Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Coming Home

Flying back

After three whole months in Massachusetts, my internship ended, my scholarship ran out, and I had to return to Germany. Lena, whom I had done the internship with, stayed for another few weeks, as the J1 visa allowed us to stay for an additional month if we wanted to, and she was planning to travel the US with her boyfriend. I, however, had to return, because the last day of my internship was April 6, and on April 11 the new semester started and I had to get back to get into the courses I needed. And to be quite honest, I was so relieved I could finally go home. I cherish the time I spent abroad, do not get me wrong. I loved to be somewhere else, somewhere that was not home, where I was surrounded essentially by strangers, even though of course after three months they were not strangers any more. My ambition (and I succeeded in that) had been to gain more independence, and I did. As I said before (if you read my other entries, which I am not going to assume you did, you already know what I said), I found out that at some point in the last couple of years, apparently I grew up without noticing, and when I was in this situation all on my own, I realized it.

However, I missed my parents so much it hurt, and I also missed my friends, and my little nieces, and also my cats, and university, and even though a part of me was sad to leave, another part of me was brimming with excitement, because I was FINALLY GOING HOME!!!

Now, naturally I could not walk across the Atlantic Ocean, so I had to fly. I am not fond of flying because I usually get airsick because of the altitude changes. On the flight to Boston, I was not only feeling queasy, I was also deathly afraid of the three months without my parents and friends that lay before me, so I really felt like crap. I had a hammering headache and I regretted everything and just wanted to turn around. On the flight from Boston, of course, it was all very different. I was excited to leave, and I said good-bye to my host family with a smile, not because I was glad to be rid of them, but because I was happy to have met them and thankful for their hospitality and friendliness. Americans really are the friendliest people I have ever met. As I was getting my stuff together and my host mother was getting ready to drive me to the airport, the youngest of her daughters started crying because she was sad I had to leave, and it moved me. I gave her a hug. She is only 8 years old, and I guess she just does not like change.

My host mother dropped me off at the airport and we had to say good-bye quickly, but I do not think that is a bad thing. I tend to over-sentimentalize some things, and I thought to myself, I would not have liked a big to-do about my leaving. I had said good-bye to my friends the night before, with a lot of alcohol and some dancing in the middle of the almost-empty Irish Pub (it was a Thursday), and that had been enough.

Unfortunately, the cheapest flight connection I could get was not a direct flight from Logan Airport to Düsseldorf Airport. No, it was slightly more complex than that: I left Boston at 9:30 pm on Friday, April 8, and arrived at London Heathrow at about 9 am local time (meaning the flight took about 7.5 hours), and from London I flew on to Madrid and from Madrid then I finally boarded a connecting flight to Düsseldorf at 4 pm local time, so that at least I was already in the same time zone as my home country again. I left the plane at 7 pm German time, meaning I had been wide awake for about 27 hours, because while I did not get airsick on the transatlantic flight to Heathrow, I did not get any sleep anyways, so I just watched three movies in a row to keep myself busy.

Here I am sitting at the gate in London, waiting to board:

Waiting for connection at Heathrow.jpg

This is the Airport of Madrid. I did not get so see anything else during my first visit to Spain, but at least the weather was sunny and the airport looks really great!

 

Madrid AirportMadrid Airport from the inside

Arriving home

So I arrived. And my mother cried when she welcomed me in the arrival hall, and my father and Jasmin and another friend were there as well and had even made me a sign with my name on it that also said “Welcome Home”, and I was so happy, and it was all so very surreal. Three months really are not that much time when you think about it, but it was long enough that I had forgotten some things. Or maybe forgotten is not the right word. Everything felt slightly alien to me right there at the airport. It is hard to explain. When my parents took me home, two of my best friends were waiting in front of the door, and I was so elated to see them I hugged them and never really wanted to let go. It is all a bit foggy, I mean I was completely jetlagged, I guess it is normal I was a bit out of my mind. Lying in my own bed that night was really strange.

 

back home 1.jpg

Really arriving

I slept like a dead person the first night home, and to compensate for that, the second night I did not sleep at all. Luckily, I had to get up 5:30 am on Monday to go to university, so I just sat at my computer and watched stupid videos for several hours before I “got up” and got myself ready to leave. I went to university, signed my contract for tutoring, went back home, slept for an hour, ate lunch, and then went back because I had courses. Yeah, that day sucked.

