Tegernsee: I’m in Love with South German Town

              This week is my forth week in Berlin, Germany. I am so excited for the week because I am almost there to meet my clients. I spent the past two weeks of my internship learning about how value-added tax (VAT) system works in European Union, particularly Germany; then, I had to learn how businesses should register for VAT. I also translated the VAT registration questionnaire from English to Mandarin for potential Chinese clients. I drafted formal letter in both English and Mandarin to be sent out to potential clients later. Now, I am waiting for my boss’s reply. If all my translation work are approved, I can start reaching out to Chinese traders. I cannot wait to be in touch with them because serving people makes me feel happy. I am hyped to help them fill up their VAT registration questionnaire and to be “the person” who “registered” their company. It sounds amazing to be “the person” who registers huge corporation for taxation purposes; the feeling is like no matter how great your company is, you have to go through me to do business in Germany hahaha xD.

              Besides working, I visited Munich last weekend with my friends. We went hiking at a small town to the south of Munich. It was a crazy experience that I will never forget for my lifetime. We departed from our hostel at 2pm; Google maps showed that we would reach the hiking spot in two hours. However, we hopped on the right train but “wrong cell”. Yup, I am not kidding; “RIGHT TRAIN BUT WRONG CELL”!!!!! It was my first time learning a train can actually split into three parts :d It was an intercity train made up of three sub-trains which split up and go to three different final destinations. We had no idea about “splitting train”. We got on the “correct train” according to the billboard, but we noticed that we were heading to wrong direction based on our maps. It took us 2 extra hours to turn around and got back to the right train and “right cell” ;d We were so stubborn. We decided to hit the 3-hour trail at 6pm. We had a good start because we were so pumped for the hike after “2 hours wasted to SPLITTING TRAIN”. Our mentality was do or die; we gonna make it to the top!!! After 1 hour hike, we almost reached the peak of the mountain trail. However, the slope was covered by SNOW!!! The only way was to walk over the snow. I was so afraid because I could not stop thinking about “what if” I fell off the snow slope; I would “DIE” ;d no joke :d Luckily, my friend is an experienced hiker; he taught me to lower my body (center of gravity) for more stability, walk slowly at my own pace (DO NOT PANIC!), follow the footprints and “look up” (because all I could see downward was just steep slope without boundary). In addition, I picked up a stick to use it as extra support. (I did slip off onto the snow once and it actually hurt.) We climbed to the peak at a perfect time, 8pm; the sunset was extremely gorgeous. The sunbeam makes the view of the lake and also the ALPS superb!

The Lake
Steep Snow Slope
The Hiking Duo

Now, we had to worry about getting down ASAP because the sun was setting. We do not want to get stuck in the “BLACKFOREST”. We rushed our way down; we made our way out in approximately 1 hour in comparison to “suggested time” of 1 hour 45 minutes. However, it was 9:15pm. In a small south German town called Tegernsee, the public buses stopped running. We were nervous because we had to catch the last train leaving Munich in 1 hour 30 minutes, but the walk to train station would take 1 hour. We were deciding to either to walk or to hitchhike; my friend was too worried about being “kipnapped” by strangers so we walked xD On our way, we walked pass a hotel. An idea sparked, and I walked into the hotel to request taxi. The hotel owner was very friendly; he requested a taxi for us. Fortunately, we arrived at the train station and caught the last train back to Munich. I could not imagine if we missed the train, we might end up staying in a random hotel in the small city for one night.

Answering week 3 prompt, I did experience ambiguity during my internship. I was assigned the task of understanding how value-added tax (VAT) takes place and who has to pay VAT in various transactions from B2B to B2C as well as delivery of goods and services. I was confused at first because I never heard of VAT, and I was not exposed to any taxation work. I found an article which explained to me VAT in detail but it gave slightly different information from my boss. At that point, I was struggling between “asking my boss for answer” or “do more research” as my boss told me to research more when I answered his VAT questions wrongly. My solution was I did more research into that topic and tried to develop my own understanding and “conclusion”. Then, I pitched to him my findings. Even though my answers were not perfectly what he wanted, but at least I put in effort and time to learn VAT. If I experience uncertainty again, I would try to clarify with my boss. If clarification is not feasible, I would do my best to learn these new stuffs through independent research; then, I will clarify with my boss when he is available. This way, I would not annoy my boss too frequently.