Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Little Piece of Heaven

What do people do with a fork and a knife? Well, some eat dinner, for example. I just used them to open a bottle of beer. We've all heard the stories of how people over 30 buy alcohol, get asked for ID and consider it a compliment. Behind every compliment there lurks an insult. I am not allowed to drink at all in the US, and in a country where rum-raisin-nut chocolate (with 2% rum) activates the age-validation sign at the check-out counter, I can buy whatever I like. And I really like the grapefruit-beer, possibly because I really like grapefruit juice and I am in Germany, after all. At the MISTI training session I learned the German method of opening beer bottles, but which I did not attempt tonight because somebody is going to check my room before I move out and a hole in the table would not be hard to explain, but rather too self-explanatory.
The German way
This is my final week here and I have two more days of work left to come to terms with the leaving. I am currently celebrating with a piece of the best smoked salmon ever (the fish-stand man at my favourite supermarket always offers some to the passing customers and despite the 6-euro price, it is indeed heavenly). I also have a box of German strawberries, possibly some of the last this season. 

I have lately found myself thinking in German quite often. No longer because I think I should, but because I do. That also means I automatically respond to my non-German-speaking colleagues in German. I can communicate in German and I am quite a bit proud. 

Today at work:
A coworker comes into the lab. 
- Ein Hase! (A rabbit!)
- Wie bitte? (Pardon? - people don't usually walk into the lab and just say "rabbit", atlhough we do use rabbit antibodies)
- Ein Hase ist weiß und schnell. Lotta, was hast du ihr gesagt? (A rabbit is white and fast. Lotta, what were  you just telling her? - for picture proof, look at Erin's post below)

I was in fact talking about Estonian winters and how we always have snow (Schnee, compare to schnell above) that is white so it is not so dark at all. Probably as with every funny conversation, you had to be there. I just think my colleagues are awesome. 

Yesterday, I was in a bad mood (because one cannot be happy for too long, takes too much energy, and I've been happy for far too long), so I took a train to Euskirchen, southwest of Bonn, just so I could take a train. Travelling by train makes my happy. I can't stop myself from emphasising once again how awesome it is to have a student ID and take all there trains in the state for free. I saw the cutest little bug with his drinking bowl at a town hall square restaurant. There are also dogs at bookstores (well, bookstores are also huge 5-storey buildings, so totally valid places where to take your dog for a walk). 

I have grown so fond of Germany. I was reading MIT Admissions blogs the other day of how people love being in Cambridge because they love MIT and would not want to be anyplace else. I love MIT, too, but I am still so grateful I got out for the summer. I still have MIT to thank for me being in Germany. I am a whole other human being here and, more importantly, I feel like one. Then again, it hurts to leave and if I were UROPing on campus, I would not have to. 

I have started to think that maybe I should have gone to university in Germany instead. After all, it was always my back-up plan. Or maybe I shouldn't have. Yet, the idea of doing a PhD somewhere in Germany  one day sounds more and more appealing every day. I love Germany so much it hurts to leave. There is only one other country in the whole wide world that I love so much it hurts. And that love is just because. Or maybe Germany just reminds me a lot of that just because. I love being back at Europe. The good old Old World! I've missed you so.

I have too much time to think. It has also finally started raining and the cloudy weather makes everything even more beautiful. Lots of conversations start with weather, so blog posts can very well end on that. 


  1. I feel ya. Deutschland ist ein wunderschöner Ort; ich freue mich so sehr auf 17. August, wenn ich Hanover erreichen werde - aber ich bin auch ein bißchen nervös, denn ich habe mein Deutsch seit fast acht Monaten nicht benutzt... hoffentlich kann ich es alles noch erinnern.

  2. english, kids. english.

    lotta i very much enjoyed this post :) there are a lot of things i want to say but i'll leave that for gchat :)

  3. Zizz, mach dir keine Sorgen, du kannst sowieso besser sprechen als ich. Ich war fast nie in Deutschland gewesen (ein Sonntag in Rostock und 6 Stunden in München Flughafen zählen leider nicht) und in der Schule lernt man nicht sprechen, sondern verstehen und unnötige Grammatik. Und du bist noch die einzige Person ich kenne, die ein bisschen mit einem ß schreibt. Da gibt's aber auch ein Ergebnis auf LEO: Die Kirschen in Nachbars Garten schmecken immer ein bißchen süßer. Lustig.

    Sorry, Sumin. However, this is such discrimination! French is fine, but German banned? That's almost how two world wars started, guys. I'll look forward to all the gchatting.