Tag Archives: germany

day fifty six

5 Oct

today was an interesting day, to say the least. first day of wandering the streets crying in germany – which happened many times in barcelona the first year. so, i suppose i should have expected it.

me and christin during the first week in barcelona

1. the opportunity to live in a foreign country

it is a fantastic opportunity. it is a fantastic opportunity. it is a fantastic opportunity. it could be worse. it could be worse. it could be worse.

i have to keep telling myself these things. and they really ARE true: it is a great opportunity. i learned so much from my time in spain, least of all spanish and now having lived in spain and germany – how many people can say that? and get to travel like i do? and meet the interesting people that i do?

it is a fantastic opportunity and it definitely could be worse.

2. i am a strong, powerful woman

not only am i grateful for the opportunities i’ve had, specifically as i’ve mentioned of living in spain and germany, but i also acknowledge that i make these opportunities for myself. i realized that i needed something more in my life and got up off my butt, sold all my stuff and moved across the world to a country i’d never been to before and where i knew absolutely no one. i met a fabulous man who is responsible and loving and created a great opportunity for us here in germany and i supported him in that and chose to pick up and move again. at least i’d been here once before. but still, i’m pretty awesome. and the life we’re creating, while difficult, is pretty wonderful.

3. crappy movies and chocolate cake

i’m pretty sure i was already grateful for my chocolate cake yesterday (you’d think i’d remember), but after my crap day of dealing with german i don’t understand still and getting fined 40€ for not having my ticket on the metro (even though i had it, i just forgot to punch it because they put the small box in one tiny little corner of the station and it’s really easy to forget), the best thing in the world is to get home and just be able to lie on the couch, eat chocolate cake and watch movies. and yes, i did watch enchanted again because it is just that good.


day thirty two

11 Sep

this might actually be what i look like when cleaning... dopey smile and all...

1. cleaning

i’m not a dirty person at all, but sometimes (like today), i wake up and it seems like suddenly the house is a mess: the floors are dusty and have a whole lot of what seems to be my hair in the corners and on the rugs (i seriously don’t know how it is that i lose that much hair every day and still have any left over), there are days’ worth of dishes in the sink and a sort of sticky mess (from peanut butter and honey sandwiches) on the coffee table. worse, it’s organizational too. the desk cabinet is wide open and papers are flung about in “piles” on the desk and i’ve very obviously just been searching through all my big accordion file searching for my passport, visa and tax id number for my new job.

okay, that last one doesn’t happen every day, but it was like that today. usually i’m on top of things. after all, i don’t have a job. but i seem to have been really busy lately, or something. i haven’t got a lot done that i wanted to.

i also usually don’t like cleaning on the weekends. james is lovely and helps, but i just don’t like cleaning when he’s around. i never have. my favorite thing was when my roommates would go out of town or something and i could clean at 2 in the morning without them either being woken up or thinking i was crazy. there’s something about cleaning that really clears my mind. part of it, of course, is that when it’s cluttered around me, my head feels cluttered as well (which is never good) and i start to feel overwhelmed and out of control (which i feel enough as it is anyway).

but a big part of it is the act of cleaning. something about the solitary silence and the fact that i don’t have to think about what i’m doing. i can just do. and be blank.

i don’t give myself enough time to be blank. i give myself plenty of time to think, but that’s not always what i need. so, today, i was grateful for cleaning the house and the opportunity it gave me of being blank for a few hours.

(it should be noted that this is not a photo what we ordered. even my husband couldn't eat all that.)

2. delivery sushi

i know back in the us it isn’t so impressive, because they have a delivery service for everything (even weed if you’re in san francisco), but in spain they only had one company that delivered pizza. okay, i’m not entirely sure that’s a fact, because i know they also had pizza hut, but i don’t think i could bring myself to eat pizza hut on purpose. i don’t know where it comes from but on the pizza delivery scale, starting OBVIOUSLY with round table, pizza hut would come last for me.

but anyway, we’re not talking about pizza here. though they deliver that here in germany as well. but they also deliver chinese and thai and all sorts of foods that you want on a rainy sunday after you’ve cleaned the house and don’t really feel like going outside or making anything that would mess up your freshly-cleaned kitchen. and, as it turns out, they deliver sushi too. and it is really freakin’ good.

as my husband said, “uh-oh. is this amazing or this very, very dangerous?”

