I stayed at the boyfrend’s place last night. Then this morning we had a fight. Unsurprisingly it was entirely my fault – nearly all of our fights are my fault. We only partially managed to sort it out before he went to catch a train. He’s gone to his parents, because it’s his Grandma’s birthday soon and because there is some stuff going on with his family that made him feel he should be around. I’m not going to say more than that, I don’t talk about my boyfriend’s private business on here. The only point in mentioning it at all is to explain why he’s gone away, not just for the weekend as originally planned but for a week. So we had a fight and now I’m not going to see him for 7 whole days. What will happen to us when he returns remains to be seen…
Anyway, after he left I walked home in the rain. I arrived in my flat to find that the remains of a cake somebody made for my birthday had gone mouldy. There was no mould on the cake yesterday, today it had a layer of green fur on the top. Wonderful. I’ve taken it down to the rubbish bin outside but I can still smell it all over my flat. And I’ve just discovered that I can’t order a monthly train ticket online because the German rail website will only let me pay by credit card. I do not have a credit card!! It is also possible to pay by direct debit, but only if you register first, which I duly tried to do. After entering all my details I was presented with a letter containing my bank details and asking someone, somewhere to please activate payment by direct debit for my German rail account. Now I’m supposed to print out this letter (xcept I don’t have a printer!), send it halfway across Germany and wait for them to give me permission to pay by direct debit before I can order the monthly ticket, which will then have to be sent to me by post, and whcih I need by 1st September. Even if I had a printer I somehow don’t think this would work. Looks like it’s a trip to the train station for me then. Oh, and I also have to go to the doctors to make myself an appointment because my boyfriend forgot to call and make me one yesterday and I have given up on the idea of trying to phone Germans because I always have to give them my surname and they can never understand it, ever. Even if I spell it out they don’t understand me. Apparantly I pronounce the first letter wrong. This all may have something to do with the fact that I am not German and neither is my name. At least if I go there I can hand the woman something with my name on and tell her to work it out for herself. (This is part of the reason the boyfriend and I argued this morning. He says it’s “about time I started phoning people for myself and if I can’t pronounce [that letter] then maybe it’s time I learned”. He doesn’t understand that I hate, loathe and detest speaking to people I don’t know on the phone. It makes me feel sick with nerves even when the person at the other end is English, in German it’s much, much worse. So it’s off to the doctors I go.
Oh well, at least it’s stopped raining now…
5 thoughts on “Not my day…”
Oh dear, not a good day at all… 😦
I’m completely with you on the phone thing. I was like this for ages, and I’ll still refuse to make a phone call if there’s someone in the room with me who might overhear. But I have to say that the boyfriend does have a point (don’t hit me!) – never mind the practical benefits, you’ll feel much, much better about yourself when you build your confidence about things like this. Make the phone calls on your own, with no one to hear if you do get flustered, and even start with things that will be simple and maybe don’t matter so much. Like ordering a pizza! That was how I introduced myself to making phone calls in French, in Switzerland. You could even pretend you’re a beginner German speaker and get the sympathy vote. Stammer a bit and make a couple of mistakes. 🙂 Then when it gets to the name bit, they’ll already be prepared and trying harder to help you and understand you.
I don’t know how useful any of that is, but it worked for me, and I’m bcoming more and more confident about phone calls in general now, because I just figure, well, what’s the worst that could happen? There’ll be a misunderstanding, they’ll laugh at me? So what? When you start to see the consequences as less of a big issue, then the phone calls themselves become much less of an ordeal.
Oh, and since I seem to be in agony aunt mode (!), if you really really can’t pronounce “the letter”, can’t you come up with some sort of comparison system for explaining to people what you mean? Sort of like going “you know, ‘C’ as in ‘cat'”?
I think you need to take deep breaths and try to worry less. And yes, I know it ain’t easy… but it is possible!
I’m with you on the phone thing: I HATE to make phone calls! Thank goodness email and texting was invented. I call only when I absolutely have to, and although it has gotten a bit easier, I still often have to give myself a rousing pep talk and work up to it. Making a phone call in French is of course worse, and I’m always anticipating that my grammar or vocabulary or accent will completely desert me and I’ll be left stammering so much that whomever I’m calling will hang up in disgust! That has never happened (and I do use Hails’ beginner speaker technique whenever I start to flounder), but I always worry.
All that aside, I’m sorry to hear about your fight with Jan. I hope the two of you do work it out – and on the bright side, you have a week to miss him and to plan exactly what you going to say to him.
I’m with you one the phone thing too. I’m still a bit scared that the person on the other end won’t understand me and I’ll have to repeat everything I say. And all this even though I know that my English is perfectly fine.
Anyways, can’t you text your boyfriend? or is he totally out of reach?
Hails – thanks for the advice. I have tried the [letter] as in ‘other word’ thing but it seems to just confuse them eve more 😦 I will phone if I actually have to, but in this case I’ve decided I don’t have to seeing as the doctors is about 3 minutes walk from my flat. Also, I’m not sure yt if I’m going to get any money from the employment agency for this month (my beneifts have been cut off as of 1st Sept because I start a job this month, but I don’t get paid til the end of the month, which means all I have to live on til then is the money I was given at the end of August, unless the employment agency will give me a loan) so I don’t really want to add to my phone bill.
Pinklea – I’m so glad I’m not the only one 🙂
Yeah, I have a week. And hopefully by the time he comes back he’ll have missed me so much that I’ll be instantly forgiven anyway 🙂
Girl – I know! I always have to repeat myself about 20 times so what should be a 5 minute phone call ends up lasting half an hour!
Hmm, I could text him but I have hardly any creit (and no money) aaand my phone battery is dead… I should really look for my charge! I don’t think he’ll really want to speak to me today though anyway. Tomorrow…