But it was more than the lack of sleep that weirded me out, I think. I was so out of my usual rhythm. For the entire first month back, I lagged behind with homework, and then I got really sick, and I think that was my body telling me to “take it easy, goddamnit, you are not a machine!” I guess I could have used more than one day to rest between a full-time job in America and full-time studying again in Germany with a small job on the side.

Now, though, I am slowly getting back into my rhythm again. I love university. I love studying. I will have to add a semester to get my Bachelor’s degree, but that is good because it takes a lot of pressure away. I am home, I am grown, and I am happy. I would say the staying abroad thing was a full success, no?

back home 2.jpg

Check out the other entries by Miriam:

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

You can find Miriam on these social media platforms:

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Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Six

There are some things that the US are famous for. One is that they have one of the highest numbers of overweight people – something I cannot confirm based on my experiences. Another thing is that they have food that will make you overweight, and that, well, I can confirm, not because I gained weight, but because the food was delicious.

Burgers

I know I mentioned it before, but burgers are awesome. So naturally, when I entered the country that (as far as I know) invented the burger, I had to eat burgers, and lots of them. I ate the burger at the Irish Pub we frequented, and at Whiskey’s, and at Shake Shack, where I also tried the cheese fries, and I had a wonderful fish burger in a small restaurant in Provincetown during the day trip to Cape Cod. I really, REALLY love burgers, I guess.

I cannot recommend Shake Shack – the burgers are dry, the cheese fries taste old, and the staff (at least the ones on Newbury Street) seem entirely incapable of getting your name right, even when you spell it out to them. I will never stop laughing about that one occasion where I was re-christened Mary, Lena was Gina, and Nils (which is a very German name, I will admit) was always Neil.

I love Burgers.jpg

Cake

One thing I did not know the US are really good at is cake. I used to think the best cake can be found in Vienna, Austria, but I was proven wrong, and how thankful am I! I had a language student who was so thankful that she could practice her German with me for free that she brought me all kinds of  great things like cookies and pretzels. And then one day she came in with this package in her hand, and she smiled at me and said, “I hope you’re hungry” and told me to bring plates and forks, and when I did, she unpacked the best cake in the whole wide world: Boston Cream Pie. Honestly, it was SO good. If you ever come across the opportunity to try Boston Cream Pie, Jesus Christ, do it. Do not hesitate! It was so delicious. I wish I still remembered the name of the bakery so I could give it to you, but I forgot. Well, it must be someplace between Brookline and Back Bay. Anyways. The cake!

Boston Cream Pie.jpg

The other great piece of cake I had at the Cheese Cake Factory. Who knew it actually exists? I really thought it was a made-up thing from The Big Bang Theory! I know, naïve little German girl. Anyways, I did not eat cheese cake, even though I was at the Cheese Cake Factory, because, while I do like cheese cake, I LOVE chocolate cake, so I asked the waitress which chocolate cake she could recommend, and because American waiters are the best, she gave me the best recommendation. Actually that night was pretty terrible (I was on the most awkward, most terrible date of my life, but that is a stroy for another day), but that cake was an absolute highlight. And, like most American portions, it was such a giant piece of cake I only managed to eat half of it and took the other half home with me.

Cheesecake Factory.jpg

Sweets

In my time in the US, I basically lived off of burgers, bagels and chocolate chip cookies. Healthy diet, right? I really need to add a few other things to it that I would not get the chance to in Germany. I made a list: 1) Dunkin’ Donuts, 2) HoHos, 3) Twinkies.

1) Dunkin’ Donuts: Yes, we do have Dunkin’s in Germany, but I wanted to eat a real American donut while in America, so I did that. And it was delicious. Life is short! One donut should be allowed.

2) HoHos: I am relatively sure we do not have those in Germany, which is a shame, because they were really good. I do not want to think about the calories I ingested, but I could have easily gone through a whole box of those. Yummy!

HoHos.jpg

3) Twinkies: Now, these I am absolutely certain we do not have in Germany. They probably contain some ingredients that are against the law here or something. I would have been tempted to keep one around for a couple years, just to test the Twinkie myth. Do they really last forever? I will never know. Because I ate them.

