Tuesday, November 22, 2016

On Finally Going To Deutschland

 Pehli baar ek hi baar aata hai! (The 'first time' experience comes only once in your life) - Amitabh Bachchan in English Vinglish 
The first thing that would come to your mind is: 

Why is Archie (who's been a very tardy blogger lately) beginning this blog post with a very oh-so-filmy quote? 

Well, it's because I (finally) got a chance to go to Germany for a radio project after endless days of dreaming, wishing, hoping and despairing.


Which is also why I haven't been a very regular updater of this blog. 

Also there's the fact that I've been very tardy and I feel like the content I'm coming up is shit.

Never mind that. 

The thing is, after I'd posted last, I got busy with the tickets, visa appointments and the entire packing frenzy. 

Every single day went from the constant messages with "Congratulations, dear! I'm so proud of you!" to the even more regular drilling of "It's going to be very cold in Germany, you have to wear really warm clothes - thermal innerwear, a shirt, a sweater, a scarf and a really warm jacket." 

On the eve of my departure, I was bombarded with a ton of instructions from my parents, grandparents, uncle and aunt.

"Always be in warm clothing!" My uncle, who often travels all over the word, instructed. "Always, always wear a scarf! You'll be really cold otherwise!"

"Always keep your passport safe!" My parents and grandfather hissed. "Always, always keep your passport safe! If you lose your money or your belongings, it's FINE! Your passport is your identity! If you don't have a passport, you'll be in deep trouble, young lady!"

"For once in your life, please eat the food that they give you." My grandmother said sternly. "You won't be able to have your way there, you brat!"

"Keep a spare set of clothes and toiletries in your hand luggage in case you don't get your baggage!" My aunt advised. "But most importantly, have fun."

With all these instructions weighing and the incredible amount of excitement building within me, I went to sleep that night. 

On 29th October, the day I left, I literally couldn't contain my excitement. 

The fact that it was Diwali barely registered my mind. My heart was beating, Deutschland, Deutschland, Deutschland. and I kept thinking, "This is it! This is it! I'M FINALLY GOOING!"

Plus, the fact that we were travelling to Munich via Helsinki, Finland was all the more exciting.

The beautiful yet cozy Helsinki airport
Because let's face it: Helsinki - as beautiful as it is - is a pretty rare destination for Indians - who only have the topic of foreign countries restricted to the main hubs in central Europe, the US, Australia and the trio of Singapore-Thailand-Malaysia.


Helsinki at its finest! <3
But when I arrived at Munich airport, a day later, I really wasn't feeling that... hunky dory.

Oh, no, no! It wasn't the traditional, "I'm halfway across the world and I'm going to miss my family!"

It was the fact that I was having this strong urge to...

Throw up.

Although I would love to endlessly describe the thoughts I had while I was nauseated, I really don't want to gross you out and tell you, clear and simple - Yes, I did throw up all over my garish sweater.

Did I feel better?

Not much, honestly.

Even afterwards, as we were on the way to the hostel in Possenhofen, I couldn't quite muster up the excitement that was evident on everyone's faces.

The only time I got a bit excited was when I saw this:

Yup, the famous Allianz Arena - all shaky thanks to my shivering fingers
Then, as we reached, we were immediately assigned with our roommates. After the initial rounds of Hi-Helloing with my roommates, I rushed to take a long, hot bath. Once I'd doused myself in the warm water, I finally felt like a human being, not the zombie I was since I'd retched.

Later, we had to go to the Seminar room downstairs for our 'Icebreaking Session'. This involved randomly chatting with one person, chatting about each others' lives and then introducing each other in front of everyone else.

Yes, it does sound a bit daunting.

But in all honesty, it was a lot of fun! We really got over the initial awkwardness, got to know all the general things about each other and by the end of the session, we were comfortable enough to start working with each other.

From the next morning, the main workshops began.

Every day, in the workshops, we were first given a background on what radio journalism is about. After which, we were assigned with tasks, that involved experimenting with radios. One day, it would be simply reading a transcript in front of the microphone or it would be conducting surveys with all the Germans in the vicinity of the hostel and in the village. On another day, it would be conducting interviews and then we were introduced to the basics of sound mixing.

Personally speaking, I really enjoyed the workshops. It helped me to be comfortable in speaking coolly in a language that wasn't my native one. Moreover, it also made me be more confident in interacting with people who I hardly knew before.

So by the time the last day - the Sightseeing Day - rolled in, I felt more self-assured than what I'd felt in years.

On this day, we went to visit the Radio Station Gong and got a first-hand experience of the dynamic, fast-paced working atmosphere there.

We were shown how they constructed radio programs, the importance of advertisements and how they run their entire program. In the end, we got a chance to ask questions and damn, that was an informative session!



