So days there are just no other words for what the blog post is going to be. Brace yourself. If I were you, I’d pass on reading this, but since I’m me, I’m going to write it anyway.
Some people are cut out for world travel. I’m not.
Thus far, it is day four in Germany. I was jet lagged for the first day, went to the zoo on the second, overslept on the third, and found myself in wwaaaayyyy over my head in my German class today. I have made no friends, haven’t been able to get a hold of my family, and am feeling very, very alone. I can’t read anything – not even the street signs. Even the bedding is not the same – Americans sleep on sheets on a mattress and boxspring, Germans sleep on one dense, foamy mattress covered with a flannel sheet and under a fluffy down comforter, regardless of the weather. It’s significantly colder here than in the U.S. I was stupid enough to bring three pairs of shorts when I should have tossed those for another pair of pants.
The school I’m attending for German gets the students together for dinner and drinks every Tuesday. I am going. I do not have high hopes. I can barely understand the directions the teacher gives me – the other students are impossible. I don’t even know how to strike up a conversation. I can barely, just barely, follow my host and other student housemate at the dinner table. And most of the time I get an impression and that’s it.
Figuring out sizes for clothes has been difficult as well. I think I’ve mentioned the inconsistencies in sizes in the States. I’ve mastered ballparking those, but I don’t even know where to start for sizes in Europe. I’m looking those up tonight. Hopefully, I will feel a bit better with tights underneath me.
Laundry is a puzzle I have yet to figure out as well. I’m supposed to ask my host for use of his washing machine, but I’m shy about this. Explaining why is difficult and I’m not sure I can. I’m just…uncomfortable about it. It might have something to do with personal control issues – I like to have my own little fenced in comfort zone that I can deal with the world from. I don’t have that here. I’m sure it’s building character, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Nonetheless, I am trying to have a good time, even alone. I visited the Zoogarten on Saturday – heard a lion roar in person for the first time and watched a desert cat play with it’s dinner, caught a Fennic fox napping and was a thin plate of glass away from a Bengal tiger. I’ve walked around looking into the shops and found an 85 year old fabric store where they sell nothing but fabric made before synthetics. Tomorrow I want to spend the afternoon at the Brandenburg Tor.
Still, the loneliness is beginning to wear on me. I started to panic in class today when they kept throwing words at me that I didn’t know and – as per normal reaction – I nearly burst into tears. Nobody said anything, for which I was grateful, but I don’t think it made a good impression. One of these days, I need to figure out a way to stop doing that. And sooner rather than later, I think.
Back on the topic at hand: if I could just go out and figure out a way to make a few friends, I’m sure I could be doing much better, but right now I’m very lonely. I’m glad to be visiting, but I very much want to go home.