Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Das Leben in Göttingen

Going away to Leipzig for the weekend was fun, but being back in Göttingen has lately been, to my surprise, even better.  A few days after our return from Leipzig, Anna and I met up with our Italian friends we had met a few weeks prior in the park.  We were slightly (but pleasantly) shocked to find that they were not only happy to see us again, but had actually come up with a daily plan for things to do with us for what might be the remainder of our time in Göttingen.  So that is how, the night after we had met up with them for the second time, we found ourselves (and Joe) going out with them and a bunch of their Erasmus friends to a (quite literally) underground bar in one of the university buildings that is only open on Tuesdays and requires a secret code to get into.  I might add that it's name is "Bar-racuda."  Har har.  Not too shabby for only our second week here though!  Beer, hilarity, and a little craziness ensued.  We were out until 4am and for some reason the whole Erasmus group was convinced that Joe's name was actually Josh.  That night I also met several more Italian speakers and spent a good part of the night speaking with them in Italian.  Little did I know when I got on the train in Bologna that I would be speaking almost as much Italian in Germany as I would be speaking German!

The next night the three of us, with the addition of Pablo, again went out with Emanuele, Giulio, and the rest of the Erasmus crew to a student concert in one of the Mensa (cafeteria buildings).  It was, to say that least, not quite what we expected, and it resembled a high school battle of the bands more than anything else.  We arrived two hours late, so we were only in time to hear a French screaming rock group followed by a British classical wind quintet before the half hour of tearful thank yous and the horrendous encore (a seemingly endless rendition of Stand By Me cut with random bits of other songs, most notably the Imperial March from Star Wars).  The best moment of the night was when the wind quintet performed an instrumental version of Bohemian Rhapsody and invited the audience to sing along.  This didn't work out quite the way they intended, as no one in the audience but the few Americans had any kind of grasp of the lyrics.  The sing-along was, as a result, more the most part rather weak.  The notable exception was when Joe quite loudly hit the long high note.  The whole audience broke into hooting applause.

The more successful part of the evening was after the concert finally ended and the four of us and our newly adopted friend group went out into the park and chatted over cheap beers until 3 o'clock in the morning.

But das Leben in Göttingen (life in Göttingen) is a lot more than just going out.  I also take naps, cook dinner in our frustratingly inefficient and under-equipped kitchen, and, oh, go to class for five hours every morning.  Class is going well though.  I like the people in my section and we're currently in the midst of watching a gripping "Telenovela für Deutschlerner" (soap opera for students of German), Jojo sucht das Glück.  The two-minute webisodes are full of drama and German grammar.  All in all, not a bad deal.

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