Steam rises lazily in the afternoon sun from Antje's coffee. The cafe balcony is alive with chatter. The street mildly bustles with mixed languages.
I am in Iceland!
I have changed immeasurably in the past week alone. In fact, that's a lie, I can measure the changes. And they run along these themes:
1. Germans are great. Truly remarkable people.
2. Conversely, Britons suck.
3. Girls are great, and I can have a great deal in common with them.
Of course, these require more explanation.
1 and 2 can become clearer at first with a simple statistic. Of a class of around 40 people, 18 are German. 1 is British: me.
There were 4 Brits on the list to come, but I'm the only one who turned up.
During the pre-sessional field trip, I had the opprtunity to talk to many Germans (as it was hard to avoid talking to any really). I quickly learned that something like 80% of all Germans go abroad sometime during their study (they always gave me figures as percentages). It's a part of their life, their culture. Truly then, the Germans are global citizens.
It's funny, I always thought we were kind of friendly rivals. The kind of enemies in a film where one will say "We're a lot alike you and I".
How wrong was I?
I'm afraid it kind of made me resent this little closed off xenophobic island of ours.
If you ever get the chance to go abroad for a length of time and experience another culture completely, I implore you to take it. It'll change your perspective in minutes.
Point 3 is on a more personal level. Although my best friends are girls, Jo, Ree, Jess, Holly, I have always thought I have more in common with guys. Like when I hang out with Gareth n Matt n Keith, or at Uni, where my friends are Tom, Matt and Harry.
But here in Iceland I stick to Caitlin (American), Antje (German), Alina (Finnish), and well girls. And even stranger than that, we've adopted just this one guy called Eemeli. So where I'm usually the only girl in a gang of guys, now he's th only guy in our gang of girls. It's good :-)
Pictures of these people will become available soon, there's a house party at Caitlin's tonight :D
So much has happened, I'm sure if I tried to put it all down right now either I'd drop dead writing it or you'd drop dead reading it!
I haven't described the beauty of my field trip yet, but I'll leave that for next time, I'll just leave you with a couple of the most beautiful sights:
More pictures to come later