My host mother bought them for me as a hangover remedy after I had partied (a little too hard) one night, which was really nice of her. I had told her I really wanted to try a Twinkie because we do not have them in Germany and I had heard a lot about them.

As for the taste, I do not know why anyone would make a big fuss about them. They did not taste bad, but they did not taste good, either… they were kind of tasteless, I guess. Meh.

Twinkies.jpg

Check out the other entries by Miriam:

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part One

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Two

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Three

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Four

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Five

You can find Miriam on these social media platforms:

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Twitter

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Five

Providence, Rhode Island

On April 1, again with Katharina, I visited Providence, Rhode Island, for another fair, although this time it was a festival about the French language, and since I do not speak it I did not understand much of what was said. (I think the gist was that speaking French is important because it is important to know a second language, which I can of course wholeheartedly agree with.) The fair was fun nonetheless because it featured the performances of two bands which I did not know but enjoyed anyways.

On the way back to Massachusetts, we made a brief detour to take a stroll through Brown University, because, you know, when in Rome. Or, in this case, Providence.

Brown University, RIProvidence

Revere Beach

My favorite place in Massachusetts must have been Revere Beach. Simply because I love the ocean so much. It has to be paradise to be there in the summer. When I was there it was freezing cold, of course, but I loved it so much I still stayed there for hours, collecting sea shells and taking photos.

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New York

Near the end of my stay, a friend of mine from home, called Nadine, visited me for a couple of days, and she had the idea that we really, really NEEDED to go to New York City (Manhattan, to be specific), and even though I had not really felt the desire to see it before, I did agree that it would be pretty cool to be able to say that I have been to that place that is so ingrained in US pop culture. Thus we booked us some bus tickets and off we went.

The first place Nadine wanted to see was the Library, because some scenes of “The Day After Tomorrow” had been shot there. So, naturally, once we got there, the first thing we did was to find a telephone booth and re-enact the scene in which Jake Gyllenhaal’s character calls his father and almost drowns.

Next up was Times Square, where we were talked into taking photos with Iron Man (not the real one), several Elmos, Minions and Dora the Explorer. I thought it was nice, but of course it is a total tourist trap because those people do not tell you they expect a tip until after the photos have been taken and you would look like a total bastard not tipping them. It was cool, still, but really I would have liked to keep my money and not have those pictures now. But, oh well, you cannot change the past.

Then, of course, we walked through Central Park, where we ate our packed lunches and enjoyed the sun. It is a great place to visit, but I do not think I would want to live in Manhattan, because there are just too many people. They are EVERYWHERE. If you are not a fan of huge masses, I guess it is not for you; it was not for me, anyways. I enjoyed Cape Cod a lot more.

6th ave West 34th street20160321_13060620160321_14122520160321_145434Bryant Park next to libraryCentral Park 2Central Park 3East Riverpublic libraryTimes Square 2


Here you can find her other entries about her stay abroad:

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part One

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Two

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Three

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Four

You can find Miriam on those social media platforms:

Instagram

Twitter

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Four

Over the next couple of weeks there will be stories about Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston. If you haven’t already check out her other entries. They will be links after this entry. I hope you enjoy! XoXo, Jasmin

Cambridge

While I was living in Malden and working in Boston, I didn’t see just Malden and Boston, obviously. I took occasional trips to Cambridge, mostly for partying, since Cambridge has some great partying spots, such as the Middle East and the Middlesex Lounge. I did, however, have to get used to the fact that those places were pretty much dead until 11 pm, and only then did the party actually get started, which made next to no sense for me because those people who could not afford a cab or an Uber had to leave at 1:30 am to catch the last Red Line. Oh yeah, and briefly before I left the late night service of public transportation was shut down entirely, meaning the last Red Line left  at 12:30 am. In a University-populated city, that seems like the worst idea possible to me.

Of course, though, I also had to visit Harvard and MIT. I guess if you are staying in Boston that is a given, right?

Harvard HallHarvard LibraryMessing around with MIT architectureMIT

Cape Cod

On one sunny day in March, me and my fellow interns rented a car and went on a road trip down to Cape Cod, and it was absolutely beautiful. First we made a brief stop at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port and visited the beach there, before driving further along the Cape until we arrived in Provincetown. It is a small place, and since we visited it off-season, it was mostly deserted, but it was beautiful nonetheless. It was freezing cold that day, as well, but because the sun was shining and I was at the beach, I could not have cared less; I could have just stayed there, waiting until summer would come around.

