Welcome to Costa del Karlsruhe

The boyfriend and I have just been out for icecream. At 9 o’clock at night. It is that insanely hot here. I’m talking 29°C at 8pm kind of hot. Sitting there outside the icecream cafe wearing only three quarter length trousers and a floaty vest top it felt almost like we were on holiday in Spain or somewhere. Even all the people speaking German around us didn’t spoil the illusion… everyone knows Mallorca might as well be another German state 😉

Unfortunately we are not on holiday. Jan has gone back to his own flat tonight because he has to wear a suit for work tomorrow (his department have just moved into a new building and they’re having an opening ceremony tomorrow) and I also have to go to work tomorrow (and the next day… and the next day…). We have had a lovely weekend though. My flat now has lights, the icecream was delicious and the boyfriend and I did not fight once. The only dark spot on the landscape is that the one and only Newcastle United lost against Aston Villa and have now been relegated… while Sunderland managed to stay up. Booo. (Not that I’m a massive football fan or anything… but you can’t come from the North-East of England and not feel some kind of passion for the good old Magpies).

And now I’m off to figure out just how a person is supposed to sleep when it’s still 24 degrees outside after 10 o’clock at night. And this is only May… the really hot months are still to come! Anyone who tries to tell me gloabal warming is a myth needs to be locked up somewhere for their own safety I think…
Good night all!

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I’m melting…

For some reason I really didn’t enjoy work today. It’s not like anything went wrong. Normally I would have considered it to be a pretty good day. I had jus the right amount of work to do – not so little I spent most of my time twiddling my thumbs, but not so much that I was stressed out for the entire day and had to cut my lunch break short to get everything finished (I have done that in the past). No, it was just an average day as far as work load is concerned. The texts were all really nice as well, interesting and not too difficult. And yet I’ve spent the last 4 hours counting down the minutes until I could get out of there. This isn’t how I wanted to spend the last few days of my internship. I really want to enjoy the last of my time there. But today it just wasn’t working.
I think it’s the heat. It was bad enough outside, but I swear in our office it’s about 5 degrees warmer! The window is always open but no breeze comes in, the various electrical devices we have standing around  seem to be competing to see who can produce the most heat and when you try to breathe the air tastes like it’s full of moisture. I stil feel like I’m melting now and I’ve been home nearly half an hour!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the summer. It’s just this this excessive heat I detest. If I was in Spain or Greece I would understand, and I might even enjoy it (if only because I’d most likely be sitting in the shade somewhere), but it really doesn’t need to be 29.2°C (according to wundergrund.com) in Karlsruhe, Germany at quarter to seven at night.  And there are people out there who think global warming doesn’t exist? What the hell do you call this then, coincidence?

I’m off for a shower now. A cold shower!

Resisting the temptation to shop

It’s that time of year again. The time of the Sommerschlussverkauf, or translated into English “the summer’s end sale”. Yes, the shops are already selling off their summer clothing to make room the autumn range. As far as I’m concerned we are currently in the middle of summer. It’s July. July is summer. August is also summer. Therefore we are nowhere near summer’s end, but the shops it seems are in some kind of twighlight zone where it’s autumn already. Not really surprising… they also seem to think October is the right time to start selling advent calendars.

Usually I love sales. The summer’s end sale… the winter’s end sale… the random middle of the season let’s-get-rid-of-some-stock sale… fantastic the lot of them. But for the past year the word “sale” has been like a new and unique form of torture for me. I am a self-confessed shopaholic. I like to buy things. It’s fun, it cheers me up and I like stuff. Mainly I like to buy clothes and books. Right now I desperately need shoes. But for almost a year now I’ve been unable to do any shopping. I earn just about enough to pay the rent and eat. If I’m really careful I can save up enough to buy the occasional birthday present, but shopping for things for myself just isn’t possible. The last time I went on a proper shopping spree was last July. That’s a whole year ago! Since then I’ve resisted temptation, despite that fact that I work right in the middle of Karlsruhe’s main shopping street, in an office that’s next door to a shoe shop! But now it’s all getting to be a bit too much. I want to go shopping. I want to buy summer clothes before there aren’t any more left. I’m sick of baking to death in long sleeves and fur-lined boots while temperatures soar to 29, 30, 35 degrees. I’m sick of half of my socks having holes in and not being able to afford to replace them. I’m sick of walking past the shops every single day on my way home from work and seeing stuff in the windows that I really, really want to buy.

