die leutebeobachtung (or: people-watching)

At this point, I could write a bunch of different entries… one about how difficult the transition between languages is going to be, one exactly like this post about bureaucracy, or another depressing one about how I haven’t really met anybody yet. But I’m going to keep it positive because it’s a really beautiful day outside and I just ate some delicious cheesecake.

Which brings me to my current locale. This blog post is brought to you by the free Wifi at Kaffeehaus am Bischofskreuz, across the street from the student apartments at Sundgauallee am Seepark! I “officially” moved into my dorm this morning since my mom flew back to Texas today. It was a bittersweet farewell. Now I’m more or less on my own, and it’s a pretty weird feeling. Also, I don’t have internet in my dorm yet… that will probably happen on Monday. So for now, I’m hitting up any hotspots I can find.

If you know me at all, you probably know that two of my favorite hobbies are people-watching and eavesdropping. Call me nosy, but people are interesting and I like being able to experience a cross-section of their lives as we cross paths, even for just a fleeting moment. Going to college at a large urban university with an extremely eclectic student body has only made me appreciate these activities more… you can’t even begin to imagine the things I’ve overheard at UT and the crazy situations I’ve witnessed.

Well, it turns out I am multiculturally creepy because here I am in Germany, and I still enjoy people-watching. Earlier, I went out and sat by the little lake near my dorm complex (it was really pretty out, btdubs) and just observed what people were doing. My favorite was the guy sitting on the grass, shirtless, playing the ukulele. Which was both entertaining and reminded me of my dear friend Justin. All the while a few little girls, probably about 6 years old, ran up and down the paths and countless joggers and bikers passed me by. It’s kind of comforting to know that people in Freiburg, Germany aren’t all that different from people in Austin, Texas, since I’m willing to bet that there will be people performing all of these same activities today on the South Mall. Except they will probably do so surrounded by a lot less grass. 😛

Eavesdropping is not as universal, and is a little bit trickier in a different language… I can only pick up a few words now and then, since not only are these people native (re: fast-talking) speakers, but they are also a few meters away from me and aren’t actually talking to me. However, I’d say that trying to ascertain the conversation topics of the couple at the table opposite me at this coffee shop is quite helpful to my German skills. It really stretches the boundaries of my vocabulary and lets me hear what real German conversations sound like.

Sometimes it’s confusing though. A few minutes ago, the guy at the next table was having a short conversation with the waitress, which I could only assume was about which milkshake flavor is the best or how much a slice of cake costs. But then I heard the waitress say, really distinctly, “den Zweiten Weltkrieg.” Which definitely means “World War II.” Hearing that buzzword prompted me to listen a little closer to what they were talking about, which, as far as I could tell, had something to do with “the German mindset” and people’s work ethics and unemployment…? Maybe.

Hopefully my paying-attention-in-class skills are more finely tuned my eavesdropping skills, but classes don’t start for one month today so until then I’ll just continue being creepy. I mean… what else is new?

11 thoughts on “die leutebeobachtung (or: people-watching)

  1. Bahahaha! My little Wifey being creepy with peeps in Germany. It warms the heart 🙂

    I bet it’s hard without your mom now and not knowing anyone, but you will soon, I promise. And remember what you once told me – all of us are only a tabernacle away! Maybe you could go to daily mass somewhere and visit us? 🙂

    I love you! And I love that you were all creepy-like. Except NOT! It’s AWESOME, not creepy! And the fact that you were able to pick up some more things because of World War II and everything, that’s awesome. I’m so proud. I love you I love you I love you!

  2. Oooo that sounds awesome, eavesdropping on conversations in another language! So jealous!

    And haha that guy does sound like Justin. Except the part about not wearing a shirt.

    And as far as what Niki said about being only a tabernacle away, every time I go to daily Mass I think of you. And I randomly played Justin’s guitar by myself in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel for like two hours on Thursday and I thought of you then, with the tabernacle right in front of me. It made me happy.

  3. Haha, I thought the same thing as Johanna – about Justin not wearing a shirt. 🙂

    People-watching/eavesdropping is awesome. I do it all’a time. People ARE interesting! And I think it makes you more aware of yourself… but in a good way! Like, a way that often makes you slightly less inhibited. At least that’s how it is for me.

    and wow. Sounds like heavy talk for just a little cafe type place!

  4. haha of course you would like to MM

    but yes. Maybe I’m crazy for saying this, but it’s all about the story.

    With all this back to back free time, I expect a lot of thinking will come. Hopefully not too much time spent on the interwebs while you’re in pretty germany!

    • Wayne, I’m not sure I understand parts of this. But no, hopefully I won’t be spending toooo much time on the Internet. It is kind of a creepy feeling to not have an Internet connection, it feels like I don’t have any connection to the outside world haha. But hopefully tomorrow I’ll be all set up 🙂

  5. I like this post. =)

    Ha I guess I do make up for my lack of facebooking through other media.

    I also tried to look at the Overheard at UT site, but I couldn’t because it was on fb. =(

    And I’m only waiting till I’m done with weight training before I start playing my uke shirtless on the south mall, ladies. 😉

    Like Niki said, it is quite heart warming to hear about your creeper-ness from the other side of the ocean. =)

    Much love.

    • Oh lord.

      And haha I tried to follow that link, too, but alas, I too couldn’t see it because of the whole Facebook thing. It was a weird feeling.

      • It’s so weird that you’re seven hours ahead of us! I like that it tells us the time things were posted in terms of your time zone instead of ours. It’s quite interesting!

  6. hahahaha justin’s comment about the shirt…hahahaha

    i love that you’re sticking true to your creepy self over there in germany roomz!! way to be yourself 🙂 i know it may seem lonely now but you will make friends soon and plus the best self-discovery i’ve always heard is when you’re by yourself in a new place that challenges and makes you uncomfortable which forces you to grow! so look at this as a chance to learn more about who you are 🙂 love you!

    • I know, I laughed out loud when I read that, whilst talking to Justin on skype. it was awesome.

      Thanks Bailey, it means a lot 🙂 Stuff has been pretty good here, I’ve been getting out and exploring a little more!

  7. MM is matt maher 😛 cheese cake?

    I’ll be writing more about “it’s all about the story” later in my blog.

    and have you heard of this woman?
    http://cmsms.schoenstatt.de/en/news/469/143/Elisabeth-Schalueck-Ver-Sacrum-a-sacred-springtime-for-Schoenstatt.htm

    it’s pretty cool how at the bottom, the comments are from a girl in dallas and a boy in nigeria. (and you can see more schoenstatt people there too! but i guess that’s for a later time.)

    hoping you find some friends soon! maybe in the shrine or the suw of germany? 😛

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