Friday, 29 October 2010

Fast zwei Monaten!

So I'm still alive. And you've probably wondered if I went back or something happened, because it seems that after a week I had nothing else to tell. Well, to be honest, I actually had. And a lot. I just didn't feel much like it. Writing is not easy, and much less when you're not thaat inspired. Besides I also have my journal, and like 10 messages in Facebook with my family and friends, so I had to write each expierience like zillions of times. And believe me, I'd opened Blogger quite a few times only to say "uhh, maybe later.." and then close it again. But here I am again, trying to keep the promise I had with myself of writing on my blog till I come back home. And trying to keep you informed about my exchange student life.

Well first of all, I entered school. The so-long-dreaded day came only 9 days after my arrival. It didn't turn out thaat bad. I'm not gonna lie; I expected some kind of dreadful, never-ending nightmare that only happens in movies in which everyone would stare at you as if Iyou were an alien, laugh at you and you'd have to sit alone at the break. Well first, everyone is nice here. It was -no, actually it still is- kind of hard because they do not feel too comfortable speaking English (most of them, I think) so they'd rather just not talk to you. But if I go and say something, then they can start talking. However this is just too hard for me. I try, though. Second, the breaks are so short that you don't even sit somewhere you just stand or stay at the classroom, studying. Which is something I really miss about my school back in Mexico. Here, everyone(and by everyone I mean absolutely EVERYONE) studies in the breaks! Yeah that is probably the reason why Germany is one of the most developed countries. But still, I do not like it. School's gotten pretty boring though. I do not have marks because, well, I DON'T SPEAK GERMAN! So what's the point. Besides, I was placed in the 10th class, and I've already done that in Mexico so why would I ever need them? So no one expects me to do anything. I copy when they write on the board but that doesn't happen in every class, so I just sit there, staring at the window, or reading a book. (I've read one already and am about to finish the 2nd one, which has almost 700 pages and small text!) Either way, days are loooong and boring. Thank God next week are holidays!

I also went to the Oktoberfest! It was awesome! Like a HUGE carnival where you can eat all kinds of yummy food, beer (I must say I don't drink too much, so I'm not a big fan of beer. Don't expect me to say it was the best part) ride on roller coasters, and listen to Bavarian music! <3 I even got to wear a dirndl! (Bavarian typical dress). And it's so easy for me to go to Munich that I went 5 times! Haha it was awesome!

Erich, the guy from the US, went home. And it's a shame because I think he should've given it more time, but well, it was his decision. Now, because of that, a girl from Australia will come in January, and she seems so nice! I emailed her yesterday and she answered, and I have a feeling we'll end up pretty good friends :). Also, because of that, I will have to change host families like a month earlier because she's coming. And in May I will move to my third ost family. Yes, THIRD. It's brazilian Julia's host family right now and they're nice so I'm not scared or worried about that.

I went with Julia (brazilian) and her host mom to Schloss Neuschwanstein. BELIEVE ME, it's not as difficult to pronounce as it seems. In case you have no idea of what I'm talking about, just scroll the page to the top and there it is. BEST. CASTLE. EVER. Built by Ludwig II in the 19th century I think. But it was never finished. And the landscape is soo beautiful! I almost died when I saw it. I've been in love with that castle since I was young, even before I knew it was in Germany. It was the inspiration for Disney World's castle! This is a picture I took:

I also went to a Bayern München game which was soo awesome! The Arena is amazing! It was a shame though, that they ended 0 - 0. It was against Köln. But it was still nice! :)

Another nice place I went to was Oberammergau. A small town in the Alps that's famously known because of its Passionsspiele. A play, made only every 10 years about the Passion of Christ. It started because of a promise they did about 400 years ago with a plague, and since then every 10 years from May to October there's the play. My Rotary Club gave me as ab irthday present (my birthday was 30th of September) a trip there and a chance to see the play which was absolutely awesome! Even if it was in German.

