Friday letters

It’s Friday again! Always a good day in my world, but even better this week because I took the day off to use up some overtime, and because my colleague and I agreed right at the beginning of the year that we would take two each of this year’s four bridge days (yesterday, was a holiday in my part of Germany – for All Saints Day). Here are this week’s Friday letters:

Dear four-day weekend. You have been fun so far. I’m really glad we still have 2 days to spend together.

Dear weather. Thank you for being terrible on Thursday, when we were staying in anyway,  and brightening up today in time for our trip to Schwäbisch Hall.

Dear Schwäbisch Hall. You are pretty. I’m so glad I chose you as the next place to cross off on my list of 30 German towns before 30.

Dear boyfriend. Thank you for making such a supreme effort to come home at a reasonable time each night, and even calling/texting to let me know you’re leaving. I appreciate this more than you know. Also, thank you for driving to Schwäbisch Hall. To get their by train we would have had to change trains at least once (in Crailshaim, journey time 4 hours) and at most six times. SIX! By car it takes 1 hour 36 minutes (in theory). It’s a good job one of us can drive…

Dear sore throat. Please go away. I am invited to a birthday meal tomorrow night and I intend to go.

That’s all folks. Here’s a photo I took in Schwäbisch Hall. A proper post about our day trip will follow, too.

For more Friday letters check out:
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Thank you Catholics!

There are quite a lot of public holidays in Germany, certainly more than in Britain, but not all of them are holidays throughout Germany. All the non-religious ones (May Day, which is called Tag der Arbeit – literally Day of Work, i.e. Labour Day, Reunification Day – Germany’s national holiday, etc.) are holidays in the whole country, but for the religious ones it depends on whether the majority of people in your particular Bundesland are Catholic or Protestant. Bavaria, for example, is mostly Catholic and has more Feiertage than any other state in Germany (12). Berlin has the least with 8. And here in Baden-Württemberg, where theCatholic/Protestant ratio is pretty much even, we get 11 – one less than the Bavarians. Which is why I have a lot of lovely short weeks coming up. This Thursday is Christi Himmelfahrt (Ascension Day), one of the few religious holidays that everybody gets, and I’ve taken a bridge day* on Friday so I get a 4 day weekend this week. Fantastic! I then have a full week at work, followed by a three day weekend thanks to Pfingstmontag (Pentecost Monday). Then on Thursday 7 June it’s Fronleichnam (Corpus Christi). That week my colleague gets the bridge day, but I’ve taken the Monday and Tuesday off because I have visitors so I still only have a 2-day working week. Result! The only problem with all these holidays is that you start to miss them when you have to go back to five day working weeks for the three months afterwards (next public holiday after that will be Reunification Day on 3 October). But of course, there are actual holiday (vacation) days to be taken in between. After all, thanks to all the public holidays I’ll still have lots left despite all my three-day weekends! This is one aspect of German life that I will definitely miss if I decide to leave…

Bridge day: A day taken off to bridge the gap when a public holiday falls one day away from a weekend, meaning on a Tuesday or a Thursday. Apparantly this is an official English term – despite that fact that I had never heard of it before moving to Germany. This may have something to do with the fact that Britain sensibly moves most holidays to the Monday immediately after the actual holiday, meaning no arguments about who actually gets to have the bridge day. Everyone gets a long weekend. Some workplaces (only stae-run ones as far as I can tell) actually close on bridge days. My boyfriend’s is one of them but he usually insists on going to work anyway. No, I don’t get that either…