Friday, January 4, 2008


Today was a good day. The sun came out briefly for the first time as I moved the big suitcase out of the Circus and into Turnerschaft. I saw a German Shepard on the U-Bahn (subway) and wondered what they are called here. After trying about 7 banks, it turns out that the Post Bank and Volksbank are the only 2 ATMs that like my FNB bankcard. This has made paying rent, deposits, etc. a challenge since they also limit how much you can withdrawal in a day. Liz Tenney (a friend and classmate of my girlfriend) put me in touch with some Berliners (Mike & Kathrin) whom she had met through school. Mike is currently on vacation in Canada, but Kathrin is here and I met her for pizza and beers last night. She is my first German friend! (even if we do have different ideas about what meeting "outside of the exit at the end of the train heading towards Pankow" means.) It was great to make a friend here. She even knows a lot of the people whom I have met in Meg & Liz's program, so we had lots to talk about. She does have me a little worried though, she told me that some fraternities (that's what Turnerschaft kind of is) have a reputation for being affiliated with Nazis. I don't think that's the case here, but it's something to be aware of. Not everyone who lives here is part of the fraternity, and the few people I've met so far have been very nice and all have more hair than me. There is a Danish guy in the room next to mine who speaks English very well and is currently listening to Maroon 5 and Justin Timberlake. Clearly, not a Nazi. And supposedly a Canadian woman is moving into a room tomorrow. Oh, and more good news, my other bag was waiting for me when I got back from hanging out with Kathrin! Also, Kathrin confirmed that German Shepards are still called German Shepards here. Weird.

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