I also had the next weekend a Rotary weekend with the exchange students! OMG they're sooo awesome! I'm friends with like everyone and I looove them! Good thing is that I get to see them again this Sunday cause we're going to BERLIN! :D It will be soooo cool!

Exchange students in D1840

And then the next week me and Julia (brazilian) went with our Rotary Club to a small town in the South of Austria. Only 20 minutes awy from Slovenia! It was soo cool! There were a lot of vineyards for it is a wine-producing town. And it was sooo beautiful!

And in case you're wondering what the title of this post means, in exactly one week it'll be that I've been here for TWO MONTHS! So right now I can only say "Fast zwei Monaten" or "Almost two months". Yeahh my German is getting better I can understand if people talks to me slowly and have slow basic conversations, so it's fine. And on the 15th my German course starts! Finally!

And totally random and off-topic but it's just 19 days until HARRY POTTER comes out!!! OMG I'm gonna dieee! I already bought my tickets and it's in an English cinema!! So I won't have to sit for 2 hours wondering what they are talking about and listen to a terrible translation :). OHHH I can't wait!! :D

So I think that's everything I had to tell, and well I'll tell you about Berlin in the next post. (Hopefully I won't be too lazy this time and I'll post before 2011! haha just kidding. I WILL.)

Monday, 13 September 2010

First week!

Ich bin in Deutschland.
I got here last Sunday (September 5th). I left on Saturday, and in the airport I met a boy also from Mexico who was going on the same flight as me so we started talking and he told me he was going to a town near Hamburg, so totally on the other side of Germany I was going to. We waitied until we had to enter the gate to get to our plane. That was the hardest part. Like I've said before, I HATE goodbyes, but I had to do it. So we took some pictures of the family before I left, and then we said goodbye. I cried so much, I didn't want to leave anymore. I was really nervous of what was ahead of me. A year abroad, without my family and without everything I've ever known was going to be hard! But it was too late to think about it and choosing another direction so I just walked into the gate and smiled even if I didn't feel happy, but sad and nervous. So I waited for Angel (the boy going to Hamburg) and then we started walking to our gate.
We were halfway to it when we heard: "Passengers of the flight 499 to Frankfurt: this is the last call to board the plane." or something like that so we started running until we got to the gate. It sucked because I was going to buy a book to read on the plane and didn't have enough time. Unfortunately Angel and I weren't sitting anywhere near to each other so we just walked to our places and sat. My handbag didn't fit in the compartment, so a man who was sitting next to me helped me out with it. Then I realized that there weren't on-seat screens or whatever they're called so I couldn't watch the movie I wanted to watch either. We watched some Donald Duck and Pluto cartoons, Two and a half men, and two movies I didn't watch. I listened to music, read a flight magazine and slept. So yeah, pretty much it was a boring flight! :/
When we got to Frankfurt I couldn't believe that I was in Germany! We had from the plane a really nice view, so it was great. Then, the same man who helped me with my handbag also helped me out with the migration line, because I didn't know if it was the correct one. Then I had to go to my gate to get the connection to Munich so I started walking really fast because I didn't have a watch and there wasn't a single clock in the airport and I didn't know if I was late or not. On my way to the gate I saw Angel again waiting for his plane so I went and said goodbye and wished him good luck and left.
Then I finally got to my gate and sat because I still had about 20 minutes to board, and it was really funny because I was sitting in front of a couple, and when they saw I was wearing a Rotary blazer they started talking to me and told me they were Rotarians from Finland and started asking me about exchange and where I was going to, etc. Then I boarded the plane and said goodbye to the couple, and when I was on the plane and saw that everybody was speaking German and no Spanish, I finally realized that I wasn't in Mexico anymore. It was a bit sad but I was still too nervous about getting there that I forgot. Then in what seemed like 15 minutes (but obviously were a lot more) I got to Munich!
We got off the plane, I took all my luggage and got out and finally saw my host family! There were Susan (host mom), Julia (host sister), Werner (Susan's boyfriend), and Flo (Julia's boyfriend). They were holding a big cardboard that said "Herzlich Willkommen Alejandra" and I was really excited! I said hello and we got to the car and they drove me to their apartment in Dachau. Everything was so beautiful!

