It’s a record!

I have now been lving in Germany for six whole years! This is the longest time I’ve lived in a place in one stretch since we moved to Northern Ireland in 1989 – and seeing as I was, in fact, six years old in ’89 it’s fairly safe to assume I didn’t take in much of my life in the town I was born in (we actually moved back to said town after two years in Northern Ireland and pretty much all my memories of it are from that second stint there, which last 5 years). Amazingly, I haven’t got bored of Karlsruhe yet. One of the disadvantages of being a squaddie brat seems to be getting restless after spending too long in one place – despite the fact that I hate packing and the stress of actually moving somewhere new! A study in contradictions, I am. Of course, I haven’t actually lived in the same place within Karlsruhe for all of these six years (our current flat is my third home here), and the fact that I kept changing jobs has probably helped with the boredom. When I started my new job (which I’ve now had for 3 years!) in a new (to me) town it was actually quite nice to come home to somewhere familiar in the evenings. And for now there are enough places within day-tripping distance for me to able to get away for a change of scenery whenever I do start getting itchy feet. One day, however, I’m sure I’ll want to try somewhere new – whether elsewhere in Germany, back in the UK or somewhere else entirely (I would actually love to go back to Austria). For now, though, Karlsruhe is home… and I like it! 🙂

Six years

The boyfriend and I have been together for six years today.

We met in 2003, when I was in Germany for the year abroad that I had to do as part of my degree. At the time I was with someone else, but that ended in January of 2006. 10 days later, Jan and I got together. After six months, when we were just starting to get beyond that honeymoon stage and settle down into a “proper” relationship, I had to go back to England to finish my degree while Jan went off to America for a year. Neither of us was sure about the whole long distance thing, but neither of us wanted to end things either, so we agreed to try. I visited him once, for a week over new Year. Other than that we didn’t see each other for a whole year. And phone calls to America were expensive. Somehow we kept our relationship alive via texts, MSn messenger and the (very) occasional phone call. Then Jan came back to Germany to finish his degree and I moved to Vorarlberg in Austria to be a British Council language assistant. Closer, but still long distance. For 10 months, we survived on weekly phone calls and an average of one visit a month. Then, in November 2005, I received a letter from British Council telling me I could stay on as alanguage assistant for a second year. I decided to do it, but instead of sticking with the schools I was in I applied for a transfer to Germany. I put down Baden-Württemberg as my first choice, with a specific request for Karlsruhe in the comments section. In March 2006 I got the news that I had been assigned to Baden-Württemberg. In mid-June I had leftAustria and was  staying with Jan for a while when I was given the exact location of my school… a small village in Pfinztal. We looked it up on Google maps and found that it wasonly a 45 minute tram journey from Karlsruhe! the next step was to go and see the head of the student residence Jan was still living in at the time and ask whether I could have a room. Mr. Z asked me how much I would be earning, then told me he would arrange something. I was in! A few weeks later, I returned to England for a few months to see the family then, on 1st September 2006, I officially moved to Germany. No more long-distance relationship.
3 and a bit years later, here we are, still together. And we’ve finally reached the point where I can say we’ve been in the same country for longer than we spent apart. I know I wouldn’t have been able to put up with me for six years, even if two of them were long distance, so I’ve no idea how Jan does it. But I’m very glad he does.

Happy six years sweetheart! ♥