A Day in My Life – 7 February 2014

I’ve done a few Photo an Hour posts now, but all of them have been on Saturdays. So I decided to take part in Manda from Break the Sky’s Day in the Life linkup again this month… and this time do it on the actual day. That way, you can all get an insight into what I do on a typical day. As it happens, the day of a link up was a Friday, but they’re not really much different to any other week day.
*Note* Unlike with my photo an hour posts, there are large chunks of this day that I didn’t take photos for. I mean, I couldn’t exactly keep whipping the camera out while I was supposed to be working…

Elmo slippers and red pyjamas
Elmo slippers and red pyjamas

After hitting snooze a couple of times, at 6:05 am I’m finally up and on my way to the bathroom. Not even my Elmo slippers can make the earliness of the hour bearable… (supposedly people get used to waking up early after a while, and even wake up stupidly early at weekends when no alarm is set. I’d love to know who these people are, because I’ve certainly never met one!)

Once I’m showered and dressed, it’s time to dry my hair. Then I brush my teeth and get my bag packed for the day. Pictured above, waiting to go in my bag, are breakfast (a yoghurt) and lunch (some instant mashed potato thingy… the height of good nutrition, I know ;-))

Early morning in Karlsruhe
Early morning in Karlsruhe

At 7:20, I say goodbye to the boyfriend (so jealous that he’s still in bed) and head to the train station. The street lights are still on, but at least the sky is showing signs that daytime is just around the corner. Soon, I will actually get to see sunlight on week days!

By 7:40 am, I’m on the train and the sun is rising. It’s pretty much impossible to get decent photos of the sun rise from a moving train (especially with a camera as crappy as mine!), but I tried. The above two are the best of a bad bunch. After taking the sunrise photos, I did what about 90% of the people I commute with do on the morning train… closed my eyes. (In case you’re wondering, the remainder mostly read or get started on the days work. I hope I never, ever have a job where I need to do the latter! Starting work before actually arriving at work is just wrong!)

Apologies for the incredibly crappy photo...
Apologies for the incredibly crappy photo…

For the first time in ages, I managed to get on the bus at my destination (it’s supposed to leave precisely when my train arrives). I got to work at 8:10, and the first thing I did was fetch a spoon so I could eat my yoghurt 😉 After putting in the corrections for a small job that was due in the morning, I spent the rest of the morning working on an urgent translation due that afternoon (a horrible job that I didn’t understand a word of! Thank goodness for terminology.). At around 8:30, a colleague came and asked if anyone would like a tea. We had no Erkältungstee (tea for colds), so I chose one that called itself “Hol dir Kraft” (Rough translation: Get some power) and claims to be “enlivening”. The Germans have a tea for everything…

Feeeed me...
Feeeed me…

At 12:30, it was time for lunch. I ate at my desk so I could read the news (and blogs, of course). I was watched by a hungry looking giant flesh-eating bacteria (photo above especially for Aussa Lorens). After lunch it’s back to work – this time on a longer translation that I started yesterday. The text is IT-related and actually quite interesting. At 2 pm my proofreader sends me the corrections for the horrible translation from the morning and I enter those and prepare the job for delivery before returning to my nice translation for the rest of the afternoon.

Waiting for the train to leave
Waiting for the train to leave

4:45 is home time! Usually I leave at 5, but because I caught the bus this morning I can go a little earlier today. I have plenty of time, so I walk back to the train station and have a browse in one of the shops there. Then I go and stand in my usual position just inside the door of the train. Once everyone is on and the doors have closed, I’ll sit down on the step. There’s no point in even trying to get a seat on the way home… especially not on a Friday evening when all the people who usually take the next train are on mine, making it even more full!

Reusing an Amazon box...
Reusing an Amazon box…

Back in Karlsruhe, I briefly stop off at home to pick up a package I need to send then head to the post office. On the way home, I do a bit of shopping. Usually Saturday is shopping day, but since I’m in town anyway I might as well do it now!

It’s 10 to 8 by the time I get home, so once I’ve unpacked the shopping it’s time to make a start on tea. Not until after I’ve washed the dishes though…

Apologies vegetarainas/vegans for the photo of meat...
Apologies vegetarians/vegans for the photo of meat…

Jan and I have an agreement that I’ll make food for 8:30 pm-ish and if he’s not home and I haven’t heard from him then I’ll eat alone. Usually I make an exception for Fridays since I don’t have to be up as early the next morning, but this time I told him in the morning that I would want an early night and wouldn’t be waiting for him. I’m making a turkey  and chickpea curry (it would have been chicken but the shop had run out) in the hope that the spiciness will cause my cold to do one so I can actually enjoy my weekend! I get a text from Jan just after I’ve started cooking saying he won’t be leaving work for another 45 minutes, so it looks like I’ll definitely be eating alone. While I’m cooking, I intermittently pop into the spare room to do things on the computer… because apparantly I don’t spend enough time staring at a screen at work?!

