Day three in Germany: now that I’ve had a little time to get settled, let us begin the first blog entry.
I arrived in Germany on Friday, April 4th, at around 8:40 a.m., over an hour late, due to inclement weather in Abu Dhabi, where I had a transfer (my original flight was from Singapore, where I finished my Spring break, after touring Southeast Asia). I was traveling with two backpacks, one of which I checked in so I had to wait at the luggage belt to retrieve it. However, it never came along on the luggage belt, and so then I realized it was placed in a separate area reserved for “bulky” packages. So, I was relieved to see my trusty backpack lying face-down the floor, and picked it up to find my compatriots, who would, I hoped, be waiting for me at the exit of the terminal. By that time, it was 9 o’clock, and I feared they would have gone without me, due to some perceived confusing with timing and that I would have to make my way to the campus on my own. To my surprise and relief, I heard my name called the moment I exited the baggage area, and joined my exchange program-mates, along with two friendly locals who would serve as our transitional “buddies”.
We spent the train rides (regional + subway) chatting about our expectations and previous adventures, co-ops, etc., meanwhile getting to know our new buddies. They told us the weather had been beautiful all week, but today was a drastic change with cloudy skies and chilly air. A warm welcome from Germany, it seemed. Later, while I was walking, a bird planted a gift on the leg on my jeans, continuing the warm welcome.
I, however, am not superstitious, and still keep my expectations high about all Germany, Bochum, and Ruhr University have to offer. After meeting some friendly people, practicing languages, and getting used my surroundings over the past two days, I am confident this will be an invaluable experience, and a part of my life I will never forget.
The knowledge one can obtain simply be being in an unfamiliar environment surpasses the potential of any other set of imposed conditions, as I have realized through my travels. For this reason, I expect to come out of this experience, smarter, more mature, and thirsty for more of the great nourishment only the world can offer. As the sun shines, and clouds give way to blue skies for the first day since I’ve been here, I look out my window and embrace my new home, ready for what is to come.
The image is the view from the window in front of my desk, so you can imagine what I am seeing as I write these entries.