I flew out on AirBerlin, so I figured it was the perfect way to start practicing my German. When the steward came around with the drink cart, he asked, “Was möchten Sie?” (What would you like?), and I replied, “Wasser, bitte.” (Water, please.) Then he asked me, “With or without bubbles?” and continued to speak English to me for the remaining 10 and a half hours. So much for practicing.
When I landed in Düsseldorf, I had to get by passport checked, and the woman asked me, “What is the reason for your trip?” “I’m studying in Berlin.” Then she looked at me and said, “And you don’t speak German?” So we continued the rest of the interview in German. I was also able to get through security, ask for directions to my gate, and order lunch in German.
The flight from Düsseldorf wasn’t quite so exciting, except when I asked for, “Wasser, bitte,” the stewardess replied, “Stille?” (Without bubbles.) I don’t know why the steward on the other flight couldn’t do that.
I got to the hostel and proceeded to trip over nothing in front of the owner less than 2 minutes after arriving. One of the pieces of advice I got for studying abroad was to stay true to myself. Somehow, I don’t think continuing to be a klutz was quite what they had in mind.
Today was supposed to be my touristy day. I had found a walking tour of Berlin that I wanted to take, covering many of the main attractions of Berlin, including museums, the Wall and Checkpoint Charlie, and others. Yeah, that didn’t happen.
So my day started with breakfast at the café next to the hostel. They had a variety of breakfast choices on the wall, including things like the Power Breakfast and the Continental Breakfast. So when I ordered, I said, “Continental Breakfast und eine Flasche Wasser.” Even when I was saying it, I was wondering if that could be any more Denglisch.
Then I went to get on the U-Bahn to get to the tour meeting point by 10:00. But, I couldn't find the station. No matter, I thought, there's another one at 13:30, I'll just go to that one, and take the S-Bahn instead (which the station is practically right next to the hostel). So, at 12:45, I head over to the S-Bahn station, buy my ticket, and hop on the train. Using the S-Bahn, I had to make a transfer, so I got off at the correct station and went to find the connecting train. I got on, sat down...and 10 minutes later, I still wasn't where I was supposed to be, and the trip planner said it would only take about 7 minutes. So I got off, went back to the map, saw that I went the wrong way, so I hopped back on the return train and tried again. When I finally got to the correct stop, it was 13:35...and the tour was already gone.So I walked around a little bit, and then got back on the S-Bahn and headed back to the hostel. But, of course I had to get and take the train the wrong direction again after my transfer. So I have yet to actually see any touristy sites.
So what have I learned about myself so far? No matter where I am, I am a klutz and get lost easily.
Tomorrow I actually get to move into the Studentenwohnung, my apartment. Unfortunately, I won't have internet there, so I don't know how often I'll be able to update.