Moin moin meine Lieben!
So, 7 months in to the year abroad, who would’ve thought it? Being 77.78% into my time as a teaching assistant is terrifying, so excuse me while I curl up in a ball and tell myself it’s not true. In the mean time, here are a few things I’ve picked up lately:
1. You may think you know it all
There are certain bits of vocab you may have mastered a few years ago, but every now and then a curveball shakes the foundations of your language confidence.
Selbstständig (also written ‘selbständig’ to minimise the ‘st’ plethora) is one of these words. I learnt it as ‘independent’, but I found out recently that it also means ‘self-employed’, so unfortunately you have to glean its particular meaning from the context. Unfortunately once more is that I know on more than one occasion I’ve gone around telling people I’m self-employed rather than independent. It seemed a strange question for someone to ask me how long I’d been independent for. My bad.
2. …then again, you know more than you think!
However, it was only this last weekend that I was telling once of my lovely aunties that my German vocab wasn’t quite as…quite as…ausgebreitet as I had hoped. I was searching for ‘broad’ but I found its German equivalent instead. Perhaps all is not lost!
3. I cannot help it if German just pops out
I know a lot of my friends who are on their years abroad have had this problem, and equally I know we all want to stress that we don’t come out with foreign words to show off. Honest. We come out with foreign words because our brains cannot cope with so much information overload in various different languages. Please bear with us while we address this software issue over the coming months/years.
4. Don’t go home
Wait, wait, wait, hear me out on this one: I haven’t been home all that much since I’ve been abroad, and in all honesty I think that’s a good thing. If you want to go home, then of course there’s nothing stopping you (distance, time and finances permitting), but I find it’s a lot harder to come back when you’ve spent time at home.
The fact that I even have the option of travelling back to the UK is a great thing, but being away in a foreign country for three months (or more) and then coming home back to familiarity and family can be a great thing, until you have to leave again, that is. There’s really no place like home, but it certainly makes it a lot harder when you have to go.
However, it is good to be able to return to a country which has mastered the art of supermarkets. Oh, the things we take for granted!
5. You’re never too old for an inappropriate fit of giggles
This happened to me today in class while I was sitting observing. I felt like I was about to pass out from holding it in. There was a bowl of cereal, some salt and a totally unaware student involved (I didn’t do it, promise), that’s all you need to know.
6. Creepiness strikes when you least expect it
From being asked out by a very forward man at the launderette (I’d like to point out that I looked and felt like an absolute state at this time) to sitting through Creepy Neighbour’s photo slideshow from his holiday, creepiness really is all around.
7. A friendship where you’ve got each others’ backs but also constantly take the mick out of each other is not to be undervalued
Case in point, my trip to Brussels with the girls. A constant struggle between taking the piss and defending each other. We can make fun of each other but no one else can!
8. Oh, travel!
Travel is a grand thing, and indeed they say it’s the only thing you spend money on that can make you richer. However, if it could also give me the occasional shoulder massage then that’d be grand.
See you at month 8! (*sob*)