Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reisen veredelt den Geist und räumt mit allen anderen Vorurteilen auf.

Anyone who has ever tried to use Youtube outside of the United States knows exactly what I am going to complain about.

Because of copyright laws, what seems like a third of all videos with music on Youtube can't be viewed. Usually you can listen to music (by watching the music video) on Youtube but now it's a real job to find a video that is "available in my country". I just saw a facebook group about this. The group is called "Dieses Video ist in deinem Land nicht verfügbar" Alter, bin ich aus Narnia oder was? That means "This video is not available in your country" Dude, where I am from, Narnia? "dieses video ist in deinem land nicht verfügbar" .. alter, bin ich aus narnia oder was?

Mehr Sprüche auf http://geschaut.com
"dieses video ist in deinem land nicht verfügbar"

Mehr Sprüche auf http://geschaut.com
"dieses video ist in deinem land nicht verfügbar" .. alter, bin ich aus narnia oder was?

Mehr Sprüche auf http://geschaut.com
"dieses video ist in deinem land nicht verfügbar" .. alter, bin ich aus narnia oder was?

Mehr Sprüche auf http://geschaut.com
"dieses video ist in deinem land nicht verfügbar" .. alter, bin ich aus narnia oder was?

Mehr Sprüche auf http://geschaut.com
"dieses video ist in deinem land nicht verfügbar" .. alter, bin ich aus narnia oder was?

Mehr Sprüche auf http://geschaut.com "dieses video ist in deinem land nicht verfügbar" .. alter, bin ich aus narnia oder was?

Mehr Sprüche auf http://geschaut.com

The next thing that I found out is that I can see what countries the people who read this blog are from. It shows me on a map what countries view my blog.
All the countries with flags have people who read my blog there. I know it is kind of hard to read but if you click on it, it should make it bigger.

I found this next picture a while ago and never got around to putting it on here. The picture shows the pattern of homesickness so it's something good for all the outbounds to see.

So far, it has been pretty accurate. I'd say that the first month or two were the "Honeymoon Phase". Then the next two were the "Culture Shock/Homesickness Phase" followed by a solid four months of "Adaptation". The last two months are apparently split between being sad about leaving but also glad about going home.

The "Honeymoon Phase" is when you first get to your host country and everything is new and exciting. You don't miss home that much because you haven't been here that long and you are to busy experiencing new things to think about things back home. 

The next "phase" of the year is the absolute worst part. All the things that were new and exciting really aren't that new or exciting anymore. It's not that there are 2 months of straight homesickness but there are a lot of times in those two months where you feel homesick. 

The "adaptation phase" is a pretty good one. You have gotten used to being in a foreign country, you have a group of good friends, you're starting to feel at home in your host country and you've got a pretty good grasp on the language. All of that makes this part of your exchange feel like normal life. Yeah, you're still "alone" in a foreign country but it feels like normal life anyway. Homesickness doesn't occur anywhere near is much as it used to. 

I'll explain the rest of the "phases" as I get there. 

On Friday night, we went to a concert at school. My English teacher was playing a couple songs on his guitar and singing. I went with my host parents but ended up meeting some kids from my class there. The songs were in English so it was nice to hear a little bit of English again. He sang everything from "Hotel California" to "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". 

Last night was the Jahresfeier in Altdorf. It's a big party put on by the soccer club in Altdorf. It was at the community center and basically we ate dinner and watched all the different teams put on shows. At the end of the Jahresfeier, they put on a play. The play was entirely in Swabian so I think it is safe to say that I understood about a third of what was going on. There was a raffle and I ended up winning a few things. I won a fancy beer opener, some knitted socks, an autographed jersey from one of the former VFB players and a couple cans of fancy SPAM. Other people won anything from alcohol to crystal cheese trays. 

 Even though my German is still not perfect, I have not only started thinking in German but also dreaming in German too. I don't always think in German but it has happened a couple of times lately. I have thought in German before but I had to try and think in German but lately it just comes naturally in German instead of English. I also dreamed in German a couple of times. The good news is that the whole dream was in German and I understood it. The bad news is that even in my dreams, I don't know which of the 16 forms of "the" to use. 

I think we are going to Frankfurt next weekend. I don't know if I will update again before then but we'll see.

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