Hyannis Port BeachProvincetown Beachwelcome to Provincetown

Maine

On one occassion I was asked to accompany my boss to an exhibition in Portland, Maine, so of course I said yes (I think my answer was something along the lines of “How can I say no to that?”), because, how many chances will I have in my life to see Maine?

We drove there in a rental car, and because I mentioned that I hoped we would see the coast at some point, my boss (a really awesome chick named Katharina) made a 30-minute detour to Kennebunkport just so I could see the ocean and walk up and down the beach once. That is really all we did, because it was below 30 degrees (Fahrenheit) on that day, but you can not tell from the pictures, it was so beautiful.

The exhibition was called FLAME (Foreign Language Association of Maine) and it was set up inside one hallway on the first floor of the Holiday Inn in Portland, where no sunlight could reach us. It was uneventful, but fun. If you have ever worked at some kind of trade fair, you know it is a lot of fun talking to the different people and trying to interest them in whatever you are representing, especially if you can do it like we could, by throwing merchandise at them (not literally, of course). Because we spent most of our time cooped up inside the hotel, we did not get to see much of Portland, but we did take the time to go out for dinner, and what I could see, I liked.

Welcome to MainePortland, MaineKennebunkport, Maine

 

Here you can find her other entries about her stay abroad:

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part One

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Two

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Three

You can find Miriam on those social media platforms:

Instagram

Twitter

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Three

Americans and…

… jaywalking

Now here’s what I don’t understand. Why d you have traffic lights for pedestrians and cars when nobody pays attention to them? Okay, I am exaggerating, but not by much. Occasionally, drivers will see a red light and think, oh, well, I’d better stop before I hit someone. But I have seen drivers ruthlessly ignore red lights and ignoring not only the green light for pedestrians, but also the green light for cars crossing their way. Basically they are committing jaydriving, if that is even a thing. Which brings me to one of the biggest culture shock moments of my life. Apparently, Americans could not care less about a red light for pedestrians. They sometimes don’t even look before crossing the street, and they do it while pushing a stroller with a baby in it. This just blows my mind. See, in Germany, when you walk on a red light and you get caught by a policeman doing it, you pay a fee, and a substantial one. Also, it is common knowledge that traffic lights are for your safety and if the light is red, it might be a good idea to wait for it to switch colors. Now, here in the US, jaywalking cannot be illegal, or more people would at least stop to think about it. They do not, however. Americans seem to see a traffic light and not see a flashing warning sign saying, hold on, you might die if you cross the street now, they just see either a) a friendly suggestion, or b) an annoying hindrance trying to spoil their day.

… buses

03 buses

My biggest source of frustration in the first few weeks, before I did what I did with the German trains, and just resigned myself to it. Do American busses have a schedule? And if they do, do the bus drivers know? Why do the bus stops themselves not display any information on anything other than, hey, I’m a bus stop? The whole thing remains mysterious. It seems more like a matter of luck than anything else to catch a bus around here. You can wait for 30 minutes and not have one single bus coming that goes in your direction. When should the next bus be arriving? Oh, who knows! Who cares! At least we are alive and well. And isn’t that all that counts?

…”Nice dog!”

A very big change for me, as a quite formal European, was how outgoing and informal Americans are. Best example: I was walking around the Boston Common at nighttime, just enjoying the beauty of it, as I was witness to the following exchange by two total strangers (to me and to each other), one of whom was walking a beautiful husky on a leash:

Stranger A: “Nice dog!”

Stranger B: “Thanks.”

Stranger A: “You’re welcome.”

Now, an American might not see anything special about that kind of thing, but for me that was rather mind-blowing. I would not have witnessed that kind of friendliness in Germany, simply because we are so much more formal. I think that has a lot to do with the language—in German we have a formal and an informal personal pronoun for the second person, and everyone who is considered a stranger is usually initially addressed with the formal variant. English is missing that additional step of getting to know someone by at some point offering them informality, and I guess that takes away a lot of social inhibitions. I find it extremely liberating.

