First Day High: Reality

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Keeping this photo for future throwbacks. Filed under first-day.
Day 1 done! Now let’s compare how my first-day-of-UNI expectations are met.

EXPECTATION

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REALITY

I didn’t arrive at the campus thirty minutes earlier but in a pure German fashion: on time. Thanks and no thanks to Google Map, I was able to find the right direction to my campus but wasn’t a shortcut. My classmates and I walked to the station after orientation, and they were able to show me the shorter route.

EXPECTATION

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REALITY

Exactly what I expected.

EXPECTATION

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REALITY

I didn’t have a headache but I put so much effort into staying awake between talks. I was just sleepy the whole morning. We were divided into small groups after the morning talks and met the people I’ll be with the whole semester. Man, they speak really fast. I do however understand them but when everyone’s speaking at the same pace and at the same time, I’m just out there close to shutting down, trying hard to pick up every information. But hey, it’s just the first day. I will get used to this setting. Kopf Hoch!

EXPECTATION

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REALITY

I didn’t feel any pressure after today since I concentrated on understanding everything. I only know that some of my classes will be highly graded on participation so I really should start working on my skillzzz. I have to deliberately use the language even at home since normally, I just talk to my brother in German (that’s basically his first language) and a few sentences with my family. That’s why as soon as I got home, I was just speaking in German non-stop to my parents’ surprise. I also didn’t speak any English today which is an accomplishment! But wait, do writing this entry and texting a friend count?

EXPECTATION

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REALITY

I talked to a couple of new people today but I’m not sure if we are friends-friends. Here’s a good news, however : THERE IS A FILIPINO IN MY CLASS! I repeat: I HAVE A FILIPINO CLASSMATE. He grew up in Germany, which means he can’t really speak in Tagalog, but I’ll still take it!! Ah, God really loves me.

EXPECTATION

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REALITY

Tricky part. Of course, these students are younger than me and during the introduction, I skipped out the part about my age. There was this one guy in my group who was proud enough to say he’s 31 and I was rejoicing on the inside. Haha!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s no big deal! I just honestly want to skip the part where I tell people my age and they are all surprised and ask questions and my Asian genes and blah blah blah.

EXPECTATION

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REALITY

I just followed where everyone went.

Generally speaking, today was good despite the difficulties. Somehow it’s a good thing since I’ve painted a picture of what to expect instead of being there with an I’ll-wing-it attitude. I will get used to this new environment and it would be a personal achievement if my language skills are fully integrated to a university level…. without me dozing off in between.

 

 

 

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First Day High: Expectations

Two weeks ago, the German family I babysit for gave me a gift: a Schultüte. Schultüte is a German tradition where parents give their kids a giant cone filled with school supplies and candies on their first day of elementary. My German Mama thought it was just apt that I get one since I’m starting my Uni.

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Yes, two weeks and I haven’t opened it. My self-control is impressive, I am even shocked. My first day officially starts tomorrow and I am in no way prepared since I thought it begins in two weeks. That’s why here I am now, typing all my anxiety away. The only thing that excites me is opening this Schultüte tomorrow morning.

I’m also having this 500 Days of Summer thing where I keep imagining scenarios in my head and wondering how it unravels tomorrow. For clear reference :

Let me share some of my expectations and I’ll check tomorrow whether it was close to what I imagined.

  1. The route to my campus

    I plan to take the shortest route with three train changes other than the ten-minute longer route with two train changes. I have never visited my campus so I want to leave thirty minutes earlier in case I get lost. I also have to look for the orientation room so I’m hoping there’ll be signs in the campus.  Basically, I see myself tomorrow pretending to know the way even if I have 0% clue.

  2. Lost for words

    I’m taking a German degree and up until now, I question this decision (hahahaha). Even though people have been complimenting me on my German skills, I don’t feel at all confident. My comprehension skills are, on the other hand, in its best shape so thank God that’s something I can count on. I just can’t see myself being my usual lively self around German (and younger!!) students.

  3. A headache at the end of the day

    German is still relatively new to me so it isn’t up to par with my English or even Tagalog. (Fun Fact: I got low grades on all of my Filipino classes.) I am even listening to the news right now while typing this just so I could prepare my brain for one whole day of German. I must concentrate to avoid mistranslation. Ah, thinking about it is already giving me a headache. I bet I’ll be exhausted after tomorrow.

