American Writer In Germany: 1 Week

So I’ve officially made it through my first full week in Germany. Here are my initial thoughts, observations, questions, and concerns:

  1. I need to learn German. Duh, right? But now that I’m here, I wish I could just download the language onto my mental hard drive like the Matrix. The day I can confidently order my coffee in German without having to ask the barista, “Sprechen sie Englisch?”, I’m throwing a party.
  2. Talking to a 1-year-old all day while you’re learning a new language? Bad idea. I know more baby-German words than I know actual German words.
  3. Said 1-year-old will know how to count to five in English by the end of the month. Mark my words. We’re only a week in and I’ve got him to three already.
  4. I’m layering. In AUGUST. Not cool. (Or very cool, if we’re speaking literally.)
  5. Puppet shows suck. Puppet shows in a language you don’t understand REALLY suck.
  6. I felt very self-conscious at first, walking around as one of a few black people (that I’ve seen), and an American, AND someone who can’t speak the language. Then a few senior citizens told me I was pretty and I felt better. Is my self-esteem that low or am I just that vain? I’m STILL one of a few black people. Still American. Still can’t speak German. But at least I’m pretty.
  7. The COMPLETE lack of jaywalking gets more frustrating at every car-less intersection.
  8. Did I mention I’m freaking LAYERING?
  9. The cafe selection is mediocre, at best. So far.
  10. EVERYTHING is closed by 8pm. Every. Single. Thing. Don’t even get me started on Sundays.
  11. Germans are NOT afraid to stare. But they’re all VERY welcoming and friendly. Unless you break rules. (See point #14.)
  12. The shopping gods have shined their light upon me. #IDressBetterInGermany
  13. Bike lanes on sidewalks will take some SERIOUS getting used to. I’ve almost been hit by more bikes in Hamburg in a week than all the time I’ve lived in NYC.
  14. Follow the rules or get some serious judgy glares from the locals. (Which brings us back to point #7…)
  15. I miss my mom.
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