One week after arriving. The worst piece of advice I got for Germany is that language isn’t a problem because everyone speaks English. You hear it all the time in the states. It’s not true.

The second worst is that people are reserved. That’s also false. I don’t understand them, of course, so I wish I could let myself believe that the strangers who approach me are always being friendly. I’m too cynical to assume they’re not sometimes just judging me.

Regarding language differences, I think I like broken German more than Germans like broken English


I took these next 2 photos in my home district. Appealingly ungentrified and unpopular with tourists, very pretty, but it smells like New Jersey. I have no problem with the rats in the river but wish I could better handle bad urban aromas and tobacco smoke —  can confirm that German cliché.


Daily pain, and I’m not into recalibrating my senses. (All the USA stereotypes are true, like the smoke gets to me).

I think this first travelogue will also be the last one. Don’t really want to write about my real life, but posts about research forthcoming.