Those literal Germans

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with Linda of Expat Eye on Germany on her blog. It’s been buzzing around in my head for a while, and now I’m finally getting around to writing it.

We all know that Germans like to shove words together to form new ones, often resulting in crazily long constructions that seem to exist for the sole purpose of putting off learners. One example has been going round on Facebook… a photo of a Fussbodenschleifmaschinenverleih with the caption “The reason Germans don’t play Scrabble…” (here it is). If you break the word down into its component parts, it actually makes perfect sense: Fussboden = floor, schleifen = to grind or sand, Maschine = machine (Schleifmaschine = sanding machine) and Verlei = rental service. So it’s a floor sanding machine rental service. Where English uses five words, the Germans stick them all together to create one giant word. This can be done with almost any combination of words – Musik + Schule = Musikschule (music school), Plastik + Tüte = Plastiktüte (plastic bag), Schwarz + Tee = Schwarztee (black tea – what we Brits would simply call “tea”) Woll + Mütze = Wollmütze (wooly hat), Holz + Kiste = Holzkiste (wooden box/crate).

Even when it's got milk in, it's "Schwarztee"
Even when it’s got milk in, it’s “Schwarztee”

The examples above would still make sense if you exchanged some of their parts – they’re mostly just used as descriptions. So instead of a Musikschule you might have a Kunstschule (art school) and if your box was made of cardboard, it would be a Pappkiste.  In other cases, two words are put together to form an entirely new word, which can be a lot of fun when you stop to consider what the individual words mean! (And also useful for learners who can work out the translation from the very literal German word). Here are a few of my favourites:

Der Handschuh (literally hand shoe) = glove

Die Nacktschnecke (literally naked snail) = slug

Der Selbstmord (literally self murder) = suicide

Der Fingerhut (literally finger hat) = thimble (and also Foxglove, as in the plant – presumably because the flowers look a bit like thimbles)

Der Büstenhalter (literally bust holder) = bra

Der Kühlschrank (literally cool(ing) cupboard) = fridge

Der Staubsauger (literally dust sucker) = hoover/vaccuum cleaner

Das Katzenklo (literally cat toilet/loo – I always imagine a tiny flushable toilet for cats) = cat’s litter tray

Das Stinktier (literally stinky animal) = skunk

Das Zahnfleisch (literally tooth meat) = gums

And finally, my absolute favourite: der Vorschlaghammer. It means sledgehammer, but the component parts are der Vorschlag, meaning suggestion, and der Hammer, which means exactly what you think it means. That’s one hell of a suggestion…

Do you have any favourite literal words, in German or any other language? Let me know in the comments.

The best (or worst?) of Denglish

Denglish, according to Wikpedia, is a term “used in all German-speaking countries to refer to the increasingly strong influx of English or pseudo-English vocabulary into German.” In its simplest form, Denglish involves replacing some German words with their English equivalents, so someone might say “Ich habe die Files gedownloadet” instead of “Ich habe die Dateien heruntergeladen”. Here, there are perfectly good German words, the speaker just chooses not to use them for some reason.

In other cases, either an English word has replaced the original German to such an extent that most people don’t even know the real German word any more or there never was a German word in the fist place (e.g. der Browser for an Internet broswer) – usually this occurs with new technology that exists in an English-speaking country before it ever comes to Germany. Sometimes (as with the technologies), Denglish involves real English words, used in their correct context. Other times the words Germans use may sound English, but nobody really knows where they came from… or English words have been taken and used in an entirely different context. Mostly, this practice is harmless (although it can get confusing when a German starts speaking to an English native speaker using Denglish words!), but sometimes this practice of insisting on using English words at all costs can be very, very amusing. Here are some Denglish words and phrases that you may hear if you happen to find yourself in Germany…

Handy
We’ll start with the most common. In German, a Handy (pronounced Hendy) is a mobile phone. While a small, portable phone is admittedly pretty handy, I’ve no idea how the phrase came about! I have, however, been asked in English “Do you have a handy?”. Needless to say, if I didn’t actually speak German I would have had no idea what they wanted! And just to make things even more confusing, the Swiss don’t use the word Handy! (Their word for mobile phone is Natel).

