I arrived at my new home at half past midnight on Friday night, after spending several hours in a car with an international cast of strangers. I was glad to have visited the flat before, last November, so I knew my way round the neighbourhood; I’m not a fan of looking lost with a big rucksack at that time of night.
Thus far, the majority of people I’ve met have been New Zealanders. It feels odd to meet a load of people in one go when I’m not exactly travelling, I’m starting somewhere new: which of them will I end up hanging out with? Everybody already insists that my claim that I’m just here for maybe five months means I’ll be here for good. Meanwhile, when they ask me where I’m from and I say Belfast, it’s like the last thirteen and a half years in Edinburgh are erased.
My German is embarrassing and technically I could get away with not bothering to fix that, but I don’t want to be that kind of expat; and yet – full disclosure – I’ve never been keen on the German language, having studied it for two and a half years long ago. So this is a prejudice I need to get over. I have a craving to learn Turkish instead – potentially of greater benefit in my immediate neighbourhood – but will not let myself get carried away. Oh and also I accidentally left my Polish textbooks in Amsterdam.
I was going to report more, but my head is still kind of spinning while I come to terms with the whole HOLY SHIT I LIVE IN BERLIN thing; whatever else I was going to say here has gone out the window. I did, however, acquire a boyfriend within a couple hours of arrival, so Berlin is going pretty well so far.