I am a woman of routine. I enjoy routine, I need routine. It doesn't do much for the spontaneity in my life, but at least I know what comes next.
That being said, this week has had me a little off my game.
Last weekend was my host father's birthday, so we celebrated that with a Raclette dinner. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a German food (can also be Swiss) that involves bread, meat, cheese, and some veggies. It's really hard to explain!
My family back home has Raclette for very special occasions, so I was reminded of ski trips in Canada and Easter Sundays at the beach house...
On Monday I had one hour of school. My second block was canceled and the classes were shortened due to parent-teacher conferences, so I met a friend in Berlin Spandau and we went shopping... where we found some other kids that we knew! We ended up going out to lunch together, it was such a nice surprise. On Tuesday I didn't have to go to school because my first block was canceled, my second block was English, and I would have had to leave in the middle of the class to make a presentation to a school in Berlin Spandau.
A while ago I wrote to the American Embassy in Germany asking if they knew anything about Thanksgiving celebrations in the area. My email was bounced around until it got to a woman in charge of Public Relations. After answering my original question, she asked if I wanted to join a program called Meet US, where American students in Germany talk to English classes in their area about American culture - either building up or tearing down stereotypes. I jumped on the opportunity, it sounded like an eye opening experience for both parties involved. And it was! It was really cool to see what the kids were interested in, what they knew about America and what they wanted to know. For almost the entire class of sophomores, I was the first American they had ever met!
These are the questions they asked me:
Do you go to clubs on the weekend?
Do you go to a dance club or to a sports club in your free time?
With whom do you spend most of your free time?
Do you travel in your free time?
Did you vote?
Who did you vote for?
Do you like Obama?
What is your opinion about the politics in the USA?
Have you seen the White House?
How many accidents with weapons are there?
Do you own a weapon in New Jersey?
Why do Americans love their weapons so much? And is it
Are there a lot of criminals?
What punishments are there (for criminals)?
How long is your way from home to school?
How long is your school day?
Do you like all your teachers?
Which subjects do you have in school?
Why are there so many people in America who take party
drugs like cocaine?
Are there many ghettos in America?
Which city in America is the most criminal?
What do the police do with big criminal gangs like MS13?
Are the most criminal people immigrants from Mexico?
Are there many corrupt cops in America?
What kind of international restaurants are there in New
Is food expensive in America?
Have you ever had distasteful food?
On Wednesday I had an Art exam, which was interesting. I had to draw a picture and explain the principles of art that I used. I have to thank Mrs. A's art class back home - I drew a two-point perspective. On Thursday, all of my classes were canceled. By chance, too! The rest of my classmates had one or two blocks, but I was really lucky. It feels like I wasn't in school the entire week!
I didn't waste the day, though. I got my hair cut and it turned out just as I wanted, so I was pretty proud of myself. Getting something as important as a haircut done in another language is a pretty big feat. After, I went to the outlets with my host mom and we went window shopping, which I am always up to doing. Shopping would be better, but we exchange students are always broke.
On Friday my first block was canceled, meaning I got to sleep in! On my way to school at 9:30 I got a text from the same friend I met on Monday, asking if I wanted to go to the "Twilight" premiere after school in Berlin. We weren't going to see the movie, but we were going to see the stars. I wasn't too keen on sitting outside in below freezing weather for five hours, but I figured - how often do I go to a movie premiere? So I rushed there after school to make sure we'd get a good spot (although we all know there's Twi-hards who have been there for days), which was unnecessary because we found some other friends on the fence to the 'red carpet', or what we thought would be. Turned out it was just where the cars drove through. So I can't say that I saw Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, or Taylor Lautner in person, but I can say that they saw me! (The car windows were one-way tinted). Plus, I got on the German news, which was worth it!
On Saturday, I met up with the same friend (again) and we went to go see "Skyfall" in Berlin. Both of us agreed, despite all the criticism, it was really good! Maybe because we're both big fans of Daniel Craig. She then slept over, and we watched another movie this morning (....mid afternoon, but morning to us!). We had to rush to catch her train back to Berlin Spandau, and as I was walking back from the train, I realized how cold and dark it was. It was barely four, and it had been grey and wet the entire day (though I never saw it rain). The clouds got darker and darker, and by the time I got home (twenty minutes later), it was just past dusk. It's been such bad, cold, weather for a while, and it's only going to get worse from here on in. I'm not looking forward to it. I've heard it gets down to -15° C in deep winter.
Sometimes I wish I picked South America.