect situation to learn a language-
-random people talk to you all the time. Fixing my bike outside, 3 different strangers approached me to ask different things. Needless to say I couldn’t help any of them, but it was good language challenge! Entschulldigung…
-everyone speaks to you in German, but if you get stuck they can speak English too!
-lots of signs are handily in German and then English, for on the spot translations!
I’ve only gone and fallen in love with Germany all over again too! Göttingen lies right in the core of Germany , which itself lies right in the centre of Europe- I feel like I’m in the beating heart of the European experience. In the little train station , the only one in the city , for 50 euros you can get a direct train to Berlin ,or Paris ,or Vienna.
In our little apartment we are in a concrete student housing high-rise, and opposite us is the international student family accommodation- there you can see families of Chinese, Indian, and Turkish people, all speaking German as well as English and their own languages! Crazy times!
Germany feels a bit like the twin brother of England , the same but for the grace of god, their histories irreversibly intertwined , their languages distantly related but from the same root, different but still strangely similar, similar landscape, similar haircuts , similar climates, both now world powers of politics and economics. Here, just like in England, you’ll see people from every corner of the world speaking German as their mother language, as third generation inhabitants of the fatherland. As a university city, Göttingen is more international than most places, but still in the countryside your neighbours are all Russians too. Here in Göttingen , the bicycle is king, and bicycle paths are as wide, numerous and regulated as the roads, with bicycle-only streets , highways, one way systems and a machine that counts how many bicycles have ridden past it that day- stand by for photos…
I continue working on the German and have a look at the Spanish too, I’m exploring the city and the parks and looking for a second hand shop to buy a plate and maybe a new suit…I’m going to a confirmation so I want to look smart. Went to a German lecture on plants, was mostly understandable. Went to an awesome ancient cake shop too and had the cake to die for, a marzipan, apple and cream monstrosity that boggled the mind. This place is full of sunny green places to chill out and drink some cool, cheap German beers.Paradise, found.
Also, I was alerted the other day to the fact that my blogging contract ends…at the end of this month! In ten days! I’ll blog a few time more before then but yeah…the end is almost nigh.