They showed me around the apartment and I called my family to tell them I was fine and already in the apartment. Then we were going to have dinner, and Caro (the exchange student from Ecuador that my host family hosted 3 years ago) came with her mother who was on vacation here in Germany but I was jetlagged and felt dizzy and tired so I didn't eat and went directly to bed. I woke up about 2 hours later and I opened my suitcase because I was going to take a shower and found inside a collage with pictures of my family! I instantly started crying and feeling miserable and kept asking myself what the hell was I doing here! Then I took a shower and went to bed again because I was really tired!

Next day I woke up and had breakfast with Flo and then he left to work and I was alone because everybody was working and I started feeling once again really homesick and I wanted to get into the first plane to Mexico. Then at about 2 PM Julia came from work and we started talking and I felt better, and then we went to the airport to leave Caro's mom who was going back to Ecuador, so it was nice to go out and forget about homesickness.

Nothing really important happened the next days, only that I felt really homesick sometimes and sometimes I was just fine. On Wednesday, I met Julia, another exchange student in Dachau who's from Brazil. Then Thursday was just a normal day and at night I had dinner with Susan and Werner, and it was reaally good! I was really happy that day and thought that maybe it won't be too hard this year.

On Friday I met with Julia (exchange student) and Erich, the other exchange student in Dachau from the US, and we went to the Altstadt (Old town) and the Schloss (castle) and we took a lot of pictures. It was really beautiful! Then we ate lunch in a cafe in the Altstadt and I ate some Wurstbrot (bread with salami).

Schloss in Dachau

Then on the evening I went with Julia (host sister) to Vierkirchen to some kind of reunion or something, and we ate and it was nice and fun! Even if I didn't understand a single word haha. But we had to leave early because the next day I was having my welcome orientation and we had to wake up early.

On Saturday we left at 6:45 AM to the Bahnhof (train station). Julia (host sister) took us (Brazilian Julia, Erich and me) to Munich because there we were going to take a train to Günzburg to our orientation. At about 7:30 we boarded our train that was making just one stop in Augsburg and then we were going to get to Günzburg, but when the man came to check our tickets he told us that we had gotten into the wrong train because that was an Intercity train and we had Bayernticket. So we got out in Augsburg and were told to go to Platform 3 to get the train to Günzburg, so we did that and then we waited to get there, but as the time passed we didn't arrive, so we asked if we were going to Günzburg and they told us that we were going in the opposite direction and that we needed to get out in Treuchtlingen and take there a train to Donauwörth and then after 5 mniutes or so we should take a train to Günzburg. So we got out in Treuchtlingen really upset about getting into the wrong train twice in a row and waited for the train to Donauwörth. But since luck was not on our side that day, the train to Donauwörth was 15 minutes late! So by the time we were in Donauwörth the train to Günzburg had already left, and we had to wait for another hour to get our train. By then it was already 11:04 AM and the orientation had started at 11:00. We got to Günzburg at about 12 or something and there was a Rotex waiting for us and she drove us to the place where the orientation was.

Sign saying that we were in Treuchtlingen.

When we entered there was like a play or something about the rules we have to follow while on exchange but I won't go into details because I arrived at the end of the play. Then they divided us into language groups and I met the people from Mexico and Chile and it felt really good to speak Spanish again! Eveni f it had only been one week. We made like a cardboard with the rules and we just went out and talked with each other for like 3 hours and had lunch. Then we presented our cardboards and then it was over. But some of us stayed and exchanged pins and it was fun.

Back in Dachau I went with Julia (host sister) to a volleyball game and then we went back home and I skyped with my family.

