I can't believe it's seven weeks in!
Thoughts so far...
- I went to Heidelberg last night for dinner. My work BFF, Renuka, is here for work stuff for two weeks. We walked around and met up with her German friend for dinner. It was a lot of fun and nice to catch up. Renuka's someone I can really have any conversation with and it was great to be able to be totally honest and frank about work, which I haven't been able to do since I've been here. It's nothing to do with Germany and more just the usual moving stuff. I'm just not that close with anyone else at the German campus yet. We also probably totally alienated her friend, since we mostly talked about work and gossiped about our trip to Miami last year. Sorry, friend.
- Sleep. I have been sleeping a lot more than I used to. My manager, who was an expat in Switzerland for five years, has a theory: It's because our brains are processing so much during the day, sensory overload, that we need more rest. And everything is more difficult than we're used to, from going to the post office to getting groceries. This might be bullshit - I don't think this is true for me? It's not like I have to try to speak another language or something... But at least it makes me feel less like a bum.
- There's another American in my group, Tatum. She has temporarily taken over Renuka's role as work BFF, at least until her internship is over in May. We've been getting lunch once or twice a week and have plans for a day trip a couple of Saturdays from now. I've really appreciated having another 'outsider' to commiserate with. We can agree on the differences here in Germany - the guys in general are better-looking, the colleagues are way more personal, and grocery-shopping is fucking stressful as hell. She sent me two lists of things other expats in Germany learned. Aside from a couple of discrepancies, the lists are very accurate. Funny bit on jaywalking: I mentioned to two German colleagues that I don't jaywalk as often as I might in the states. They said that Germans don't jaywalk because of children. They're afraid a child might see the jaywalking and try to repeat, resulting in an accident. So my colleagues, and perhaps all Germans, only jaywalk when there are no cops or children around. Good to know what to look for!
- It's nice to have Renuka here to also have her fresh perspective. Seven weeks is just long enough to get complacent. Her thoughts so far: it really is beautiful here (seriously, Heidelberg was gorgeous), we are stupid lucky to have these opportunities, and driving is terrifying. Thanks Renuka, for the reminder. Also for being my mule and bringing things I desperately needed from home - notes from Mom, Hamilton t-shirts, Vanity Fair Hollywood issue, and my wireless keyboard and mouse from my old cube!