- In the apartment which I am living you can often hear music down a floor and its so calming and beautiful. Probably a Mozart prodigy in the making. I also feel like people should break into song everytime I hear it, most likely from watching so many different musicals that take place in Europe. For the most part you can hear music being played by random musicians in the street, like during class or at the park near museum island, it is quite magnificent. I actually really like sitting in German language class with the windows open and the flow and music sometimes good and sometimes not so much filling the air. If only people in America randomly played music outside. Also it seems like the culture is very different than America in the sense that here people are not on their phones all the time, they actually talk or are ok with sitting quietly by themselves and thinking. There are definitely drunks that can be spotted almost everywhere and almost at any time but more so late at night. On the other hand today at the supermarkt the bakery woman who sold me breakfast was quite kind and even smiled. The culture also seems very supportive of diversity and of recognizing the Holocaust. I have already seem a few memorials and big remembrances of people. It is almost hard to take in and when I think about it, it is shocking to just begin to see how many and how impact the Jews were. When I see photos of many of them I just feel shocked at how German they were, German names, and faces and yet the only thing that separated them was their religious beliefs of affiliation, regardless of how practicing they were or not. Maybe that’s why I feel uncomfortable wearing anything that shows I am jewish. It is not out of fear that someone is going to hurt me, although I think at first it was. Now it is more out of respect for those murdered because they were no different than other germans other than their faith and yet they were forced to stand out and wear what they believed on their sleeve, literally. I feel priviledged to be jewish and to live in a free county and currently to even travel to a country that used to not be so welcoming to anyone and everyone. The weather has been quite warm and humid and after walking around for a while in the sun, my energy seems to fade [side effects of traumatic brain injury]. Thankfully a sugary drink like Fanta really has great value at 1 in the afternoon when I need it. Many people here drink and I see people walking through the streets, the trains and definitely with meals. Its just part of the environment here. It is not uncommon for people to smoke almost anywhere except on the trains but somehow I don’t really smell it unless I am right next to the person. Also people really cannot buy a lot of something such as food because then you have to carry it around with you everywhere in your bag(s), so people seem to shop frequently and can go to each different specialty store if necessary. It’s a very different reality compared to a Costco, and Target kind of girl as myself.
- Culture shock has finally set in. Most people party and go clubbing, as for me, I haven’t really done either. I am super glad that I haven’t but I feel as though some people are starting to see that. If so, that’s ok because I have been having a great time here and meeting people from all over. Its just hard because I still want to be invited out even if I end up not going. Most of my friends have been nice because they respected me not drinking or smoking. Here its very different because pretty much everyone, especially those on the trip from the US, are big drinkers. Its straight up stupid because they just get drunk super fast and then kind of kill the party. I am grateful to not be into those things. I feel I am able to live my life more fully and get more out of this adventure.