And well that was my week.. I'm really sorry I hadn't updated yet but I was very lazy to be honest :S... sorry and I'll tell about the 2nd weekend in the next post!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Tschüß Mexiko!

I'm sorry I haven't wrote too much but I've been either too busy or too lazy to write. Anyway this is just a quick post. My last in Mexico actually, because I'm LEAVING TODAY!

Yes I'm leaving for the airport in about an hour and then I'm off to Deutschland! Wish me luck because I'm really nervous! And sad. I'm toooo sad about leaving. Yesterday I had my goodbye party with my family and closest friends, and when everyone was leaving I cried too much. So much that when I woke up today I had still puffy eyes :(

I can't even imagine how's it gonna be when I say goodbye to my parents.

Anyway I just wanted to let you know that I'm leaving and starting this adventure!
Next post I write I'll be in Germany! I hope I can write when I get there but I can't promise anything since I'm not taking a laptop.

Until then,

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Quick Update!

I'm really sorry I haven't been on this lately, really. But I've been veeery busy doing exchange-related things... and I still have soo much to do! I even wonder if these 17 days I've left in Mexico are enough.

First of all, we received our exchange student Aléxia about 10 days ago! She's from Brazil and she's really nice! It's really fun to host someone because that way you get to learn a lot from another culture (even if it's similar to your own!) and some words in another language! I don't know about other countries, but here in Mexico, if you want to go on exchange with Rotary you need to host an exchange student. Some of you may think that's wrong because we're not volunteering to host, but we're more obliged to do it. But we're not. Actually most of us -if not all of us- are really happy to do it. I mean, to be honest, I don't think if I wasn't going to Germany my family would've been hosting, but we don't regret it and I don't think we ever will! Anyway, if you're thinking of hosting for a year, semester, summer or whatever.. DO IT! It's a really amazing experience, in which you learn and teach at the same time! (And I've been hosting for a little more than a week! haha :P)

Moving on to another thing: I GOT MY VISA!! I'm still happy and excited about it, even if I got it 2 weeks ago, but it's awesome because I'm already legally allowed to live in Germany! And it looks great in my passport haha I still can't believe it!

I got my itinerary too! I leave on the 4th of September, which I already knew but now that I have reserved my tickets, I can make the countdown official: seventeen days! Or in another words SIEBENZEHN TAGE! :D I'll fly with Lufthansa from Mexico City to Frankfurt and there I take another flight to München. Wow I really can't believe that in a little more than 2 weeks I'll be taking those flights and saying Auf Wiedersehen to Mexico for a year.. it's still so surreal. I'll probably start to believe it when I say goodbye to my family in the airport (I would loove to skip that part because I really hate goodbyes). I hope that day comes quickly, though. I've been waiting for it for years and it's FINALLY coming true! :D I've been reading a lot of blogs and almost everyone is leaving on these days, if not they've been in their host countries for days (or weeks!) already. Even some exchangers going to the same district I am have already left!

And today all of my best friends gave me a surprise going away... lunch? Haha, it wasn't a party but we went to Xochimilco, which is a place, here in Mexico City where there are canals, that actually were a lake before, but the aztecs built chinampas (artificial floating land on which they used to grow crops) so they're now just canals, and there are the typical trajineras (boats) where there are tables, so we ate typical Mexican food -such as quesadillas and tlacoyos- for lunch while we enjoyed the trip through the canals :) It was really fun, and a very good way to say goodbye to my country.

Anyway, I hope I can keep you updated during the next days as the date of my departure gets closer, I'll try I promise!

Bis dann!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Deutsche Musik ♪

Okay. First of all, as I said on my last post, my German sucks so I don't even know if the title of the post is well written. :/

But anyways, I never said this but I love music. I mean, I'm not a musician or anything but I just love listening to it! I also love foreign languages. So what can be better than listening to music in other languages? :D

Here's my first look into German music:

The song's called 'Symphonie' by Silbermond, a German band. I've heard some other songs by them but this one's my favorite so I posted it. I wanted to post the official video of the song, but I couldn't find it. :/

So, as my poor German slowly improves, I start to understand some words, even some sentences! :D But here you can find the lyrics with transaltion.