Yes, I eat from my lap despite the fact that we have TWO tables...
Yes, I eat from my lap despite the fact that we have TWO tables…

Tea time! As expected, Jan is not here so I eat mine alone while reading a book. I’m a multi-tasking genius 😉

Once I’ve eaten, I decide to put my pyjamas on and head to bed with my book… not how I usually spend a Friday night, but I’m trying to get rid of a cold, remember? I’m still reading in bed when Jan gets home, half an hour later, and fills my hot water bottle for me.
And that’s basically it for my day. Jan went to heat up his food and I continued reading til about midnight, then refilled my water glass, said goodnight to Jan and switched out the light. And now you know exactly how unexciting my life really is… 😉

The link up is open all month, so feel free to join in on any day in February! You can read Manda’s Day in the Life post here: http://breakthesky.net/2014/02/07/day-life-february-2014/

A Day in the Life: A Linkup by Break the Sky

 

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Normal service can resume (tomorrow)

Just a quick post tonight because I am tired. I worked hard all day (translated over 2,000 words!) then came home and finished an essay, which I have just handed in. It’s now 20 past 10 (which isn’t really that late I know) and all I want to do is sleeeep… preferably until next week, but as that isn’t an option until 6:40 tomorrow morning will have to do.

But… I have internet! The men from Kabel-BW were here today and after about an hour and a half, during which we had to collect the keys to the cellar from my downstairs neighbour then head aaall the way back up the stairs to disturb my poor next-door neighbours (who were having tea at the time) to get into the loft (the entrance to which is in their flat) where the men spent ages trying different cables to see if any of them actually caused power to flow through the cable sockets in my flat… yes, it’s all very confusing. The nice men did eventually manage to get it sorted though, and they left me a modem and a telephone, so now I have a landline and, much more importantly, access to my lovely, lovely blog and to facebook and my email and all those things I have been missing sooo desperately.! I worship thee oh Kabel-BW, providers of the internet!

And now to bed. I shall write something more interesting tomorrow. After I catch up on all my favourite blogs. I have missed you all, my dear blogging friends, and I shall be round to see you as soon as I can. Promise!

Saying nothing in many words

I don’t really have any particular point to make today (do I ever?), so I shall make this post a bullet pointy type list of whatever comes into my head, I think.

– I actually did something for uni last night, believe it or not. I downloaded the German text to be translated then, in the absence of a printer, copied it out by hand. The text is around 650 words long, I managed to write them all down without understanding a single one of them (okay, slight exaggeration. I did manage to get that the text is about all the money that’s been poured into building up East Germany and how it’s just not working). Hopefully by the time I get round to actually translating the text it will make more sense!

– Jan bought me Breakfast at Tiffany’s (the book) for Christmas and I finished reading it yesterday yesterday. It’s really good. Even better than the film, of which I am also a fan. I was kind of expecting that though – films are almost never as good as the book they’re based on. The main difference between the book and the film is the way they end. If you’re a fan of Hollywood happy endings don’t bother buying the book.

– I am ridiculously tired again, despite the fact that it’s only Tuesday. It may have something to do with the fact that I spent all day translating a 50 page user manual for some computer program. It was a very long day. Also, I still think employees should be given Wednesday off work. Who was it that decided we should work for 5 whole days in a row and only have 2 to recover anyway? And is he (I’m assuming it was a “he”) still alive? Cos if he is I’d like to track him down and kick him…

– My health insurance fund sent me a magazine. These people refuse to pay for my pill (that’s right Brits, there is no free contraception in Germany!) but they’re willing to waste money – not to mention trees – sending me magazines I will never read. Why?

– I just saw someone in Karstadt spend 303 euros on some wooden spoons and a set of pans. That means the pan set must have cost over 200. Is this normal?!? Also, the woman behind me in the queue asked the person at the till what the random vegetables she was buying were after they’d already been scanned in. Surely this is something you’d like to find out before you buy said vegetables?

That is all. I’m going for a shower now.

Cake and stockings

I made a cake last night to take into work with me*. You see, tomorrow is the last day of my internship. In Germany, when there’s an event, the person whose birthday or whatever it is expected to bring in something yummy for the rest of their workplace. You have to bake it yourself as well mind you – a friend of mine’s colleagues were most disappointed when she took in a cake from the bakers. I’ll never understand why on my birthday I have to give other people something, but never mind. When in Rome and all that. So today I took in a cake. It was another one of those ridiculously hot days where the sun was already unbearable by 8am and by the time I was half way to work I was already roasting. Who knew a simple marble cake could be so heavy? But never mind, both cake and I made it to work in one piece and it seemed to go down well with my colleagues. A brilliant result I’d say.