Roll on September. Hopefully by then I’ll have enough money to at least buy a pair of sandals… just in time for the cold and rain to start again.

(Hopefully not) baking on the S-Bahn

The weather forecast promised (or perhaps a better word would be “threatened”) highs of 35°C for today. That’s 95°F for all you fahrenheit fans. I checked the online weather reports at 4:30pm and was informed that the temperature at that moment was 36°C/96°F. That’s one degree higher! So the weather forecasters lied! Not that one degree bothers me that much. Anything over about 26°C comes under the heading of “too hot”. Above 30° and it becomes “far too hot”. I’m just glad the weather decided to get the worst bit over with today when I don’t have to travel Gernsbach just when the sun is at its hottest. I’m scared enough of this interview without having to worry about dying of heat stroke before I even get there!

I’ve been looking on the Karlsruhe transport website trying to figure out how to get there. The perfect method would be to take the S-Bahn from Marktplatz. I would just have to walk to the tram stop, board the train and sit down to await Gernsbach. Of course I wouldn’t be me if things worked out that way…
The S-41, the train I would get on at Marktplatz, gets into Gernsbach every hour at 59 minutes past. 12:59, 1:59… my interview is at 2pm. The only way I could get from the train station to the interview in one minute is if someone invents teleportation by tomorrow… not going to happen I feel. I could, of course, get the one that arrives in Gernsbach at 12.59, but what am I going to do in Gernsbach, on my own, for an hour? It’s really not that big a town. So my other option is to take the S-31, which would get me there at 1:30pm. The S-31 goes from Karlsruhe main train station. That means I have to get a tram to the train station first. Not really difficult, but gives me more opportuny to panic. What if I miss the tram from Europaplatz and the S-31 has already left? I’d be late for my interview! Doooooooom!

OK, maybe I’m being slightly over sensitive. What can I say, I’m a worrier. And interviews scare me. A lot! In between worrying about how to get to Gernsbach I’ve been worrying about what I’m going to wear, whether a blue blouse is appropriate, whether it matters that I don’t have a proper suit, what I’m going to say when I get there, whether I’ll be able to answer their question, how badly my German is going to let me down… there are so many things that could go wrong! I’ll be glad when it’s this time tomorrow and the whole ordeal is over with!

Gernsbach and the final

I almost didn’t go to see the football last night. Yesterday was just too hot for me! Despite taking a bottle of water to Gernsbach with us and trying hard to stay in the shade, by the time we left I had a killer headache. Gernsbach is a nice little town though. I found the place where I have the interview, and where I might later be working if all goes well, and it’s in a lovely part of town. There’s a little public garden opposite it with benches to sit on and it’s just across the river from the old part of town. I also found the tram stop where I’ll have to get off on Thursday. One less thing to worry about. Now it’s just the interview itself that’s going to torture me for the next few days.

The football was incredibly boring last night. For Germans it was probably an exciting match, but as a neutral outsider I was bored senseless. Spain won 1-0 and as far as I’m concerned they deserved to. Towards the end Germany did seem to wake up a bit and at least try to equalise but for the entire first half and most of the second Spain might as well have been alone on the pitch. I found myself wondering why I’d bothered to go and watch the match – I could just as easily have stayed home and nursed my headache in bed! Never mind, at least the football is over now and everyone can finally find something new to obsess about.
Oh, and it seems I was wrong about Joachim Loew not being fashionable… at least according to some weird report I saw by accident yesterday. It seems that his combination of a white shirt and black trousers make him a “trendsetter” and all the women find it incredibly sexy. Umm, ok then. Can’t say I find Loew particularly sexy and last time I checked a white shirt and black trousers was the attire of businessmen all over the world, but who am I to argue with the TV. It’s not like I’m exactly a follower of fashion.

My headache seems to have mostly gone this morning – just the odd twinge here and there – and instead I feel slightly sick. I managed to eat a cracker for breakfast and have made a sandwich to take to work with me just in case I feel up to eating later but right now I’m just not hungry at all. And I’m a little worried about the weather too – it’s 19.4°C now and it’s only 8:25am! Not good for someone that gets sunstroke as easily as I do! And today is probably going to be the best day of the week, with highs of 27°C (says the weather man). Tomorrow it’s set to go up to 32°C and at some point later in the week they’re saying it could reach 35°C!