The composition of the world consists of the five elements earth, water, fire, air and space, which are reflected in our body. This seems very simple, but the world is also composed of complex systems when it comes to understanding different cultures, societies and behaviors. Even the use of speech itself is indicative of the fact that the relationship between languages and society is very complex. Let me give a concrete example to illustrate what difficulties may arise.
For instance, if you translate the Turkish word “ak” in English, the dictionary reads “white,” which is not the real translation. Literally, “ak” means clean and virginal. It has a strong religious and cultural connotation. Even the German word “Fernweh” is not translatable into English. As a result one receives “wanderlust”, which does not indicate the same meaning. The exact one-to-one translation is “distance pain,” whereas “wanderlust” in Germany reflects a strong desire for travelling.
Do you see the dichotomy? The perception of every word is different: it is either religiously, historically, or socially connoted.
I didn’t know much about Boston except I had been dreaming of visiting since I first saw Robin Williams and Matt Damon sitting in the Boston Public Gardens in the movie Good Will Hunting. All I remember was seeing them sitting on the bench in front of the lake surrounded by beautiful plants, trees and bushes and I said to myself, “Totally going there one day!” never really knowing for certain if I ever would.
The Beauties of Boston
My first impression of Boston was a little overwhelming: as I arrived at the Boston Logan International Airport I was really excited to see what awaited me outside. After grabbing my three suitcases from the baggage carousel, I left the airport. Immediately, after I exited the Boston airport my suitcases fell from the trolley. A kind young man helped me and the first thing that came into my mind was that people in America are very friendly. Even when you’re leaving the bus, everyone says thank you to the bus driver, and this is very unusual in Germany and Turkey.
Then, the kind young man carried the trolley to the taxi stand and I was so thankful due to the fact that the jet lag became noticeable. After waiting 30 minutes, I finally got a taxi and my journey in Boston was set to begin.
Arrived in Watertown, where I booked a room through Airbnb, my host was already waiting for me. She was so sweet and gave me suggestions for restaurants, bars, and sightseeing.
My place is next to the Charles River, an optimal place for runners like me. I often go jogging along the river in the morning and there are not enough words to describe the beauty of the Charles River in Watertown.
After I had unpacked my luggage, my stomach began growling and this was for me a sign to go to Stop&Shop and get some food. One thing I have to mention is, that Europeans are not used to big sizes. At the beginning it was really hard for me to find small portions of food, but nowadays I am getting used to it.
The first roommate I have met was Frank, or to be more precise Francesco. He is really ambitious to learn German. So, the first sentence he learned was “Jeder Raudi fährt nen Audi,” which means that “each raudi is driving an Audi.” I know that’s maybe not the first thing what one should learn, but being different is sometimes the better choice. I have to confess that I enjoyed how he tried to pronounce “Jeder Raudi fährt nen Audi.”
But at the end, I must say that he is doing very well!
If your family is 8,000 km away from you, it is very important that you build a really good relationship with your roommates. What I can say is, I am very happy to have roommates, who are not only friends, but also a family. Thank you guys!
Before I came to Boston, my adviser from the International Office in Germany gave me the tip that I have to try a Lobster Roll. And I really have to say that she was right. I went to Yankee’s Lobster, which is next to the harbor and got a Lobster Roll and a cider. For people, who love seafood, I strongly recommend Yankee’s Lobster and I have to thank Mrs. Schink for the recommendation. I am now Lobster Roll addicted and I already know that I will miss it when I will leave Boston.
There are no words to describe how an American University feels. So, what you know or have seen in the movies about American Colleges or Universities, I have to admit, it is the same. On the one hand you have the student fraternities such as Kappa Sigma and on the other hand you have student sororities like Kappa Delta. And of course, very typically American, you can find many sport teams such as the Ice Hockey Boston University Terrier’s.
Especially, the BU is very colorful of so many different cultures. Students are coming to study from all over the world. There is a positive clash of global mindsets during the classes. The multicultural environment in courses enables inspiring discussions, where you can feel free to share your own ideas and do not hesitate to say something wrong. And of course what counts is participation! Entering BU Terrier does not only mean meeting different personas, but also walking through cobblestone streets surrounded by medieval style buildings.
Well, a good friend once told me that it is important to be fulfilled as an individual and to be your best self with full confidence of where your life is headed.
For me, Boston has a magical aura: the entire environment surrounded by the different characters provides me with the wings of a butterfly enabling me to be complete as an individual.
Sometimes, destiny knocks at your door when you least expect it. Question: will you answer the bell?
With love from Boston,