One Month Later

Robin Clower
August 14, 2015

Since leaving Berlin I have continued to have a fairly busy summer. Immediately after departure I met up with my girlfriend in Ireland. We stayed there for a week and it was quite wonderful! We went to horse races, the Giant’s Causeway, a couple of plays, and for a birthday present I got to fly some falcons! Dublin was a pretty cool city, but it certainly was no Berlin. For starters, they only had one method of public transportation in the city as opposed to 4! They had fewer parks spread across the city, although Phoenix Park certainly dwarfed any of Berlin’s parks. A major difference was that the people were much more outgoing in Ireland. In Berlin, I probably had fewer than 10 strangers address me the entire 6 weeks I was there. In Ireland, it was easy to get 10 a day! They would just casually mention something to you and strike up a conversation from there, totally unlike the Berliner way of life.

            Upon arriving back in the USA (via a one night accidental detour through Toronto) the first thing I noticed was the heat – and how glorious it was! After spending time wearing jeans and a pullover in Ireland and feeling cold, it was great to step out into a 105° sun scorched parking lot. I really do love heat compared to cold, I’m not being sarcastic. After an extremely productive week getting stuff done that I couldn’t do in German such as shampooing my carpet, organizing club events, eating at Braums, etc. I went to Nebraska for my sister’s wedding. It was a great ceremony, extremely fitting for her and her groom, as it wasn’t traditional at all. She walked down the aisle to “Baba O'Riley” (Teenage Wasteland) to an alter made of bookshelves and Stephen King books. The cake topper was made to look like Fry and Leela from the TV show “Futurama” accompanied by my sister’s cats.

            So what’s different between the US and Germany? I’ll present a couple main points in list form!

            The heat – although Oklahoma is much hotter than Germany, we also have A/C! So the godawful hot days aren’t nearly as noticeable in Oklahoma as they were in Germany.

            The people – Oklahomans are some of the nicest people on the planet and just like the Irish will start up a conversation at the slightest provocation. Although I will miss my host family and all of my friends from Berlin dearly.

            The food – Overall, I like US food much more than German food. Buying Reese’s and Braums’ milkshakes whenever I want to is amazing. However, no Döner. So life kinda sucks.

            The concrete – Before I left for Belin, I pictured a typical city. Huge buildings crowding the road, loud cars, tons of people and no breathing space. That wasn’t the case, and I actually notice the concrete here a lot more. Parking lots are sprawling, all roads have to be super wide to accommodate our pickup trucks, and people don’t mind if half of their yard is taken up by parking spots. I miss public transportation and not having to use my car to get everywhere.


And just like that, my time abroad is to an end. I made tons of great friends, some of whom I’m sure I’ll go visit at their respective colleges. I ate tons of good Döner, I’m sure I’ll be craving a quality one for the majority of my life. I spoke tons of German, so I’m looking forward to getting to speak with my friends in German club. I’ll miss Berlin and its chill way of life, the ability to go out on any random night and have a great time at concerts, clubs, parks, fests, or pool halls. But at the end of the day, I’m glad that I’m home. Now to eat some American chocolates.

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Robin Clower

<p>I am Robin Clower and currently I&#39;m earning degrees in Secondary Education: Mathematics and German, as well as an additional major in Mathematics at Oklahoma State University (Go Cowboys!) I lived in Germany as a child, but am now headed back after studying Germany&#39;s language, culture, and history for four years at OSU. My main passion in life is teaching, so I hope to teach y&#39;all something while I&#39;m in Germany and learning about myself.</p>

2015 Summer 1, 2015 Summer 2
Home University:
Oklahoma State University
German Language
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