Berlin German College Life Germany Lifestyle

So Old and Yet so New, Five Years Ago and Now


I have been back in Berlin since June and now the time has come that my life gets the routine of academic studying, homework and rather empty buses and trains at 6.15 in the morning.

This is  my new life and I guess it is just now that I realize that this is what it really is now. A new life.

Classes are starting properly tomorrow morning. The schedule was put into the display case on the third floor last Friday, where only a few days ago the names of the accepted and not accepted students were listed. I spent a few minutes in front of it, trying to make sense of the abbreviations for different courses while everyone else got out their smart phones and the flashing lights of the cameras let me see dark spots in front of my eyes after a few seconds.  In the end I decided that they will certainly give us a hard copy of the thing on Monday or else I will just bring my camera.

Even though all of this is supposed to be new and exciting, and exciting it is indeed, I still feel like I am back into something that I have been through before.

I spent a day or two walking through stores, buying stationary things. I must have felt something like nostalgia for my past years at German school, even though I really couldn’t stand German school, before I moved to Kosovo.

Especially when I picked up a pack of folders made of simple card board I felt the nostalgia rise. The same ones I used when I went to school here five years ago. The ones that allow you to put in the sheets of paper in order so that the first sheet you received will always be the first sheet and the rest just follows as you keep adding.

I was happy not having to get things like paint or brushes or an extra tube of opaque white or even colored pencils. All I need for the moment are the simple folders, lined paper and pens to write with. Never art class again. Never P.E., never ethics and maybe not even math. At least no math this year.

I walked through the streets and tried to get used to speaking regular German again because my heavy Berlinish dialect sometimes confuses non Berlinish people and especially my classmates that are from all over the world and who, in a way, are still learning German.

Yes, this feels familiar. Very. Maybe this is why I was so neutral on coming back here to study. Because I knew that most things will be just the way they were when I left. Berlin is a never ending construction site and yet wherever I go, everything looks the same. A new hotel here, a mall there, but otherwise same. Even the same homeless people on the trains, begging for money or water or food.

It is all the same and yet I can’t predict the future which gives the whole thing a hint of being interesting.

I feel like tomorrow morning I will walk down the same light green hallways like I did five years ago.  I feel like I will walk through the glass door, look at the display case on the left hand side to see whether there are any schedule changes for the day (because Germans love schedule changes) and then I would go to class, counting the minutes until I could leave again.  But at the same time I know that it won’t be like this. I won’t set foot into my old school again. Don’t see a reason why I should. Instead, I will spend 1, 5 hours a day getting to campus and walk to the so called L building because this is where the newcomers are seated and I will spend several hours studying things like politics, sociology and German as foreign language, even though I may pretty much call myself a native speaker by now. But who cares? Rules are rules here and they apply to everyone. Even the native speakers.

All so new and yet it feels so old. Just like a DéjàVu even though it’s not.





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