What do you think of when you think of Swabia? (Schwaben) Swabia is located in the southwestern part of Baden-Württemberg, that’s where you’ll find the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) and the Swabian Alb or Jura (Schwäbische Alb)! Swabian German or dialects in southern Germany sounds like a whole other language as compared to standard German (Hochdeutsch), and perhaps I have already heard some locals speaking in that dialect without realizing it! Today’s vegetarian menu at the Mensa was the Swabian cheese spätzle. (Schwäbische Käsespätzle)
The feeling of something cold touches my face. Then another, and another. It was beginning to rain as I waited for my tram to arrive. Luckily, I came prepared today! Not only do I have clothes that will keep me warm from the wind and rain, but an umbrella that I bought from a second hand store. I listen to the sounds of rain hitting against the umbrella as I watched each tram pass.
There goes tram 7, and there’s 5 just behind it. Tram 4 is sofahrt, which means, “on the way.” Is that it? No, that’s tram 3, so the next one must be tram 4. When I saw that my tram was coming soon, I quickly closed my umbrella, but then it got stuck! I couldn’t close it! I panicked and used force to get the umbrella to close, but the next thing that I know, or in this case, FEEL…is a stinging pain. I looked down at my finger…oh, that’s my blood. How does an umbrella tear off a sliver of one’s skin? I’m not sure, but I somehow made that happen!
Light seeps through my room and the alarm on my phone goes off. It’s the morning, and I need to drop off a letter to the Citizen Service Office so I can apply for my residence permit! I expected to be finished with this task within the first couple of week since I arrived in Germany, but certain documents were required that I needed to wait for. It also took a little over a month to get any form of response on next steps!
After dropping off the letter, I began feeling under the weather. I ate a small meal before I left, so I don’t think I wasn’t hungry. All I knew was that if I stayed outside any longer, I may end up collapsing. The world was spinning and I could not focus. Maybe it’s stress! I do eventually return home, but I immediately drop onto my bed in pain. I didn’t want to move…maybe water or something to make me feel full will help. It didn’t.
One of the things I packed before going to Germany was Tylenol, and I’m glad that my mother packed me extra! After an hour of resting, I felt better, but not in peak condition to do whatever. To get my mind off of work and homework, I tried out a few new cooking techniques.
Bonus! October 9
What is the German federal state above Baden-Württemberg? It’s Hessen! And VISUM is going on a day trip to Frankfurt! It was great to see a familiar face from VISUM’s trip to Heidelberg, so I didn’t feel too anxious. The trip to Frankfurt from Mannheim is about an hour long. Our tour guide, let’s say, was a wild tour guide! He may not be a walking Wikipedia, but he is very chill and likes to blast catchy music while we’re walking. He showed us the difference between the richer and poorer areas of Frankfurt, statues such as Schiller-Denkmal and the Stock Exchange (the Bull, or Bulle, which represented the rise of stocks and charging on, and the Bear, or Bär, represented the fall of stocks and how “careful” a bear could be), the city skyline, the city hall, and many more!
We also got a chance to visit the Frankfurt Main Tower to see all of Frankfurt from above, albeit it was a very long queue. I couldn’t see the start of the line nor the back of the line! We also passed through a park, where I happen to step on a few loose tiles and a hole in the ground, almost straining my ankle. I’m lucky that nothing bad happened to me because I would be walking around Frankfurt for almost the whole day! But spoiler, I ended up hurting my ankle anyways the next day- what a series of unfortunate accidents this week!
Dinner rolled around and with both groups from Mannheim and Siegen combined, we had a lot of people, too much for one restaurant to keep reservations for! So we split into two groups, and the Mannheim group visited an Irish pub. We were joined by a few other students from Siegen due to the lack of space in the other restaurant. That was when Peter, a Dutch from the Netherlands started to converse with me.
It was the usual, “Where are you from? Why did you come to Germany? What are you studying and for how long?” There are always the few comments that throw me off guard because I never expect someone to notice them. “Did you make those colorful bracelets?” and “I’ve heard that people from America are very loud, but you are the opposite!” He and his other friend talked about the life in the Netherlands, the cities, rivers, and forests! It was very nice to make new international friends, and I enjoyed my time at Frankfurt.
It was around 11PM when I arrived home, and I noticed some little twinkling stars in the sky. This was my first time seeing stars in Germany, and I reminiscent about the stars back home. I wonder if there is another place in Germany that is better suited for stargazing?
A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:
The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.