Stuttgart, english version
#6 : Ein (rad)tour machen - English
Sorry for this late, I've been busy ! (19th January 2014)
Untill now, this experience made me able to take a global vision of what is around me. When you can't speak, you watch. I was starting a kind of humdrum, which was intership, some visits during the week ends, and cleaning work at home, on sunday afternoon. Alone. But this past week was very different from the previous. In fact, an invisible wall put me aside from the german. But this wall is breaking.
I let you in the last post, with a resolution : better know the germans, go see them and talk with them. After 3 weeks without a lot of people around me, and thinking for myself, I went meeting Pierre's friends, my office collegue who learns french. He invited me to play bowling with them, I didn't hasitate to say yes.
Because I am introverted and because I didn't want to kill their language at first (Just I make with yours, sorry for that...), I made time before to really talk with them. It's difficult to start a speech with someone that you don't know, with a language that you can't speak. But they make me good feeling. Yeah, sometimes, I get a good feeling... :)
It's fun to see that at first, you speek about banal thinks, but which do our differences.
First difference, cars. Okay, it's not as striking as I went to US, but as we all know, German is really more powerfull than France when you talk about autos. One of Pierre's friend had an old Renault Kangoo (bad bad french car), and invite me to test what was the "Französisch Qualität" (In Europe, commercials used the term "Deutsch Qualität" to promote the german cars). Just to tease me, but it was fun, I took it easy. During the journey, I get to know this young people, who are all the same old as me, and they all work or study.
We are not used to see that in France. I have still one or two friends who are unless job. But here, it seems like the most part of youngs does something. In France, there is more than 10% of unemployment, but here, there is only 5% and it tails off since 8 years.
About young people, the rate is about 7-8%, and 25% in France. In Europe, German's rate is the less high. Because of what ? I can't explain it, but I think that school and education system is very efficient. Here, if you don't like learn with your head, theoric and other lessons, you can learn by practice, as soon as possible. Every body get his luck, all people have their qualitys, and they give them opportunity to use it as well.
But let's talk about more easy thinks ! I was there to stand for France colors during the bowling no ? Unfortunally, because of hurt wrist, I didn't well. Haha, okay, maybe they were just better than me. Not impossible.
The other topic was about stereotypes, something which is very good to speak with someone who don't come from the same country as you. Okay, french are seen as guys which wear the "Beret", the "Moustache" and eat "Baguette". One day, I will come dressed like this at work, just for fun !
Later in the evening, we went to a "nighter" place, where I had a lot of fun with my news friends and where I met an other french girls who lives here because his father is German. But because I'm here to speak german as much as possible, I prefered to keept in touch with my germans.
So, It was a good evening. And here I see the germans as I know them : Welcoming, warm and friendly.
During my saturday's outing, I visited a Castle in Ludwigsburg, an other big city of the state. But it was only in german, so I didn't all interstand. But nevermind, it was a nice place, watch the next picture !
So I'm discovering the state, it's important for me to know the (hi)story of the place I leave. I don't know where I will go next. I would like visit the south of the country, where whe can see the Alps Mountains. It looks like wonderfull.
But for the moment, mine Alps are the hills wich are around my appartment. And I rode through this hills with a MTB this afternoon with Pierre (Ein Radtour Machen!). Big uphill ! Unfortunally, I didn't take my camera to take some pictures. But nevermind, I got time. 7 weeks. (5 at the time I translate). I will have other opportunitys.
Thank to all the people who have wrote me encouraging words this last weeks and who took news from me, it make me feel good.
See you ASAP for a new translation !
#5 : First self-appraisal
If we can say that my first week began in a heavy way, this second week was quieter. No wedding, no silvester night party and anymore french friends by my sides.
Let's beging about it, the fact to be so "alone". First of all, It's the first time that I'm all alone, without my family. Last time when I traveled to US, during 2 weeks. (I'm here since the 27 december). But this time, I'm not with friends unlike when I went to other trips. For the moment, it's nice, and I don't feel bad. Social networks and skype make it possible for me to keep in touch with my friends and family, I use it a lot.
At the moment, I don't really have contact with other people, this is too bad. I can only see my colleague at work, my room-mate and the house owner of my appartment, who lives above me. I met him this past week. I was suprise during our first meeting to be able to well understand him and what he said. So, first progress ? Yes, I think. But this is not enough, and that is why I need see people, I could learn faster.