Also, Americans are very, very friendly. There was one particular instance where I experienced that friendliness. On one of the shittier days I have experienced here so far, I started my Monday morning by getting off the bus not like a normal person who just walks, but by falling. I literally fell off the bus, and I hurt my knee really bad (there are photos of my bruises, but I guess you do not really need to see them), and I could not help myself, I had to shout out a loud OW! when I hit the asphalt. Luckily my knee was the only thing damaged, apart from maybe my pride. But what I had not expected was that just a second after I had fallen there were immediately 4 people surrounding me, helping me to my feet asking if I was okay. That was so nice and helpful of them. I immediately assured them that I was okay, but I think I was so angry and embarrassed that I forgot to say thank you as I rushed away to catch the train. I am sorry about that, so in the unlikely case that the people who helped me that day are reading this: the impolite, clumsy German girl that fell off the bus at Malden Center says thank you!

Now I am not saying that Germans would not help you at all, but I think they would have been a bit more hesitant, and I have seen several instances where help would have been needed and people just walked past. That is depressing, and I am glad to see that people here in the US seem to take being helpful seriously.

BOSTON

Boston, MA, is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. I cannot say it is the most beautiful city in the world, because I have not seen all the cities in the world. But from what I know, Boston is the most beautiful city ever. It is a fascinating mixture of extremely old brick houses and high glass-and-steel sky scrapers, and I love it. The places I have already seen have taken my breath away. Here are some of my impressions.

04 library
The Public Library

05 faneuil hall
Faneuil Hall

07 boston common
Boston Common and Public Garden

06 harbor
Harbor at Faneuil Hall

08 MIT
MIT

09 loews theatre
Loews Theatre

You can find Miri here:

Twitter: OriginalSGreenD

Instagram: miri_mh8

Part 1 of her story: Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part One

Part 2 of her story: Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Three

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part Two

Homesickness and how to deal with it

That is a central issue when you leave home, even if it is temporary. I am dealing with a bout of homesickness right at this moment as I am writing these words, and I can tell you it’s not easy, especially considering that I have never been away from my parents for this long. And I love my family, dear Lord, I cannot put into words how much I do. Also I miss my friends, so much it quite surprises me I have yet to experience a complete mental break-down because of it.

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With the technology nowadays, of course there are numerous possibilities to stay in contact, as you can have phone conversations, chats and video chats over the internet without paying a cent. Long gone are the days when a minute phoning another continent cost you 10 bucks and left you feeling hollow and poor. And it certainly helps a lot to be able to have a phone conversation with my mom every morning (or, for her, noon). Yeah, I know. I’m one of those people who actually has to call her mom every day. I am not ashamed. I miss her so much, and her reassurance and support are what made me being here possible in the first place.

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But occasionally, when you’re already feeling miserable about being away, a conversation with friends and/or family can make it worse. Of course it does. You keep being reminded of the exact thing that makes you feel miserable: missing home. In those situations, the only thing that I have found to be of help is distraction. That is the key word: distraction, distraction, distraction. When you stay abroad to study, or to work, or to do an internship (like I am), it is inevitable that you meet new people, and that you have a lot of new places to see and experiences to make and work to do, and those things are golden because they provide you with the most important homesickness remedy, distraction. I think the only reason I did not have a complete meltdown in the first week of my stay here is that I started my internship right away. I literally arrived on Monday night and started working on Wednesday morning. Some might say that was too short notice, but I think it was key in me being okay with the sudden change, because the impressions kept rushing onto me so quickly I barely had the time to process it all, and in the haste and stress I completely forgot that I was supposed to miss home.

Now, with about half my time here up, I miss home a lot more, strangely enough. However, I have also found people I like, even care about, and spending time with them is a wonderful, distracting thing.

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Also, I have had to reconsider the image I had of myself. I have to admit, I only applied for that internship position because I was convinced, CONVINCED, I was not going to make it. I did not expect the acceptance email until it came, and even then it took me about a day to figure out that, yes, this is real, and yeah, I think I might consider actually doing it. And then there was the whole visa process, and I remember throughout it thinking, oh, I will never get that visa, so no worries. And then I DID get that visa, and I found a place to stay, and I got a scholarship to pay for at least part of it, and STILL I was not convinced this was actually happening until I was saying good-bye to my parents and two of my closest friends at the air port.

