Sun 23 Jul 2006
early, early morning greetings everybody,
I haven’t exactly been Mr. Diligent when it comes to writing on this blog. I did, though, make sure to make one more post before i head back home. That is, by the way, today. In about 16 hours and 20 minutes I’ll board a plane and begin my journey home. My journey to Germany last September terrified me. I was to fly from Philly to Frankfurt and board a train to travel to Freiburg with two stuffed suitcases and a backpack packed to the brim!?! Honestly I felt like I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready for the culture, for the language, for the independence.
A lot changes in a year! I’m about to make a similar trip home (Bremen-Hamburg-London-NYC-PA) and this time I’m not scared at all. Even better, last time I travelled with 2 companions, and this time I’m alone. I’m not fluent in German, but a year has given me confidence in the skills I have to travel all over this country, alone, and feel fine.
Going home is definitely bittersweet. The idea of being in a country where everybody speaks my language seems odd. As cliche as it sounds, I’ve grown accustomed to the way people interact, the pace of life, the whole system. I like it. Not that I don’t like how it is at home, I just felt proud after I was able to get this system feeling natural to me. The first few weeks in Freiburg I could do nothing but think of how much better things were in the U.S. Then a few months later I could do nothing but think of how much things were in Germany. It’s not so easy anymore, and I’m glad I’ve learned to like certain aspects of each society/nation.
The year is up, and it will take me a lot longer to realize all the ways in which I have changed during the duration (if I ever do realize all the ways). I’m looking forward to a good 4 week stay at home, and then getting right back into the swing of things for my senior year at Dickinson. It’ll be really good to be back.
If anybody has questions about the program, or Bremen, or Germany…and wants to talk to a guy who likes both Bremen and Germany (and will give an honest answer) you can feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
I’m glad to be going home, but I’ll be back. I know that much.
Take care, and of course, mach’s gut
mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Daniel Pattley ‘07