In an unexpected turn, I am heading back to Germany. I've been taking German language courses at the San Francisco Goethe Institute for just about 2 years. Every year, they have a drawing for a 4 week course to learn German in Germany. Not only did I win the drawing, but it includes the flight, room and board (sans dinners and weekends) for four weeks. I have never won something this big before.
The catch? I have to take it before the end of the year. So I have been making sure my work is squared away and preparing for my trip. Just after Thanksgiving, I will be taking 5 hour classes 5 days a weeek for four weeks in Munich (München). And because I hate flying around the holidays, I am waiting till after Christmas to come home.
Stay tuned to this blog for what will likely be more regular updates. Not having to travel around is changing my packing. Not only will I bring more clothes (such as a suit and an overcoat), but I am also bringing my work laptop so I can write and make photo notations offline and then load it all up when I get internet access. I also picked up some a polarizing lens attachement and a rubber hood -- I will not tolerate anymore glare and reflections when taking pictures in museums. I'm also hoping my cell phone doesn't decide to die the second I arrive, too. Oh yeah, and some German grammar books with explanations in English!
I also have no real plans to travel outside the city much despite many the number of times I have heard "it's only a train ride". My main focus is to study. I want to get the most out of my time in class and the learning center. I'm even taking a workbook for the plane trip to use that time to squeeze in a few more words and practice.
Despite the preparation, it hasn't been feeling quite real yet. But today I got an email from the Goethe Institute in Munich with my placement test. I'll have to set aside 50 minutes to take the test (no cheating!) and send it back to them.
Okay, now it feels real.