University of Washington

Summer A Term 2013

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Daily Diary July 4th-5th: James Pabiniak

When I saw that I was assigned to cover the 4th and the 5th of July, I knew I would be responsible for covering our celebration of the most American holiday. On the morning of the fourth, we visited the headquarters of a Turkish soccer club. It was particularly relevant for me as my topic is about sports, specifically racism in soccer. It was fascinating and captivating to hear about the club’s history and how they were constantly abused because of their race, from both fans and referees alike. A girl who played for the club’s (the name of the organization is Turkiyemspor) youth team showed us a great place to get kebabs, which are particularly delicious street food and are a specialty of the neighborhood where the club is located.
After lunch we went to the law office of a manwho offered free legal consultations, as well as German classes, to local refugees. There was a refugee camp nearby, and it was surprising to see the society that had been constructed in the local park. The people in the law office were some of the kindest we had met while on this trip. They not only got us coffee and water, but when they saw they didn’t have any snacks rushed out to the store to buy us all popsicles. The talk illuminated several of the issues that faced refugees today, particularly how hard it is for people to come into Europe from other countries today. After the Second World War, Germany accepted almost all refugees, in the recent years they have adopted a much stricter policy which makes it hard for people to start new lives in countries such as Germany.
It was a bittersweet evening as we searched for an American restaurant in the middle of Europe. With the nearest burger restaurant, Burgersteig, being too small to seat our group, we went to an Indian restaurant where we were graciously treated to free drinks and discounted food. Although we initially felt sad about missing fireworks, we met other Americans who wallowed with us, and we were filled in on all the action through social media.

The next day was free until, and most people chose to catch up on sleep and news from back home. I personally went to a museum, the Topography of Terror. The museum was free to enter and was based in the old SS headquarters. It detailed the Nazi rise to power, and had an overwhelming amount of information on how Hitler grasped control of Germany. When I finished at the Museum, it was time to meet for dinner and we were treated to a delicious meal at a very cute and classy restaurant. Here we were informed about everything we needed to know about our impending trip to Spain. After dinner we retired back to the hostel and almost everyone fell asleep to end a tiring week. 

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