It's Like 3rd Grade All Over Again!

Clarissa Grunwald
July 21, 2016

All I have to say for myself is that, yes, I am ashamed of using the word "fun" as an end rhyme, and no, I'm not going to fix it. I don't have time for that. I got stuff to do. I haven't even started packing yet. I need to vacuum the cat hair out of my suitcase. 


Let’s go way back to March, see my plane touching down

I went to study abroad but I picked the wrong town

I’m not one to go clubbing, I really hate beer,

I’m a dang English major—what am I doing here?


See me riding to class: in my head I’m making lists

Of the things that I’ve left, and the things that I miss

Like, having conversations without the language gap

Finding my house without needing a map

Like, grocery shopping without all the stress

Every aspect of life felt like some kind of test


But something weird happened—the world continued to spin

Now I’ve only got a few more days left in Berlin

I somehow survived, I had a lot of fun

Can’t believe it’s almost over, but it’s been a great run


So here’s to Döner, graffiti, unexpected nude beaches

White people with dreadlocks and dogs without leashes

The weekend-night Bahns with all the passengers hammered

All the “he”s I called “she” ‘cause I messed up my grammar

To the towers, the churches, the constant construction,

To my guest family's cats, who won’t follow instructions

No matter what language you yell at them in

Here’s to Germany, here’s to Berlin


Spaghetti ice cream and thrift store acquisitions

Bilingual puns and street corner musicians

To the times I misspoke or my language was forced:

“I am a students. I would like this check divorced.”

To the flags that appeared in the windows of bars

On apartments, on shops, on the mirrors of cars,

Then disappeared overnight when the team didn’t win

(June was a weird month for Berlin)


Here’s to Bio, to Limo, to loud demonstrations

Rhubarb-flavored soda and public transportation

To bicycles, bakeries, weird German cheese,

And the public advertisements about testing STDs

To the shops selling [fill in the blank with a noun]

That transform into bars when the sun goes down

To flea markets and concerts, to the places I’ve been

Here’s to Germany, here’s to Berlin


To those on their way here, and those yet to come

Pack up your bags and prepare to look dumb

Pirate your music before you arrive

Take a deep breath, and I swear you’ll survive

Download a map and give it a trial

When you’re in doubt, just say “bitte?” and smile

Take pictures, take notes, get lost and explore

Try something new—that’s what Berlin’s for

I hope that you’ll thrive, that you’ll grow, that you’ll learn

I know I’m glad I came, and I hope to return

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

Clarissa Grunwald

<p>Writer, composer, musician. American student with a terrible sense of direction set loose on Germany. After years of telling people that I love to travel, this is my first time actually leaving the country.</p>

2016 Spring
Home University:
Franklin & Marshall College
Explore Blogs