Your web-browser is very outdated, and as such, this website may not display properly. Please consider upgrading to a modern, faster and more secure browser. Click here to do so.
My time in Marburg so far has been fine. I got in with no problems, was shown around by the people who work on the program, met the one other Fulbright kid who got here yesterday, and went out with a couple of the program people, the other Fulbright kid, and a bunch of the program people’s friends last night. The city is beautiful, like it just waltzed out of a storybook and plopped itself down in Germany, and manageable. Everyone knows everyone, the German students told us. It’s a university town. You can get anywhere on foot. You can never get lost.
But I woke up yesterday morning feeling lost. (Not literally lost, Mom and Dad. I was in my room, DO NOT WORRY.) My German tongue felt so tied up the night before, and I stood stupidly speaking in English. I thought of my family back at home, and of my dogs, and of our house, and of all of the familiar places that I would be if I weren’t here. And I went out for a bit to get lunch and prove to myself that I could take the bus and ended up accidentally tipping the waiter, like, double my meal because of the loss of translation (I corrected this mistake, Mom and Dad, STAY CALM)(also, the bus mission was accomplished). And I just kept tearing up without knowing why, because it’s not as though anything bad has happened to me at all, and I know that the problem is my own mentality, not the city or its residents.
And I know that that will change. I know that at some point, either at the end of my time in Marburg or somewhere midway in my year in Germany, at some point, when I have stopped waiting for the point to ever come, I’ll feel less alien and strange and stupid, and be able to see the experience, not just me in the experience. And I’ll forget how it felt to begin, and what this part of the experience meant to me.
But I don’t think I should forget. I know that, inevitable, I will, and that the feeling will be less tangible, and that will be good for me and right and healthy and normal and exciting. But isn’t it also good for me to remember what it felt like at the very, very beginning? Even if it’s embarrassing to say out loud. Or write on a blog. Because it’s part of the experience, too. And it’s a part that I’ll learn from, someday, I think. But I can’t do that if I don’t remember.