Point of No Return

That’s right we are already half-way through the program and there is no turning back now. My internship is in full swing, I’ve got a big presentation tomorrow that I really have to knock out of the park. Its all about the research and writing I’ve done so far for the User Journeys and Personas related to a big marketing campaign Brili is planning to roll out mid summer. It’s basically the culmination of my work thus far and I am definitely a bit anxious for it but mostly excited. It feels good to have my opinions heard in a professional environment and I would really like to help make an impact in the company.

This past weekend me and seven others from the International Internship Program traveled to Prague or as the people from Prague say, “Praha”. It can often be quite difficult to travel in a larger groups, but I think we handled it pretty well. Everyone had their own suggestions and we were able to pick the one that appealed most to everyone. It also wasn’t very hard to have a good time, the city is absolutely beautiful, especially the old city area where we spent most of our days and nights. We visited the John Lennon wall which was an interesting tribute to him considering the large portrait of him was almost entirely covered with graffiti. We spent a full day in the area of the magnificent Charles bridge and visited the Lobkowicz Palace. Unfortunately, my phone was knocked out of my hand on the first night and the screen broke so I wasn’t able to take any pictures while in Prague, but I did collect a lot of good views for the old memory catalogue.

I would say the most difficulty I have had with the culture is the breakfast food choices. I myself am a big breakfast guy. I am from New Jersey originally and have lived their all my life, I practically grew up on diner food. We’re talking eggs, bacon, cheese, sausage…pancakes, french toast, more bacon. Over here, the breakfast meals are assorted meats and cheeses as well as different types of bread. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy it, but I would really like to be able to eat some good old fashion diner food on a Sunday morning and slip into a nice food coma. Other then that I think the other meals, like the choices for lunch and dinner are much nicer over here. Not only do I have literally hundreds of options in the immediate area around my hotel, the food is actually amazing. I’ve had food from so many different countries while here including Turkey, Italy, Spain, Vietnam, China, Germany (of course), the Philippines, and hopefully many more to come. And the Doner, don’t even get me started on the Doner, it’s absolutely amazing. I have set a personal goal to search for and find the best Doner the city of Berlin has to offer.

Another thing that has given me some trouble in the past few weeks is the German tradition of not doing any work on Sundays. Every shop is closed even the Apotethek (pharmacies). Sundays back in the states are when I get all my shopping done, eat out, and have a relaxing day. Last Sunday I was out with some people from the program and we went to the Tempelhof, a huge park in the area. I had already been burnt from walking around the day before and in serious need of sunscreen but was forced to buy a cheap hat from a near by souvenir shop because everywhere else was closed. It’s been difficult to change my schedule to accommodate for this lose of a whole day but I am adjusting pretty quickly. It’s nice to have nothing to do sometimes other then explore a little of the nearby areas.

I think these two things have been so difficult for me to adjust to because they are such a big part of my own culture and what is comfortable for me. Eating at a diner isn’t just about the food, but the environment and the people that you are surrounded with. They represent home to me and I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to give that up. It’s the same thing with Sunday’s, I like to relax but also be able to get a few things done and go out to eat with friends. At the end of the day it’s primarily about respecting the culture of your host country and immersing yourself in it, but there are just certain things are so innate that they are difficult to shake, even if I wanted to.