  4. Pressure

    I haven’t received my schedule for the first semester other than the list of my 11 lectures. I looked over it this week and the modules were pretty overwhelming for someone like me. I want to take it with a grain of salt, but the overthinker in me is stronger. Tomorrow we’ll be getting the full picture of how my degree looks like and I can feel my stomach already churning up.

  5. One new friend

    I’m optimistic: I think I’ll meet a new person tomorrow and of course, I’ll befriend her (or him, who knows?). One new person is enough for me. That’s me being realistic.

  6. All young people in the hall!

    I’m starting from scratch and most students are just starting. Two completely different things. I can see a huge age gap between me and the people so I am tightly crossing my fingers that no one asks my age.

  7. Fly on the wall

    Thanks to my height, I can go unnoticed in Hamburg. I also don’t have a special wow factor, so that’s not gonna be a problem. I’ll take the backseat for the first few months until I jell into this new environment.

At the beginning of this entry, I was only excited about opening my Schultüte but now, I can’t wait to see when my expectations meet its reality. I better go to sleep now and let tomorrow do its work.

Wish me luck and I’ll be back tomorrow!

 

 

Word game

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I usually do a rundown of my week’s highs and lows but now I’m gonna do it a little differently. So here are the eight words that resonated to me during the past two weeks.

Delay

They say Germans place a high value on punctuality but don’t believe everything you hear. Punctuality is relative. Case in point: My German test result was two weeks delayed, which almost cost me my place at the university. If this happened in the Philippines, I would’ve just shrugged it off since tardiness is in our nature but this is Germany. Who knew the word “late” exist in their crazy bureaucracy?

Worship

Good thing I have a God who doesn’t have the word delay in His book. I considered it as a last roadblock in order for me to be in that place of fully trusting God’s timing of things. I received my test results after my time of worship and good things really happen when you just praise His name. It is you declaring that whatever happens, He will remain who He says He is.

Goodness

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

In layman’s terms : kill them with kindness. When people hurt/shame/bully you, do not retaliate. Don’t fight fire with fire. Instead, turn the other cheek. Keep doing good. Show them love. But don’t forget to stand up for yourself. Hold your ground and do it gently. Do it with love. Don’t stop doing good. It doesn’t make you a coward.

Release

Now release the anger, the frustration, the hurt, the disappointments. It doesn’t belong to you. Get a trusted friend you can rant to, I’m lucky I have two.

Family

Coming from a close-knit family, my core values are obviously family-centered. In as much as I rank my family as a top priority (other than God which btw doesn’t belong to any rank since He’s above everything haha), they can also be my biggest source of heartbreak. But then again at the end of the day, balibaligtarin ko man ang mundo, family is family.

Downer

The weather this week has been depressing, which also affected my mood. I just didn’t want to move at all and just watch dark movies on the internet. I turned to chocolates and chips. I didn’t even run and “blamed” it on my knee problems/pulled muscle, even though I know I could push myself and just run slower. Thank goodness this was just a one-week phase. I am assuming this feeling will creep up again since you know, winter’s coming.

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Crushed

I’m glad I can finally laugh about how silly I was for imagining the what ifs since now it’s clear, this is definitely not the one for me. Thanks for the butterflies though. The scenarios in my head were fun till it lasted.

Petiks

noun. ( PEH-teeks). Definition: [a] Doing nothing or resting when one is supposed to be busy working.

Example:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot Twist

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I was actually having a tip-top week. I bought concert tickets for my second-favorite band, Phoenix, caught up with my teacher (whom I should start calling my friend now), had two group dinner with my language friends, worked productively, managed to lessen my social media habits, and had an afternoon with my church community. But life sometimes surprises you with plot twists which leave you wondering, where the hell did that come from? In my case… Saturday night.

I had to gather all my strength to be able to get out of bed since I have to do something exciting at my home church. By God’s grace, Sunday turned out well but as I am typing this now, the strange feeling is starting to creep in. Before it gets any worse, let me remind myself of how, in general, tip-top this week was.

