When I first learned that I would be spending an entire month in Germany this summer I was more than excited, but as time grew close to my departure I became nervous. Would I understand anything anyone said, would I get any better at German, would I have a fantastic time? Thankfully these anxious questions were answered right when I got on my plane.
On the plane from America to Germany I met a very cool guy who sat next to me for the entire 8 hours, trading stories about our prior travels and future endeavors. His name was Eric. Eric has been in the army ever since he got out of college, and he’s 22. Needless to say he had a lot of stories to tell. There was one in particular though that eased my nervousness.
Eric told me of how he had been living in a small German town for around 2 years and didn’t speak any German. This shocked me at first, raising questions of “How do you get food?” and “How do you know where to go?”. His answer was that he would just speak English, considering most Germans can at least speak broken English. But this didn’t make me want to come to Germany and speak my language. Eric might have been able to get food and find directions to places, but the only real way he’d make real German friends there would be to speak their language. So this gave me a new rush of excitement right at the start; the fact that I was already going to do better than Eric.
Hopefully in the weeks to come I will do better than Eric, its only been a couple days and our group has grown to an even larger number of people, all trying to speak German. I’m very excited.