Bevchen to the rescue

It was dark when I left work today. Dark and cold. I hate that. And things are only going to get worse – it’s another two whole months before we even reach the shortest day!

Anyway, enough whinging. Welsh Girl has tagged me for this meme. Apparantly if I don’t do it the world will end. I suppose I’d better do it then…
So, I’m supposed to tell you seven random things about me. Sounds pretty simple. I’m not sure it is though. Seven whole things? I just don’t think I’m that interesting. I shall give it a go though…

1. When I was younger my favourite colour was purple. I even decorated my room in it – or rather the decorator did. Actually, the wallpaper’s still there – purple with silver swirls. My entire family then decided it would be a wonderful idea to buy me purple stuff for every single occasion they could think of… birthdays, Easter, Christmas… I have an entire room full of purple candles, purple lamps, purple photo frames… and now I can’t stand the sight of the colour any more. I refuse to tell my relatives what colour I like now in case they put me off that one too.

2. I can only eat eggs if they’re mixed with milk. That means scrambled eggs and omlettes are fine, as are eggs in cake. Boiled and fried eggs make me throw up. It’s really annoying cos I actually like soft boiled eggs with toast soldiers but it’s just not worth the vomiting that I know will follow.

3. I once ate a beetle. Well, half of one anyway. I was sitting out in the garden when my mum noticed I had something in my mouth, so she came over to take a lot and discovered half a beetle in there. We can only assume I swallowed the other half. Clearly I was a sick child… but in my defence I was only about three years old at the time.

4. On my mum’s side, I’m the oldest of 18 grandchildren. My youngest cousin is a bit more than year old. There was one cousin who was older than me. She was born six months before I was and died at three weeks. Her name was Deborah.
I’m also the oldest grandchild on my dad’s side of the family, but as the other grandchildren are my sister and half brother it doesn’t really count.

5. My blog is the only place I ever refer to my mother as “mum”. In real life she’s mam.

6. I went to five different schools, three primary and two secondary. We moved around a lot.

7. My absolute all time favourite film is A League of Their Own. I still cry every time I watch it.

OK, now I’m supposed to pass it on to some of you lot. Most of the people I would have passed it to have already done it though. Hmm, I choose sleepyjane, Lauren from Half Deserted Streets and anyone else that wants to do it.

Now I have to go to a meeting with my floor. Hopefully normal blogging service will resume tomorrow… unless someone goes and tags me for another meme.

Why?

* Why is it impossible to buy malt vinegar or fruit squash in Germany (except in English shops which don’t count)?

* Why are the people on my floor incapable of learning that the crappy wooden cooking implements we have do not belong in the dishwasher?

* Why is my bosses dog obsessed with my shoes?

* Why do days and months go by so fast while hours crawl by at tortoise speed?

* Why are these sour cream and onion flavour stacker crisps so addictive?

* Why was fizzy bottled water ever invented?

* Why is every single bar of Cadburys chocolate available in German shops (except the Curly Wurlys in Rewe) some weird American type that doesn’t even exist in the UK; where Cadbury’s was invented?

* Why are Americans so obsessed with peanuts? There are peanuts in almost every one of the aforementioned chocolate bars!

* Why is love not enough to make some people happy?

* Why does the nice bit of autumn where it’s still vaguely warm and all the leaves are pretty colours only last about 30 seconds?

* Why do I keep checking Amazon for new book recommendations when I can’t even afford to buy the ones that are already on my list?

* Why is eating healthily so expensive? For the price of a packet of tomatoes I could buy 5 chocolate bars!

* Why did I just write this list?

Questions over questions as my boyfriend would say.

Dilemmas

What do you do when you get up in the morning to find the shower in your corridor is occupied?

a) Go back to your room and wait 5 minutes to see if the other person finishes
b) Go to the not as new or as good shower in the other corridor, which involves walking past the entrance to the building (all glass and transparent)
c) Forget about the shower, go back to your room and attempt to wash yourself over the sink.