Beamer
This was one of the first Denglish words I heard when I came to Germany, and I had no idea what they were talking about. From the context, it was clear that they didn’t mean a car which would be spelled Beemer anyway), but what did they mean? After being shown the object in question, it all became clear. A Beamer is a projector! I suppose it does beam images onto a screen, so it makes sense in a way…

Despite the scary sounding name, it won't ACTUALLY peel all your skin off...
Despite the scary sounding name, it won’t ACTUALLY peel all your skin off…
Peeling
Nope, not what you do with an orange. Shower scrub or body scrub. I really, really hope this doesn’t do what it says on the tin…

die City
To English speakers, a city is a large town… London, Paris, Rome, Sydney… all cities. (Well, in certain circles London is The City, but that’s irrelevant here). Not so in Germany… here “die City” is merely part of a large town. The bit that we would call the city centre, or down town. So don’t be confused if you see signs pointing you towards “City” when you think you’ve already entered the city you were aiming for. It’s just the Germans messing with English again! (For fairness’ sake, I should add that lots of places do still use the German words Zentrum (centre) or Stadtmitte (town/city centre) on their official signs.)

"Public viewing" at the 2014 world cup final... I promise there were no bodies in sight!
“Public viewing” at the 2014 world cup final… I promise there were no bodies in sight!

Public Viewing
While Germans used to get together to watch sporting events “auf Großleinwand” (on a big screen), in recent years the term Public Viewing has become more popular. This year, Karlsruhe even had Public Viewing at the football stadium for Germany matches! The only problem is that, in British English at least, public viewing traditionally refers to the practice of leaving a deceased person in an open coffin during the wake, so that the public could come and have alook/pay their last respects (this is also known as lying in state and was done when the Queen Mother died, for example).

Bodybag
This one technically goes back to a brand name, but I had to include it because it’s just too amusing! I’m sure well all know that an English body bag is something used for storing and transporting corpses. In Germany, meanwhile, since the mid-90s the term Bodybag has been used to refer to a type of bag that’s worn on the back with a strap going diagonally across the front. (A messenger bag is a type of “Bodybag”, but I’ve also seen some that look like a backpack but with only one strap). Somebody at whichever company started this trend obviously didn’t do their research properly…

There are, of course, other Denglish expressions, but these are the only ones I’m going to go into for now. If you have a favourite Denglish expression (or even something similar in another language) please feel free to let me know in the comments!

So you want to learn German?

As someone who has been living in Germany for slightly longer than most of the expats I bump into, on more than one occasion, I’ve found myself giving tips on learning German to my fellow non-native speakers (especially the interns that come to my work for their semester abroad!).  I know there are a few people out there in bloggy land who are living in Germany and striggling to learn the language, so I thought I’d gather some of my tips in one place. You never know – it might be useful to someone! Please note, these are coming from an English-speaking perspective, so any notes on pronunciation come from the English way of pronouncing such things and are more “close enough” than “absolutely 100% right”.

