Cultural checklist: New friends

The ‘informal goals of an EF language course’:

Don’t leave without:

  • Eating local
  • Being amazed
  • Exploring your city
  • Get out of town

In addition to that there is also a cultural checklist:

  • New food
  • New architecture
  • New friends
  • New pastimes
  • New clothes
  • New greetings

I’m going to stay here in Berlin for two weeks, and on that occasion I’ll do my best to complete all the ‘EF goals’ as well as the cultural checklist. Here is one of my first experiences of the cultural goal: New friends.

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Two of my new friends and I are enjoying a Brazilian ‘tapioca brigadeiro’. From the left: Marina from Spain (she lives in Uruguay), me from Denmark and Maja from Sweden.

Every Thursday there is a street-food-market in Markthalle Neun here in Berlin. On that occasion I had talked three of my new friends to go with me to Kreuzberg, to discover what it was all about. Depending on our course and daily schedule, school ends between 3 and 6 PM every day, and then we are free to do whatever we like. We rarely just go home to our host families or the EF residence, and the first thing we say to eachother in the morning is often: So what are we doing today?

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The Street-food-market in Markthalle Neun.

Yesterday we then agreed upon going to the Street-food-market in Kreuzberg. When school ended, we therefore took the U-bahn to Görlitzer Bahnhof and walked to Markthalle Neun. When we stepped inside we were greeted by so many lovely and delicious scents, that we found it hard to pinpoint were we should start. We then decided to visit the stalls one after the other, to see what they had to offer. In the end we had had Spanish Tapas, Chinese Dumplings, Iced Tea from around the world, Italian Bread, Japanese Oyaki-bread, Indian Mango lassi and more. In addition to that, I also bought a piece of vegan chocolate cake, which was amazing!

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My friend Tomáš from the Czech Republic is enjoying his Iced Tea

After approximately one and a half hours in the market, we were full and decided to find our way out through the swarms of people, to head home after a long day.

One of the most interesting parts of my EF course so far has been, apart from living in an unfamiliar city in an unfamiliar country with a local citizen, is getting new friends from around the world. Luckily, with the mixed classes and EF activities, this is widely possible, and I don’t doubt that my new friends and I will continue to have plenty of things to do in the coming – and for us last – week of our EF language course!

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