After a pretty tough weekend I’m actually glad to be back at work. At work I’m surrounded by people and my main aim this week is to just talk to people, have a laugh and make friends. I think the biggest problem I’ve found is that I am the youngest person at the company by around 20 years, excluding the other intern (who’s 23), but she leaves next week. I also don’t have an official job where I know what I’m meant to be doing and don’t want to keep bugging people to give me tasks and seem like a pest. However I now have my pass for the government buildings so won’t be stuck in the office all day, so hopefully things will start to get more interesting!
My brain is also turning to mush at the minute. Whilst attempting to navigate a new city, a new country, a new life, new job and new people, I’m also trying to improve my German, which is super hard! They all speak ten million times an hour and I find myself zoning out of conversations in German because after a while it becomes too much work to try to understand what they’re going on about! But this week I seem to be understanding more than last week, which is a good sign. I’m hoping that over the next few weeks my German improves and I can start contributing to conversations instead of being 5 sentences behind by the time I've understood what they’re saying. I’ve got 3 and a half more weeks of work here to make friends, attempt to improve my German and not get lost.
Before I came to Berlin I had long chats with all my doctors, physios, nurses etc. about the logistics of taking a gap year and how to keep myself healthy, so that I don’t have to have intravenous antibiotics (which I need when I’m ill and my lung function is down). One of the biggest pieces of advice I was given was to get into a routine with my medication as quickly as possible. Otherwise everything else would take over and I would effectively forget to do my nebulisers, take my tablets and do my physio. In all honesty the first few days I was rubbish! My mind was so focused on attempting to find where I was working, where the supermarket was and just generally trying to get used to my new home. However when I got home after my first day of work I made sure I set my alarm earlier so that I could have time to do my medication, especially as I now knew where the underground station was and didn’t have to spent an hour wondering around looking for it. Although to me all the medication seems normal I still need to remind myself to do it. I am pleased to say I am now in a good routine and the IVs can stay away for at least a year, hopefully more (possibly wishful thinking but positive thoughts can go a long way)!
One thing I have found entertaining is that I have been asked multiple times if ‘Poppy’ is my real name or if it’s a nickname. I therefore have to explain how it is a traditional English flower and is my real name. Although I have been toying with the idea of having some fun and completely changing my name…afterall I am only here for a month! But I’m not sure my German is good enough yet to convey sarcasm!