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life here is very different from mongolia (well, of course, i guess). i felt like last summer we were sort of a unit, the pittsburghers against the world, trying to figure everything out on our own, because mongolians could be really shy, or had bad english and we had worse mongolian, or whatever. here, from day one we have spent a lot of time with the university of augsburg students. they like to go out and have fun, go to the theatre, film festivals, and that kind of thing. i saw a play all in german last night. i didn't understand most of it, but there was a lot of vomiting, and a big stuffed giraffe outside of the window, so i guess it was entertaining. the rest of the audience really liked it. anyway, we can communicate much better with everyone, and they are all so accommodating and committed to showing us a good time in the city and everywhere. leonie and joel, whose apartment we are living at, are probably coming to pittsburgh next year on a fellowship to pitt, if they pass their toefl exams. i hope so -- then maybe we can return the hospitality a little bit...although i will be gone until november, as we all know.

i wish i knew german. i have a german textbook, and i work through a bit of it most nights, but i feel like i'm very stupid with languages. i just don't think any of it really sticks. maybe i will try to take german my last semester at pitt. might as well, right? and then maybe i'll try to come back here, on a fulbright or something. i like it here a lot.

there's not much culture shock, though. from what christina says of italy, it's very different from the states there; here, it just seems like a cleaner, better organized, cooler, older america, in a lot of ways. i mean, there are definitely things that are different, but they tend to be minor. like don't jaywalk. and you bag your own groceries, and there's a 1 euro deposit for shopping cart use (it's an ingenious system, actually; you put the euro into the handle of the cart, and when you return it you stick a key in and the euro pops back out). and, you know, the kinds of things people eat and drink, and water not being free. and EVERYTHING being closed on sundays. generally, though, it all seems familiar in some way and i feel at home here.

Posted by ctamler 03:35 Archived in Germany

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