Resisting the temptation to shop

It’s that time of year again. The time of the Sommerschlussverkauf, or translated into English “the summer’s end sale”. Yes, the shops are already selling off their summer clothing to make room the autumn range. As far as I’m concerned we are currently in the middle of summer. It’s July. July is summer. August is also summer. Therefore we are nowhere near summer’s end, but the shops it seems are in some kind of twighlight zone where it’s autumn already. Not really surprising… they also seem to think October is the right time to start selling advent calendars.

Usually I love sales. The summer’s end sale… the winter’s end sale… the random middle of the season let’s-get-rid-of-some-stock sale… fantastic the lot of them. But for the past year the word “sale” has been like a new and unique form of torture for me. I am a self-confessed shopaholic. I like to buy things. It’s fun, it cheers me up and I like stuff. Mainly I like to buy clothes and books. Right now I desperately need shoes. But for almost a year now I’ve been unable to do any shopping. I earn just about enough to pay the rent and eat. If I’m really careful I can save up enough to buy the occasional birthday present, but shopping for things for myself just isn’t possible. The last time I went on a proper shopping spree was last July. That’s a whole year ago! Since then I’ve resisted temptation, despite that fact that I work right in the middle of Karlsruhe’s main shopping street, in an office that’s next door to a shoe shop! But now it’s all getting to be a bit too much. I want to go shopping. I want to buy summer clothes before there aren’t any more left. I’m sick of baking to death in long sleeves and fur-lined boots while temperatures soar to 29, 30, 35 degrees. I’m sick of half of my socks having holes in and not being able to afford to replace them. I’m sick of walking past the shops every single day on my way home from work and seeing stuff in the windows that I really, really want to buy.

Roll on September. Hopefully by then I’ll have enough money to at least buy a pair of sandals… just in time for the cold and rain to start again.


How to do your laundry in a student residence

I was woken up at 10 to 3 this morning by my phone beeping. A text message. Was it a fire? A flood? Had somebody had an accident?

No! It was from E-Plus telling me I have no credit and should top up now, now, now becasue they so desperately need the money! Why do they feel the need to inform me of something I already know at such a ridiculous hour? Do they think waking people up will make them more likely to do as they’re told. “Yes E-Plus, I will put hundreds of euros on my phone. Just please let me get some sleep!” Maybe I should try it. I’ll call random friends when I know they’re sleeping and demand money from them. I’ll either end up rich or friendless…
Usually I don’t let it get to the stage where I have literally no money on my phone, but this time my boyfriend ruined that plan by answering the phone when I tried to one ring him. Who picks up on the first ring anyway? I bet if I’d actually wanted him to pick up it would have taken 10 rings, or 15 or 20. I suppose E-Plus is right really, I do need to top up my phone. But with what money? Hmmm? Answer me that one you lovely people at E-Plus.

There are many things I would like to do if I had money. Move out of this place for a start. This morning I had to spend 10 minutes cleaning the mud out of the bottom of the shower before I could actually get in and wash myself. Thank you so much whoever left the mud in there. I need to do some washing as well but I can’t… until Friday! There are 2 washing machines in my building. Two! For more than 100 people! To use a washing machine you have to get an appointment. So yesterday before work I trailed down into the cellar to try and get an appointment… There were no appintments left at all yesterday. For today every slot between 6 (when I finish work) and midnight (the last slot) was taken. Same for tomorrow. I managed to get one appointment for Friday evening. That’s one load of washing, two if I time it exactly right and manage to first get my washing into the machine dead on 7:30pm and then manage to get down there with my second load just as the first cycle finishes. Doing laundry in this building is a fine art.

I also need to get new clothes when I finally have money. Clothes for the summer. I’m not just saying this in an “I am female and I really need new clothes beacuse I just do and that’s all there is to it, ok?” kind of way. I really, really do need summer clothes. Or at least summer clothes that are suitable for work. I’m currently sitting here in brown pin-striped trousers, a top with three quarter length sleeves and a pair of boots with fur inside them. Yes, fur. My feet a boiling and I’m not even at work yet. So I need shoes. And I need skirts so my legs don’t have to boil in trousers. But most of all I just need money!