A Thousand Miles from Comfort

I’m sure after reading the title, you immediately assumed this post would cover some of the cultural shocks, homesickness or fear that I may be experiencing as a result of spending my first week in Germany… wrong! You’d be surprised to know that I’m actually really enjoying the food, the culture and the language. This could shift, of course, but even from just a film production perspective- I feel like the amount I will learn (and have already started to learn) will always outweigh any negatives.

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So first off, our first week of class was very intense. We did a couple shooting projects and really worked on our skills as directors. We even got to work with actors from Cologne! I could go on and on about the challenges of reading a neutral script and making a film ENTIRELY based on subtext and how challenging that was but…. I’ll just make a separate post for film stuff so you don’t all lose your minds!  But here are some stills because everyone enjoys pictures:

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Since our work-week was extremely busy ( I was on set for 10 hours Thursday alone) – we thought we’d celebrate by taking a day and night trip out to Cologne. After visiting the Kolner Dom, the chocolate museum, walking along the Rhine and then having a rather energetic night of clubbing… I was sweaty, dirty, sore and so thankful to have had such a fun weekend.  I even got to visit a beautiful park in Bonn with my host family the next day.

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So here’s where you’re probably thinking – Okay, but what about the awesome/terrible experiences?! Spill the beans. Well here goes in bullet point form!

A few of the many positive things:

  • I feel like I learned so much as a film-maker in just my first week!
  • “Mein gaste mutter” gave me a fan to sleep with (anyone who knows me knows how vital this is to my sleep), chats with me daily and lets me stay out or go out whenever but always has a wonderful breakfast and dinner waiting for me.
  • The temperature has been perfect- not too hot or cold. It’s been great for running through parks and on the Rhine.
  • My host family loves to teach me German, and will literally read through baby books with me until I master certain phrases.
  • I know how to navigate Bonn now and have learned (after a somewhat small blow to my wallet) how to actually save money!

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The not-so-positive things (that I have learned from nonetheless)

  • Yeah, so maybe I got lost trying to meet up with my friends in a park- but I didn’t give up- I kept looking until I found the park. ( I could have easily given up and gone back to Bonn HBF but I was determined to find my way)
  • Yeah, so maybe I wore wedges in Cologne for 10 hours, took them off on the street and then stepped on a small piece of glass- ITS ALL GOOD I GOT IT OUT.
  • Yeah, maybe the short performance I directed didn’t get picked (only half of ours did) to be filmed but- guess what? I’m filming on my own time anyways because I believe the end product will be great and my actors are eager to do it!
  • Although I’m trying my best, apparently I speak German with a heavy French accent (thank you International School of Indiana)
  • So meeting German friends has been an issue. (and by friends I mean men *cough*)

Some of my favorite observations have been:

  • It’s very easy to eat low-sugar/carb in Germany (as many know I take seriously for many reasons), especially considering meats and cheeses are so popular here and a lot of things are unprocessed and organic!
  • Speaking of these meats and cheeses – bratwursts are BOMB, so are currywursts, doner kabobs, liverwurst, cheeses, yogurts etc.
  • Splitting a bottle of wine in a beautiful park with friends is both blissful and quite normal because there is no open container law in Germany!
  • The chocolate museum had literally some of the funniest chocolates (see pictures below)
  • Wait these are most ALL food related, haha just check these pictures

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So, in summary, “Mir geht es gut!” I am learning German, being cinematic and definitely not making any mistakes, getting lost or facing various daily challenges 😉

Oh, also feel free to visit my Vimeo where I’ll be posting all the little film projects we make!

https://vimeo.com/user31654826

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