This morning, after much internal debate, I chose option c. Or I suppose I chose the first and third options really as by the time I’d decided what to do 5 minutes had gone by and the shower was still occupied. By that time I’d decided there was no point in going to the other shower cos that would only add another 5 minutes to the time already spent and make me late. So I washed myself over the sink, which resulted in lots of water on the floor but at least I don’t smell any more.

And so it’s off to work I go.

Memety meme

It’s meme time again methinks.
The original idea of this one was to answer the questions using one word only. But like the person I stole it from, katyboo, I’ve decided to completely ignore the one word thing and just answer the questions. Here goes…

1. Where is your cell phone? It’s a mobile, not a cell phone. In America it may be a cell phone, but here it’s a mobile.
Umm, as for where mine is…. still in my work bag I believe. Actually I should take it out and turn it back off silent. I’m expecting a call…


2. Your significant other? At work. And probably will be for a while. My boyfriend has a thing for working late.


3. Your hair? Is sort of reddish brown. I used to hate it. These days I think it’s ok… some days at least.


4. Your mother? is in England I presume. I’d be quite worried if she wasn’t. My friends all think she’s brilliant cos she was only 20 when i was born so she’s still really cool, unlike there parents who like to play Bingo at the local working men’s club and would never drink cocktails in Spain with their daughters.


5. Your father? He’s in England too. Probably looking after my two year old brother. The man is insane!


6. Your favourite thing? it changes a lot. I have lots of favourite thing. Probably my most favourite thing of all is books though, closely followed by mashed potatoes. And currently I’m love with my new jumper. Jan bought me it last week and it’s very, very nice.


7. Your dream last night? I don’t remember dreaming. I just know I was woken up three times by the sound of my boyfriend grinding his teeth. Funnily enough I’ve been tired all day… again.


8. Your favorite drink? Orange Ribena. You can’t get it here though. Damn Germans depriving me of my favourite things…


9. Your dream/goal? As a ki I dreamed of being a writer. Now I’d settle for translating books. Apparantly there’s not much money in it though so I’d have to get rich first.


10. The room you’re in? That would be my room in the German student residence that I currently live in. It’s far too small for all the stuff I’ve accumulated over the two years I’ve been living here, and it’s the only room I have to live in. Regular readers will know that I’m fed up of it and really, really, really want to move out.

11. Your hobby? What, you think I have time for hobbies?? Well, alright I suppose blogging is a hobby. That then. And reading. Having to take a tram to work gives me time for that.


12. Your fear? Losing all my friends. Oh, and that I’ll never get married. I have visions of myself ending up as a mad cat lady with no family or friends. And I don’t even like cats, which makes it extra scary.


13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Not living in this student residence for a start. Other than that.. who knows. It would be nice to wax lyrical about husbands and well paying jobs but then I’ll only be disappointed if it doesn’t happen.

14. What you’re not? Talented. At anything. Unless translation counts as a talent. Does it?


15. Muffins? What about them? they’re a kind of cake. I like the double chocolate ones, especially when they’re still warm and the chocolate chips inside are all soft and gooey.


16. One of your wish list items? Books. Lots and lots and lots of books. I have a list of books I want to read – it currently takes up about 10 A4 sheets of paper and I keep adding to it Or failing the books I’d settle for enough money to buy them all myself.


17. Where you grew up? All over the place. My dad was in the army. We never got sent to anywhere exciting though. Just northern Ireland for two years. But the place I consider home would be Northumberland. I moved there when I was 13 and it was the first place I’d ever lived by choice (my dad was out of the army by then and I moved up to live with him).


18. The last thing you did? Wrote the answer to the last question. Oh, you mean before that. Err, took a tram home from work. Exciting no?


19. What are you wearing? Dark grey work trousers, a polo neck and a brown jacket with fur around the hood. Oh yeah, and Snoopy socks.


20. Favorite gadget? Does a potato masher count as a gadget? Jan’s got one with two mashy bits, one that’s fixed at the bottom then a second one that moves towards the one at the bottom when you press down so the potatoes that have come through the first mashy bit get squished too. It’s brilliant.


