As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will arrive in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg on Thursday, 20 July, I thought I would finally share photos from my exchange year of Heidelberg Castle (Schloss Heidelberg or Altes Schloss). Although the Cambridges are unlikely … Continue reading
I spent altogether 2 years (less than 12 months each time, however) in Germany, first in Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg and then in Muenchen, Bayern. My German Professor from my uni in Canada just shared this on her Facebook today and it … Continue reading
S.O.S.! I am experiencing Reverse Culture Shock… in my HOMELAND! =O
For a girl who’s travelled all her life, lived in 3 continents, 5 countries, 6 cities, innumerable homes, and attended 3 different educational systems, 9 schools, and 2 universities (in 3 different locations), I really should be used to this.
What I miss about Germany:
- RECYCLING! (Mülltrennung) – not that Vancouver doesn’t recycle; we’re quite green and we certainly separate paper from rubbish. Yesterday I was looking for “Verpackung” (packaged recyclables) outside but found to my horror that everything was mixed into one general bin (with the exception of cans/bottles to the side)! How appalling! People, RECYCLE! Think of the environment, this BEAUTIFUL EARTH in which you live! It’s really NOT that DIFFICULT and it’ll become a WONDERFUL habit!
- German language – There are lots of Germans (tourists and German-Canadians) in Vancouver. However, I can’t seem to find them at the moment. I must’ve missed the tourism-peak in Vancouver (usually end of June, all of July)… Still, I kept throwing in German words here and there yesterday. (Luckily, one guy could speak German… but instead of “wirklich?” I replied “echt?” Hence, no response…) It’s just so strange to be in an Anglophone city.
- Historical architecture – WHERE ARE THE QUAINT houses, buildings, churches (ok, fine. but our oldest churches are from the late 19th C.)? What are these skyscrapers doing, blocking OUR view? Come to think of it, the ‘historical’ part of Vancouver would be a section called ‘historical downtown’, which really isn’t that historical, since the historical buildings have been renovated one way or another… then there’s the obvious Gastown. Hmm, maybe I shall visit that soon!
- Currywurst! – Yes, I gave a huge tube of curry-ketchup-sauce to my brother 2 months ago and now he’s 3/4 done with it… Why didn’t I send another one home?
- organic/natural stuff – Not much of a selection here… But a few more brands are springing out.
At the same time, I seem to be slowly readjusting myself in Canada. I realised that there have been some things that I’ve missed from home:
- FEW smokers! – yay! I don’t have to keep holding my breath as I walk through the city. Instead, I can breathe in the fresh Canadian air that I’ve missed so much! Now I can finally reduce my chances of dying early from second-hand smoking. OR maybe I shall now suffer from second-hand marijuana-smoking.
- Water refills – freies Leistungswasser! No more having to pay for a beer because it’s cheaper than water 😛 No more worrying about drinking water with Kalk (lime/chalk)!
- Longer opening hours – Some places stay open til 9pm! Yay!
One thing I NEVER missed about Canada is taxes. I keep thinking that I should be paying for the price LISTED. Imagine my mini-schock when I realised I had to pull out more change. I hate not being prepared!
Perhaps the biggest shock for me – and please, I’m NOT racist – was being in a city that’s dominantly populated by Orientals. Everywhere I go, I see Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese. No wonder Vancouver’s nicknamed Vanasia.
And that is Day 2 of Life Back in Vancouver.
Meine liebe Freunde in Europa,
My dear friends in Europe,
zuerst muss ich sagen, dass ich euch VIEL vermisse! Die letzten Tage in Deutschland waren sehr chaotisch… Ich war in Muenchen von 24-26. Am 26. war ich wieder in Heidelberg, um mehr zu packen & zu putzen. Ich hatte um 3.30 geschlafen; am 27. war ich um 9h zu meinen Hausmeister gegangen, um eine Auszugstermine zu machen. Den ganzen Tag war hecktisch! Ich glaube, ohne die Hilfe von meinen Freunde, koennte ich nicht ueberlebt.mLeider war mein Flug verspätet bis 28.7. um 8h (am Ende, war es um 9.25), wegen des Wetters. Aber wir hatte eine freie Uebernachtung und Abendessen beim InterCity Hotel. Es war total geil, mein eigenes Zimmer zu haben, bes. ein schmales Doppelbett! Nun, muessten wir um 3h aufwachen, um den 1. Bus um 4h zu nehmen (ich sollte ein bisschen mehr geschlafen und den 4.45 Bus genommen!).