The fact is, in my firm, the manager speak very good frend, and his son, my colleague try to learn french, and he enjoys my time here to speak a lot french.
My room-mate, about him, his work force him to be absent. So yes, I'm frustated to no be able to speak german as much as I could. So my aim is, in the few weeks, to meet as much people as I can to speak more.
My sister asked me the last day if I felt alone. No, it's okay. I am someone introverted, so I can have a weekend alone and find something to do. Since I'm here, and since the run race of Backnang, I run a lot. Then, I re-started to read books. Unfortunately, I have got only 2 books for 10 weeks. A friend sould sent me one by the post ! Finally, there is this blog, that I write and translate. It takes time !
But if I'm here, it's not to stay in my bubble (I don't know if it makes sence for you...) I NEED TO SPEAK GERMAN !
So that I try to make it happen. First, my room-mate talked me to pick me up in his hometown, to meet his friends. Maybe during a week end ! Then, if all will going well, I should meet again a german guy that I met when I was 14 during a trip. My manager also give the duty to hang out at less one evening by week with his son, and to speak only in german. That's not the worst duty, during an intership, is not it ?
About this intership week, nothing crazy. Monday 6 was a holiday. The rest of my week, work and work. I'm still discovering my firm, and I hope see more interesting things soon. My manager and colleague are very nice with me, and they make all they can to make me feel good.
This last saturday, I enjoyed my free time to visit the Mercedes Benz Museum. Know that Stuttgart is seen as the cars's cradel . This museum show, the history of Mercedes and car overall. Ask to my friends, I don't really a fan of car, but this museum was really interesting and playful. And it tempted me to see the Porsche Museum, which is also in Stuttgart ! Here again, it must be cool, and maybe more sporty ! I hope that, unlike in the Mercedes Museum, they will give me the opportunity to have a car ride after the visit. So what ? We can dreaming, isn't it ? ;)
Stay tuned, see you soon !
Published on 12 january
Translated on 19 january
#4 : First Week
I left you last week, 24hours after my arrival. I'm here now since a week, in this small town "Backnang", 18 miles in the north of Stuttgart.
This first week goes so fast, except sunday I borried, I didn't have time for me this last week. It has been full, and it's also because three french friends came see me and celebrate the new year.
But before, I officially started my internship the 30th of december. To intoduce my firm, it's a very small domestic business which work in consulting. This business looks for tenders like travel lift or harbour equipment. It have to find supplier and make proposals to customers.
At the begening, and now again, it was really hard to adapte myself. You have to know equipment that your firm used to sale, found interessing tenders, speak french, english and german. If it sounds cool, it is not. Even if it's very interesting, it's also frustrating to looking for the right tenders for many hours, and to find anything.
But I try to stay fresh with this internship. I didn't excepte it easy. I think I have seen, during this first week, just a small part of what will be this internship. Currently, I'm on the discovery phase.
For the left-over of my week, it was pretty interesting. First, I went to the wedding of my manager. He rented for this nonce, a german sport car, in which I get the timeliness to drive in ! When german talk about "Deutsch Qualität", this catchword could be applied to the Audi R8. ;)
My friends came the same day, the 30th during the evening.
Tuesday 31st, no internship. In fact, the city where I work made a kind of party in the streets for the last day of the year. It also planned a foot race, and there were more than 1.500 runners... and me ! Yes, my manager enrolled me to run 6.2 miles... Okay, I like sport. But I didn't race since a long time. Fortunately, two of my french friends raced with me. Even if I finished the race, I won't tell you my time... Less than one hour, that's it ! :P
This same day was the silvesternight. So we celebrated in my apartment with the friends of my german room-mate. Great experience, it was a realy international party, even if sometimes it was difficult to understand each other !
Midnight was comming, and our german friends proposed us to hang out of the house, to shoot some fire work, up to a hill, closed to our apartment.
What a surprise.
My room-mate told me that they like fire work, I was thinking "Yes, just like in France !". But in France, fire work are shooted by professional. In Germany, the law is not the same, so every body can use it.
It was magic. All over the sky, everywhere there were a lot of fire work ! It was a freak moment.
And we almost forgot that we turned to a new year !
