Tag Archives: german

day sixty three

23 Nov


1. my very comfy and warm new slippers

it is extremely cold here. i mean, it’s germany after all. i should have expected it, and i suppose i did, but i wasn’t quite prepared. at the weekend, i found these wonderfully soft and warm and lovely slippers and best of all, they were on sale for 10€!

nutloaf, stuffing, peas and spinach, roasted potatoes and of course, salad

2. thanksgiving dinner (even though it wasn’t thanksgiving yet)

tomorrow (thanksgiving), the american women’s club is going to the hard rock café for thanksgiving and they are doing a whole turkey dinner with all the traditional sides. however, being that i’m a vegetarian, i won’t be partaking (i’ll be having a veggie burger and onion rings – suitably “american”, though not very thanksgivingy). so this weekend, james made a roast chicken, stuffing and roasted potatoes and i made my fabulous nut roast and we’ve had leftovers all week! yummy!

3. translation help (american women’s club)

there is so much that i need help with here and i honestly don’t know what i would do without the american women’s club of cologne. especially now that i’m pregnant – there’s just so much i need to know. the doctor gave me all these papers that she has reminded me twice now to read, but of course, i can’t. i’ve even been carrying them around for weeks, but as i wasn’t telling anyone about the pregnancy before, i didn’t know how to get them translated.

anyway, today a lovely german woman who comes to coffee on wednesdays translated all of the papers for me and also gave me a lot of really good advice on hospitals and babies here in germany in general. and i’m so grateful both to her specifically and to the club in general for consistently saving me just when i need it!



day forty nine

28 Sep

1. baby blanket

i finally finished it! my friend had her baby two months ago, and i’ve been lagging on this blanket for the past few months. i don’t know what my problem is, because i do have a lot of time on my hands, but somehow, it just didn’t get done. but lately, i’ve knuckled down and the result: fantastic. and frankly, i’m so grateful. i think a small project or an interesting/difficult project next. this one got a little boring towards the end. after all, it was just squares of knit 5/purl 5 over and over and then vice versa. however, it looks very cool and i really think my friend will like it, and after all, i’m grateful for the opportunity to do something like this to show her how grateful i am for her friendship!

** i’ll add a photo tomorrow – it’s late and i’ve got to work early and i just can’t be bothered.

2. flip-flops

i haven’t worn my flip-flops practically at all this summer – as we haven’t really had a summer (seriously, it’s been raining non-stop since june) and i really missed them! this week has been sunny, warm and beautiful and today, i wore flip-flops all day and i even had that weird sensation between my toes that you get those first days of summer after wearing them after a winter of closed toed shoes.

it was lovely, albeit a little sad as i know it’s coming to an end shortly. however, i’m still grateful for the chance now.

3. people who speak english

today i had to make an important doctor’s appointment and as i don’t speak the language, it can be really difficult. i called a few offices, only to have a very strange conversation with me sort of trying to speak german and them just babbling away, until i finally just said thanks and hung up. so, when i finally got someone who spoke english and made an appointment, i was very pleased. sometimes living in another country is really difficult, but there’s always a few people who speak english and are happy to do so that make it easier.

day thirteen

23 Aug

1. sketching

this is a horrible picture and i apologize for that, but i took it from my phone and frankly, it’s kind of hard to take a good photo of a light pencil sketch. but that’s not really the point, as i’m not posting it as an amazing example of my “art”, i’m just so thankful to myself (for a change) to be sketching again.

i always used to sketch, the same as i always used to write, and when i was around fifteen, i sort of forgot who i was in my mad dash to become anyone else possible and i stopped doing all the things that were so essential to me, so it’s so important to be starting those again, over fifteen years later.

today, i both sketched and wrote and while it wasn’t a great day in other ways (i didn’t exercise and i ate too much pasta), it’s a start. it does seem that everything i’m doing is leading towards my being happy in future, hopefully. doing things like sketching make it feel even more possible.

(please ignore the hands – i just ignored that they were there. baby steps.)

2. looking for a new wohnung

while our apartment has been wonderful and clean (which, after barcelona, was a huge plus), i’m ready to move and i know my husband is happy here, so i’m grateful that he’s willing to move as well. i’ve started looking into different apartments around the city and sent out a lot of emails today. some of them are furnished, and some not. it’s hard to search for an apartment when you don’t really know how long you’ll be in a city. there’s a big part of me that wants to buy my own furniture and paint the walls and really make it my own, but what if we just move in a year or so? too difficult to say, so i’ve just decided to look around and what will be, will be. i’m just going to assume (as an optimist would) that the right place will present itself.

3. kaufpark cashier

i see this woman almost every time i am shopping at kaufpark, my local grocery store. i remember her because she looks seriously like allison janney. she’s very nice (at least, i think so, not being able to understand anything she says) and she’s always smiling and seems to remember shoppers and chat with them. today, as i was checking out, she asked me where i got my peaches, or what type of peaches i had or something about my peaches. i, of course, have no idea what she was saying because i don’t even know the word for peach.

but, she asked the question, and then looked up at me and smiled so sincerely and said (again, just guessing here) never mind and looked up the code and entered it in, smiling at me again. she seemed particularly aware of my being uncomfortable at not understanding her and instead of judging me, as many have both here and in barcelona, she was very sweet and kind. and beyond that, she remembered me. it wasn’t that she asked me and i said the only thing i can say: ich spreche kein deutsch, she recognized me and knew who i was.

even though we can’t have any sort of conversation, it’s nice to feel part of a community where my local supermarket cashier knows me by sight.

day one

11 Aug


1. the american women’s club in cologne

not only would i not know anyone here in cologne (or in all of germany, really) if it weren’t for them, but in general i have never felt so readily accepted into a community before. every time i have coffee with someone or meet up for a book discussion, i really feel that everyone is looking out for everyone else. when we went to the fourth of july barbecue, people sought me out to welcome me and introduce themselves to james (my husband). i was amazed!

today, i left the house feeling icky and blah – for no reason. i sort of forced myself to go to the coffee meeting and because they are such varied and interesting women, i found that i was completely brought out of myself, which is just what i needed.

2. asian wok restaurants

i seriously love noodles (rice noodles especially) and about three years ago, these “take away” style wok restaurants started opening up all over barcelona and they are here as well. some days, i don’t know what i’d do without some tofu and noodles all drenched in a fabulous coconut curry or sweet chili sauce. comfort food at its best.

3. playing hooky

james chatted me earlier saying that he just wasn’t feeling up to german class today and as we are flying to england early tomorrow morning and still need to pack, maybe we just shouldn’t go. a little part of me knows we should be good adults and go, after all, we live in this country and really should be on top of learning the language so we can communicate with people and stuff, but sometimes it is the best thing in the world to ignore that adult part and just relax. now, i’m sitting on my couch (having just finished my noodles that i got on the way home) and i don’t have anywhere to be all evening. fabulous.