Before I came to Germany, I thought I had a pretty good handle on the language. I took German language courses for 5 semesters so I wasn't worried that I would die out here. However, learning German in a classroom setting is so much different than actually being immersed in the culture and being required to speak the language. I learned to read fairytales and name random pieces of furniture, but when it came to having to order in a restaurant or navigate around the city I was having a much harder time. Here are the top 10 most useful German words and phrases I've found myself using here.
Along with a good understanding of how to count (and interpret military time), this guide should get you through very basic interactions in Germany. Most people here speak English, but it's definitely not the language they choose to use first. I've had people come up to me in the kitchen in my dorm and start speaking at me rapidly in German, but when they realize I'm a native English speaker they're able to switch with ease. Be careful though: many older Germans are not fluent in English since it's taught back in grade school, so don't depend on everyone knowing English to get by.
In other news, my boyfriend visited Tübingen for the weekend and we got to do some touristy things. Below are a couple photos of us rowing on the Neckar River during the one nice day of weather we've had for weeks. By "us rowing" I actually mean he rowed and I sat there. Teamwork makes the dream work.
With the start of classes I'm trying to buckle down since a lot of the coursework is self directed so this past weekend was a nice break from the stress. Hopefully the weather will start looking up soon. The Hawaii girl in me isn't loving the cold and snow anymore... it's lost the magic. Anyways! That's all I have for now. Bis bald!