Activity of the Week

International Pigging out. I must have tasted over five different cuisines this week: Peruvian, Brazilian, Korean (which is not new), Mediterranean, Japanese (also not new) and Indian. Being surrounded by ‘international’ friends do have its perks since if it were up to my habits, I’ll stick to the usuals.

Highlight # 1

Phoenix Tickets: Check!. It’s already set in stone. Now I’m just gonna count the days.

Highlight # 2

The supposed grill turned kitchen cookout.

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Someone once told me that when you’re in a church community, you’ll gain pounds since all we do is eat, eat, eat. I’ve been to three-four different communities and all I can say is, this is one of the reasons why I run.

Highlight # 3

That one night that changed this week’s mood. As disheartening as this may be, it rightfully deserves this spot. I am trying to see the good in every situation and what follows are the results:

Lesson # 1

Embrace the bad sides. I’m painstakingly optimistic and it’s gonna take a lot from me to go on a day with black clouds hovering above my head. Life throws curveballs and I have to embrace it— and all the emotions that come with it. It is what makes me human. I allowed myself to feel shame, anger, pity, and disappointment all in one go. BUT..

Lesson # 2

…God’s grace is always available. We are not meant to stay and sulk. We have to get up and kick it out. Personally, I run and pick a preaching. The preaching I listened today hit home unintentionally, which I’m 100% sure is God’s doing. One should only learn to admit that he can’t really do anything better in a dark situation other than to run to God. The problems won’t magically disappear yet there is peace in knowing that God is looking after you and His grace is within reach.

Lesson # 3

Set aside your concerns and glorify God. The moment I stepped inside His home, I am no longer present but His spirit. It was definitely a hard work today but the moment I magnified God, everything just seems insignificant.

Rewarding moment of the Week

The posters we’ve been working hard for a couple of months have been set up! My babies ❤

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Best Deal

GOT leak. I’m all for spoilers and actually read the plot leak a couple of weeks back BUT watching the episode still gave me chillzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Pun included

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Favorite GOT scene

Tormund and the Hound. I’m gonna be nice and leave it at that. #spoilernospoiler

Song of the Night

Listening to this song while ending this post. See you next week!

 

De-stress

HIMALAYANMOUNTAINS

I’m deliberately taking a short break from my lazy, movie-marathon Sunday since I feel my eyes watering and my back aching. I honestly want to get this post over and done with so I can go back to my comfort place before a new, long week starts again.

Episode of the Week

The Spoils of War, obv.

Unpopular opinion: As much as Dany is a badass, I don’t appreciate her as much as I did back in Seasons 1-4. More so Jon bending the knee and them having an incestuous romance. Nope, I’m not for it. Also #TeamYgritte4eva

Band of the Week

Two Door Cinema Club. I’m a creature of habit and I’m trying to break it when it comes to music. I would want to explore more choices however I still go back to the bands I listen to… that I haven’t listened in awhile. That does not count as exploring, doesn’t it?

New German Movie

Es war einmal in Deutschland. My previous language school holds a monthly movie event and I get to go to these events eventhough I no longer study German there. It’s a good way to discover movies and learn at the same time. I surprisingly find German movies enjoyable and I stopped watching international dubbed movies. Better to watch it in its original form. I consider so far Lola Rennt as my favorite German film but I like discovering new German films— and this monthly event definitely helps.

In case you’re my German blog reader, I recommend this film too. Es geht eigentlich um das zweite Weltkrieg, doch es ist interessant und auch lustig als ich erwartete.

Discovery of the Week

A new vietnamese restaurant. Prices are reasonable, atmosphere is good plus it is open on Sundays! A great advantage when you’re living in DE.

I-give-up moment of the week.

Die Hexe von Portabello (The witch from Portabello). I was almost at the end but I just gave up and read the ending online. Really not my taste. I’m reading a new one at the moment— a thriller. I had enough of romance.

Bible verse of the week

“The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly.” Isaiah 60:22

I’m praying for a certain ‘mission’ in my life and reading this verse encourage me to the fullest.

