Of all the nicknames I had as a child, Berlin is really bringing one to mind: chameleon.
The other day a friend was in town and I met up with him and gave him a tour of a few neighborhoods I'd visited. We also went to lunch where -- despite any formal German training -- I was able to order my meal in German. As we were padding through Kreuzberg, my friend exclaimed, "It's like you live here!" and in fact he couldn't believe this was my first visit and that I'd only been here about a week. I don't know what it is when words, languages, directions, geographies come to you fast and easy. Is it absorption? Adaptability? Confidence? I'm not certain. What I do know is that I am done being modest about this talent.
While I may not speak Slovenian perfectly (and honestly, who does?), I think I can confidently navigate through situations I find myself in in Slovenian (and Slovenia), and this is only after about a year and a half and only one week of formal education in the (very difficult) language. So, yes, I admit I have a knack for these things. That said, today, I start my first day of German language instruction. It will be a month-long course and I am setting my sights high. I have a strength and a willingness, and there is no reason why I can't be an ace number-one casual German conversationalist by the end of this month. No more denials of what I'm good at, now I'm shooting for the stars*!
*Sidenote: Star Trek movie was AWESOME. A+++