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Lost in Translation

I walked home from my first day of work in the pouring rain, ran across the street and almost got hit by a car. I took a deep breath.

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It was a lot to take in.  New office, new people, new work, new country, new city, a new life and a new language.  It made me miss Paris.

I didn't expect to arrive to a fully German computer and most people coercing in the language.  I felt lost in translation.  I couldn't read basic contracts or even the menu on my computer.

I came home to my brother's apartment, poured myself a glass of wine, and cried.  I reminded myself that all first days are the worst.  It's the adjustment period. Not being quite comfortable, not being the best at your job.

I woke up with new hope and went to a coffee shop around work for a flat white.  If there's anything Berlin can do to cheer me up it's provide me with top notch coffee and cute baristas.

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Day two went a lot better.  I got into the swing of things, had all of my computer settings changed to English, and in the evening I took off to the other end of town to meet my new roommates.

We sat around a tiny table eating vegetarian Borscht soup with smoked tofu, sipping a bottle of red I'd brought over, and speaking in a mix of English and German.  They are kind, clean, and the room I'm renting out for a couple of months is cozy and spacious.  I'm content.  It's also in an area of town which is new to me, packed with Turkish food stores, hipster bars and creative spaces.

After making a pit stop for wine with a new friend, I ended the night in one of my best friend's kitchens in Kreuzberg, chopping vegetables in preparation for her Canadian Thanksgiving feast this afternoon.  A little bit of home away from home.  At 3 a.m. I left her place and happily got lost until I found a taxi.

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Berlin feels safe.  It feels familiar but different all at once.

Even when I feel completely turned around I know that this is exactly where I should be right now, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, creating a new life for myself.

GeneralGillian Young