It's been four weeks since I crossed the channel and I'm still not settled. This is to be expected and thankfully I can see things starting to fall into place but they haven't fallen yet; there is a light at the end of the tunnel but I'm still in darkness. Sometimes it's exciting but most of the time it's exhausting. The language barrier, the little tiny house necessities, meeting new people and homesickness are becoming a daily battle that require me to stay afloat rather than enjoy the tide. Like I said, things aren't completely hopeless but this is the adjusting period, the time where things like friendships and routine will start to be consolidated and I can stop worrying about spending all my evenings alone in my room skyping the english-speaking world. So I need to keep going, I need to keep pushing. This doesn't mean I have to meet up with German people every evening or try out a new activity every week: pushing can simply be a cup of tea, a piece of chocolate and a German novel. As long as I'm flexing my linguistic muscles I can, ironically, relax.

Prolonged periods of adjustment are such interesting creatures - you move gradually from that holiday bliss to crippling loneliness and then wait for the day when you can crawl out of the cave and everything will be sunny again. I cannot fight this process, but I can still push to stop myself from going under. But sometimes you just need to give in to the culture-shock and the change that surrounds you. Sometimes you need to buy your favourite chocolate and lie on the floor listening to opera, sometimes you need to grab a weekend away with a friend, sometimes you need to cry on the tram and swear at the ticket machine and throw an inquiring look at the heavens and buy some shoes and spend evenings watching Jenna Marbles videos and laugh when the old man on the train shouts something rude at you and throw away the disgusting coffee you bought, because you don't have to put up with horrible caffeine fixes and spend two hours skyping your Mum about Downton Abbey and other important life topics because WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS and we all need to give ourselves a break.  *breathe*

Tonight I'm going to the cinema with some girls from the theatre. We're going to see a film adaptation of a Christa Wolf novella 'Was Bleibt' at a small art house cinema in the centre of town and it feels like the perfect compromise. After a long day at work all I want to do is collapse in front of my laptop with a series of Gilmore Girls, but instead I'm pushing myself just that tiny bit more and I'll still be sat in the dark with a screen, but I'll be making connections and exposing myself to the German language. It's not what I'd usually do, but it's an adjustment, don't you think?

P.S The chocolate shown in this picture is possibly the best chocolate in the world and if you ever visit Germany then you need to try it.


  1. nougat is my favourite too!! <3 love

  2. Brave and honest words Ellie!! IT WILL GET BETTER! Meanwhile, don't feel a minute's guilt about feeling homesick and lonely. We are all here for you and a little bit of English Channel can't change that!! Love you lots - XXXXXXxxx

  3. Ellie this just cemented that I need to talk/skype with you. Sounds like we have a lot in common

  4. i disagree. marzipan is better. but there's no doubt that you are the best. this sounds so familiar, and you're so right about the small pushes and the compromises. and it's TOTALLY ok to go to the gilmore girls when all is dark and cold.