The first day

Yesterday afternoon and evening was spent getting ready for the new job.
I went into town and bought stuff to make sandwiches for today’s lunch. I found everything I needed to take with me to ensure I actually get paid at the end of the month. I made sure my train ticket was in my purse. I sorted out the clothes I wanted to wear. And I went to bed at a reasonable time in preparation for my early morning. It all worked out beautifully… apart from the last one.

Insomnia or login to sleep illustration
Log in to sleep (Photo credit: HikingArtist.com)

I was in bed by 9:40 pm. I’d been tired since about 6 so I thought falling asleep should be easy. Wrong! I tossed, I turned. I was too hot, then too cold. I was thirsty. When the clock somewhere outside chimed 10 I was trying to get comfortable. At 10:15 I was wondering why I didn’t actually feel tired any more. I heard the clock strike 11 as I was on my way to the toilet – the after effect of drinking an entire bottle of water. At 11:30 I was still awake. I didn’t hear the clock strike 12 though, so I must have fallen asleep some time before 12. It’s just a shame I was awake again in time to hear it strike 1… and 2. I think I got about 4 hours sleep total. So much for being alert and refreshed for my first day! Surprisingly the tiredness is only beginning to make itself felt now. I guess a combination of first-day nerves, excitement and adrenaline have kept me awake for most of the day.

I arrived at just before 9 am and the very first thing I learned was how to use the coffee machine. Very necessary after a night of tossing and turning! Then a co-worker showed me around the office. I’d seen most if it on my trial day but this time I got a proper tour. The I went into the office I’m sharing with a second English person, H – at least for the next few weeks. A room downstairs is currently being renevated and once it’s finished everyone’s going to be moving around again. The rest of the morning was spent getting acquainted with the file system, learning where to find stuff and reading the information that employees need to know – an entire ring binder full of stuff! At 12:30 we all ate lunch together then in the afternoon I started my very first translation (for this company I mean… obviously not my very first translation ever). it was so nice to have something to translate again. And to have someone to talk to (remember, I was alone this weekend). All in all it went pretty well… although all the information was a lot to take in and my poor brain is feeling a bit fragile now. I’m sure I’ll figure everything out soon though.

And now I have to go. The boyfriend is supposed to be coming home tomorrow (whether he actually does depends on what’s happening with his family stuff) and I need to something about the state of my living room just in case he decides to come here…

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No more staying up late and living on cake

I am terrible at being on my own. Absolutley terrible.
For a start there’s the whole making meals just for me thing. I walk into the kitchen, examine the food on the shelves, open the fridge, close it again and think about how long it takes to peel potatoes/slice carrots/chop an onions. Then my mind drifts to all the dishes that will have to be used to make a proper meal. Dishes that will then have to be washed up afterwards. By me. And I decide there’s no point in going to all that effort when nobody else is around to eat the food I prepare. And so, in the 5 days since Jan went away, I have been living on potato croquettes (just shove them in the oven and wait!), chocolate raisins, cake (not even home made cake I’m ashamed to say) and those Knorr instant thingies that claim to turn into pasta in cheese sauce or spaghetti bolognese as soon as you add boiling water.

Then there’s the sleeping thing. I’m used to sharing a bed with Jan. He’s here almost every night. When he’s not at mine I sometimes join him at his. On the nights that he’s at his place and I’m at mine I have trouble sleeping. The bed seems to magically grow… surely it hasn’t always been that big? The room feels colder, the flat emptier (actually that last one kind of makes sense. The flat is emptier…I’m the only person in it). But it’s okay, because usually it’s only for one night. When he goes away though, it’s not just for one night, but for a couple of days, a weekend, an entire week…
Which is why, since Wednesday, I haven’t made it to bed before midnight once. And even after getting into bed I’ve chosen reading until 1 or 2 am over going to sleep.

All that has to chnge now though. I start my new job tomorrow. That means getting up early enough to be showered, dressed, breakfasted and on the train that leaves Karlsruhe at 7:30 am. It also means eating a proper breakfast so I’m not starving by 9 o’clock. And it means preparing something proper to eat for my lunch.

I’m so excited. I can’t wait to be a real, employed member of society again!

Now I can tell you my news…

I didn’t want to say anything before in case something went wrong, but now that it’s official I am free to shout it from the mountain tops if I wish.

You already know that I went for a trial day at a company on Thursday.
On Friday the boss called and told me they would like to offer me a job.
And today I went back there to sign the contract.

As of 1st September 2009 I shall once again be employed. I guess that means now I can take some time to relax without feeling guilty.

Family weekend

My mam and brother were here over the weekend, which is why I didn’t have a chance to post. Finally my mam has actually seen the place I’ve been living for the past 2 years! It was a good weekend, but tiring. There isn’t really much for tourists to do in Karlsruhe, but we rode on the little train in the Schlosspark, had a bit of a walk in Durlach (suburb of Karlsruhe) and went to ZKM, an art and media museum in town. We also ate some of the local food. It was lovely to see the family (or at least part of it) again. Now my sister just needs to visit and the whole family will have seen ‘my’ town.

Today was the first day of my new internship. It went pretty well. The bosses and one other employee are lovely. The owner of the company even bought my lunch for me! It was a lot of information to take in at once though – In the morning I just did some proofreading and researched some terms, but after lunch I had to learn all about the database, how to enter a company into it, find a translator etc, etc. Then I had a quick lesson on how to use the translation memory software. I was pleased when I was told to go home at 3pm! I won’t normally be leaving that early but there wasn’t anything left for me to do and, like I said, a lot had been squeezed into my brain in a fairly short space of time. I’m sure things will get better once I’ve done everything a few times and figured out what’s going on!

The bosses have a little jack russell puppy who comes to work with them. She’s called Flecki, because of a little fleck on her head, and is only 10 weeks old. Soo tiny and cute!

I think I’m going to like working there, once I’ve got over the strangeness and have more of an idea what I’m meant to be doing! Still sad that I had to leave the old place though.