Samstag, 23. Oktober 2010

With a little help

A couple of days ago, almost at the beginning of the evening, I was wandering lost in the area of the Freie Universitaet Campus, in Dahlem. I needed to go to a conference with Mona Ozouf, an intellectual event I was very excited about, as I studied and read a lot about her works. And now, thanks to the wonderful chance to live in Berlin, I was able to attend a conference of her. Of course, if I was able to find the place...

My advantage when I am lost or looking for a street is that I can practice my wonderful clumsy German. It is what I did while getting more and more nervous as the hour scheduled for the start of the event was getting closer. First question addressed to the shopkeeper of a Delices Gourmandes didn't help me too much. Went back in the area and asked two students - the university year already started - and one of them, told me immediately (in German): if you don't hurry up, I will drive you there. Surprised, asked her if it is not a problem: and she said back (still in German): of course, not!

Entered the car, had a 4-5 minutes basic conversation - where are you from? what about you? what are you doing in Berlin? - entered the place I wanted to go, say good bye and thank you. The conference started 15 minutes later, enough minutes to think that life and people, in Berlin, can be very friendly. And, two hours later, I left this student area with a refreshing feeling that I would like to be a full time academic again. Maybe soon.

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