21. Your pets? Ha! Like I’d be allowed any of them in a student residence!


22. Your computer? non-exisitent. Seriously, I don’t have one. This here belongs to the boyfriend.


23. Your mood? Is tired a mood? If not then no mood, they take up too much energy.


24. Missing someone? I live in Germany. Almost all my friends are in England. What do you think?


25. Your car? DOn’t have one of those. I can’t even drive. My mum’s been going on at me about learning for years but she’s not willing to pay for the bloody lessons is she.


26. Something you’re not wearing? A hat.


27. Favourite store? I can’t possibly answer that. There’s too many! I do like Tally Weijl though. And Nanu Nana.


28. Like someone? No, of course not. I hate everybody in the whooole world. Including myself. And my boyfriend. What kind of a daft question is that?


29. Your favourite colour? red


30. When is the last time you laughed? Earlier today, at the bosses dog. She’s only a puppy and very silly.

Past it

There’s a new guy on my floor. He moved in a week ago and I met him in the kitchen tonight.
Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi, are you new here?
New Guy: Yeah.
Me: I’m Bev
Him: I’m J…
Me: So, when did you move in?
Him: last Tuesday…

It continued along those lines. I asked him what he’s studying and where. He asked me whether the exams at the end of my bachelor’s degree were hard, whereabouts in England I’m from and whether it’s true what they say about Great Britain and rain. That was pretty much it. At that point the conversation fizzled out and he left the kitchen.

This is pretty much representative of my conversations with anyone who moves into my building. I just have nothing to say to them. These people are all 18 or 19 years old. Up until a few months ago they were still at school. I look at them and think “God, you’re younger than my sister. You’re almost as young as my brother.”
I’m 25 years old and thse people make me feel bloody ancient!
Get me out of here?

Music man

You know, I don’t think I’ve mentioned in any of my many posts (according to wordpress this is my 119th!) that my boyfriend is a musician.
Well, he is. Not like a full time musician. He has a degree in computer science. But on the side he’s a musician. A drummer to be exact, or at least that’s the instrument that he actually learned to play. As in took official lessons. He plays guitar as well though, and he sings. He even tried out bass guitar at his work’s Christmas party last year. Makes you wonder why he’s with me, the girl who can’t even yodel (ha, I totally stole that last bit from Beaches).
Anyway… I am going somewhere with this, honest.

So every winter there’s a big party in my student residence, the Heimfest. It’s on the first Friday in December usually and it’s a public party – anyone can come in for a small fee, and each of the floors sells various food and drinks throughout the night. There’s also a band. (Do you see where I’m going with this yet?).
So the last couple of years, in addition to the “ordinary” band (usually some local group) some people from here in the building decided to form their own band who would perform before the main act. Naturally the boyfriend was involved.

Since the residence band went down so well last year the people who are in charge of this year’s Heimfest have asked some people whether they would like to perform again this time round. Naturally they would. And naturally my boyfriend wants to be part of it too, even though he doesn’t actually live here any more. That doesn’t matter though – it doesn’t have to be people who actually live here. They just have to be connected to the residence in some way. And Jan did live here for (way too many) years.

Tonight the band are having their very first meeting. I won’t call it a practice because I think tonight is more about discussing than actually practicing, although Jan did take his guitar so you never know. The meeting started at 7pm, although Jan didn’t turn up til half past. It’s now 10:30pm. I’m hungry. I’m tired. I got three hours sleep last night. I’m currently debating whether to just go and eat something, running the risk that Jan will turn up just as I finish complaining that he’s hungry too. Decisions, decisions.
They’re having another band meeting tomorrow. Luckily I actually have plans tomorrow – while he’s playing guitar I’ll be in Heilbronn tasting wine with my ex-colleagues. I have a feeling it’s going to be a long time before I actually get to spend another weekend with my boyfriend though.
*Sigh* Roll on December!

Squeeee!

(WARNING: This entry is going to be a  long one!)

There was a mosquito in my room last night.

