I found out yesterday that my ex-boyfriend is engaged, which kind of shocked me a bit. He’s not the first of my exes to get engaged, and he probably won’t be the last. But he’s probably the one I still care most about, despite the fact that he lives in America (he is American) and I’ve seen him once in the last six years… last September, at our five year year abroad reunion. I also met his then girlfriend (now finacee) then. Now don’t get me wrong – I am very, very happy for him, but when I first read the news… well, if I hadn’t already been sitting down I probably would have had to. And hearing this news has brought home to me how alone I am here. It would have been nice to be able to discuss this new development with someone. I told Jan about it, of course, but it’s not the kind of thing I can really talk about with him. So I’m feeling a little lost right now. nd confused… confused because I don’t know what it is I’m feeling. I’m not upset, and I’m certainly not jealous (before anybody suggests that!) but my happiness on their behalf is tinged with a little bit of… something. If anyone can make sense of this, then please explain it to me in the comments. Me, I’m just going to go to bed. I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow (despite the fact that it’s Saturday), starting with having to be on the train at 8am. So much for my weekend lie in….
Shall I tell you what I did today?
I took a train to Mannheim, bought a tram ticket so I won’t have to waste time doing it on Monday morning… then I took the next train back. This is perfectly normal behaviour, right?
Oh, and last night – and please bear in mind that it was Friday – I was in bed by 8:30pm. Admittedly that was mostly because my living room is freezing (usually when I’m alone I end up playing on the Internet til 3am), but still… I’m fairly sure as an unmarried and unchildrened 26 year old I should have been out partying or something. Instead I was at home, alone, in bed with only a science text book for company.
I don’t suppose any of my readers feel like moving to Germany and befriending me for real?!
Jan’s choir are taking part in some competition tomorrow, so today they’re having an extra practice to prepare. He went to meet them at 12. When I asked what time he’d be back he told me it depends how long everyone can stay for but “probably around 3:30 pm”. That means I’ll be on my own for most of today, and then again tomorrow while they’re competing. And being home alone means I have no excuse not to get on with the housework, which I’ve been ignoring all week because after work I barely have time to make tea never mind clean the shower.
Housework weekend it is then. Unless anyone would like to send me a maid? We could call it an early Christmas present…
I am terrible at being on my own. Absolutley terrible.
For a start there’s the whole making meals just for me thing. I walk into the kitchen, examine the food on the shelves, open the fridge, close it again and think about how long it takes to peel potatoes/slice carrots/chop an onions. Then my mind drifts to all the dishes that will have to be used to make a proper meal. Dishes that will then have to be washed up afterwards. By me. And I decide there’s no point in going to all that effort when nobody else is around to eat the food I prepare. And so, in the 5 days since Jan went away, I have been living on potato croquettes (just shove them in the oven and wait!), chocolate raisins, cake (not even home made cake I’m ashamed to say) and those Knorr instant thingies that claim to turn into pasta in cheese sauce or spaghetti bolognese as soon as you add boiling water.
Then there’s the sleeping thing. I’m used to sharing a bed with Jan. He’s here almost every night. When he’s not at mine I sometimes join him at his. On the nights that he’s at his place and I’m at mine I have trouble sleeping. The bed seems to magically grow… surely it hasn’t always been that big? The room feels colder, the flat emptier (actually that last one kind of makes sense. The flat is emptier…I’m the only person in it). But it’s okay, because usually it’s only for one night. When he goes away though, it’s not just for one night, but for a couple of days, a weekend, an entire week…
Which is why, since Wednesday, I haven’t made it to bed before midnight once. And even after getting into bed I’ve chosen reading until 1 or 2 am over going to sleep.
All that has to chnge now though. I start my new job tomorrow. That means getting up early enough to be showered, dressed, breakfasted and on the train that leaves Karlsruhe at 7:30 am. It also means eating a proper breakfast so I’m not starving by 9 o’clock. And it means preparing something proper to eat for my lunch.
I’m so excited. I can’t wait to be a real, employed member of society again!
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…
I’m sitting here eating a packet of peanut M&Ms. I bet at least one person is now thinking “so what? I do that all the time”. Ah, but the thing is I do not do that all the time. You see, the boyfriend is allergic to peanuts. Not severely allergic, as in open a packet of peanuts while he is in the room and he will stop breathing, but allergic enough that he may well stop breathing if he accidently went and ate something from the packet. So I tend not to knowingly buy anything with peanuts in. (He’s fine with “may contain traces…” it’s just actual peanuts that are a problem). But I am alone this week, so when I spotted the yellow packet of M&Ms on the supermarket shelf I thought ‘why not’? And so I am now eating peanut M&Ms. By the way, in case anyone was wondering, Jan has been sent to LA by his work – some computer software in a hospital that needs to be looked at. According to him the problems they’re having are probably their own fault but he has to go and sort it out anyway. *sigh* Take my advice – don’t fall in love with a computer scientist!
Anyway…. back to the point.
Have you ever noticed how whenever you really, really want a certain thing it’s something you can’t have? Even if you’ve been shopping that day the thing you find yourself craving at midnight is guaranteed to be something you didn’t buy. Or maybe that’s just me? Either way, right now I have my packet of yummy peanut M&Ms but what I really want to be eating is poppadoms. I don’t even know why. Poppadoms just popped into my head at work this afternoon and now I desperately want to eat them. Unfortunately that’s easier said than done in Germany. Oh, you can get them, but only if you’re willing to pay over 3 euros for them. And the only ones they have here are the type that you have to cook yourself. By cook I mean place in extremely hot oil for a few seconds, causing your entire kitchen to become filled with smoke. Not a good idea if your little cooking space is miles away from any windows. What I want are those ready-to-eat Sharwoods poppadoms that are available in every single supermarket in England. But I cannot have them, which only makes me want them more.
It’s the same with most of the things I miss from home. When I’m in England I don’t feel the need to eat a packet of crisps every day, but in Germany, faced with the choice of paprika flavour or paprika flavour (although I have to admit they’re getting better) I find myself longing for some Flaming Hot Monster Munch. Or Skips. Or Quavers. Or some Worcester Sauce flavoured Walkers. Occasionally I will find myself in the corner of Karstadt staring longingly at the Kettle Chips. If I’m having a really bad day I might even buy a packet. (That doesn’t happen very often though. Not at the insane price of 3 euros. For a packet of crisps!). And then there’s crumpets. And pasties. And pies. In fact, anything savoury that can be packed in pastry (Hails made me feel very jealous yesterday talking about the sausage rolls she’s been eating). And don’t even get me started on Chicken Soup and Bird’s Eye Potato Waffles! Funny how I barely even noticed these things when I could have them every day.