I’m in Essen, safe and sound, and being fed lots (appropriately enough).
I promise. I just have a couple more days in Berlin and am running around like crazy trying to do everything. As proof that I really haven’t had time to post, here are the past couple days:
Saturday- headed to Sachsenhausen with my new roommates. Then, I went directly to work. Worked from 17-23.45, then headed out to a show with a couple people from work. Got home at 3 in the morning and slept for a couple hours.
Sunday- woke up earlyish (well, 10, but that’s early when you work late all the time!). Went for a buffet brunch with Meagan at Hans Wurst Vegancafe. We then headed to a flea market and wandered around for a bit, and got ice cream. I then headed home to grab my work shirt and such, and then off to work. I spent the night with a friend from work because I didn’t feel like taking the bus all the way home.
Monday- walked around Kreuzberg for a bit, then had breakfast with Maya and Martin. I headed home for half an hour to shower and change clothes, then off to work.
Tuesday- hung around at Maya’s place for a bit, then headed off to work (again!) and worked from 15-midnightish. And then finally went home for more than half an hour!
This weekend I head off on a trip to visit family and Switzerland and Austria, and then 2 more days in Berlin (if I can figure out how to get home from Austria) and then I fly back to Canada. I’m not ready for this!
and I’m going to disappoint you again by not posting about my trip to Copenhagen yet (it was really awesome, though!). BUT! I have something else that will totally make up for it- pictures! I have spent the last 20 or so hours huddled in front of the computer sorting and purging and labelling and uploading hundreds and hundred of photos. I’m not quite caught up, but here are a bunch of them, all nicely organized.
Now leave me alone, I’m going to go do something in real life.
I’m back, safe and sound. I’ll update with more details and pictures in a bit, when Jessi’s not waiting to use her computer!
Where the z and y have returned to their original places, adding another layer of confusion to my life.
I have to apologize for dropping off the face of the earth for a week- I’ve worked five out of the past seven evenings, and have been busy spending a ton of time trying to work out tax card issues which, thankfully, have finally been resolved.
Anyway, I’ll return with stories and pictures from Copenhagen later, I just wanted to update to say that I’m still alive and made it to Denmark in one piece! I’m staying with an internet friend, and we’re going to have a blast this weekend.
Just for a couple days, next week. I’m pretty pumped.
In other news, I’ve…not really done a whole lot. I’ve spent a lot of time this week sitting in waiting rooms at the tax office trying to find someone who knows whether or not I need a tax card and how I can get one if I do (I’ve been four times now, and each time someone tells me something different. Meanwhile, I can’t get paid because I don’t have a tax card. Oh man.). I’m hoping to get it all sorted out for once and for all tomorrow.
My ankle’s doing a lot better- I spent pretty much the whole day Saturday and Sunday on the computer with a bag of frozen peas on my foot, propped up on a chair beside me. I wrapped it up tight and stuffed it in my shoe Sunday night and headed off to work- I think it was actually kind of good that I walked on it a bit. I have a pretty awesome bruise, but the swelling’s pretty much subsided and, other than a bit of twingyness, it no longer hurts. As my feet are my main mode of transportation, I’m glad to report that it is still functional!
So that’s really about all I have to talk about for now. I’m going out shortly with Jessi to the bar where she works, as some people she knows are playing tonight, so that should be cool.
I realized today that yesterday marked the halfway point of my trip. Today is my 51st day out of Canada, and in 48 more I’ll be going back. On the one hand, it doesn’t feel like it’s been the better part of two months since I’ve left. On the other, though, it does feel kind of like I’ve been here forever. Regardless, I’ve only got a little more than a month and a half here in Germany, and as I’ve got a two week tour of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria planned, as well as hopefully a trip to Denmark in the works, it’s going to go by fast.
I wish I had something grand and meaningful to say about these past seven weeks, but I don’t really. They’ve had their ups and downs (the downs: getting fired, frustrations finding a place to stay, the inevitable bureaucracy which is nevertheless frustrating; the ups…well, pretty much everything else). I’ve learned a ton so far, both about myself and about the world- some things trivial, others profound (you can look forward to a massive, consolidated ‘what I’ve learned’ post sometime in the future!). I’ve met a ton of great people and done a ton of cool things. The thing I’m most proud of, though, is how today, as I sat in the waiting room of the Bürgeramt waiting for my number to be called and mulling over my trip so far, I couldn’t think of anything I would have done differently. Sure, there are things that didn’t go according to plan, and this trip hasn’t been ‘perfect’ in the sense that nothing has gone wrong. I’ve had a dark night or two. But- (and here’s the important thing) all I hope for the next seven weeks is that they will be just as enjoyable as the past ones.
Berlin at night from the top of the Reichstag
The other night, I was ticked off that I had to wait 25 minutes for a bus to take me home from work, and that it took me an hour and fifteen minutes to get home. (Mind, this was at 1.30 in the morning on a weeknight.) As a point of comparison, in Edmonton, the bus (The Bus) that I need to take to get home runs hourly after 6.00 in the evening and on Sundays, and every half an hour all other times of day except for at peak hours. It took me an hour to an hour and a half to get to and from the university every day. Also, there is no bus service late at night. I think this will be one of the hardest parts about coming home.
In other news, I think I’ve sprained my ankle. Let that be a lesson- never try to ride your roommate’s bike without adjusting the seat, when she is several inches taller than you. Even if you can ride it okay, you will inevitably need to stop, and if you can’t unhook your butt from the seat of the bike in time to touch the ground, the bike will fall on top of you and you will twist your ankle. Anyway, I’ve got my bag of frozen peas and bottle of advil and Romy walked to the Apotheke and got me a tensor bandage, so I’m all set. It’s not too bad, there’s only a little bit of swelling, and I can walk on it a little bit if I have to so it’s not broken or a really bad sprain (it hurts like hell when I do, though, so I’ve been hopping about the flat whenever I need anything!) The only thing I’m worried about is that I’m supposed to work tomorrow evening and I’m not sure if my ankle will be up for it yet! But we shall see. Meanwhile I’ve been taking way too much advantage of the flat-rate internet.
And that is about all for tonight. I promise to come back soon with something of substance, though!
you find out your rent is 50€ cheaper per month than you thought it was, and your flatmate gets flat rate internet installed and lets you use her laptop so you don’t have to walk down to the stale internet cafe everytime you want to check your email, and you can buy a box of totally decent nectarines for 1€, and you eat tiramisu and ice cream and a nectarine for lunch? Me too.
(Also, happy Canada Day!)
They’re moving in this weekend! When I left Saturday morning the apartment was still empty and lonely, and I returned to find it full of stuff and people and chaos, which was a nice change! It was pretty great to sit and eat breakfast with them this morning. It should also be good for my German, to be emmersed in the language again some more.
I’m working this evening, which means I will once again be making my way home on the U-Bahn after a football game, this time the final. It should be an interesting night.
Pictures! The doorway to the courtyard:
Courtyard (we’re way up at the top):