Wow!!! Is it? Yeah, one year in Germany: on April 1st last year (believe or not… fool’s day), I was arriving in Germany. Too many things, too many places, too many faces…new codes, new language, new tracks… I think this has been one of the most interesting – and challenging – moments of my life. I have learned a lot: how to live alone, how to live without work (it is really hard to relearn to be student after being financially independent), how to speak (at least, a little bit) German.
Last post I told you that I was going to Brazil for vacation. It was really good. I came with the batteries totally full. The weather was fantastic but was the warm heart of my family that made me recharge. Yeah, I can’t forget the food: “sorry, World!”, but food like in Brazil there is in no other place. My comrades may confirm. And I didn’t eat potatoes, neither one single day!
I was somehow shocked with how fast Brazil is changing. It was one year out and some things really seem totally new. I have heard about the growth of the “new middle-class”, but there I could see. There is a sense of opportunity that I never saw, while here in Europe I see just the opposite – although Germany is relatively free from recession. My friends are studying, travelling, starting businesses. It is fantastic to see this transformation. I was young, but I remember the drama of inflation and the economic crisis in the 1990’s. As a Public Policy student, I came to the conclusion that some policies are hard, unpopular, and some effects just came years later. It seems the case of Brazil. This “impressive” growth is a result from 10, 15-year policies.
But let’s leave the political economy for economists, because I still want to talk about my return. It was the most surprising part of my trip. Well, traveled with TAM, a Brazilian airline company, so I didn’t need to speak a foreign language, although some flight attendants insisted to speak English or Spanish or German with a compatriot (!). But when I arrived at Frankfurt Airport, I felt somehow comfortable, relieved, and feeling finally at “home”. Some colleagues have related the same but I confess it is really strange to feel that. I easily left the customs control and went to took the “tram”.
There was an Italian group, a Ukrainian couple and Japanese girl, all looking the tram-ticket machine exactly as I did when I first arrived. “Decipher me or I will devour you”, says that machine for the foreigners that pass. Seriously, I never saw a so complicated system to buy a simple single ticket… but anyway. I am used to do so, but it is not an easy test for tourists. It was funny to “rule” this ability… Well, when I came, two week ago, it was already spring: the birds, the green and the sun are also back with me…
I hope you have enjoyed today. Next post I intend to give some tips to prepare a successful application for scholarships. The DAAD has already published a scholarship intended for people from developing countries (click here) and the PPGG for this year is possibly coming soon.