It was a short post, but I hope you enjoyed the song. :)

Monday, 12 July 2010

Die - Das - Der ?

Deutsch. Alemán. Alemão. Allemand. Tyska. Whatever they call it in your language it means the same: German: a really beautiful language spoken in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein, etc. And a really difficult language to learn! At least that's my opinion. I've been learning it for about 4 months by myself on Livemocha, and I feel like I've learned nothing! I'm not going to say it's one of the most difficult languages on Earth, because it's not. Not even close. And I can tell you that because I'm a big fan of languages. I've tried to learn Swedish (not easy) and Russian, which is a really complicated language. Not to mention Arabic with the whole different alphabet in which letters change depending on where they are located in a word. So yeah, I could say it's one of the easiest languages compared to others; it has the same alphabet as Spanish and English, it has the same roots as English, some words are almost identical in English! But it's not that easy; it has 3 different articles, because there are 3 different genders for the words: masculine (der), feminine (die), and neutral (das), which makes it even more complicated. I can speak fluently only 2 languages: Spanish and English. In English, it's really easy because there's only one article (the) that is applied for every word, no matter what the gender is (the girl, the boy). In Spanish it's not that complicated either; there are 2 articles for 2 genders: masculine (el) and feminine (la). And it's really easy to know what gender goes for each word since most of the words that end up on 'a' are feminine, and the rest are masculine (la niña, el niño). Of course there are some exceptions. But in German there's no way to know what the gender of a word is! (as far as I know) For example you can say der Junge (the boy). As he's a boy it's pretty obvious that you need to use 'der' since it's masculine. If you're talking about a woman then you say die Frau, so there you're using 'die' which is feminine. But when it comes to talking about a girl then you have to say das Mädchen in which 'das' is the neutral article, so after thinking about it for a loong time I decided to stop questioning why it was das Mädchen and not die Mädchen. And that's just an example! I'm really trying to learn each word with its gender, so I can use it in a sentence, but my memory it's not that powerful!

Then, when you use adjectives to describe a word, its ending changes depending on the gender of the word. i.e. Adjective: jung. Der junger Mann (the young man), die junge Frau (the young woman).

And now the hardest part! :P The article might change depending on where it's located in a sentence, like for example: Sie gibt dem Mann einen Brief. (She gives the man a letter.) The noun article der changes into dativ (dem) and ein into akkusativ (einen). Don't ask why because I still don't understand. :/

Good news is that I was talking with Victor (a friend who's also going to D1840) and he told me that we'll have a German course when we're in Germany.. so I think it won't be that bad.

On another matter..
MY PAPERS WERE ACCEPTED IN THE EMBASSY! :D So that means I got my Visa.. or I'll get it. They told me to pick it up on the 2nd week of August! That's one step closer to Germany! I need now to buy the plane tickets, but I'm going to wait until the last week of July, because it'll be cheaper then (according to the travel agents).

Until then..

Bis dann! :)

Thursday, 8 July 2010

"Getting there means leaving things behind"

I just wanted to share this with all of you. Right after I wrote my last post this morning, I was listening to music and a song came on my iPod. It's called "Starts With Goodbye" by Carrie Underwood. I love that song, and I know the lyrics by heart, but to be honest I had never payed much attention to them.. until today. It was really weird, because as I said, I heard it like 5 minutes after I published the post, and what I had wrote was still on my mind, and well for all of those who haven't heard the song, it described pretty much how I felt when I wrote my post! Of course it was in a more poetic way, but it was still what I was thinking! (except for the beginning of the song.)

So I invite you to listen to the song and read the lyrics: