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On learning German - Part 1

My experience with the German language cannot fit into this post, I will for sure get back to this topic again. I honestly did not care much about learning it when I first arrived to Germany. I was fixated on one goal: getting my PhD. My life was revolving around this objective and everything else was not that important, was not seen, exactly like in the Invisible Gorilla psychological experiment. I was busy counting ball passes and missing the walking Gorilla.

This is often how I approached daily things, as an expatiate with identity issues, I've always considered myself a temporary resident, and I am not to blame, it was all around me: every year I have to renew my residence permit, I am always reminded that if I don't have a job, if this country does not need me, then I'm out. Period. In addition, back then I did not speak the language, I couldn't understand anything, be it on the streets, in the supermarkets, on the bus. So I've always had this idea that I am passing through, for 4 years. I obviously underestimated time. I did not buy big things because well I had no idea where the future would take me, especially that I am a light packer so I did not want to worry about carrying my belongings anywhere else.

But it was about time to change this mentality. I should buy a TV, and I should speak the language. Life should not revolve about work only (a reminder to myself :P), it takes a big part of it true (it is the reason I got here in the first place) but we are humans after all, we need to take other "human" things into consideration. And I am not not talking about having hobbies, I am not a workaholic with no other interests, but the feeling of guilt upon exercising them was the problem.

So I've decided to learn German. I knew that learning it will not just help me with my future career, it will grant me access to know about this country's history and culture. Without it I will not be able to know what's around me, what interests Germans: the topics they discuss, the books they write, how they think, behave, approach situations, it is an integral key if I want to live among them and interact with them on a daily basis. So before deciding to embark on this endeavor, I have also made the decision to stay in Germany, at any cost. At least if I have this variable fixed then I'd be more motivated to focus on the language learning process. Yes life is a model with so many damned variables, and reducing the number of variables will make it converge faster to the optimum solution.

It was the 28th of December 2018, the night I got back to Goettingen from my second trip to my home country (yes I did not spend new year there), I opened the A1.1 textbook that I've bought a year before and never used, and on that night, the ship has sailed (after I got on board so nothing is missed and it's the right idiom to use here, thank you).

Only with time that I've realized it was actually no separate journey to learn this magnificent language, it was integrated in every aspect of my everyday life, but only when I FOCUSED on that Gorilla that I was able to see it, and throw the ball at its face.