Questions upon questions

Yes, it’s one of those posts again…

  • Why do so many people here feel the need to run across the road in front of trams? I’m sure you’re in a big hurry, but trust me, getting hit by a tram isn’t going to get you to your destination any quicker…
  • Speaking of trams: why does the display thingy insist on telling me my tram is coming “sofort” (immediately) when it is nowhere in sight and will clearly not be turning up anything like ‘sofort’
  • Why does my kitchen still smell weird even though I’ve taken the rubbish out?
  • Why do I have almost not of my wages left already when the month has only just started?
  • Why has the translation book I ordered for 30 euros which Amazon claimed should be here by 30th October not arrived yet? (Question for my UK readers, if I actually have any – surely you can’t all have gone off to France and Korea?: Is Royal Mail on strike? That might explain it…)
  • Why is my wash basket so full?
  • Why are crisps so addictive?
  • Why is my flat so cold?
  • Why are so many people I know pregnant? (Every time someone gives birth another person makes the “expecting” announcement. It’s madness!)
  • Why is it not the weekend yet?

Greetings from the Arctic

I am back from my weekend away and have much to tell you about. Unfortunately I can’t right now, for two reasons.
Number one is because I’m so tired my eyes hurt if I even think about looking at the screen. It’s only 8:15 pm but as soon as I’ve eaten my tea (which has finally finished cooking) I plan to go to bed. And what’s number two I hear you cry. Well, that would be the fact that my living room is so cold my hands are actually numb… and typing with gloves on is almost as crap as typing when you can’t feel your fingers. I’m planning on eating in the bedroom because it’s the only place that’s even vaguely warm!
And we’re currently only mid-way through October. I dread to think what the winter’s going to be like this year!

Why universe, why?

The boyfriend and I are flying to England tomorrow. Via Amsterdam. As in the Netherlands. Yes, you did read that right. No, I am not crazy. Well, I might be, but not for that reason. Unfortunately we have no choice. It was the cheapest option we could actually take (Ryanair have changed the times for their flights to Dublin) and thee is no direct flight from here to Newcastle. Apparantly I am the only person in the whole of south Germany who ever feels the need to go there…
And as is almost always the case when I decide to fly anywhere, the universe has decided to give me the wonderful gift of a cold to help me on my way.

On Saturday my throat started to hurt.
On Monday I was cold for most of the day.
On Tuesday my muscles were starting to ache.
Yesterday my left ear was sore.
Today both ears hurt and my head feels like it’s stuffed with wet cotton wool. The other symptoms are all still there too. And I fly tomorrow.
Woe is me. Woe, woe, woe.

The law of sod strikes again…

I blame it on stress…

I feel ill today. Actually it all started when I woke up with a sore throat yesterday. I managed to forget about it for most of the day though in all the excitement of sorting out flat stuff. The soreness came back in the evening though, after Jan left. This morning it was no worse, but no better either, and I’ve been cold all day despite the fact that it’s a beautifully warm day. I’m also aching all over and my head feels like it wants to float away. And, just to add to my woes, I’ve discovered a patch of eczema on my hand. Usually I only get eczema when I’m stressed or if I use a product that I’m allergic to, and since I haven’t used anything new lately I’m going with the stress option.

So why am I stressed you ask? Well, apart from the whole money thing (pleeease let my pay go in before the rent goes out!) there’s the fact that I’m moving in six days and yet anyone entering my room for the first time could be forgiven for thinking I haven’t even started packing yet. I’ve no idea when I’m supposed to get it all done either considering I have to work this week and I never get home before 6:30pm, ever. And that’s when I come straight home – if I have to go shopping or something it’s usally somewhere between 7 and 7:30. Except on Fridays when I finish early. And, to add to all that, I have stuff to do for uni. First of all there’s a practice translation potfolio due in tomorrow. I have done most of the actually translating part but still need to type it up, write an analysis (this text appeared in blah blah and has a target audience of such and such. The style of writing is such and such) and commentary (what problems I had when translating the text. Why I chose to translate particular things the way I did). That’s not soo bad though, it’s only a practoce. I should at least hand something in though as I completely missed the last one. But if it’s not finished the world will not end. Noo, that’s not a major problem. What is a major problem is the actual assessed piece of coursework, due on 20th March. Yes, that is 20 days away, I know. The problem is for most of those 20 days I am going to be without internet which kind of makes finding a text to translate online a little difficult. And I also have to find other texts to put into the portfolio. And the dictionary I usually use to translate is also an online one. I do have a very good paper dictionary, but it doesn’t have a forum where I can get help with particularly strange phrasing. Neither does it have Google to define words I’ve never heard of and show me pictures to help me figure out what’s going on. So I basically need to try and get everything but the translation difficulties part of that done by Saturday morning as well. And those are just the major things that need doing in. Add in all the normal every day things (like trying to get all my laundry done before I move out as it will be a while before I can afford a washing machine plus actually finding time to eat, shower breathe…) and you have one very busy Bev on your hands.  Soo I think I have good reason to be stressed out. No wonder I’m not feeling brilliant!

