Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"So long, farewell, aufwiedersehen, good-bye!"

So, this will be my last post from Germany for quite a while. Heading to Seoul tomorrow morning, arriving Thursday afternoon.  Flying with Emirates via Duesseldorf and Dubai.  I'm allowed 30 kg and a 7 kg carry-on.  That's it.  Most of my belongings at this point have been given away, thrown away or brought back to the US.  I have one suitcase und das ist alles.

I'll be attending EPIK Orientation for the first ten days, so until March 3rd and then I begin work on the 5th. Other than that--everything is still kind of blank in my mind in terms of what to expect.  I know I'm working in Seoul, but as for apartment, age group, school location--we find out all of it after we arrive.  EPIK likes to keep us on our toes it seems.

It's been a freaking long process--starting back in June & July of 2011.   Stressful beyond belief.  But now it's over.  Or the application process is anyway, and now it's time to start the real thing.  So, before heading off, Ein großes Dankeschön an alle, die meine Zeit hier so besonders und schön gemacht haben.

...And to all the new people I'm about to meet in South Korea...

My introduction in Hangul.  "Hello. My name is Diana. I come from America.  Nice to meet you!"

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bio-Fach Messe 2012

Germans love their Bio (aka organic products) and Saturday I was lucky enough to score some free tickets (which normally cost some 32 Euros a pop) to Europe's largest trade fair for organic products, right here in Nuernberg at the Messe. Thanks Daniela & Joni!

Nine gigantic halls filled with food, textiles, cleaning products, cosmetics--and just about anything you can think of that can go green from companies from across the globe. Scored loads of free food samples and tried getting ourselves some free cosmetics and lotions, although those vendors were a bit more stingy.

Definitely will miss the Germans' passion for green.
Copyright Daniel Karmann--www.zeit.de

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What Life Abroad Has Taught Me

1. Languages don't soak into your brain automatically just because you're in a country where the language is spoken.

2.   Americans come across as really friendly people--especially abroad.

3.  That said,  there are friendly people to be found everywhere.

4.  People will make broad stereotype-like-statements about you/your nationality and then cover themselves by saying that you are 'the exception' or 'different'.

5.  No matter how different it may seem in the beginning, you can get used to anything.

6.  You'll meet people and make friends with people from your own country that you probably would never have spoken to or interacted with back at home.

7. People who try living in and making a home out of a country that isn't one's own, in a language that isn't one's mother tongue, deserve a lot more respect.

8.  It is totally possible to forget how to speak your mother tongue properly.

...and last but not least...

9.   Humility and a sense of humor are good qualities to have abroad.  Timidness, not so much.

“Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year.” ~ Unknown

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Here & There...

February is a month of here & there-ness.  Returned from the US on Tuesday, in Germany until the 21st, then flying to Korea on the 22nd. Three continents, three countries, three weeks... sounds extreme but its been something I've been planning for and thinking about for a long time already. It was nice being back in America. I had a great time seeing people and being surrounded by the familiar.  It's also nice being back here in Germany now.  Also familiar.  Korea, however is totally new territory. 

Trying to spend the days preparing for Korea by reading Korea's Place in the Sun (a modern history of Korea which I find a bit too academic, but still rather informative), studying some Korean and watching KPop videos on Youtube.

I've now learned about four major Kpop bands:
-Girls' Generation

Here's one called Hahaha. It is different from pop here in Germany or the US, but I think I'm actually starting to take a liking to Kpop.  It reminds me a bit of a Neutrogena commercial at times, but the music is pretty catchy.  What do you think?