The first on january, we visited Stuttgart with my friends, before they leave. Even if shop were closed, we saw the biggest build and castle of the city. Because I didn't see a big part of the city, I keep an item to talk more about it in the few weeks.
Mon the moment, this week is almost over. My friend leaved since yesterday. This week end will last 3 days, monday 6th january is free in Germany.
So everybody, have a nice weekend, take care of you and...
Alors bon weekend à tous, prenez soin de vous et surtout...
Happy new year 2014 !
The 4th january
Translate on 12th january
#3 : An expected journey
I have to do this intership to be gratuated, it's like an exam, and I need to follow some items. First, this intership have to last 8 weeks. Mine will last 10 weeks. In fact, my new manager wanted me but most of the time his trainees stay for at least 3 months.
So I lengthened this intership as long as I could. Official dates : from 30th december to 7th march 2014 !
It's the first time I leave home for such a long time, in a place where I won't have any landmark. So, if I can't wait, I also arrest. But it also aims to test myself, right ? So let's get it started.
Even if my intership begin the 30th of december, I come the 27th, to settle myself in an appartment and try to take my first landmark. Having an old car and because I'm not used to drive a lot (750 miles) - It's a lot for a countryside guy like me ! -, I choosed to drive in 2 times, with a step after Paris.
So, how fixed I my trip ? Don't follow my exemplar, but I did it bad ! The biggest think I did is about insurance of my car. Also, when you're European, you need a kind of card to moove in others country if something happens to you (sick, accident...) and if you need to see a doctor. The last things has been quickly made, because I didn't have time, one week before leave, I had exams, and during the week end, I worked in a supermarkt. So finally, I don't had such a lot of time.
My manager in Germany helped me to find an appartment, so I have been very lucky.
How was the drive ? Fine, at first ! Travel untill Paris was quiet, not a lot of traffic (it was a 26th december.). And I came early to Paris, so I made a break to contemplate for the first time the Eiffel Tower.
After a short hour in Paris's streets, I went to an hotel, where a room was booked for me.
I leaved early in the morning driving to the east (Nancy, Strasbourg...) and finally came to the border. Deutschland, Ich komme ! But then, it was not so easy. My GPS failed, so It was hard to find my way. But whatever, i came at 6:30pm, in Backnang, the city I work. My manager hosted me and show me my apartment. In fact, it's bigger than my apartment in the city I study, but I share it with a young german. But it is very good, because I have to speak german, and that's what i'm looking for.
Then, I'm here since 24h00. Right now, I don't miss my country, but I know it will happen. It take it over. I'm discovering so it's ok. First speaks with german people are the hardest.
I start work monday 30, so let's see what this stage can give me !
Translated the 5th of january
#2 : Looking for an intership
Reality is, that at the beginning, I was looking for without really looking for. Does it makes sence ?
A german firm, which would accept me with my german grade ? How lucky ?
But luck, don't come alone. You have to provoke it. That sounds good, cause I am impish :)
So started to search, town hall, district, people around me who get a internship in germany. Unfortunaly, I didn't keep in touch with people I met during my previous travel. It's an error, it would help me, for sure !
It aims at optimize you luck, extending to the maximum your search field. Small ads can help you, word of mouth, on the web. But be carefull to sort.
And one day, my german teacher introduce me to a german student, who's doing a kind of "civic service" in the town I study. So she gave me ways to search, connect me with some of her firend in Germany. And then, research and work make me found an internship. I found it on the french-deutsch trade center website //www.francoallemand.com/fr.
There are a lot of adds. So with her help, I applied. It wasn't easy, you know, because I don't speak german a lot ! Resume, letter of application... If you can't do it by yourself, try to be helped by somebody. Teacher, pen pal, a friend better than you in foreign laguage ! Don't give up.
After more that 20 e-mail sent, only 2 positive repply. The first one, a import-export business near Stuttgart, and that's the firm where I will work.The second was the "Gallerie Lafayette" of Berlin, it's a famous french chain of Mall. I was surpised. Everything can happen ;)
After found my intership, and first contact took with the Director, I started to apply for financial help. My college help me to find subventions. It's a good way to find it, ask to your teacher, they may already had some students which did an intership in an other country, in the same situation as you. They will be able to help you !
Get lucky, see ya soon !