Thursday, April 1, 2010

Zurück nach Berlin

[ Return to Berlin ]

Not even two weeks into my new internship at the FDP, working my best to produce quality research and translations into German, I recieved a very exciting offer from the office. I was invited to Berlin to visit the Abgeordneter office there, and also sit in on a few meetings in the Bundestag. The two day trip was going to be full. I was going to sit in on small meetings, view the debates in the Reichstag, and also work a bit in the office in the Bundestag. Even though I was in Berlin not even one month beforehand, there is something about the feeling of taking the train to Berlin clad in my slacks and a button up shirt, on a mission with an agenda, that makes the situation even more exciting.

Upon arriving in Berlin - the weather notably better than the last trip - I stepped out of the huge glass train station with a new perspective. This time, I felt a little bit more like a part of the hustle and bustle in the very confusing metropolis that is Berlin. I walked accross the large space of land outside the station, the bridge over the Spree, and in less than 15 minutes I was at the Bundestag, which was visible through the glass panels of the station platforms the moment I arrived.

Once at the Bundestag, I wasn´t immediately situated in the office where I could take my stuff - there had been plans already arranged for me to first head to another building only two blocks away to receive a Praktikant badge. Ok, maybe it might look like just a badge - but let me relish in the moment for a bit - I just recieved a flashy badge allowing me access through the security guarded doors of the German Bundestag - this was official - I was now an
official Praktikant in the capital of Germany [even if it was for just two days at least]. It was pretty surreal.

The next 36 hours of exploring Berlin were just starting to unfold. Already from obtaining my badge, I was seeing a lot more of the city than I had on my first trip one month prior. From the first moments I realized that the "behind the scenes" feel of this trip was going to make it special. Once situated in Dr. Knopeks office [ having me noting the similarities and differences from my visits to the representative offices in Washington D.C.] I met the other assistants, one of which was one that I had been in contact with when I was initially requesting for an internship opportunity. The proceeding hours would have me weaving in and out [ and under! ] many of the most important buildings in German politics.

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