Monday, 11 November 2013

Slow it down

I feel like I am constantly in some existential crisis here. It hits me at random moments: I'll see myself in the mirror and suddenly the mind/body split seems almost tangible. It is as though I am standing outside of myself and seeing flesh that is not mine. Physically I might be here, now, but there seems to be no intrinsic connection to my brain that makes me feel at ease here.

I get over this level of asking existential-Angst-fueled questions pretty quickly, but then I'll get lost in language. Language has always belonged to me, somehow. I am used to hearing entire conversations I cannot understand happening all around me. The ladies at the tills, the people queuing with me, the actors in shows like Muvhango or Stokvel, they are all conversing outside of my language skill set. But it has never felt strange, it is usual to have to switch often, riding various intercepting language tracks in a short space of time. Here, it is German. Just German.

I was under the impression that the university would be offering at least half of the core subjects in English, but now only one subject (Literature) is actually not in German. Add to that the fact that any other communication here (be it with friends, roommates or some governmental organisation that wants my money) happens in German as well and you'll understand that I get slightly overwhelmed at times. Salvation then comes in tiny little increments made possible by modern technology - whatsapping with friends or Skyping with my mom. I don't want to make the mistake of living in another country and permanently wanting to Skype with those back home, because then having left would be rather pointless. But it is immeasurably reassuring to be drinking tea in my room and listening to my mom talk about unimportant everyday occurrences. Hearing about what goes on in the lives of others helps with forgetting that I haven't found my sea legs here, yet.

The third wave of existential crisis is much less in my mind. Instead, it is solidly tied to my bank balance. I was not excessively naive when I applied for Bafög (a type of governmental student loan system where you have minimal interest and only have to partially pay back the money you received), but apparently here every time you fart there is a stack of paperwork to fill out so everything takes forever. Not knowing if I'll receive any money or if I do how high the amount will be is also quite frustrating.

Time to see if I'll sink or swim in these strange waters.

1 comment:

  1. Dude. I get it. Op soveel vlakke. Hou moed. x