Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Rundown

Sorry for immediately falling behind on posting updates - I have never had a more hectic/action-filled week in my life! Even better...I see no sign of it letting up anytime soon. That being said, I may try to post smaller, more frequent posts giving insights into whatever happened that week.

Berlin: The city is abosulutely massive. That's probably the best word I can think of to describe it. I could also throw out diverse, young, bohemian, fast-paced, and edgy, but massive is my first impression. It's incredibly nice to be able to hop on the U-bahn or S-bahn and get within a few blocks of anywhere in the city. We had a couple very cold days, -20 C (-4 F) but today was 30F and it felt warm! It's also very interesting because you can immediately see the divide between East and West Berlin when traveling to different parts of the city.

Homestay/School: I'm living with a single lady (Elizabeth) on the 4th floor of a residential complex in Friedenau. Friedenau is a more affluent, wealthy area of Berlin that has many nice cafes and is situated in between the city center in Mitte and school in Dahlem - about 30 minutes each way. The Stanford Center is literally a mansion with 2 kitchens, 3 main classrooms, a student lounge, 2 computer clusters, an extensive library, a work out room, and plenty of offices and space used for other various activities.

Nightlife: Again, massive and diverse. Last night I had a great time (best night yet in Berlin on a Wednesday - who would have thought). After having a sort of speed-dating thing to pick our sprachpartners at the center, I went out with my sprachpartner (Livia) to the bar along with a few other German and Stanford students. By far the funniest night of the trip plus it was cool to make some German friends. Will definitely go out with Livia again this weekend, although coming in at 6 in the morning is killing my sleep. No worries though - you only live once!

Food: Great food so far. We're on our own for all meals but my host mom cooks breakfast for me every morning. I ate at a great place in East Berlin last Saturday night called Weinerei where you pay 1 euro for a glass upon entering and then can eat all the food (whatever they cook - this night happened to be very good pasta and soup) and drink all the wine you want. When you leave you pay what you think is right. Really cool hippy and trendy feel to the place.

I'll try and keep this updated a little more regularly in the future. Speaking of future, this weekend: Saturday trip to Potsdam, next weekend: trip to Rome with Thiago and a few other students from Berlin. Uh oh...when in Rome...who knows what will happen. Tschüss from Berlin.

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