This week my parents visited me!
On Friday, I showed my parents many sights in Berlin, like the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Brandenburg Gate, which was their favorite. For dinner, I brought them to Cafe am Neuen See. It is an outdoor beer garden with live music. I have already been there twice and really enjoyed it, so I decided to bring my parents. We got chicken, potato salad, sausage, and a pizza to share. My parents really liked the food and the fun environment, but it was packed and hard to find a table.
On Saturday, we went to Hamburg and saw the Minatur Wunderland. The Minatur Wunderland is a miniature recreation of cities and countries, including Hamburg, Switzerland, Austria, America, Italy, etc. There was even a miniature airport with an airplane that lifted off the ground. It was amazing to see how detailed the miniature recreations were.
We also went to a seafood restaurant at the Port of Hamburg. I got fish and chips, which were really good.
On Sunday, we went to the Topography of Terror museum because my dad likes learning about World War II. We also went to the East Side Gallery. It was fun, but it was really hot on Sunday. I think it was the hottest day so far, and unfortunately, we were outside the entire day. We could not find anywhere with air conditioning to cool off. Most restaurants and places we went to were even hotter inside. So, after we were done sightseeing, we went to the pool in their hotel to cool off.
On Sunday night, I brought my parents to a Greek restaurant called Samos in Charlottenburg. I have been there before with the other interns, and the food was really good, so I wanted to bring my parents. My mom spoke in Greek with the waiters, which was helpful because they did not know a lot of English.
For the 4th of July, we went to Tempelhofer Feld, which used to be an airport but is now a big park. It is about a 40 minute walk from one side to the other. I brought ice cream to eat at the park, but it melted on the way there. It also spilled, so the bottom of my bag was really sticky.
At work, I just finished working on an accounting memo about Sirius Facilities’ taxes and loans. The memo is being sent to Sirius Facilities’ sister company in the UK, Sirius Real Estate. I am also still working on my supervisor’s presentation to the Board of Directors. He is giving this presentation next week.
Regarding the communication scale from low context to high context, the US is the country with the lowest context for communication. Germany is in the middle of the low context communication range. Low context means good communication is precise, simple, and clear. Messages are expressed and understood at face value, and repetition is appreciated.
I would say that Germany’s communication methods are relatively similar to the US because communication is simple and clear. However, the communication in Germany is definitely higher context than the US. In my jobs in the US, everything I am supposed to do is explained to me in specific detail. In Germany, sometimes it feels like I am directly told half of everything I need to know. Some instructions are subtle, or it is assumed that I already know.
I have only had minor miscommunication issues so far. For example, sometimes I need things to be repeated. Most of the time, miscommunications with my coworkers are from not understanding what each other is saying because of an accent or a language barrier.
I have noticed a lot of differences and some challenges in communicating in my work environment. Germans are a lot more direct than Americans when it comes to giving feedback or criticism. My supervisor is quick to point out my mistakes, which is helpful, but it is not what I am used to. In America, they will give you a compliment before they criticize you.
I am sad that my time in Germany is coming to an end soon, but I am also looking forward to going home. There are only two weeks and one weekend left. I miss certain things about America, especially the food. I would enjoy some Chick-fil-A or a good bagel right now. I ate a bagel the other day, and it could not compare to the bagels in New York and New Jersey.
Until next week!