  • In German, the letter “z” is always pronounced the same way as the “z” in pizza… so like a ts rather than the sound a bee makes. For example, zu (meaning to) is pronounced like, tsu not zoo!
  • Meanwhile, the letter s sometimes is pronounced like the sound a bee makes. So the word zusammen (together) is pronounced “tsoo-zammen”. Double s is pronounced the same way as in English.
  • Articles are confusing! Even after more than 7 years here, I find it impossible to guess whether a word should be der, die or das. But here’s one small tip… most two-syllable words that end in the letter e are feminine, for example die Kerze (candle), die Sonne (sun) and die Sahne (cream). When I told this rule to a bunch of Germans, they spent all night trying to come up with exceptions and ended up finding exactly two: der Käse (cheese) and der Name (name). So when in doubt, go with die! It’s pronounced dee, by the way, nothing to do with ceasing to live 😉
  • A potential exception to the above rule is animals. Here, the article is based on actual physical gender, so der Löwe (lion) is not feminine because a lion is male (a lioness would be die Löwin). Die Kuh (cow), on the other hand, is feminine because a male cow would be der Stier/der Bulle (bull) – by the way, Bulle is also an impolite colloquial word . The same goes for people… der Kunde (customer) is masculine because one assumes a customer to be male (if you want to make clear that a customer is female, use die Kundin).
  • Words ending in -chen are diminitives and therefore take the neutral article das. This is why it’s das Mädchen (the girl), even though girls are clearly female! In case you’re wondering, it comes from die Magd (maid or maiden), so a girl in German is basically a “little maiden”. Hmm.
  • Nouns ending in -ung, -heit, -keit and -tät are feminine. Examples: die Bedeutung (meaning), die Dummheit (stupidity), die Schwierigkeit (difficulty) die Universität (university). There are no exceptions that I’m aware of.
  • Nouns ending in -ion are also always feminine, and all the letters are mostly pronounced. So die Religion is rell-i-gee-ohn and die Situation is zit-you-att-see-ohn
  • Again with the feminine… all nouns ending in -ik are die, and the -ik is pronounced eek, not ick. die Logik (logic) = loh-geek, die Mathematik (mathematics… yup, it’s singular in Germany) = ma-tuh-ma-teek
  • Most German rivers are feminine… die Donau (the Danube), die Mosel, die Elbe. But because this is German we’re talking about, there natually have to be exceptions, so it’s der Rhein (the Rhine) and der Main.
The deutsches Eck in Koblenz, where die Mosel und der Rhein meet.
The deutsches Eck in Koblenz, where die Mosel and der Rhein meet.

 

  • There are two ways to pronounce the -ch ending in German – voiced and unvoiced (yeah, it’s a technical term. Don’t  ask me!).
    1. If the ch is preceded by an o,  an a, a u or an au, it’s pronounced the same way as in the Scottish “loch”. Examples: auch (also/too), noch (still/yet), nach (after, to, according to), das Buch (book)
    2. Otherwise, the ch is always pronounced a bit like the h in huge. Try doing the Muttley laugh (say “hehehe” sort of breathlessly). That sound where the “ee” ends and the next “h” starts is the sound of a German -ch. Examples: ich (I), mich (me), die Milch (milk). The ch at the beginning or in the middle of words  is usually also pronounced like this (for example in die Chemie (chemistry) or das Märchen (fairy tale, myth)), but in some exceptional cases it’s more like a K. The ones I can think of are das Chaos (chaos), der Chor (choir), das Orchester (orchestra) and names beginning with Ch, like Christoph, Christian and Christina (so Christina and Kristina are pronounced the same).
  • Sch is always pronounced sh, so das Schiff (ship) is pronounced shiff, schottisch (Scottish) is pronounced shottish and der Tisch (table) is tish.
  • Qu is pronounced like kv, so die Quittung (receipt) is a kvittung. You will often hear Germans talk about die Kveen… that’s Queen Elizabeth II, to you and me.
  • The letter e at the end of a word is pronounced, so the name Christine is kris-tee-nuh, not kris-teen and die Linie (line) is lin-ee-uh.

OK, that’s all for now because 1) I don’t want to bore you (yeah, I know… too late) and 2) I can’t think of any others right now (also, that’s 13 tips and I like the number 13). And please don’t ask me how to pronounce a German r or what the difference in pronunciation between u and ü is because I can’t help you there! (What I can tell you is that e and ä are pronounced basically the same… some Germans say they’re not, but plenty of others can’t actually hear the difference, so you’re perfectly safe pronouncing der Käse as if the ä in the middle were an e…)

Are you learning German? Have any tips for fellow learners? Leave a comment and help the rest of us out!

Fun with DuoLingo 2

You’re probably all pretty sick of hearing about my wisdom teeth operation now – I know I’m sick of posting about it! But when you’re stuck in the house ill, nothing blogworthy tends to happen… so I thought it was time to share some more odd Duolingo sentences with you. To see my first round, click here.

DuoLingo is a free language learning website. The basic idea is that you sign up and the site has you translate sentences to practice various areas of grammar and vocabulary, starting with basics and moving on through things like food, animals and adjectives. I’ve been collecting the ones that I found particularly strange or amusing, and now I have enough for a whole blog post again. Here they are… enjoy!

