Met My Host Family!

March 6, 2017

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So, as I’m writing this it’s significantly past the point where I actually met my host family…knowing that, this should be interesting. If I allude to things I shouldn’t have known at my first meeting with them….well….I’m sorry?

The notification came via email that I had finally received my host family. It took about 1 month to happen, but I got them. Nadja and Jan were their names and they had 3 (decently young) children. Hmm, I’m not a big fan of children, but I will survive. At this point my mind begins to race—I’ve heard horror stories of other students’ poor interactions with their host families (and just shitty host families in general) so I was worried the same would happen to me. Even more, because I’m abroad I’ve been planning a lot of cheap weekend trips to go on and see Europe. I’m sort of hoping that doesn’t get in the way of scheduling meetups with them (forewarning: it does).

I get the email from my host sister that we will be meeting on Sunday at the Hbf to meet for the first time and have coffee and cake. Fun! Coffee and cake are delicious. Super excitedly, I email her back to let her know that I’d be there and asked where we should meet in the Hbf…Sunday rolls around and I still haven’t heard. Meanwhile, I find out from my host-brother (other student that has the same family as his host family) Jacob that she emailed him back but not me. What the heck! We board the train at Bremen-Schönebeck and make way for the Hbf.

The train pulls up to platform 5, we step out of the train and there we see it…nothing. We have no idea where our host sister is. Jacob and I scour the Hbf looking for a young girl looking for someone…and we can’t find anyone. Eventually, we head back for the platform and as we make our way through the crowd a girl with a dog approaches us and asks if we’re Jacob and Bobby. BINGO! We found here (although, I guess she technically found us…). We shook hands, did introductions, and made our way out of the Hbf. Awkward conversation followed as we all made our way to a bus stop, excited petting of Aimee (the dog) occurred (I HAVEN’T SEEN A DOG IN SO LONG THAT I COULD PET), and our host sister apologized for her broken English (which was probably better than my English! Ha!) a bunch of times. As we discussed things on the bus, people looked at us like we’re crazy for speaking English. Nonetheless, the super efficient German public transit got us where we needed to go.

As we walked into the family’s little apartment, we instantly met mom (Nadja) and our younger host brother. We were warned that mom is an English teacher so her English is pretty good, so I believe that we hit the jackpot of host families. We were immediately introduced to the apartment. The youngest plays with Legos (freaking awesome). That’s enough for me to like him. He’s kind of shy but he came up and hugged Jacob and I randomly. It was sweet. His English is pretty much nonexistent, but he can say his numbers and “hello” in English. The older brother really likes videos game, is a really great rower (he has tons of medals all over his walls…it’s pretty cool), and he is currently building a computer. So he seemed pretty cool. And the oldest (the girl we met at the train station) is really sweet, is awesome at martial arts, is an amazing cook, and enjoys making fun of my German pronunciation.

The entire afternoon we ate cake, talked politics and cultural differences and such, and we went on a walk with Aimee which was fun. Later my host dad came home and he was pretty fun. He’s 2.12m tall, so that was interesting…but we all had dinner, lots of awkward moments when they all said something in German too quickly for me to comprehend, and then Jan drove us home (which we were floored by…we were so ready to take the train!).

So yeah, that’s pretty much our first meeting with the host fam. Nothing too exciting. Just some Germans and Americans chilling. The end.