Mein Deutsch ist jetzt viel besser. (My German is much better now) Thank goodness. It makes getting around the city and meeting people way more fun! My past week and a half was dedicated to the Berlinale, which is a huge film festival that runs throughout several theaters around the city. I’m taking a film class that allowed us Accreditation passes, which pretty much got us into any movie we wanted to see. With a catch, of course. For about a week of the festival I would wake up at 5:30am (just trying to mimic the team’s weight/conditioning schedule, obviously)to get in line and ensure I got tickets to the movies I wanted to see the next day. As soon as school would get out, we would all rush to the theaters and watch movies until around midnight. Then repeat the process. Homework and sleep were compromised, to say the least. But it was so worth it!! I saw around 20 films, including: world premiers, independent films, silent films, documentaries, and foreign films. A once in a lifetime experience for me. Intermixed with movie watching, my friend and I would stake out celebrities at the premiers of their movies. I saw and got the autographs of actors like Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Meryl Streep, and Robert Pattinson. I didn’t think I would ever be the groupie type, but as soon as I saw them, I was screaming their name, snapping pictures, getting climbed over and shoving my program in their faces to get it signed just like everyone else. Not one of my most graceful moments, but so fun!
I also went to my first European soccer game. I watched the local team, Hertha, play Dortmund. It was an hour train ride for me. From the first stop it was packed over capacity with fans in blue and yellow, singing their chants and screaming things at each other in German. Being sandwiched between about four middle aged men actually took some relief off of standing. They played in Olympiastadion, which was built for the 1936 Summer Olympics. The stadium was beautiful, the fans were crazy, and the atmosphere was everything I imagined it would be. It didn’t hurt that the winning goal was scored off of a bicycle kick, too.
I can’t believe the quarter is coming to a close. I continue to love Berlin and all the new adventures it throws at me; but I also can’t wait to come back to Stanford!! See you all soon!