On a brighter note some of you may remember my Happiness is… blog from a few weeks ago. It was part of a competition by Odette, aka Little Miss Firefly and I actually won! Yep, mine was the first name to be picked out of the hat… metaphorically speaking anyway. Actually she used random.org to pick the winners, I just thought the hat thing sounded good. Anyway, enough waffling. Go check out Odette’s blog to see what I won. And in the meantime I shall get back to my attempts to translate and pack at the same time…

Experiencing winter the Karlsruhe way

It snowed last night. I woke up this morning to find the world all white. Well, sort of white. It hadn’t snowed very much so there were still bits of grass peeping through, but at least it was snow – definitely an improvement on the sleet of yesterday afternoon. It’s nearly all gone now though, which is disappointing. Especially as it snowed all afternoon where I work. It’s only half an hour away and yet there it looks like a Christmas card while Karlsruhe is now just soggy and cold.

Actually I thought we’d already had our share of the white stuff for this year. Karlsruhe is one of the warmest places in Germany, so usually we get a tiny bit of snow at the beginning January (it lasts three days if we’re lucky and usually those three days are during the week so I can’t even go out and play in it thanks to other commitments. Boo hoo!). This year was already unusual. We had the obligatory beginning of the year snowfall in the first week of January, then after two days instead of the sun coming out the temperature suddenly dropped causing the snow – and the pond in the castle gardens – to freeze over. This meant the world stayed white for two whole weeks! I still couldn’t play in it though – once snow’s gone hard it tends not to be the best material for building a snowman. But I did get to perform my very own miracle, walking across the surface of the Schlosspark pond. I bet it’ll be a while before Karlsruhe gets that cold again!

You know you’re tired when…

I’m in serious need of sleep people, despite the fact that I managed to get six whole hours of it last night. I actually scared myself this afternoon when I want to the toilet, glanced in the mirror while washing my hands and saw that my eyes were completely bloodshot. Not a good look. Today was okay though, apart from that. I was only worried about doing stuff wrong for half of the day. Still seemed to be on a go slow though – it took me ages to finish my proofread then in the last hour and a half of work I only managed to translate about 300 words. Booo. I blame the tiredness… and I’m blaming that on the weather. It’s still bloody cold, although in  a way we are lucky. Apparantly in some parts of Germany temperatures have been down to -26! Waah! So glad we live in the warm bit! But mostly what it is is bloody dark. How can anyone not be sleepy when all your senses (well at least the eyes) are telling you it’s the middle of the night? Dark=night, right?

Well, the boyfriend is coming round soon. I’m slightly surprised by this – he told me he wouldn’t be over again until the weekend – but I won’t complain. He will though when he has to get up at 6:30 tomorrow for me to go to work. He was meant to go back on Wednesday as well but took this week off to work on his PhD, and even when he is at work he never has to go in as early as me (he tends to work much later though so it all balances out I suppose).

I actually have no idea where I’m going with this post so I think I’ll leave it and go write random wall posts to people on Facebook or something.
I hope you all had more productive days than I did!

Great start

I hope you all noticed the sarcasm dripping from my title. It would never do for anyone to go around thinking I’d had an actual genuine great start to my first day back at work…

So, I might as well not have bothered going to bed last night. I would probably have got as much sleep and at least that way I might have been able to get something productive done instead of tossing and turning and waking up every few hours because I was too hot or too cold or needed the loo. I think I managed about 4 hours of actualy sleep in the end, which wouldn’t be so bad if those hours were at least all in a row rather than in little half an hour and 45 minute bursts. Understandably I am now exhausted. Ugh. What a perfect start to the day. And now I have to go outside into the cold. It’s minus 8 out there people. That’s coooold!