Thought I'd better take this pic of Beyonce 'coz she's the Queen B, right?


After the Radio Station visit, we got a chance to move around Munich. We were split into groups based on our preference for places.

I was one of those who went to the Frauenkirche (literally: the church for women, reality: anybody can go in).

When I stepped inside, I realised that this church was one of the most beautiful places I'd been to.

It was a majestic room filled with delicate candelabras, intricately created statues and richly-made paintings. At one corner, there was a table (sort of) filled with candles in the honour of the dead. And at another corner, there was the tomb of a revered priest.

Can't you SEE how detailed it is?
The candles lit in the memory of the dead. Some people were actually insensitive enough to take photos of themselves lighting the candle. I mean, who even does that?
The tomb - which is often used as a photo opportunity by many tourists.
Once we stepped out of the Kirche, we were free to roam around wherever we liked in Marienplatz.

WHAT A BEAUTY! <3

The Rathaus - The Main Government Building

The Spielzeug Museum

The Famous Galleria Kaufhof/Kaufhaus
Marienplatz <3
But you know what the best part about the whole trip was, dear reader?

I got to meet really amazing people, from starkly different cultures, out of which, I made some really close friends (just in a matter of the week).

At first, it was a bit awkward. Because hey, we're all so different and how would we manage to overcome the said differences so fast?

Yet, by the end of the week, (as cheesy as it sounds), we'd become this close-knit family.

It was because, everyday after the workshops, all of us used to gather together and decide what we'd do for the evening.

Sometimes, we would go to the breathtakingly beautiful lake nearby and click a crazy amount of photos there.
Can you see the Alps in the background?



Don't jump, or else the swan will bite you!

Aand here I am, channeling my Khatron Ke Khiladi spirit
And the other times, all of us would gather in the seminar room and play a lot of different German, Austrian and Indian games. Once, we were in a wicked mood, we decided to tell each other ghost stories.

It's another story that I barely could sleep that night and I had to read pages of Princess Diaries to get myself over the paranoia.

All in all, I would say that the whole trip was a wonderful experience. I loved every bit of it, especially the lessons I'd learnt to the friends I'd made and the feeling of responsibility I had over my things.

I guess the best lesson I'd learned was this:

Even you don't get the thing you desire, don't worry! If it's in your fate, it will definitely come to you.

As preachy as it may sound, dear reader, but never, ever lose hope. Sure, things might seem a bit hard at the moment, but don't feel dejected all the time. You will always get what you deeply, deeply want, as long as you work hard for it.

(If it's the end of the world, then shut up, you idiot. What you need is an appointment with a psychiatrist)

Stay awesome as ever,

Much love,

Archie <3

P.S. Sorry for the long post! :/

8 comments:

  1. I love Germany! I've been there a few years from now and I really like it :)
    Great post!
    Adriana Gil - makemereadmoreofthis.blogspot.pt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Adriana!
      Thanks a lot! :)
      Stay awesome as ever,
      Much love,
      Archie <3

      Delete
  2. This week was really amazing♡♡♡
    I miss u sooo much and i hope that we'll see each other again.
    I really like this post and u don't have to feel sorry about that it might be too long. It absolutely isn't;)
    And did u really through up? Don't make me worried:'(
    Love yaaaa:***
    Julia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww Julia!
      I miss you too! Hope to see you soon! :D
      Stay awesome as ever,
      Much love,
      Archie <3

      Delete
  3. Hi! Archie, it was really a wonderful journey for me also, except for that retching hi!hi!hi!I just feel like retching when I hear that, tht is why!Helsinki! why not a little more about the wonderful Finland.Any way we have GER...MANI..It is more important to know that you REALLY enjoyed it all, even the retching!I would have been depressed and dnt know whether a hot bath would have helped me so much as it did you.Go to more places and let us hear.....!narayanvee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mama!
      Thanks a lot! :D I hope to travel more and gain more experiences!
      Stay awesome as ever,
      Much love,
      Archie <3

      Delete
  4. Hey Archie,

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience in Germany. This post is inspiring for me in plentiful ways. I am glad to know that you are adding more and more enriching experience at a pace which matches the pace of life. (Most people can't do that).

    May you keep growing and pushing the reach of your versatility.

    Godspeed.

    Ps:I wish to travel to Germany one day. It has been a long-standing desire. Unfortunately, I know French instead of German so I won't be able to grace the context of this post with a drop of German.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi HK,
      Thanks a lot! :D haven't heard from you since long!
      Stay awesome as ever,
      Much love,
      Archie <3

      Delete

Hey guys! :)
Now that you have taken the efforts to go through my neurotic rambling, why don't you post your views? :)