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Last night was the Erasmus Welcome Party (which I went to, because it was a celebration of the end of international orientation weeks/the intensive Sprachkurs), and I couldn’t help but look up at all of the plastic flags hanging from the ceiling and all of the people dancing down below them and think about what an interesting, diverse group of individuals I’ve met and will continue to meet here in Bremen. Like, yes, there are times when I pull a Jack’s Mannequin and feel alone (so alone!) in a crowded room, and yes there are times when I just want to blog about frustrations with Europe as a continent (see yesterday’s posts), but then there are times when my Tandem partner (we meet once a week to speak in German and English) runs up to me in a bar to say hello and goodbye, or the Russian girl whom I met on line for BSU yesterday (the second of her kind, because all of my days are spent waiting for the BSU and meeting Russians) greets me warmly, or the Czechs and Slovaks run up to show me that they’ve stolen their flags from the ceiling (of course they did), or a group that could be the Model United Nations links arms and bounces to Whitney Houston’s (RIP, girl) “Dance With Somebody.” And these are the times when I try to remember that the experience that I have here is one I’m not going to be able to have again, ever. That I’m spending a year researching a topic that I came up with from beginning to end, and that the classes I’m taking are exclusively things that I’m interested in, and that the city I’m getting to know is one I wouldn’t get to know otherwise, and that here I can travel, and here I can get better at languages, and here I can represent America in a positive way, and that here, and here, and here I am meeting people whom I would not otherwise know, and seeing the world in general and my own, much smaller world in a way I wouldn’t if I were not here.
And that I need to remember these times no matter the hour of the day.