It really hit me when I asked my supervisor for mid-evaluation form that we are half way through the program and in Berlin as well! I feel like I wasted a lot of time during the week after work, but it’s okay, there’s still about a month left to make the most out of it.
During the week at work, I’m usually doing project preparation, like making folders for each project, editing and printing documentations, and checking insulation drawings. The work I’m doing is not usually mentally challenging as they are more like checking the documents again making sure everything is good. I learned a lot from my supervisor who’s the project manager and CTO of the company. He tries to provide help to everyone as much as possible is very approachable with questions. I think he is a good leader because he is always understanding and patient. Even though he is nice, people would not take advantage of him for being understanding but respect him a lot for guiding the company. I think I observed the qualities in a good leadership in my supervisor. Recently, I’ve been eating with my co-workers at lunch and chatting with them. They are all very nice and sweet. They told me a lot about how taxes work in Germany, and different pros and cons of various tax policies. What surprises me the most is how high the taxes are here in Germany. I knew it was high, but it shocked me when I learned that it’s 40% income taxes, and could be more percentage if people work two different jobs. However, citizen benefits are so much better especially for families with kids. The government give out a stipend of at least 400 euros per kid to the families per month all the way until the kid is legal. Even though raising a kid is definitely going to cost more than 400 euros a month, it is still better than nothing. I learned a lot about Germany during lunch time by talking to my co-workers, and it’s been nice getting to know them on a deeper level.
On Friday, I went to the Mall of Berlin after work. There are two sides of the mall connecting with a bridge, and it was big. The Mall of Berlin is definitely one of the tourist attractions since it was listed as the recommended place to visit in Berlin, and I did see most a lot of tourists there. There is even a three-story high slide inside the mall, which I found really cool, and people seemed to have fun sliding down the slide. However, I wish I was there longer. I originally planned to be there longer, but I was working overtime for two hours, leaving work at 3pm instead of 1pm, which is not bad but still wish I could leave on time. I think I will go back to the mall another time because there are so much more to see and the sales are good deals.
On the weekend, I went out to brunch by myself and had some me time. I went to Das Gretel, a cute little brunch place that’s a 25 minute bus ride from the hotel. the weather was so nice and so I decided to sit outside, under the shade, of course. One thing about the summer here is that the sun burns, like it really gets you tan and burnt. I had a ham and swiss cheese tartine and a latte. The food was so good and a good amount of portion. Will be back again for sure! I revisited the Charlie checkpoint after brunch and just hanging out with myself. It was a very therapeutic and fun be out and explore by myself. Later that day, I also went out and had a lot of fun with my roommate’s sister and friend who were also doing internships in Germany and coming to Berlin.
On Sunday, we went out to Mauer Park for the flea market. The park was giant and full of people. There were a lot of performances and djs playing music, and people were just vibing. It was so much fun that we were sitting on the stairs and listening to the music and strangers singing. Mauer Park is probably my favorite park here, not only because of the flea market, but also the atmosphere is impeccable.
Im really excited going into next week, because me and the other 5 people in the program are going to Amsterdam on the weekend for three days. I’ve been wanting to visit Amsterdam forever, and I can’t wait for it to finally come true!