Dienstag, 15. November 2016

Here Comes The Reality Truck

...and boy, did that hit me all the way to another city!
No, I'm serious: This girl is officially not a resident of hôtel maman anymore.

These past six months or so had been crazy: I spent three long and wholly-deserved months in Indonesia and spontaneusly started college this semester. 

Come to think of it, I must've been crazy to go through all of this without planning. Well, I admit: I didn't exactly went completely without a plan; I applied to half a dozen universities in my state (since my mom wouldn't let me go any further sigh), in all of them for different majors (and minors) I was interested in, just to see where I would be accepted. Since German universities don't require SATs or admission exams, it was easy for me to just send in the applications and enjoy vacation. At last, I was accepted at the university I had the least faith in accepting me, since their rep and standard is pretty high up amongst German universities, but as God willed it to be, I received the acceptance email with an embarassingly loud screech.

And now I'm here, in this cold and windy city of Hamburg, harbouring the second-biggest port in Europe. 
You may laugh at me, because this girl who is always complaining about the horrible weather changes in Bremen moved up to a city where wind, hail and sunshine go hand in hand?
The only answer I could give would be You take what you get, man. 

And in this case what I get and wholeheartedly take definitely overweighs the constant cloudiness of the sky with which I am blessed with here. Hamburg is a wonderful big city, and I've always loved the anonymity I experienced when I would arrive at the central station here to visit friends. The business of the port and the multiculturality that comes with it is one of the main reasons for me to permanently live here. Additionally, Hamburg is where the Indonesian diaspora is the greatest - not only because of its history with sailors in the late 60s/early 70s, but also it's where the airplane company AIRBUS has one of its biggest branches in Europe. Indonesian engineers in Germany go way back to the history of the third president, but that's a story for another time. 
Anyway, what that means for me is: a lot more Indonesian friends and a community I feel welcomed in. That was crucial for my decision to move up here, because if not, I wouldn't stand the complete loneliness of being thrown into shockingly (literally) freezing reality that is adulthood without parents to guide you. Especially my mom needed me to have a network she and I could depend on in a worst case scenario and I am glad it's people I already was vaguely familiar with. Plus it's good for me to still stay in contact with Indonesian people after being surrounded by them for three months straight; that way I wouldn't forget where my roots are unlike the other times I spent my summer in Indonesia and then going straight to a rather homogenous Bremen.

College life so far has spared me the worst: I only have about an average 16 hours of lectures/seminars a week, and even though some for my major are a bit too dry for my taste (I'd blame my profs though), I wouldn't say it's nothing I would need in the future. 

On a more exciting note: I'm re-learning my mother tongue even though my lecturer said it's not because I never went to school in Indonesia, tch Indonesian, or Bahasa Indonesia (a variant of Malay), at college for my minor South East Asian Studies! It's fun to see what phrases and words I never knew (and there's a lot!) and to study the grammatical structure of it at all. That's also how I found out about me thinking sentences in German (or even English) first and then translating them into Bahasa in my brain, thus always sounding awkward when I do try to engage in more deeper conversations that go beyond colloquial smalltalk. Bahasa is a language leaning more on the passive side, and with German being an active one, the sentences I sprout out do sound a bit clumsy. Plus, because my parents always talk in formal Indonesian to me, since they are not native speakers of Bahasa Indonesia themselves, I get to learn a lot about how them youngins' talks, so I won't sound like a grandma stuck in post-Sukarno's times.

Though my decision to start college this year already was influenced by my oh-so-Asian parents, at the end I'm glad I did. Because now I know how much more I want to learn about the world and how it works, and, by being one of the youngest students amongst the freshmen, I know how much time I have to, hopefully إن شاء الله, study a lot more subjects, too. 

There's still endless room to widen my horizon anyway.


PS: I decided to change my name here from Nana to Luna (my real name), since I do pour too much a lot of what's in my heart in here - only to hide behind a nickname. If I bare my thoughts to y'all, I might as well show my real name, too.

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