I visited the Reichstag building this weekend. It was a pretty cool experience, especially because of how important the building is. The train ride only took about 20 minutes. I’m still amazed at how accessible the entire city is with the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, trams, and busses. I can’t imagine trying to get around in a city without such a sophisticated public transportation service. The weather has been beautiful for the majority for the trip, which apparently is unusual for Summers in Berlin. The days continue to get longer as June 21 approaches. The sun rises at about 5am and sets around 9:30 pm. It’s great to be able to do things early in the morning or later in the evening without worrying about it getting too dark.
As I continue with the internship, I realize how much Germans value business relationships. Based on what I have experienced, it is important for the workers in the company to develop good relationships while conducting business. I experienced this the first day, and it has continued throughout the entire internship. The first day I spent several hours sitting in the conference room having in depth conversations with every single worker in the office. I did not expect this at all because I was under the assumption that Germans kept personal life and business completely separate, so they didn’t value business relationships that much. I was completely wrong about this. Groups go to lunch with each other every day. The relationships in the office are more like friendships rather than business relationships. This may be due to the start-up atmosphere, where the culture is much more casual than in a larger firm. Culture outside the workplace is also much more relaxed and friendly than I expected. I have yet to meet a stereotypical stern and serious German. Everyone is welcoming and nice, which has been a great surprise.