Highlight of the week

Henri and Smilla. I’m babysitting these twins since last year and I’m seeing them slowly grow up. I saw them a lot this week (4 days in a row) and today I saw them swing alone for the first time. It was actually fulfilling… not until three minutes have passed and no one wants to go down the swing. Five minutes in and I saw them falling asleep. So much for the big-kid moments.

Other than these things, I also ran and my splinter got worse. The weather was also intolerable in Hamburg and I just paid 40 euros worth of medicines. Not a slow week, amirite? Now let me go back to my movies and chips.

 

 

67 thoughts while on a run

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One of my new running route

Running is a permanent fixture in my life and it plays an important part in my character-building. Other than its health benefits (weight loss, cardiovascular conditioning, heart benefits, energy, etc etc), running taught me how to persevere, be more disciplined, and trained my mind in achieving a certain goal. But let’s be honest, as much as I enjoy running, there are days when I really have to push myself to get out and run. Other times, my laziness gets the best of me. There are slow, satisfying, and disappointing runs— and I embrace all of them.

Back in the Philippines, I used to run with some of my friends but since I moved to Hamburg, I mostly run alone. My uncle occasionally joins me when time permits. I’ve actually been searching for a running group for weeks now, however it just doesn’t materialize. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to find people I can run with.

Since I’m always running on my own, I entertain myself just to keep it as tolerable as possible. To give you a clue how, let me openly share my private thoughts while I run.

  1. Okay Nike app, let’s begin.
  2. Huh. Weather’s looking good.
  3. Oops I forgot to stretch
  4. So quick stretching while I pick my playlist
  5. Here we go
  6. I’m feeling f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c! Also, good song.
  7. *sings along*
  8. Where should I run now?
  9. Stick to the route
  10. Okay longer route
  11. My legs are werking
  12. Let me check myself real quick
  13. Oops stoplight. Make it green so I can run
  14. I can catch the next stop.
  15. Hmm whatever happened to this person and this person
  16. What’s my crush doing right now
  17. What should I eat after
  18. Okay take a right
  19. *Nike updates my course*
  20. Ugh have to do two more rounds
  21. Thirty minutes?!? I caaan’t
  22. Should I drink my water now?
  23. Ugh my colds
  24. Dog dog dog dog!
  25. Run slow so he won’t bite
  26. Old people. Say hi
  27. I see a stoplight. Yaaaas make it red make it red
  28. I’m tired
  29. No you can do this self
  30. *sings along*
  31. *groans*
  32. *spits*
  33. Ughhhh I’m so tired
  34. *Nike updates my course*
  35. Should I do one more round
  36. I should go home
  37. Home is so goddaamn far
  38. Wrong decision to take this route
  39. I can do this. I can do this.
  40. Just keep running.
  41. What will I do next week?
  42. *thinks of a person*
  43. I forgot to message my bestfriend
  44. I should leave my friend a voice message after
  45. Did someone text me?
  46. Or is that an e-mail
  47. I’m almost home
  48. Should I take a short-cut
  49. Nope I can do this
  50. I’m sweating!! This is nice
  51. Tissue tissue
  52. Ohhh nice house
  53. Ohhh good song
  54. *sing along*
  55. I hope no one can hear me
  56. Ugh why am I running again
  57. I just passed by my park
  58. *Nike updates my course*
  59. I’m not breaking my record. I should run home now.
  60. Should I walk?
  61. No just keep running
  62. I’m almost home.
  63. Okay just a little more.
  64. And we’re done.
  65. I’ll run longer next time.
  66. I’m feeling G-O-O-D!!
  67. *skips stretching*

Hashtag Blessedt

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Patience does reap rewards and I’m harvesting my labor this week… or in millenial/Drake’s term, “I’m way up I feel blessed”. Here’s why:

Highlight of the week

I got an admissions offer at a German university for a German degree!! After one long year of learning a difficult language and fighting the German bureaucracy, I got a positive answer and the degree I actually wanted. I’m studying another BA; it wasn’t exactly what I planned but this is the direction where God is pointing me so I’ll be an obedient daughter and follow. I’m honestly excited about the prospect of studying a German degree even though it entails more hardwork. My next step is to enroll until next week and wait for the start of the semester in October. I only have two months to enjoy my freedom as a half-bum. Haha!