Oh, and here’s something that amused me today. I was doing a translation about stockings (the black lacy kind, not the ones you get a Christmas). Nothing too difficult, just a few random terms to be printed on the packaging. One of the items on the list was “halterlose Strümpfe”. Hmm, how would we say that in English? I wondered. Not being a stocking wearer I tend not to spend much time reading the packaging for them. An idea occurred to me and I decided to see whether the internet thought it existed. So I type the words “halterless stockings” into Google. A few hits did come up, but right at the top was that question Google asks you when it thinks you might have spelled something wrong…
Did you mean: “shelterless stockings”.
Umm, no I didn’t actually, but I’m quite intrigued now. What on Earth are shelterless stockings? Are those the ones that manage to get lost in the washing machine, leaving you with one half of hundreds of pairs? Are there shelterless socks as well? The mind really does boggle! (In case you were wondering, the actual translation was “hold ups” or in American English “garterless stockings”. I don’t suppose you were wondering though… unless you’re as ignorant about the world of stockings as I am).

*Actually, Jan did most of the actual making of the cake. I just measured stuff… and managed to get it out of the oven on time.

This time next week…

Firstly, can someone please tell me a) what webtaskr.com is, b) why it keeps appearing in my incoming links and c) why, when I click on the link to it, do I find a paragraph from one of my blogs there with a link to me at the bottom with “read the original” post. What’s going on??? Answers on the back of a postcard please (or in the comments section if you’d prefer 😉 )

And now back to what I really wanted to talk about.
This time next week I’ll be getting ready for my last day at my current place at work. It’s very scary and also quite sad (as in upsetting, not uncool). How can it have been almost a whole year since I started my internship there? It doesn’t seem like that long. And yet, at the same time, it feels like I’ve been there forever. I love working there. Love the banter (by email) with other English-speaking interns from our branches throughout Germany. Love most of the translations I get to do. Even some of the proofreads are fun (yesterday I was reading a very funny translation about jeans). My colleagues here in Karlsruhe are brilliant – two are pretty much my age and the third is only five years older. It’s great. We can have a laugh together and I don’t feel like the little, inexperienced child amongst all the adults who know exactly what they’re doing.

And now it’s time to leave.

A week on Monday I start my new internship. Between leaving where I am now and starting at the new place I have exactly 3 days to mentally prepare myself. My current mood? Nervous, sad, excited, nostalgic, terrified… it’s an emotional rollercoaster.

Practising

I’ve done the practice translation and the trial proofreads. They’ve been sent back and I’ve had confirmation that they’ve been received. Now it’s time to try and calm myself down. Time to breathe. Time to get over being a nervous wreck.

The work itself wasn’t too bad. The translation was quite nice, about a bar in Berlin. The proofreads were a little more technical but short and well translated. I’ve had worse proofreads during my internship and done harder translations for my Master’s.

I finished the translation half an hour before I needed to, then spent another 20 minutes checking it over and over, making sure there were no silly mistakes, checking Google to see whether those words really can be placed together in that order. I finally sent it back 10 minutes before they had asked for it.

I was then sent two texts to proofread. I had about an hour and 40 minutes to do them. 45 minutes before I was supposed to send them back I had read through both of them, listed all the mistakes and was starting to wonder what I’d missed. Did they really expect it to take that long or were they just making sure I had plenty of time? And if they really did expect it to take all that time I was sure I must have missed something. Some huge, glaringly obvious mistake perhaps. Or maybe I’d managed to overlook a page, somehow thought the texts were shorter than they actually were. I forced myself to move away from the computer, get a drink of water and take some deep breaths. I came back to find that the text really were that long and there really weren’t any more mistakes. I sent it back 20 minutes before they had asked for it.

So that’s it. All done. I guess I’m one step further on the road to finding a job. Now I suppose I just wait and see what happens next.

Are only boring people easily bored?

I’ve noticed recently that I seem to be getting bored at work a lot more easily than I used to. Nothing to do with the job. Finally I’ve found something that I not only enjoy, but am actually good at. OK, when I’m proofreading a text that’s so badly translated it barely even makes sense or translating my third instruction manual that day it gets a bit frustrating, but most of the time I love translating. I think part of the problem is that this week has been pretty slow. Yesterday I was translating things that didn’t have to be sent back until this afternoon. There’s never usually enough time to get things done earlier. Also, I think the fact that I’m leaving soon is having an effect. My internship finishes at the end of July, I’ve been told there is no permanent job for me and I think because of that part of me tends to think “why am I working so hard, doing this long, complicated translation for a company that only wants me for the cheap labour?”. I really, really want to stay. My colleagues here in Karlsruhe want me to stay, but the boss doesn’t want me. Because interns are cheaper.

So all this being bored reminded me of something that adults would always say to my friends and I when we were younger. “Only boring people get bored.” Now, I will admit, to many people I’m probably a boring person. I spend my days at work, my evenings reading or messing around on the computer and my weekends with my boyfriend. But I really don’t think being boring is the reason I get bored. Surely boring people don’t get bored, because they’re perfectly happy doing the same old thing day in, day out. To me, someone who spends all day sitting in front of the TV with a play station controller glued to their hand, only stopping to eat and pee, is boring. I very much doubt they are bored though. So who does get bored then, if not boring people? And what is it that makes us feel “bored”? Anyone out there have a theory?