So I thought I'd write another update now since I've started my classes at university and have had a couple of fun weekends, and share what I've been up to so far!
So my new favourite thing, other than Fleischkäse (which isn't actually 'meat cheese' as it translates), is the Wurstmarkt (which also isn't a sausage market - C'mon Germans, play nice to the non-natives.) Anyway, Wurstmarkt is the biggest wine festival in the world and not far from Mannheim in Bad Dürkheim. So naturally, I went twice. I mean, what's not to love about a fair and a giant ferris wheel, pint glasses of wine, and tents and music akin to Oktoberfest. It's great fun and felt a very 'German' thing, something like this just wouldn't work in the UK, and I love Germany for that.
What else have I been up to other than drinking copious amounts of Weinschorle? Well, I've been to a Stammtisch which is great event for meeting people. I've been to Ludwigshafen for a game of bowling. I've also been to the Schlossfest at the university, basically a night of entertainment and stalls and cultural things at the castle that is my uni, with a party afterwards - unfortunately I had a really bad head cold and couldn't face a club so didn't quite make it until the end of the night.
One of my favourite things I've done so far is visiting a German fraternity with my flatmate. It was a brilliant experience, and in a way what I imagined a year abroad being about. A German fraternity is not dissimilar to an American one where all the guys live in the same house, however a German one is much more traditional. The night I went they were raising the flag to celebrate the start of the new term. We held a candle, stood in a circle and sung a song. And afterwards there was ample amounts of alcohol and Fleischkäse, which, for the record, is delicious. Being British, the German guys had a million questions about what it's like living in Britain and us Britons, some of which amused me. My favourite comment was "why are the British so care free, they don't care about crossing the road when the light is red". I also taught them some classic drinking games, 'never have i ever' being the most popular.
I also went to an internationals party with a new friend and her friend and met a whole load of people. Mannheim is ridiculously international, in our group there was someone from Australia, America, Chile, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Norway, Germany of course, and a fellow Englander. That was a rather spontaneous night out, but those are the best ones right?! It's amazing meeting so many people from all over the world.
So yeah, Germany is fun. But what I'm actually here for right, *cough* university *cough*, that's been good too. I really, really like my Practical Marketing course, and my other classes are good too. I've actually already completed 2 courses. They were intensive seminars, so 2 x 4 hour classes each, which means I've had a busy couple of weeks (my first day of classes was 7.5 hours long!) but now I have less classes so I can hopefully get some travelling in! This weekend I'm heading to Bonn and Cologne, so expect to see some pictures from there soon...
P.S If you fancy seeing some more snaps, check out my instagram! @hannahemilylane