  1. Papa Smurf
    Papa Smurf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Der Hund isst den Vogel – The dog eats the bird (Because it wants to be a cat?)

  2. Sie kennt die komplette Feuerwehr – She knows the entire fire brigade (Is she an arsonist… or does she just have a thing for firemen?)
  3. Das sind keine normalen Äpfel! – Those are not normal apples! (I bet Snow White wishes someone had said that to her…)
  4. Eure Kuh ist schön – Your cow is nice (Just making small talk…)
  5. Der Bär trägt Ihre Kleider – The bear is wearing your clothes* (… and now they will never fit you again!)
  6. Ein roter Hund trägt weiße Kleider – A red dog is wearing white clothes (A red dog, you say?)
  7. Ich bin der Bär – I am the bear (And you can talk…)
  8. Der gesamte Kopf ist blau – The entire head is blue (It’s a Smurf!)
  9. Die öffentlichen Toiletten sind normal – The public toilets are normal (Well, that’s a relief…)
  10. Ich danke einer Katze – I thank a cat (It’s only polite, after all…)

That’s all for today. I hope you got some amusement out of them…

*Assuming the bear is female this could also translate as “The bear is wearing her clothes”, but the translation here is the first one that came to my mind and was accepted as correct. *edited to add* As someone pointed out in the comments, it only means “your” if Ihre is capitalised, but when it’s being read out there’s no way to tell whether they mean “ihre” or “Ihre”.

Fun with DuoLingo

www.duolingo.com (appen) är min nya lilla hobby.
The Duolingo owl (Photo credit: Emanuel Hallklint)

A while ago, I read another blogger’s review of a free-language learning website called Duolingo (I believe that blogger was Sherbet and Sparkles). I was on the look out for a new resource for learning Spanish, so I decided to check it out. I signed myself up for Spanish and, after a bit of thought, decided to use it for German as well – my German is good, but by no means perfect and I thought a few grammar lessons would do me some good.

In Spanish, I’m still at a fairly low level, so the software still has me working on basic sentences like “Él escribe libros” (He writes books). But as I progressed through the levels in German, I started to notice some fantastic, amusing, or just plain weird sentences cropping up. Naturally, my immediate reaction was to start collecting them, and now I have enough for a whole blog post. So here – in no particular order (because arranging them would involve effort) – are my top ten favourite sentences that Duolingo has made me translate.

  1. Sie schläft in seinem Bett – She sleeps in his bed. (Ooooh, the intrigue.)
  2. Sie ersetzt das Baby durch einen schwarzen Hund – She replaces the baby with a black dog. (She… what?!)
  3. Natürlich bin ich besser als du – Of course I am better than you. (And soooo modest as well!)
  4. Meine Frau ist nicht schön, aber sie ist reich – My wife is not pretty, but she is rich. (Oh well, that’s ok then…)
  5. Der Grossvater isst den Vogel – The grandfather eats the bird (I am picturing him biting the head off a live bird! :-/)
  6. Wir schwimmen, falls es Regen gibt – We will swim if it rains (How much rain are you expecting?)
  7. Er isst Menschen – He eats people. (Wow… thanks for the warning Duolingo!)
  8. Weiß man je, wohin man geht? – Does one ever know where one is going? (Oooh, very philosophical!)
  9. Ich will nicht gegen dich aussagen – I don’t want to testify against you. (Well, I’m glad to hear that!)
  10. Wo sind die Hosen des Jungen? – Where are the boy’s trousers? (That’s a very good question…)

One thing’s for sure, sentences like these will stick in your mind forever! Although I sincerely hope I never need to use the phrase “I don’t want to testify against you” in German…

The incorrect multiple choice answers can be pretty amusing too...
The incorrect multiple choice answers can be pretty amusing too…

Things I HAVE done before 30: Part 3 – Education and skills

It’s been aaaaages since I started writing this series. Berlin and day trips and other happenings got in the way and made me forget about it. But now I’ve remembered I’m back with the third (and final) installment of things I have achieved before turning 30. I decided to call this post “Education and skills”, for want of anything better. If you haven’t read Part 1: Travel and Part 2: Experiences, feel free to click the links. Right here, you can read about all my education and skills related achievements.