It’s my sister’s birthday today. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read this but just in case Happy Birthday Sis. Hope it’s a good’un!
It’s also Ukrainian Christmas Day today. I know this because my Grandad was Ukrainian. So Merry Christmas to any Ukranians who happen to stop by. And to anyone else who happens to celebrtae Christmas today as well. Orthodox Russians perhaps?

Right, I’m off to brave the cold now. Pray that the tram’s on time so that I don’t have to spend too long waiting for it…

Nearly Christmas?

I’m off to the Christmas market soon. my first and probably last trip to a Christmas market this year. It’s bloody freeeezing outside though. Shall have to wrap up warm and get a few Glühweins down me I think.

Speaking of Christmas… am I the only one that doesn’t feel like it’s nearly here? In 6 more days I fly home for the holidays, I have a pile of wrapped presents in my room and two cards hanging on my wall but I still can’t seem to get my head around the fact that it actually really and truly is December and in two weeks time I will opening presents and eating turkey (again).
This year has gone far too fast

Where is my chaise longue?

I’ve been sent home from work and told to take tomorrow off as well. Guess my coughing was getting on people’s nerves 😉 But seriously, it does seem to have got worse today. I must have woken up about 6 times last night, either because I was freezing despite being in my pyjamas, under a thick quilt with the radiator on, or because my throat was hurting so much I physically couldn’t smallow. Ugh. My voice still hasn’t entirely come back either, which makes shopping great fun by the way. Nobody can actually hear my hoarsly muttered “thank you” amidst all the chatter of the other shoppers which must make me look incredibly rude. I think this qualifies as ill enough to be deserving of a chaise longue to swoon onto, even if I do have to jump back up after 15 seconds because they’re so uncomfortable.

So it took me nearly an hour to get home. Partly because I decided to pop into the book shop on the way home and buy myself a little treat to make up for being ill but mostly because of the tram. First it turned up 5 minutes late then, just before we got to Marktplatz, it stopped. A few minutes later came an announcement: “There is currently an emergency on the tram in front of us. I hope this will be solved shortly”. So we sat there in the tram for 15 minutes. Why she couldn’t have just opened the doors then and let those who wanted tp get out do so I will never know – we were literally yards from the tram stop. The only thing stopping us being actually at the tram stop was the tram in front. In fact, if she had opened the doors I would have been getting off in the exact same place that the people in the second wagon of my tram have to get off at normally. But still we had to wait. Fifteen whole minutes. Until the tram in front was finally able to move out of the way. OK, fifteen minutes isn’t al that much, but it feels like longer when you’re cold, ill and have nothing to read.

Anyway, I’m off to make some hot lemon now, then I plan to retire to bed with my drink and my new book. If I’m lucky by tomorrow I might even be able to go a whole five minutes without coughing…

I am alive…

Just, you know, in case you were wondering. The evil cold of doom is still lurking, meaning my throat is killing, food tastes like ash and every muscle in my body aches, but I haven’t succumbed to the chaise longue of death just yet. (If you don’t understand that last comment you’re clearly one of those unenlightened souls who hasn’t discovered Katyboo yet. This is something that needs to be remedied. Click on the link now. I shall wait. My blog isn’t going anywhere, promise).

So I had my first Spanish lesson last night. It was fun! The three hours went by remarkably fast. Hmm, that reminds me, must buy the book before next week’s lesson…

The progress meeting was… well, exactly as I expected really. Basically I was told I have all the necessary hard skills (ie. I can translate & proofread well and they’re really pleased with that side of things) but I have no social competence. She actually said that! Well, she said it in German, but it meant that. Ok, maybe social skills would be a better translation (German is Sozialkompetenz) but you knew what I meant. So, I have 2 months to prove that I do have social skills, to become more integrated into the team, to learn to take initiative and say the right thing and convince my superiors that I’m motivated and enthusiastic and want to be an active part of their team. Then I’ll be allowed to stay. If I can’t manage to do all that stuff by the end of January I shall be job hunting again.
Anyone know where I can get a personality transplant?