I had turned out the light and was snuggling down to get some well earned rest when I heard that distinctive mosquito noise next to my ear. Bloody things can’t just buzz like normal insects. No, it was that horrible high-pitched squeeee. Pathetic I know, but that sound terrifies me. I instantly sat up, one hand flailing around my ears in an attempt to get it away from me, and switched on the light. No way was I going to sleep with that thing in the room. And thus began the great mosquito hunt of 2008.

tasting blood
Tasting blood (Photo credit: Vilseskogen)

Unlike my boyfriend I can’t just squish insects with the palm of my hand (it’s disgusting! And what if it manages to get me while I’m trying to get it?), so the first thing to do was find a suitable mosquito squashing implement. A paper plate left over from my birthday picnic seemed perfect. Then came stage 2 – finding the stupid creature. Suprisingly, it didn’t take long. There it was above my bed. Lurking. Waiting for me to turn the light back out so it could squeeee it’s way past my ear again. Psychological warfare, that’s what it is! Well I wasn’t going to let him get away with it, was I? BANG went my paper plate on the wall. Naturally I missed. I always miss. So off I went again to find out where his evilness had hidden himself this time. It wasn’t so easy second time round, but after turning on the big light and pacing the room twice I spotted him on the wardrobe door. BANG! “Where is he? Did I get him?” Mr Mosquito was nowhere to be seen, but neither were any mosquito remains. Time for another patrol of the bedroom. After a few minutes of unsuccessful searching I decided to hope I’d managed to get him and return to bed.

Of course the evil git wasn’t dead was he. No, he was just hiding… waiting for the right moment.
As soon as I’d got snuggled up nice and cozy and was starting to doze off the high-pitched squeeee came again, right next to my ear. Aaarggh! This time my first reaction was to hide my head under the quilt. Then after a few minutes I slowly crept out, turned the light back on and reached for my paper plate. The bloody thing was nowhere to be found! I walked up and down the room, peered into corners… I even walked up and down on the bed to try and get a different perspective on things. No mosquito. By this time it was 20 to 1. Less than 6 hours til I had to get up for work. I went and lay down on the bed, this time keeping the light on and my eyes open, then when I was so sleepy my eyes were starting to close I switched off the light. I actually managed to get to sleep, for a while. Then I was woken up by shouting from the bar. Yes people it was bar night again. Sigh. And shortly after that… squeeee. Aaarggh!! Again I couldn’t find the bloody thing anywhere. After 20 minutes of searching I finally gave up and went to bed. The good news is that was the last squeeee of the night. The bad news is that the people in the bar chose that moment to turn the music up reeeally loud. It was after 4am when I was finally able to get some sleep. And I had to be up at 6:30. Wonderful.

If the bloody mosquitos would only wait til I was asleep before coming out it would be fine. Sure, they’d bite me and it would itch in the morning, but that would only be annoying. It’s not like I live in a country where I’m likely to get malaria. But that high-pitched squeeee just can’t be ignored.

One good thing about autumn being on its way… soon all the mosquitos will be dead and my room will be all mine again!

Gotta get out of this place

I made a decision over the weekend.
I decided that I have to get out of here at the next available opportunity. I have to.It doesn’t matter whether I have a real job or not, even if I have no idea where I’m going to be 2 months after that date I am moving out.

Back in December, when my boyfriend decided it was time to move out of this student residence, we made the decision not to live together. He didn’t want to and I didn’t want to. The difference between was that I didn’t want to then but thought I might want to in the future. Jan just just knew he wasn’t ready to move in with me – he’s not the kind of person that thinks about the future. But that didn’t matter then. Mostly I was just jealous – why was it that he, who didn’tmind living in this building and had never even thought about moving out before, was going to be getting his own flat whereas I, who had been talking aboout wanting to move out for months and months, was going to be stuck here – possibly forever? No fair!

So fast-forward a few months. It’s April. He’s moved all his stuff out, the key to his old room has been returned, I’m forced to sleep in my own bed, cook in my own kitchen… and Jan has a flat mate. A flat mate who actually uses the flat. Meanwhile Jan doesn’t actually spend a night at his flat until May. So where did he sleep during that time? In my room of course. He might not have wanted to live with me officially, but he didn’t have any problem with sharing a bed with me every night. (He doesn’t mind me doing all his washing for him either, but that’s besides the point).

