Christmas in February

I’m going out in a minute. It’s my work’s Christmas meal. Yes, I am aware that it’s now February – we had planned to have it in December but the day before we were due to go two out of the four of us were off work ill so it seemed like a good idea to cancel it. Now it’s taking place tonight. We’re going to a fairly posh restaurant. At least I think it’s fairly posh – I’ve never actually been before! It’s in Ettlingen, 20 minutes from here on the tram (10 minutes from where I work). Usually I tend to go to restaurants in Karlsruhe – unless I’m pretending to be posh, in which case I go to the Brenner’s Park Hotel in Baden-Baden for a six course meal (actually I’ve only done that once, but it sounded good!)
Normally I’d be quite excited at the prospect of going for a fairly posh meal, but tonight I really just want to go to bed. It hasn’t been a good week on the sleep front. And I’ve been busy, busy, busy at work – regular readers will be aware that I even stayed for an extra half an hour on Tuesday. Sooo tired. Unfortunately the bed thing is not an option, so instead I’m off to brush my teeth and attempt to make my hair look presentable. It’s gone all weird and stringy despite the fact that I washed it this morning. Apparantly it’s time for me to change shampoos again…

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My night of pretending to be posh

It took me an hour and a half to do my hair last night. I just don’t have the kind of hair that you can do things with. It’s incredibly thick, which hairdressers will tell you is a good thing, but it’s not. Next time you’re in a place that sells hair accessories take a look and see how many of them have a little sticker saying “for thick hair”. If you manage to find more than 3 it will be a miracle. If more than 1 of those is not ugly please tell me where that shop is, I need to go there right now!
Anyway, last night. I knew I couldn’t leave it down, not for a posh restaurant, so it had to go up. My first attempt took 10 minutes and a dozen hair clips. From the front it looked ok, but then I saw the back. It was a mess. So down it came. I then tried putting part of it up and leaving a bit down at the back. It didn’t work. At all. Six tries later I was sweating, exhausted and frustrated, but at least I’d managed to get my hair up. By the time I’d managed to get my make up done we were running late and had to rush into town. Rushing in sandals with heels isn’t good. I now have blisters on the balls of my feet, which hurts a lot and makes it difficult to walk, I won’t be wearing those shoes again for a while! It was worth it though, the rest of the night was amazing!

When we arrived at the hotel we were first shown to our room. Yes, we had a whole room all to ourselves! The nice waiter man took our jackets then suggested that we head over the the bar for some aperitifs. They called it a bar, and there was indeed a bar at one end, but the room itself looked like something in a stately home. It was amazing! Portraits on the wall, nice carpets and posh armchairs everywhere. Wow! We ordered our drinks, which were incredible. I had a cocktail of champagne with strawberry liquer and strawberry juice. To go with our drinks we were rought some hors d’ouvres. Little pieces of bread cut into circles and squares with tiny but perfectly arranged toppings. Fabulous.

After the appertisers we headed back to our room. We were served our starters and the wine expert came by to advise us on what to drink. We started with a sweet white wine that tasted almost like lemonade. Later we switched to a dryer white wine, which I then stuck to for the rest of the night. There was also a red wine to go with the later courses. I tried the red wine but didn’t like it. The starters (can’t remember what they were) were followed by foamed goose liver pate with goose mince arranged on top of it. It tasted a lot nicer than it sounds! Next came the fish course. We had kingfish fillet, which I really enjoyed. Then came something that was called “Flusskrebs” in German. I’ve just looked it up and found out that means crayfish, so there you go. It was quite nice anyway, but I couldn’t have eaten too much of it. Good job posh portions are only little! After the crayfish came the part I had been waiting for all night. Meat! It was ram I believe (trying to translate from the German here). I usually prefer my meat well done, and this was only medium, but it actually tasted incredible. All of these courses were served by 3 or 4 waiters at a time, who then placed the plates in front of us all at once. Before each course our waiter came in and explained what we were about to eat.
The meat was followed by cheese, which was brought in on a huge trolley. A waitress explained what was on the trolley and then put together a selection on a plate. This took a while as she had to do it for each of us individually. And finally we had pudding – a gorgeous chocolate cake, followed by coffee (I had cappucino), little chocolate covered fruit sweets (the waiter insisted that everyone had to take at least one) and finally some liqeur. We all chose a pear one which came from Vorarlberg in Austria. I had to go for that one of course because I used to live there. I was told that the final bill came to over 2,000 euros. Wow! Jan insisted on paying for my share. I have such a wonderful boyfriend 🙂

So that was my posh night out. I would definitely recommend everyone to do it at least once, it’s an amazing experience. And I found out this morning that Baden Baden and Brenner’s Park Hotel are on the list of 10,000 places to visit before you die. Only 9,999 places to go then 😉

Shoes and other things that girls worry about before a night out

Loking at my stats, I’m quite pleased to see that my bookcrossing blog got 25 views yesterday and another 5 today. Now if only all 30 of those people have signed up things would be perfect. The more bookcrossers there are out there the higher the liklihood that I’ll find a free book lying around just begging for me to take it home and read it. Free books are definitely among my favourite things in the world. Actually, I quite like anything that I don’t have to pay for, but books are definitley among the best.
Good old Joachim Loew and his cigarette are still getting me a lot of traffic as well. His nickname is Jogi you know, which amuses me greatly. In German a ‘j’ is pronounced like an English ‘y’, so Mr. Loew shares his name with a certain cartoon bear. *snigger*

I’m feeling quite excited today. Jan and I are off to Baden Baden tonight with 6 other people. We’re going to a rather posh hotel called Brenner’s Park. I’m not sure how many stars it has… 4? 5? I just know it’s posh. And we’re going to have a 6 course meal there. Six courses! I don’t know how I’ll fit it all in! I’ve spent the whole morning making random comments like “I really need to pluck my eyebrows” and “I’m not sure what shoes to wear”. I expect Jan was quite pleased to escape back to his flat where he’s going to do computer sciency type stuff until it’s time to get ready. He wanted me to meet him at Marktplatz later so we can get the tram to the train station together, but I insisted that he come here first so I can take a photo of us in our posh clothes. It’s not often that I get an opportunity to get dressed up in posh clothes. I need photographic evidence to prove that it is actually possible for me to look good.

I have to go and write another job application now. This time for a company in Mannheim. Then I can get back to wondering what on Earth I’m going to do with my hair tonight.