Haha, ich bin hier. Mein ”deutsches Erlebnis” hat begonnen (angefangen ? ; losgegangen ??) und ich sollte eigentlich auf Deutsch schreiben, nicht wahr? Um die Sprache zu lernen und alles das. Aber, aber...ich glaube nicht, dass das passieren wird, nicht in der unmittelbaren Zukunft!
Aber ich bin hier. Wer hätte das gedacht?
That’s one of my favourite sentences in German. Wer hätte das gedacht? „Who would have thought of that.“ It sounds beautiful. Which may have to do something with the fact that the singer of my second favourite band (Eisbrecher / old Megaherz) has been known to have said that sentence a couple of times and he has one lovely voice.
But anyway, I am here. The first day is almost over. The flight was okay, a bit late, but otherwise fine. Finding the institute wasn’t a huge problem – just a bit sweaty, since I of course didn’t want to part with my money to the degree of taking a cab. So I dragged the 30 kilos through S-Bahns and U-Bahns. It was raining too.
I got to the institute and was shown to my room, which is not too bad at all. There’s a little kitchen, a bathroom and the actual room, which is maybe around 25 square meters with a bed, a small dining table, a desk with a computer, a shelf for the books and a cupboard for the clothes. No TV though, which means that one has to come up with alternative ways of spending the evenings. There is however plenty of free floorspace, but I haven’t found out yet what they think of guests staying over.
Anyway, after a couple of hours of unpacking and relaxing I was given lots of papers to sign and a short tour of the instute. All in German, I am happy to say. It went better than I had feared. I understood almost everything and I actually managed to say a thing or two – even if I also did a lot of nodding with „Okay, gut, genau“ -type of commentary. But Frau Z was just happy that I spoke German at all – insisting that her English was not at all good – and Herr G actually complimented me on my German. Which was really terribly nice of him, even if not very accurate.
But I think the language thing may be okay. I was reading the Frankfurter Allgemeine in the plane and could actually understand most of the articles that I read without bigger problems. Speaking is still a problem, because my grammar sucks and my vocabulary is very limited, but on the other hand I still seem to be able to communicate – even if people have to finish my sentences for me. Thus far they seem quite willing to do it too. Maybe it’s because the Germans seem to like Finns. Everytime I do the „ich komme aus Finnland“ -thing, they get a big smile on their face and repeat happily „aus Finnland?!“ Plus at the institute there is the added advantage that lots of people here are on very good terms with my „Doktormutter“ so they seem pre-disposed towards liking me too. And I of course like anybody who likes me, so that might make things easier.
After all the bureaucratic stuff I went for the first of hopefully many walks. There is quite a big park that starts directly from the institute and follows a small river. There’s some sort of smallish bird reservoir on the other side and plenty of very lovely looking places for a person to sit down with a book. Looked altogether very promising. I also found a store and discovered that at least food is cheaper here than in Finland. Germany also seems to be one of those countries, where you can get wine for less than 2 euros from the grocery stores. So I’ve celebrated my birthday with a nice mozzarella salad, a glass of white wine and some of the chocolate I got as a present yesterday. The other present is waiting for me and I think I will go and keep Paolo Coelho company now. Thanks by the way for the party yesterday and Ä for taking me to the airport. All very nice!
Now I’m going to go and see if I can still get into the library to post this. I have a computer with an internet connection in my room, but the good people of the institute have seen fit to ban certain sites. Like blogger, myspace and youtube for instance. Schade.