Cheese & Cobblestones

Kelsey Ennis
Major: History and German
Bonn University, Spring 2017

Hallo again everyone! I do, in fact have updates on cheese and cobblestones; the cheese here may have a tendency to be stronger depending on what kind you get, and the cobblestones will hurt your feet if you are not used to walking down those kinds of roads. Thankfully in Bonn, there are many shops in which to buy cheese and tennis shoes! I have been in Bonn for about a week now, but it feels like it’s been only a few days and my whole life at the same time. It isn’t all that different here from the USA, but maybe that’s just my disposition.

When I first got here, I was dead tired. We flew on a plane for 8 hours, essentially started a new day without finishing the old one because of time differences, and had another hour long train ride before arriving in Bonn. Armed with chocolate covered coffee beans, milchkaffee (milk and coffee) and my newly exchanged Euros, my group of 5 made our way the international office to officially arrive. After we made clear that we were who we said we were and that we do in fact have health insurance, we were bused off to our respective apartment buildings. Throughout this whole time it was misty and rainy, which for a tired body was needed, lest I fall asleep on the shuttle. The apartment is a basic studio room. I have no roommates, so the bathroom and kitchenette are all mine to exploit. The best thing about moving into the apartment was a goodie, no, gift bag, each resident received. The pack was from IKEA and had EVERYTHING: towels, dishes, silverware, even a pillow, sheets and comforter. It felt like home in my mostly empty room sooner than I was anticipating. I have since gotten two plants to liven up my room even more. I have found that almost every place you go there will be plants or flowers. I’ve watch so many people walk around the city carrying bouquets of spring flowers, and I’ve passed many homes that look instead like greenhouses. Another thing I was not expecting was the abundance of dogs; it seems everyone has one and they are all expert trainers. There are dogs on the bus all the time, and in the park without leads. Even with all of these dogs everywhere, there are no problems and they are all very mindful of where their owner is and seem to only focus on that. Needless to say, I continue to be very impressed the more I see.

Throughout my first week: the classes and introductions, the meetings and trips to the grocery store, the difficulties of setting up my internet and buying a router, to talking to my friends, family, and fiancé with my newly found internet connection, my apartment and Bonn is starting to feel like home. Since I am in Bonn, Germany to learn the language, I’ve been speaking it fairly often. Whenever classes end, or my shopping is finished, or I just need to stop in to grab my coat since the weather is dropping below 55˚F for the evening, I always go “nach Hause.” Even though it’s been just a week, even though I’ve never been here before, even though……and despite it all… When I go to my apartment now, I go home.


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