… and it still isn’t Christmas

Does anyone else feel like “the season” has been going on forever? The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of buying and wrapping presents, trips to the post office (the last of my parcels to England finally went out last week), parties and Christmas markets. And in between all that I’ve had to do the assessment for my science course (a last minute job which I’m dreading getting the result for), work and keep on top the mundane every day things like cleaning the flat and making sure we have actual food to eat. The upside is that I now have lots to tell my blog. Unfortunately I still don’t have any time, so it’s going to have to be another boring bullet point list. Sorry about that…

  • I want to Mainz last Saturday with my ex-colleagues. I had never been to Mainz before. We went to the Christmas market, where the Glühwein was much cheaper than everywhere else I’ve been. Mainz is a bit of a strange town. It’s really pretty around the market square then you walk into the shopping street and it’s all horrible grey concrete buildings and huge glass monstrosities. The Christmas market was nice though.
  • It’s been snowing here on and off for the past few days. This is worth mentioning because it’s so unusual. Not that Karlsruhe never gets snow, but the little bit that does come is not usually this early. It’s also freezing. Yesterday it was -12°C! I had to go out in it to buy stuff for a Christmas party I hosted last night. It was so bad that I actually got on the tram to go one stop, which I usually think is a waste of time.
  • I had a progress meeting at work last week. There are a few things I’ve been asked to work on, but the verdict was generally positive (and no mention was made of my social skills… or lack thereof. There is something to be learned from this I’m sure…)
  • Last week we went to both my work Christmas meal (at an Italian restaurant) and Jan’s work Christmas party. Mine was more fun, although we missed the last train home and ended up having to wait until 1:06am for a train that would take us to Bruchsal, where we had to change onto an S-Bahn. I also had to work the next day. Tired is not the word…
  • I received a parcel last week, from the lovely Katyboo. It contained a Christmas card and a book – The Children of Green Knowe. Unexpected and very nice – I’ve been wanting to read that book for ages! 🙂
  • On Friday I went to the Christmas market in Mannheim with my colleagues. It was nice but so cold that we only stayed long enough to have something to eat and drink one Glühwein. I was back in Karlsruhe by 9pm!
  • Two more days at work then I’m off for Christmas. We’re staying in Germany this year (at Jan’s dad’s place) then going to Italy to visit his sister for New Year. Exciting stuff.

And now I have to go and do something about my flat, which is still suffering from the after effects of a Christmas party. It may take some time…

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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?