Hello and welcome to the home stretch of my internship experience abroad. After a summer full of firsts (first time visiting Europe, first time flying alone, first time maintaining a blog whose quality is variable at best, etc), it is incredibly strange to think about all of the lasts that I am now experiencing.
I’ll begin with last week (lol there’s another one). Last week was the last time we got to meet up with Britta and Helena, our Intrax contacts that helped us adjust to Germany at the start of the summer, and it was one of the last opportunities we had as a group to sit down and talk with each other before dispersing back to the US. It, like most of the moments this past week, was bittersweet.
Other lasts included “Last time I visit Kreuzberg”, the cool young area of Berlin that I wish Charlottenburg had been, and “Last visit to Mauerpark”, which I talked about in a blog a month or two back. This trip to Mauerpark was different, though, because I knew what to expect and I still had as much fun exploring the flea market and food stalls as I did on my first visit. The best part, though, was the famed karaoke session. From what I gathered, this guy, who doesn’t receive any money from doing this, just brings a sound system and his laptop to the park most every Sunday, and hundreds of people come to participate and sing their hearts out. It was a great experience to see people be so brave and willing to put themselves out there, and how encouraging the crowd was, no matter the skill level of the singer. My only regret about Mauerpark is that I wish I would have visited more often.
My favorite last was also a completely amazing first: the first time I attended a gay pride parade. What I loved about this experience is that there were so many people just happily being themselves and celebrating their individuality, and they were able to express this in a safe place, without any fears of reprecussion that unfortunately are still legitimate in many parts of the world today. It was wild, it was colorful, and I’m glad that I got a chance to experience it. Fun fact: The parade was originally supposed to take place during June, which is typically celebrated as LGBT Pride month, but because the EuroCup was happening, the parade got pushed back a month. Classic Germany with their sports.
More and more lasts are happening every day now, but I am grateful and delighted that I ever even got a first.
– Adam “Penultimate blog y’all” Hayes