There we have it – month 12. I’ve now experienced every month in Germany, and as of this Sunday, 4th August, I will have been in Germany for a year. Against what you’re all probably expecting me to say, it actually feels like more than a year ago since I moved here, and not at all like yesterday. I’m taking that as a sign of feeling fully settled here in Hanover, because that’s definitely what I feel.
This month has mainly seen me losing more and more friends due to them moving back to England, and die beste Mitbewohnerin der Welt (the best housemate in the world) also moved out at the start of this week. To balance that out though, I’ve met loads of people due to my summer course which I mentioned I’d be doing a couple of months ago.
I also had my dad visit me, and two friends after that. You can read more about that on this post: When Visitors Come To Stay.
Anyway, on with the highlights:
- 1st July: Japanese Test
What a stressful way to start the month off with! As you know, I’ve been doing a Japanese class at the Universität Hannover, with being signed up as guest student, and, of course, a test also came at the end of the semester. Unfortunately for me, I found out that we had the test less than 24 hours before it taking place (with me having missed the previous class due to Sausalitos – a rubbish excuse, yes, but it’s 50% off all food on Mondays!)
After mega cramming/slightly not caring, I did the test. And guess what? I actually passed! I didn’t get the best grade in the world (the teacher said ‘es tut mir Leid’ (I’m sorry) in his email with my result which confused me a little because I did actually pass), but I can now say I passed a Japanese test on my year abroad in Germany! (For those interested/know the German grading system well, I got a 2,7).
- 13th July: The Light Show on Maschteich
Whilst Anna and Leigh were here, we decided to go make party on our final night together. We firstly went and sat along the Maschsee with a few beers, and afterwards we walked back through the Maschpark towards the centre. Whilst walking through the Maschpark, we were lucky enough to see the Light Show going on behind the Rathaus on the Maschteich. It was an absolutely fantastic view, and the below picture doesn’t really do it any justice.
- 15th July: Start of the Summer Course
So, as previously mentioned, my plan for the Summer was to do another summer course at the University here in Hanover.
Now 2-and-a-half weeks in, I’m really enjoying the things we’re learning. We’ve touched on things such as the political system in Germany (I admittedly also cringed when I first heard we were going to learn about it but it turned out to be quite interesting), different forms of media in Germany, and we’re now focusing mainly on history. Though we are going over the same old stuff I’ve done before (I don’t even need to write what topics we’re learning about…), I’m actually learning a lot more than when I learnt about the stuff in the past, and it’s especially more interesting because we’re being taught about it by a German in a class of just 10 people.
We also have to hold presentations, and I was ‘lucky’ enough to be given the topic which had to be shared with someone. We managed to separate the subtopics easily though, and we’ll be holding the presentation next week. Gulp. I am learning quite a bit about the connection between Hanover and Great Britain through that though. A good example being the current Prince of Hanover, Ernst August, is approximately 450th on the line of succession for the British throne… who’d a thunk it!
- 17th July: BBQ at Menschingstraße
Just a little Kleinigkeit: I went to Menschingstraße to see Fabi and Sabrina, and we had a little (well, more like huge) BBQ together. Afterwards, we went for some cocktails, but on the way Sabrina and I popped to a club to pick up my German mobile which I’d lost there on the night myself, Anna and Leigh made party… at least I got it back in the end!
- 21st July: Sunrise along the Maschsee
This is probably my favourite moment of the month in terms of seeing something spectacular. After going on a night out with some friends from the summer academy, I somehow ended up sat along the Maschsee at 6am the next morning watching the sunrise. It’s one of those moments I will never forget, and made me finally realise that the Maschsee is definitely my favourite location in Hanover. It was amazing how warm it soon got as the sun rose despite how early in the morning it was!
- 22nd July: Trip to the Ricklinger Teichen
We sometimes have afternoon activities with the summer academy, and one of them last week was a trip to the Ricklinger Teichen (Rickling Ponds). Due to the mega heatwave we had/are kind of still going through, it was a nice place to chill in the sun and have a little bit of a swim. I haven’t been swimming in years, and I’ve realised I’ve never been swimming somewhere where I can’t touch the floor. Safe to say I soon came right back out after trying to dive down and touch the bottom and having no success…
- 25th July: Badminton with my best mate
After not playing in nearly 4 months, Fabi and I went to play badminton at a different location to usual due to our normal location being closed due to refurbishment or something. In the heat, it was horrific, but was nice to actually do some fun sports again, despite the fact that it was obvious I hadn’t done sport in a while (glad I wore a dark t-shirt, that’s for sure).
Afterwards, we treated ourselves to a beer in a nearby Biergarten. I tried a Weizenbier with Passionfruit – by ‘eck it schmecked gut.
- 29th July: Elsa moved out
Then came the day I was dreading: die beste Mitbewohnerin der Welt ist ausgezogen! Though she had good reasons to move out due to her working about an hour away and having to get up at 5:30am every morning, it was still sad to see her go, and it’s really weird walking in the flat now and seeing an empty room to the left. She even took her vacuum cleaner – how dare she! How are we meant to vacuum now?!
I’m definitely going to see her again before I leave, though. She’s moved to Braunschweig which is about an hour away by train, and we’re hoping to organise a trip finally to Dresden where she comes from. She also wants to show me a burger restaurant in Wolfsburg (she works in Wolfsburg) – and, I mean, when someone says they’ve found somewhere better than Jim Block, I really need to check it out to make sure it’s not actually better.
On a good note, I also finally sent off my Year Abroad Portfolio on this day. Despite it costing me 10,85€ due to us having to send it by recorded delivery, it was a nice feeling to see the end of it.
- 31st July: Maschseefest (at last!)
And what a beautiful way to enjoy the last day of the month – the Maschseefest. If you remember back to when I arrived here in Hanover, the Maschseefest was already up and running, and I enjoyed every moment I spent there.
With it starting today, I met up with Sabrina and a couple of friends of hers and we saw the small parades which were actually really funny, and after walking round and soaking up the atmosphere, we came across Evelyn (a girl from the Netherlands who’s also doing the summer school here) and enjoyed a couple of beers. I also treated myself to some roasted almonds afterwards – I can’t get enough of them!
Below are a few photos of my first of many days spent at the Maschseefest 2013:
So, there we have my 12th month.
And now commences the last month of my year abroad.
…It really hurt typing that sentence. God help me this time next… no, in fact, I’m not even going to think about it.
One thing’s for sure though: I am still in love with Germany. And Hanover. If I could apply for another year here, I would do it immediately.