This is my forth week in Berlin. Internship is exciting yet boring. It is exciting because I am really looking forward to reach out to my clients some point during this internship. My supervisor said I will be in touch with Chinese traders and help them register for Value-Added Tax (VAT) in Germany. On the flip side, it is boring because I have almost no work to do for the past couple days. My supervisor is also the owner of this company, Stein & Partners LLP. He is always busy meeting his clients; thus, I do not get to see him very often to ask for my next assignment when I finish my current task. Worse off, he assigned me with simple tasks that I could get done within half day; then, I had to wait for him to be available and free from meetings to ask for the following instruction. Simply waiting for him to be available can take up to one whole day; I had experienced no work to do for the entire day. Initially, having free time at work is fun and pleasing. I got to do whatever I want such as planning for my weekend trips, reading and even writing blog post. Day after day, this is no longer so thrilling because I started to get bored. I had to find things to do just to kill time. Moreover, doing something else other than working made me feel like an odd ball in the office as all my colleagues were swamped in heavy workload. Hence, I wish my supervisor can assign me with more difficult task or assignment that takes longer time to finish. This way, I do not have to wait for him all the time; I no longer feel tedious because I have stuffs to do, and I will feel motivated because I am one step closer to meeting my clients.
Aside from internship, I would like to share my weekend trip to Munich. My friends and I took EasyJet, a British low-cost airline from Berlin Tegel airport to Munich. Because it is a low-cost airline, its facilities and services are slightly inferior. The terminal for EasyJet is a small and simple terminal designed for budget airline located beside the main terminal; it only has a couple restaurants and shops for us to grab food. There are only two waiting benches for each gate; this means many passengers have to stand. Furthermore, there is no jet bridge; we had to hop on a bus which brought us to our airplane and board through mobile staircase. No drinks were provided during the flight due to the low fare we paid. Moreover, EasyJet has a business strategy where you can only have one carry-on item with you on flight; this is different from usual airlines because they all offer one free carry-on baggage and one personal item to be carried on-board. We were forced to squeeze our backpack into our luggage, or else we had to pay 60 Euro; EasyJet enforces this because it wants you to become its EasyJet Plus customer who then can bring a carry-on and a personal item on-board. We felt that we were being tricked by EasyJet and almost had to pay extra 60 Euro per person. Luckily, we all managed to stuff our backpack into luggage, and we each saved 60 Euro.
The most thought-provoking place I visited is Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. Over there, I read a lot about the world war II history and the establishment of various concentration camps across Germany. I saw the living condition of victims who lived in the concentration camp through the preserved buildings. It was so cruel of National Socialist Party to imprison those victims, slave them, keep them in malnourishment and kill them. However, I personally think that it is also not right for the World War I winning countries to sabotage Germany and force the Germans to suffer. I feel sad that people never learned the lesson from World War II; we want to create a peaceful world but there are still wars going on in some countries and certain World War II countries are still participating in it. In 2019, an era which advocates for diversity and inclusion, we still cannot accept dissent; even worse, we want to punish hard or kill the people with opposing beliefs. For me, diversity and inclusion is a good way to make the world a peaceful place for everyone. No matter what your belief is, I respect you and we shall never harm each other. After all, we are all humans. We breathe, drink, eat and sleep to stay alive. We are living because we are waiting to die peacefully. So peace & love. We must treat everyone well or at least not threaten anyone.
An interesting place in Munich is Nachtflohmarkt München/Munich Midnight Bazaar. It is an indoor flea market with many vendors selling goods including clothes, shoes and fashion accessories and a band playing Jazz music on the stage. The strange part about this flea market is nothing there fits my taste even though there were more than 50 vendors. The selections were odd and bizarre; there were no consistency of styles even within the goods sold by one vendor. In addition, the Jazz music played did not fit the atmosphere well. In contrast, the flea market I visited in Berlin is much better. There were more than 100 vendors selling unique products such as homemade brands which I cannot get from anywhere else. There was also style consistency within each stall; the pleasant atmosphere made me want to shop and buy more. Furthermore, there were many food vendors selling delicious cuisine; I could not stop myself from buying food xD :d There was also a band playing classic rock music by the bar which made my experience enjoyable.
The part of German culture that I find most difficult to assimilate is recycling bottles. In Germany, all used bottles, both glass and plastic, can be returned to the sellers or stores for 25 cents refund. It sounds appealing to earn 25 cents, but it comes with hassle; unless you finish your drink at the same place and return it to the seller, if not you have to find a store which sells that particular brand of drink for the refund. I bought a bottled carbonated drink from a vending machine in Munich airport. When I was trying to recycle the bottle, I had to stop by 4 stores because the first 3 stores did not carry that brand. It was irritating because I was carrying the bottle with me while touring around Munich. There is no way I want to give up the refund because drinks are more expensive here in Germany as the refund is included in the price.
Enjoy a gorgeous sunset in Munich! Tschüss!