Most memorable and shortest trip

A day trip to Berlin with my Ma. I accompanied my Ma to Berlin to fix her passport and I think, it was one of those rare occasions where I truly spend an ample time with my Mama without thinking of my Papa and two brothers. I was glad to be able to help her out with her documents which made her look back at the instances with her mom, my grandmother. Turns out, I was doing exactly the same things she was doing for her mom. History does repeat itself… which reminds me to be more loving towards my parents so I could experience the same love from my future children. Sounds selfish, but it really cycles back. At the end of our trip, I received the email from the university (see above) and it was a good way to close our day.

Biggest Revelation

Visions and prophecy. This is very personal so I’ll just leave it that.

Kilig of the week

I will try to be very vauge/secretive because the subject ‘might’ stalk me and read this entry. Either way, I’m gonna put this here to remind myself of how good this day was. See, when you just let God move in His own time and in His own way, everything is just…. smooth. It all falls into place.

Bildergebnis für meme this is too cute snoop dogg

Book of the Week/Month

Veronika beschlossen zu sterben (Paulo Coelho). I’ve been reading German books to amp up my vocabulary and reading skills. I find Paulo Coelho’s translated books lighter to understand. I’m now on my third Paulo Coelho book (Die Hexe von Portabello) and hope it’s interesting as the last one.

Showcase/Bragging

I can now cook Lumpiang Shanghai! This move to Hamburg is bringing out my future housewife skills… or my inner Monica.

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Favorite scene on GOT

Nymeria : K bye

Arya:

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Playlist of the Week

Phoenix-Ti Amo Tour 2017. They will be having a concert on September in Hamburg & hell yeah I’ll be there. 2017 is a good year for my “fan” self. I’ve already been to Phoenix’ concert in Manila but now that they have a new album, I should definitely witness it!

All these highlights aside, this week (and even the past two weeks) has been fulfilling. I can see all God’s plan in my life unfolding right before my eyes and all I have to do is let Him move. After all the waiting and the working, I’m reaping what I sowed for. I know that after the harvest comes another season of sowing, but I’ll gladly do it— no questions asked.

Hope you all have a great week!

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In comparison to my previous active weeks, these past 7 days have been on the slow spectrum… but only when it comes to my running routine. This running break  allowed me to focus on other important things : reviewing my growing German vocabulary, listening to German radio, and updating my Music library. Besides these, here’s a glimpse of how the last week of January and the first week of February looked like.

Best Day

Friday.  My classmate, Janeen, had her farewell party which ended until midnight. It was… amazing. For a minute I felt like I was back in the company of my friends in the Philippines. Although we are still learning our way with German, our language deficiency never became a barrier to have deep conversations about our cultural differences, our present life in Germany, and our unclear but optimistic future.

Best Activity

Sleeping. I took several naps over the weekend and for the first time in a long time, I woke up late than normal. I kinda missed taking naps.

Artist of the Week

John Mayer. I saw on the news that he’s having a World Tour starting in the US, which triggered me to listen to his songs. His first album, in my opinion, is still his best. His new single, Love on the Weekend, is on the other hand,  definitely catchy.

Series of the Week

Westworld. I’m late to the party but still I came! Such a shame that we have to wait until 2018 before the new season… There’s always waiting when it comes to these good series.

German Word of the Week

Erklärungsnot : the difficulty in explaining something. Erklärung means explanation and Not means emergency. Put them together and you got “Explanation Emergency”. This is the beauty of the German language; they have their own vocabulary which has no distinct and equivalent English translation.

German Phrase of the Week

“Du hast nicht alle Tassen im Schrank ” (You don’t have any cups in the cupboard) Weird translation but it basically means, you’ve got a loose screw.

Realization of the Week

Self-worth.

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My social life was front and center this week. I’m slowly gaining back my social skills that took a break last year. It’s probably my subsconscious telling me that I’ve finally adjusted to where I am right now. Besides enjoying the company of the people around me, here’s how my week went.

The best

15,40 km with a 6:37 running pace. Every week is a surprise! I’m getting the proper mileage and my next step is to work on my running pace. Hopefully the weather cooperates ’cause I think I can do better when it’s warmer.

