It has been an interesting first week here in Germany, for a number of reasons. The obvious one of course being that we flew halfway across the world to live in a foreign country for the summer. What's been really interesting is how we've managed to incorporate ourselves into the culture.
The Thursday during the week of our arrival was a national religious holiday, so most people end up taking the Friday off for a four day weekend. As a result, our first week ended up being very relaxing and allowed us to adapt to our new location. In our group of seven, I am the only one who speaks German, so I ended up putting my skills to the test when I needed to find shops or communicate with locals for everyone else.
What's been particularly exciting is experiencing the fervor amongst Germans around the World Cup. We are lucky to be here while it's going on. Since the weather has been so nice, just about every bar or restaurant carries large TVs onto the streets to show the World Cup games. Even for the games starting at midnight, there are always people gathered around watching at a bar.
For our first weekend, we ended up exploring Saarbrücken and traveling to Luxembourg and Heidelberg. In the upcoming weeks I hope to get a bit farther away and explore the rest of Germany. My goal is to reach at least the major cities of Hamburg, Berlin, and München for one weekend each.There's still so much to see that it's hard to decide where to go.