So now it’s August and here’s how things stand:
Jan is still living with Maik and is now starting to think that maybe he would have been better off living with me after all. Maybe. But he’s very cleverly set it up so that we won’t be moving in together for a very long time.
He told me at the weekend that he didn’t want to be moving around all the time, so he got a flat with the intention of staying in it until he finishes his phd… in four years time. Guess what? So did his flat mate. So that means Jan has no intention of moving out of his flat for the next four years and neither does Maik. Four years! I’ll be nearly 30 be then. (29 is nearly 30 no matter what way you look at it). I pointed out to Jan that he’d basically set things up so that there was no way we’d be moving in together at any point. He didn’t say anything to that, just looked at me. Then when I told him to stop looking at me like I’d slapped him round the face he replied “I’m looking at you like that because it’s true… and I feel bad.” So now I feel bad that he feels bad and… it’s all a big mess.

But all of that isn’t the point. That’s just background. The point is… four years. Four bloody years. That’s how long I’m going to have to wait for my boyfriend, unless he or Maik has a radical change of opinion in the meantime. And I refuse to spend that time here. I am not living in a student residence until I’m 29. No way, no how. Not happening.

So I’m moving out. At the next available opportunity. Which will be March.
Phew. I feel so much better now I’ve made that decision.

Just five more minutes…

These days, my morning routine goes something like this:

6am. Beep. Beep beep. Beep beep beep.
Huh? What? Time to get up already? Nooo, it can’t be! *snooze*
6:05am. Beep. Beep beep. Beep beep beep.
Groooan. Still… too early. *snooze*
6:10am. Beep. Beep beep. Beep beep beep….

This continues until
6:25am. Beep. Beep beep. Beep beep beep.
*hit snooze* *check time* Oh, 6:25. Hmm, should really be getting up. Ohh, just 5 more minutes.

At 7:30 I usually manage to actually get up.
The are variations on this theme, of course. Some mornings I manage to drag myself from the bed at 6:20. Those are the days I actually have time to shave my legs. This morning was a 7:30 day, but then instead of going for a shower I just sat there staring into space for 5 minutes trying to summon up the energy to walk all the way to the end of the corridor.

I never used to have this miuch trouble getting up in the morning. As a teenager I was expected to get myself up for school in the morning. And I did it. Because the alternative would have been my dad waking me up before he went to work… over an hour earlier than I actually needed to get up. I even managed to get myself up for 9am lectures at uni. Most mornings at least. But now it seems no matter how early I go to bed I wake up still tired and find myself totally incapable of getting out of bed on time. Which leads me to believe it’s not my fault. Some external force is at work here which means that while I’m getting enough sleep at night it’s lacking in quality. There’s only one explanation for it. It has to be… the mattress. The crappy student residence mattress that causes me to wake up with a sore back every single Saturday.

Either that or I’m just crap at getting up for work in the morning.
I prefer to blame the mattress.

More reasons to get me out of here…

I went to be at 11 o’clock last night. Nice and early. I wanted to get a good night’s sleep so I wouldn’t be too tired at work today. After all, it is only my second week. HA, like that was going to happen!
At 1am I was still awake. Why, you ask? It may have had something to do with the music that somebody, somewhere was blasting out. It seemed to be coming from one of the rooms above me, but I couldn’t tell which one. Even when I went to the toilet I could still hear it, so really it could have been coming from anywhere in the corridor above me. And it was loud. Now loud music isn’t that much of a problem for me these days. I live above the bar. Every Thursday my room is invaded by loud music. Most weeks I still manage to get to sleep after about half an hour (although last week I escaped to Jan’s with a headache). What really bothered me last night was the singing. The singing was even louder than the music. And it was terrible. It sounded like a bunch of cats being strangled. If I had had any way of knowing which room the music was coming from I would have phoned them. But since I didn’t my only option was to lie there with my eyes closed thinking of various ways to kill the cat’s choir. I finally fell asleep at about 20 past 1. The music was still on, but by that time I was so exhausted I would probably have slept through a fire alarm.

And people wonder why I want to move out of this building.