Den 28.7. war vielleicht den schrecklichsten Tag meines Lebens (d.h. 28. im Morgen IN Deutschland)!
First of all, I have to say that I miss you HEAPS! The last few days in Germany were very chaotic… I was in Munich from the 24th-26th. On the 26th I was back in Heidelberg in order to pack and clean some more. I slept at 3.30am; on the 27th I went to my Housemaster (“Landlord”) to set up a move-out appointment. The entire day was hectic! I believe that without the help from my friends, I couldn’t have survived. Unfortunately, my flight was delayed ‘til the 28th at 8am (in the end, it was 9.25am) due to the weather. But we had a free overnight stay and dinner at the InterCity Hotel. It was so amazing to have a whole room to myself, esp. to sleep on a queen-sized bed! However, we had to wake up at 3am in order to take the bus at 4 (I should’ve slept in and taken the 4.45 bus!).
The 28th (i.e. 28th morning IN Germany) was perhaps the most AWFUL day of my life!
- ich hatte 2 SCHWERE Koffer + Handcarry “Kofferlein” mitzuschleppen. Niemand hat mir geholfen.
I dragged around 2 HEAVY luggage and a carry-on mini-luggage. No one helped me.
- war leider in der falsche Richtung gegangen. Von Halle E (richtig & auch Starting Point) bis Halle D (falsch u. weit), und nach Halle E zurück (wie ich die Schlange vermissen hatte, habe ich keine Ahnung!).
Went in the wrong direction…from Hall E (correct and also the starting point) to Hall D (wrong and far away), and back to Hall E (how I missed the queue, I have no idea!).
- Musste Koffer auf Kofferkuli heben. Ohne Hilfe. Meine Armen tun weh. (Ansonst, bin ich SEHR STOLZ AUF MICH! Ich hatte es schon 2 mal gemacht in einer Kleid! 😉 Ich soll in die Olympiade mitteilen!)
Had to lift luggage onto the trolley. Without help. My arms are sore. (Otherwise, I am VERY PROUD OF MYSELF! I have already done this twice in a dress! 😉 I should join the Olympics!)
- Weil die Koffer so SCHWER waren (50 kg insgesamt + 10 kg Handcarry), musste ich 340 EUROS bezahlen. Ja, ich HATTE gedacht, es wäre nur 30,40 Euros… 😥 Oh arme Studentin… am Ende war das Hotel nicht so frei, eh?
Because my luggage was so HEAVY (50 kg for the two + 10 kg carry-on), I had to pay 340 Euros. Yes, I had THOUGHT, it was only 30.40 euros… 😥 Oh poor student… I suppose the hotel wasn’t so free after all, eh?
- Weil wir so früh fertig eingecheckt hatten, war die Securtiy Control nicht geöffnet. Musste noch 30min-1 Stunde warten.
Because we were done with checking in rather early, the Security Control wasn’t opened yet. Had to wait another 30 min – 1 hr.
- Mein Platz im Flug war in der Mitte…Gangplatz. Koennte kaum schlafen. Ansonst, habe ich keinen Jetlag.
My seat was in the middle…an aisle seat. Could hardly sleep. Otherwise, I don’t have jetlag.
Und jetzt bin ich wieder in Vancouver, British Columbia, Kanada. Es war sehr komisch fuer mich, wieder in einem englischsprachige Stadt zu sein. Das letztes Mal, das ich in Vancouver war, war im August. Damals lebte mein letzten Opa noch… Seit September war er verstorben, aber ich war nicht dabei. Also, ich wundere mich immer, ‘wo ist mein Opa? Ich muss ihn anrufen.’ Am Anfang hatte ich das Gefuehl, dass ich wie eine Auslaenderin war… oder als ob ich in einem Traum war. Na ja, es war ein Déjà Vu Erlebnis…
And now I’m back in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It was very strange for me to be back in an Anglophone city. The last time that I was in Vancouver was in August 2008. Then, my grandpa still lived… since September, he’s passed away, but I wasn’t there. So, I keep wondering, ‘Where’s Grandpa? I have to call him.’ At the beginning, I had this feeling that I was a foreigner…or that I was in a dream. It was a Déjà-Vu experience…
Jetzt bin ich totmuede. Es ist hier fast Mittenacht in BC.
Now I’m dead tired. It is almost midnight in BC.
xoxo Vergiss mich nicht! Forget me not!