Before 30, I have…

Got two degrees

A Bachelor’s in German with International Relations and a Master’s in Translation, to be specific. I did the Master’s part time via remote learning while working full time, and managed to pass with a merit – an achievement I am genuinely proud of!

Passed two Open University short courses

Start Writing Fiction and Science Starts Here.

Learned to speak another language

German… in case that wasn’t obvious 😉 I wouldn’t say I’ve reached native speaker level (I’m not sure that’s possible after the age of about 6), but I’m pretty fluent! I’ve been trying to learn Spanish for about 4 years now, but unfortunately haven’t been getting very far. It’s sooo much harder than German!

Read many, many books

Open Book
Open Book (Photo credit: White Magnolia Photography)

I’m counting reading under education simply because it didn’t seem to fit in either of the other two posts, and I really have read a lot of books. I wouldn’t even know where to begin counting them all! I have always loved books and reading, starting with Each, Peach, Pear Plum in nursery, then moving on to the likes of Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, the Narnia books and later Point Horror and The Babysitter’s Club, and my first “adult” books by Agatha Christie. One thing I was always guaranteed to get for my birthday, no matter how little money there was to spare, is new books. Forever grateful to my family for that!

Learned to use several computer programs

There weren’t that many computers when I was a kid (I still remember having an old BBC computer in the primary school classroom!) and even once PCs did appear we never had one at home. My first introduction to a PC was in IT lessons as a teenager. Since then I’ve learned to use most of the usual programs (Word, Excel, etc.) and also four different translation memory softwares… soon to be five as I’m just starting with a new one at work! My computer scientist boyfriend would probably laugh at my so-called “skills” but personally I’m amazed that I can do anything on a computer! I’m still convinced they’re plotting to take over the world…

Learned to cook (and bake)

I consider cooking and baking to be a skill (and also something pretty much anyone should be able to do. Following a recipe isn’t that hard!). But I will be the first to admit that I’ve gone beyond the basics and can now whip up some pretty amazing concoctions. Being able to make an excellent Christmas dinner may not be particularly glamorous, but we can’t all be musicians, artists or geniuses and there aren’t many people who don’t enjoy a good meal (or delicious chocolate brownie…)

Aaaand that’s all for this series. Next time I ask myself what I’ve been doing all my life I’ll have to look back at this and remind myself that, actually, I have done quite a lot. Now if only I could figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life (other than not end up as a career woman, that is, however convinced my family may be that precisely that is my fate).

In case you missed them, links to the first two parts:

Still here

Well, it seems the world hasn’t ended, so it looks like I will have to turn 30 after all. Thanks a lot universe – I thought you were at least going to help me avoid that one!

After six years, I still find it difficult to speak German on the phone. Jan’s mum called last night, on the landline, so of course I answered. When his dad calls the conversation usually goes “Is Jan there?” “Yes, I’ll just get him for you”, but his mum tends to converse with me before I hand over the phone.

The Red Phone
The Red Phone (Photo credit: Eric Kilby)

My German is good, but I tend to forget words occasionally and it’s so much easier to get my point across when I can use hand gestures as well.

After assuring me that “he felt fine, it was just his nose that was blocked” when I left for work yesterday, by the time I came home, Jan was in bed complaining of a sore ear and a headache. He still refused my offers of Lemsip and Ibuprofen though – apparantly you only need medicine if you actually plan on getting out of bed? (Is this a German thing, a man thing or is my boyfriend just weird?). I made us some nice tea containing lots of vegetables and some extra hot chilli flakes (I defy any blocked nose to withstand them!) then spent the evening doing cross stitch with a couple of glasses of wine (I bought myself a mini bottle). After about half an hour, Jan actually came out to join me and started reading out questions from the quiz book he had in his advent calendar today. If the world had ended it wouldn’t have been a bad way to go, although it would have been a shame not to actually finish the cross stitch – I still have lots to do.

