The Grass is Green on Both Sides

Sebrina Yan
June 19, 2016

I've had many small successes since arriving in Berlin. I can take public transportation around the city like a pro. I can order a chai latte from a coffee shop in German. I finished an entire jar of Nutella ("50 g gratis!") in less than a week. 

But despite those victories, I'm still very, very much maladjusted to life here, and once in awhile, I feel the pangs of homesickness. For one, I miss my car, and the fact that my lazy self can't hop into it whenever it wants and go anywhere it wants. Our IES Abroad group visited Potsdam yesterday, the capital of Brandenburg, and we walked so much that my left foot is still aching. Maybe that just testifies how out of shape I am, but either way, a car would have made things so much less painful. 

That's not all. I opened the fridge today and discovered that I don't really have any more acceptable dinner food, which isn't a problem - the supermarket is just a moment's walk away. But, alas!--today is Sunday, and the grocery store is closed. I guess I'll just have to eat muesli and the remains of my grapefruit for dinner. 

Then there are the quiet hours here - hours during which you're not allowed to make loud noises so as not to disturb the others living in your building, which is totally understandable, because who wants to be bothered by Mr. and Mrs. Upstairs Neighbors blasting their loud music at midnight? But, in my building, this means that as early as 8 p.m., I'm not allowed to play the piano, which I love to do. 

But I don't want to keep complaining. These maladjustments, I'm sure, are just a typical part of being in a new place for the first time, and it'd be silly of me to think that Germany is just like America - duh. And really, all of that isn't even a big deal, because Germany's got it's perks. I haven't been bit by any mosquitoes here, for starters. Even though it's been rainy this past week, the weather has been nevertheless fantastic at a reasonable 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. The trains and buses here are the bomb. There's an ice cream or coffee shop everywhere you look. Food is cheap and abundant.

So, even though sometimes I just want to hop on a plane back to America, I guess the grass is pretty green in Berlin, too. 

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Sebrina Yan

<p>I hail from Houston, Texas and study in Austin, Texas, so needless to say, I&#39;m ready to get out of Texas. I study Chemistry and Spanish at the University of Texas at Austin and I like to pretend that I can manage German. This is my second time in Europe and I&#39;m excited for the adventure that awaits!</p>

2016 Summer 1, 2016 Summer 2
Home University:
University of Texas - Austin
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