 

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So, what happened? Why the hell did I not think me applying for an internship abroad might have actual consequences? And why was I so convinced I was never going to be accepted? Was it because I never thought I would be capable of doing this? Most likely, that’s what it was. I had never thought I would be able to face a challenge like this. And when I did do it, I expected myself to be way more of a wuss about it, when the truth is I have been doing rather well. So what does it all mean? Did I grow up somewhere in the last 3 years without me noticing it? Maybe so. Who knows.

Stay tuned for Part 3 on Friday…

Read Part One here: Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part One

You can find Miri here:

Twitter: OriginalSGreenD

Instagram: miri_mh8

Miriam’s Stay Abroad in Boston – Storytime – Part One

More than a year ago, in late 2014, I decided that it might be a good idea to go spend some time in another country. As a German majoring in English, I have, even before making that decision, consciously tried to focus my studies on American literature and language only, because the US have always appealed to me more than any other country in the world, be it because I prefer the varieties of American accents over the other varieties of English that there are (linguistics is my second subject), or because I am a movie maniac and the USA have undoubtedly given us some of the best movies and TV shows in the history of the medium of television.

01 staying abroad

Anyways, whatever the reason, I wanted to go to the US, and I wanted to stay for longer than a week, and somehow I got myself accepted for an internship AND a scholarship, and after asserting that I am neither a terrorist nor an ill-willed person trying to overstay their welcome, the American consulate granted me an exchange visitor visa for three months in Massachusetts.

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I moved in with a family in Malden, which is a little far off, but it was super cheap, and as a poor student, that was the most important factor for me. The second most important factor was, however, to not live alone. This is really important for anyone considering a stay abroad. The prospect of living in a foreign country without any familiar people around you is daunting enough. So try imagining living without literally anyone, familiar or not. The people I moved in with were strangers I only knew via the internet, but I shared my living space with them and could turn to them with any and all questions I had, which is incredibly central when you’re in a country you have never been in. Now, of course the US and Germany aren’t that far apart culturally, but you don’t know the differences truly until you leave them. And for having support through my first couple days, I am extremely grateful, since I have been told that the first few days are supposedly the worst. If that is true, I have had a seriously good stay so far.

Eating in the USA

02 eating the usa

What’s there to say about the food? Burgers are awesome. Yeah, big deal, like we did not know that already. The coffee, surprisingly, is really weak. Not bad, but weak. I thought it was just me, but I have talked to other Germans living in the US and even a Brazilian guy I met at Faneuil Hall, and they all say the same thing: American coffee is weak. Not bad-tasting, but a lot thinner than what I am used to. How can New York be the City That Never Sleeps when their coffee is such a thin brew? Or maybe it’s just Massachusetts?!

The other thing that Europeans are surprised by is the portion size in the US. You know, I was extremely confused about why their pizzas were so expensive when I wanted to get dinner at Regina’s Pizza, so I bought two slices, and, yeah, uhm. I understood then. One slice of pizza in America is about the size of one small pizza in Germany. Considering that, their pizzas are cheap. I still ate both slices, though, because I was hungry and I paid for them.

The first thing I learned to love about the US was a thing we do have in Germany, as well, but which I had never taken notice of before, and that is bagels. Heavens, how could I live all my life without bagels up to this point? Bagels are the best thing that has happened to me on my stay so far. If there is a heaven, its streets must be paved with bagels.

Lastly, it’s no secret that there is a large Italian community in the US, and that Italian food is probably the best food on earth. Boston’s North End has a street that is not actually called “Little Italy”, but it might as well be, because the houses looked like a scene straight out of “The Godfather”, and one Italian restaurant sat right next to the other. All of them not fancy, but small, cozy places, packed to the brim with people. And the food I had there was wonderful, authentic Italian food in wonderfully European portions, and after that I learned about the existence of cannoli and that when you are a guy and a competitive athlete training every day, you might be able to eat three cannoli at once, but for a lazy girl like me, one of these things was like a second dinner. However, they are extremely unhealthy, and therefore of course extremely delicious.

Stay tuned for Part 2 on Wednesday…

You can find Miriam here:

Instagram: miri_mh8

Twitter: OriginalSGreenD