Friday Letters: I just want to sleep!!

I have been exhausted all week. Exhausted I’m telling you! And I have no idea why. I’ve actually managed to get to bed at a reasonable-ish time every night this week (before 11 anyway). This never happens and is the reason I’m pretty much always tired. And now, the one week that I actually manage to get some sleep (mainly because I didn’t have the energy to do anything other than go to bed!) I’m even more tired than usual. What’s that all about?! Meh.
Anyway… letters time.

Mailbox
Photo credit: Toronto Rob

Dear weekend. Welcome back It seems like forever since I last saw you!

Dear little brother. Happy Birthday for Sunday. Seven years old already… unbelievable.

Dear Bierbörse (annual beer festival thing). I may be exhausted, but I’m still coming to visit you tonight.

worcester sauce crisps
It’s a good job these aren’t permanently available in Germany… (Photo credit: leff)

Dear Karstadt. Loving your British Isles week! (And thank you K for telling me about it). I came in intending to only buy one or two little things, but that went right out the window when I discovered the Walkers crisps. Chicken flavour? Worcester Sauce flavour? Prawn Cocktail flavour? Get in my belly!!! (I *may* also have purchased Digestive Biscuits and Liquorice Allsorts… and be considering going back tomorrow for Cadburys chocolate and some tins of Spaghetti Loops…)

Dear coffee machine. Suddenly, I’m extremely glad I used some of my Bahn Bonus points to get you. Caffeine will definitely be needed before I go out!

Dear work. You keep switching between ridiculously quiet – to the point where I struggle to find anything to do –  and stupidly busy… as in loads of overtime busy. Could you maybe find a happy medium?

That’s all from me. I actually need to do some work now 😉 Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

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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

Saying nothing in many words

I don’t really have any particular point to make today (do I ever?), so I shall make this post a bullet pointy type list of whatever comes into my head, I think.

– I actually did something for uni last night, believe it or not. I downloaded the German text to be translated then, in the absence of a printer, copied it out by hand. The text is around 650 words long, I managed to write them all down without understanding a single one of them (okay, slight exaggeration. I did manage to get that the text is about all the money that’s been poured into building up East Germany and how it’s just not working). Hopefully by the time I get round to actually translating the text it will make more sense!

– Jan bought me Breakfast at Tiffany’s (the book) for Christmas and I finished reading it yesterday yesterday. It’s really good. Even better than the film, of which I am also a fan. I was kind of expecting that though – films are almost never as good as the book they’re based on. The main difference between the book and the film is the way they end. If you’re a fan of Hollywood happy endings don’t bother buying the book.

– I am ridiculously tired again, despite the fact that it’s only Tuesday. It may have something to do with the fact that I spent all day translating a 50 page user manual for some computer program. It was a very long day. Also, I still think employees should be given Wednesday off work. Who was it that decided we should work for 5 whole days in a row and only have 2 to recover anyway? And is he (I’m assuming it was a “he”) still alive? Cos if he is I’d like to track him down and kick him…

– My health insurance fund sent me a magazine. These people refuse to pay for my pill (that’s right Brits, there is no free contraception in Germany!) but they’re willing to waste money – not to mention trees – sending me magazines I will never read. Why?

– I just saw someone in Karstadt spend 303 euros on some wooden spoons and a set of pans. That means the pan set must have cost over 200. Is this normal?!? Also, the woman behind me in the queue asked the person at the till what the random vegetables she was buying were after they’d already been scanned in. Surely this is something you’d like to find out before you buy said vegetables?

That is all. I’m going for a shower now.

Spend, spend, spend

I was back at work today. Still coughing, but I have my voice back, which is good cos I spent pretty much the whole day phoning random people to ask if they would be interested in maybe possible coming to teach for us at the language school which we haven’t even set up yet and really can’t give them any information about right now, but thought we’d, y’know, just ask anyway. Yes. It wasn’t my idea.

On the way home I went shopping. First I had to go to a book shop. You see I’m taking part in a combination Open University / Bookcrossing Not So Secret Christmas Santa (NSSCS). It’s organised by OU people who just happen to also be bookcrossers, based on an idea that originated on bookcrossing. Those who don’t know what bookcrossing is need to read my previous blog entry on it here. So, what you have to do is buy some books which your NSSCS partner has put on their wishlist (I huess this is where the not so secret comes in – they sort of know what they’re getting already), register them on bookcrossing them package them up nicely into a parcel along with some sweeties and a small gift before sending said parcel off to your partner’s address. Unfortunately I couldn’t get hold of any of the books on my partner’s wishlist. The book shops here didn’t have single one of them, at least not in the right language. Still can’t believe I couldn’t even get “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” here! So I got two that I hope she’ll liked based on the stuff that is on her wishlist. Then I headed of to Nanu Nana (brilliant shop by the way! If you’re ever in Germany and need to find a gift, or just a nice cheap set of coffee cups, you have to go there!) where I bought a couple of candles shaped like fir cones for the secret santa partner’s parcel before finally heading off to Karstadt where I first visited the food department in search of something for tea and some choccy for the secret santa parcel then headed towards the bit where the gifts live to pick up something for a friend whose birthday party I’m invited to next week. Oh yes, and between Karstadt and home I also found myself popping into another shop where I bought a colourful scarf/shawl thing for my Grandma and also discovered something amusing to get my sister for her birthday, which is January. Phew! Lots of money spent. And I still haven’t even got all my Christmas presents yet! I keep thinking I’m done then realising there are still more people to buy for. And what am I going to get my sister’s boyfriend? I’ve only met the guy twice! Sister dearest suggested a book but it seems they’re having trouble finding the books he likes in England so I’d probably have no chance here. Hmm, he does like tea though (understatement of the year there!) so that could be an idea.

Anyway, must dash. I have some food to cook. And I’m pretty sure I’ve bored you all enough by now anyway. It does make a change from complaing though I suppose 😉

It’s pork, but not as you know it…

I’ve just seen something very disturbing in the meat section of Karstadt…… Pig penises! It almost made me drop my shopping in shock.
I know they say waste not, want not but there are limits you know! And what do you even do with one of those anyway – roast it? Boil it? Chop it into pieces and make stew? All of those options sound quite disturbing to me. And honestly… could you bring yourself to actually put it in your mouth?
I’m never going to look at pork in the same way again…

(I should probably point out that the word on the packaging is only a colloquial word for penis and could also have meant tail but I know what it looked like!)