The worst

Sprains and knee pains. I said this last week and I’m saying it again : I got to get a proper gear. Tomorrow I’m going to a running specialist to check my form and the appropriate running shoes.

The best help

Running videos on Youtube. I’ve been running on my own accord and since my runs are becoming longer, being more aware of the overall principle is a must. I learned that I should be running atleast 25-30 miles (around 40 kms) per week and inject two days of strength training—-which I’m not very successful at. I also got to pinpoint the reason why my knees/legs hurt all the time especially after a long run and I only got myself to blame. Next step is to deliberately work on these extra but necessary workouts. Time, however, is going to be a problem.

The weirdest

My increase in appetite. Everyday has been a cheat day. I can use the carbo-loading excuse but who am I kidding?

The most interesting

Movie night courtesy of my language course. My language school holds a monthly movie event and last Wednesday, we watched a film based on a German fairytale, Das Kalte Herz. Before going to the theater, we had dinner together with our teacher. It was indeed a good way to relax after a torturing yourself with German grammar and vocabulary, plus the fact that I can have a school-free conversation with my cool teacher. The movie, on the other hand, was better than what we watched the last time. It was easier to understand too, or it could mean that my comprehension skills are getting better (I want to assume it’s the second reason, hopefully). That was a fun night, overall. I’m glad I came to join and did not listen to my tired body telling me to go home after class.

The most rewarding

My visit to the foreigner’s office. Last thursday, I went to the Auslanderbehorde to ask for questions regarding school and travelling. The last time I went there was 3-4 months ago and I remembered feeling  very anxious because back then, my German was very limited. I had to prepare sentences in advance and waited a minute before responding to the questions. Fast forward to Thursday, I went there and left as normal as possible. I was already sitting comfortable on the train when I thought to myself, “Wow. That was a breeze. I talked in German naturally.”  Looks like all the brain exercises are worth it. I’m in no way a good speaker but I’ll get there. Baby steps!

Playlist of the Week

This is Phoenix! I am a creature of habit and it shows to the artists I’m listening. I really should explore other bands and songs but it’s in my being to stick to what I’ve gotten used to. Thus, Phoenix.

Series of the Week

A series of unfortunate events. I’ve only started yesterday (Saturday) and I plan to finish it this week. I already counted three Meta references in three episodes. I hope it stops ’cause Meta only works once. I also could not get the image of Barney Stinson out of my head ’cause duh obviously.. Other than the fact that Robin (Colbie Smulders) is in it too. It’s entertaining, nonetheless. I heard they were picked up for another season!

Top app of the week

Facebook Messenger : Video Conference. I spent half of my Saturday talking to my friends and family back home using the Messenger’s new feature. Technology is amazing. I also told my friend, “This is why some long distance relationships work. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on things” I miss them everyday, no question, but I’m glad we have these digital ways.

Person of the Week

My Kuya’s new girlfriend. Kuya brought her today to meet my parents but only for a short while since she’s just here for a quick stopover before flying back to Norwary. I’m putting her in the spot because it’s interesting to meet a new person in my Kuya’s life. I don’t know if she’s going to stay longer. Guess we have to find out.

Best day of the Week

Friday. A lot happened this day and I’ll try to be as concise as possible.

First, my classmate from Pakistan showed a presentation about where he came from and it was an eye-opening experience. His village, Shimshal, gave me a different perspective from what I only know of Pakistan. I cannot exactly put into words how I felt after he finished his presentation but this : I’m grateful to be in a place where I get to learn different cultures first-hand and just right at the comforts of my seat. It’s like travelling free.

Next, my classmate from Chile had a going-away party but started late in the evening. I went with another classmate to have dinner before going together to the party. He cooked, I brought wine, and three hours later,we were lazy to go. After talking ourselves out, we got up, left, witnessed a brewing fight on the train, and took the wrong train. That’s why in the end, we became a shame to the German community and arrived at the party one hour late.

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Still we were there and it was really a pleasant night. I felt like myself again…when it comes to hanging out with friends and just having a good, undrunk time.  I’m enjoying my classes more because we’re becoming friendlier with one another. Looks like we’ve adjusted as a group as well!

There were, however, annoying things that happened this week but the good outweighs the bad. See you next Sunday!