Right now I’m waiting to find out whether we’re going to Jan’s dad’s place tomorrow or staying here for Christmas. If it’s the latter, I need to go and buy food for Christmas today. I’m planning on doing roast chicken for Christmas day if we’re here (cooking one turkey a year is more than enough for me!).

You know you’ve been awake too long when…

I’ve been working from home today – and will be again tomorrow (my lovely work let me to save me the €14 per day I would have to pay for train journeys otherwise. And I know it doesn’t sound like loads, but considering I already pay €350 per month for the card that’s gone missing and I’m paying a €30 replacement fee for the new one I think Deutsche Bahn have had enough off me for one month!). I had been sitting in front of the computer for basically the entire day, apart from a tiny break to cook lunch (tea breaks just aren’t the same when you’re alone), so when I logged out of work’s system at just after 5 pm I decided fresh air was needed, and headed into town to see if I could track down some pink paper. I went to Karstadt, because they sell everything (well, not quite everything, but lots of stuff). After finding and purchasing my paper, I headed down to the food deaprtment, because Karstadt is the one place in this town that sells English chocolate and I felt the need to treat myself to a Cadbury’s Flake. Browsing the fridgey bit for something to make for tomorrow’s lunch, I spotted a microwave dessert. Topfenknödel mit Erdbeers0ße, said the packaging. Topfen is the Austrian word for Quark (a kind of curd cheese) and Knödel means dumpling. So they were dumplings made from a dough that uses Quark. Sounds strange, but they’re actually really nice. Especially swimming in a sauce of Erdbeeren (strawberries), as these ones were. A tempting treat, I’m sure you’ll agree. Except my eyes, tired from 8 and a half hours of staring at a computer screen, read Totenknödel. Tot, in German, means dead. And a Tote is a dead person. My brain had decided that Karstadt are now selling corpse dumplings. Mmm, delicious! :-s

The list! The list!

OK, before I get on to the actual topic of the day, which is my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, there is something I have to share with you.
According to my stats someone found me last night be searching Google for penis shaped friendship bracelets. I can think of only one thing to say to that, and that thing is WHY?!!?

And now, without further ado, I shall move onto the list.
I am also going to make a page with it on, so in future you will be able to see my progress without having to search for this blog post. Errm, that is, of course, if anyone’s actually interested in my progress. Other than me. Right. Anyway. The list!
I have split it up into sections for ease of reading and stuff…

The Places I will Go
1. Take an intensive Spanish course in Spain
2. Visit 5 places in Germany that I’ve never been to before
3. Eat frog’s legs in France, fondue in Switzerland and goulash in Hungary
4. Go to Europapark (theme park near Freiburg)
5. Go for a ride  in a hot air balloon
6. Go to the Christmas market in Ettlingen
7. Go to 5 other Christmas markets (not including Karlsruhe)
8. See the Northern Lights
9. Go on the London Eye
10. Go to Berlin with my boyfriend
11. Go to Luxembourg
12. Buy a 24 ticket for the Karlsruhe transport network and spend the day visiting different towns
13. Go on a boat on the Rhine
14. Go on an overnight train journey and spend the night in a sleeping compartment
15. Have a picnic in a town I’ve never been to before

Reading, Watching, Listening

16. Read 50 books from the list of books I want to read (which you can find here).
17. Read 15 non-fiction books
18. Read the Little Vampire books in the original German
19. Read War and Peace
20. Read all of the Anne of Green Gables books
21. Read 5 biographies/autobiographies (these will not count towards the 15 non-fiction books!)
22. Read 5 German children’s books
23. Watch every episode of ER – to make life easier for me I will count it down by season.
24. Watch 27 films from the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die” list
25. Watch a film in Spanish
26. Go to the cinema 10 times
27. Watch 5 films from the year I was born
28. See a Shakespeare play (not Oddsocks!)
29. See a German play
30. See Eddie Izzard live
31. See a musical
32. Discover 3 new (to me) bands that I like and buy an album of theirs
33. See 3 bands/artists live (not at Das Fest)

