Monday, May 5, 2014

What's to come...

The feeling of returning to a fond memory. That's not something that you get to come by very often, but it's exactly how I feel. I have been to Berlin before, but I'm not sure if that counts (because I was so young, I hardly remember it); and that's not what I mean. I had travelled to Munich with Deutsches Theater before - the sister to this year's Berlin excursion. So I have an idea of what to expect.

Except I don't really. When you take on a trip like this, you dive head first into a new culture, as Janet guides you through a crash course of the best places to see, the best people to talk to, and the best food to eat, based on her decades of experience. You end up seeing ways of living that make you question your expectations for life, and you look through arts and ideas that give you a fresh glimpse of wonder at the unknown.

I signed up for the trip because I wanted to experience more of that unknown. In Munich I had the chance to explore arts I hadn't tried since grade school. We saw theater that blew what I knew about the art - one that I thought I was particularly familiar with - right out of the water. We explored places that you don't get to see on regular tourist passes, and talked to people that were firmly planted in German culture.

That's tough to beat, but I don't think this trip needs to. But I wouldn't have made the trip if I thought that it was going to be more of the same thing as before. I signed up because I know that every performance we see will be groundbreaking for my perception, and because Janet knows how to keep us on our toes. I signed up for my first opportunity tutoring children, and for my first chance to walk through the monuments that I had only read about from Ann Arbor. Having done the Munich trip before means I know this: that I can hardly fathom how much I will gain from these next three weeks in Berlin.

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