Thursday, December 9, 2010

'You can't have everything.' (aka the-phrase-that-is-really-annoying-to-hear-but-is-true)

This past week has been hectic because I've somewhat overloaded my schedule. On Mondays I'm in the school Theater club until evenings, Tuesdays I have Chor and Yoga, Wednesdays I'm in a Scout's group, and I this week I tried to add Horse Vaulting into my schedule (which would have to be on Thursdays and Sundays). Even though I really enjoyed my first Vaulting lesson and I could technically fit it into my schedule, I decided that it would leave me with not enough time at home with my host family. Everything feels in place for me to have everything that I wanted out of this year and more- I'm discovering/ pursuing new interests, I'm building a really good relationship with my host family, I'm learning the language quickly, there are lots of cool people who I want to be friends with, and I get to travel to a lot of places (Denmark, Spain, France, London, and Belgium). But there is always a but- you can't have everything. I can't pursue all of my new interests here, travel to lots of places, develop good relationships in school, become fluent in the language, and be super close to my host family. It doesn't work- I don't have the endless reserves of energy to achieve that and I only 10.5 months here. I think it's lovely that I have to choose from so many things that I love and make me really happy, but that doesn't make the decision any easier. I've decided to prioritize making strong relationships over pursuing all of my interests because I would really regret it if I went through my exchange year without having made any lifelong friendships. It's hard to have the possibility of so much and to not be able to have all of it, but at the same time that's what makes what you have special- because there was a possibility of not having it, but you chose it.

On an entirely different note, I've learned some interesting new words. One is Kopfkino, which literally translates to head cinema/ head movie theater and is used to refer to when someone hears or reads something they see it in their head like a movie. The other is Ohrwurm, which translates to 'ear worm' and is the phrase used for when you have a song stuck in your head. Now I have four favorite words- Kopfkino, Ohrworm, genau, and doch. Genau amuses me to no end because it is way overused by the Germans (similar to how overused the word 'like' is in english) and because it means 'exactly', which fits into the stereotype of exact, rule abiding Germans. I also like the fact that everyone seems to have their own unique way of saying it. I also love the word 'doch', which combines 'but yes' into one word. For example if someone were to say to me 'we have no key to get into the house.' and I had the key then I would say 'Doch, I have it.' You can also use doch to argue with someone, for example if someone disagrees with you and says 'No you can't do that' or 'No, that's not true.', your simple reply can be 'Doch.' meaning 'Yeah I can do that.' or 'But it is true'. I also love the fact that in German you can write a page long word to describe something very particular. For example 'the-ink-on-the-metal-tongs-in-the-machine-that-makes-tips-for-fountain-pens' would be written as one word in German.

So that's all I have time for for now. This weekend I'm going to Dresden and visiting the Weihnachtmarkt (Christmas Market) there, so I'll get some good pictures and hopefully I'll have the chance/ computer ability to post pictures next time.