It’s All About Us
34. Kiss my boyfriend under the mistletoe
35. Cook a 3 course meal for my boyfriend on 3 different occasions
36. Bake Jan a birthday cake
37. Go for a nice meal together at a restaurant we wouldn’t usually go to; get dressed up for it
38. Kiss outside during a thunderstorm
39. *Secret* (No, it’s nothing naughty. Just something I want to surprise Jan with. Keeping it secret until after I’ve done it in case he decides to read this)
40. Get a flat with my boyfriend

Getting Creative
41. Complete a cross stitch picture converted from a photograph that I took
42. Complete 3 other cross stitch pictures
43. Hand make 10 birthday cards and send/give them to family/friends
44. My photo challenge! Assign a theme to each month of the 1001 days & take 50 pictures during that month.
45. Make something and sell it
46. Make a dreamcatcher
47. Take a photo for each letter of the alphabet and make an alphabet book with them (A is for…)

For My Health
48. Eat a portion of fruit every day for 2 weeks
49. Do not eat chocolate, cake or sweets for 1 month
50. Be in bed before 10pm 50 times
51. Walk home from the train station instead of taking a tram 10 times
52. Take vitamins every day for 30 days in a row
53. Go to the dentist

Learning and Education
54. Take 2 more OU courses (apart from the one I already have booked for October)
55. Learn calligraphy
56. Learn basic Russian
57. Learn basic Japanese

Eat Me! Drink Me!
58. Find 10 restaurants in Karlsruhe that I’ve never been to and have a meal there
59. Bake 10 different cakes
60. Make jam
61. Have sparkling wine for breakfast
62. Go vegetarian for 2 weeks
63. Make lemonade
64. Drink a cup of green tea every day for a week
65. Eat fish twice a month for all months of the 1001 days
66. make gingerbread people
65. make mango chutney
66. Find a recipe for garlic soup and make it
67. Find 6 recipes that use avocados and make them
68. Attend a wine seminar
69. Eat one meal with chopsticks every day for one month

Because other people are important too…
70. Host a pancake party
71. Host a tea party
72. Give (at least) 50 euros or pounds to 3 different charities
73. Visit someone I haven’t seen for a while (= more than a year)
74. Bake cookies, put them in a nice tin and give them to someone as a birthday present
75. Write a letter to my grandparents
76. Send 20 postcards for no particular reason

Getting Organised
77. Get all my photos from Hamburg, Prague, belgium, Paris and Rome printed and put them in albums
78. Sort out my underwear drawer. Thow away anything that is holey, losing its elastic or just generally looks shabby.
79. Sort out the clothes I still have at my dad’s. Give anything that is too small or I’m obviously never going to wear again to charity.
80. Find all my recipes and put them in a folder. No more searching the entire flat every time I want to make something!
81. Do my taxes
82. Find all my bank statements and put them in a folder

Money, Money, Money
83. Pay off my overdraft
84. Buy a pair of red shoes
85. Buy a printer
86. Pay Jan back
87. Start paying off my student loan

The Flat
88. Get a new quilt to go with my new bed
89. Get tubs/jars for everything in the kitchen that evil moth beasts might be interested in
90. Get curtains for the bedroom
91. Wash the dishes on the same day I use them for 3 weeks

I like making  lists!
92. Identify 101 things that make me happy
93. make a list of 101 quotes that I like. The list can include song lyrics.

Other stuff, or the I couldn’t be bothered to think of more categories section
94. Build a snowman
95. Buy a colouring book and colour in the whole thing
96. Do a jigsaw puzzle.
97. Join trip advisor and write 10 reviews
98. Go bowling
99. Buy myself flowers
100. Release 10 bookcrossing books into the wild… the proper wild that is, not official bookcrossing zones!
101. Leave the computer off for an entire weekend. Not when on holiday – it has to be a weekend where I am actually at home!

That is it. And I must tell you it took ages to come up with 101 things!
If you decide to do your own 101 things in 1001 days list let me know in the comments box so I can come and look at your ideas 🙂

I will be starting to 1001 days on 13th August 2009, which makes my end date Thursday, 10th May 2012.

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?