3. olive oil hair masque

i’ve talked about it before, i’ve even told other people that it’s a great idea. but i’ve never done it. and why would i? i worked at an aveda salon for years and then i lived in the most humid place ever (i’m not entirely sure that’s true either, but it seems true). but now i’m living in a dry place again and i’ve been told that they have pretty hard water and that can have some bad effects on your hair.

whatever the reasons, all i know is that my hair has become less curly and frizzy and it feels dry and brittle and i am NOT okay with that.

i will never forget the first time i read little women and discovered that jo had sold her hair and it was all chopped short. she broke down crying, i broke down crying and then amy, her younger sister, said the words that would stick with me forever: “oh jo, your one true beauty”. that’s it, that’s what my hair is. in my complete and total mania, insanity and insecurity, my hair and my feet are the only things i’m truly confident of all the time. the other features, they have their moments, but my hair and my feet, i’m always happy with.

so, getting back to the point. my hair has been shit lately. seriously. so today, i mixed a little geranium oil and some gardenia oil into some olive oil and let it sit for half the day (while i was cleaning) and then applied it and let it sit on my hair and scalp for about thirty minutes and now my hair feels curlier and shinier.

we’ll see how it holds up. this might have to become a sunday ritual.

day thirty

9 Sep

1. other people get nervous around other people

i found this on pinterest and re-pinned it, which means that not only did someone pin it, but they found it where someone else had already posted it and someone other than that created it – that means there are at least three people out there who need to be reminded of this phrase. though i probably could have rationally said beforehand that there are other people who are anxious around “the outside world”, it’s nice to be reminded of it. i am grateful for everyone else out there who is like me.

2. savings account!

that’s right, today i started a savings account. which means we are well on our way to being bona fide adults. and that means that the next time i visit my parents, i won’t have to ask my dad to help me out with some miles for my ticket! we’ll have saved for the trip (you know, again, like “real” people). this also means that the next apartment we get can be unfurnished and we can buy furniture and i can finally have the things i want all around me! and we can have babies and not be stressed about supporting them! we can take vacations!

ok, maybe i’m getting a little carried away. we didn’t put that much money in there, after all… but still, i’m very grateful for the start of our little nest egg.

3. another class!

today when i went into my work (i feel so fancy saying that – again, like a “real” person with a job) to plan my lesson for monday, they gave me another class! so now i am a working teacher with TWO classes. impressed? i thought so.

as a side note, i completely forgot to ask when the class starts so i have no idea what time to show up. still impressed? 😦

day eighteen

28 Aug

1. boats!

today we went on a little 2 hour “cruise” down the rhine and it was really nice. the river is just lovely, the weather was accommodating (it didn’t rain) and it was a really nice view of cologne. i’ve never spent much time in boats, but i think i quite like them.

2. this guy

i don’t really know what to say about this guy. but i’ve seen him a few times walking across the bridge, and i think there’s always something to be grateful for in whimsy.

3. this isn’t my car

seriously, how does this happen? james and i were walking back from seeing our first decent flat today and we saw three cars in a row that seemed like they hadn’t moved in ages. covered in rust and surrounded by plant-life. very funny. i am also grateful for cologne because i’m starting to discover that this is a unique, funny little town full of little surprises and quaint treasures.

i know i’m only doing three things, but i’ve got to give a shout out to the white truffle sauce that i had today on my pasta. it was phenomenal. i didn’t include it because, frankly, i don’t think i can just keep writing about food all the time, but it was absolutely delicious. it made me happy. for sure.

day sixteen

26 Aug

1. fabulous dishwashing gloves

this might sort of be cheating, as i’m not actually grateful for mine because i’ve just discovered that they kind of don’t function the way they should. i never used to use gloves, because why bother, but now that i’m married and have these diamonds on my finger, i really don’t want to wreck them. so, i started experimenting with gloves. today, i got over the ones i’ve got and washed the dishes by hand, using my real hands. it reminded me how awesome a good pair of gloves can be and i am pretty excited to go out there and search for the perfect dishwashing gloves.

where i'm sitting now (only my computer is there too)

2. my apartment

we are moving and i’ve just started the process of looking for a new wohnung, which is sort of difficult because i don’t really speak german. BUT it has really made me realize how great our first home in germany has been. while i’m still ready to move closer to köln, our little apartment has been both welcoming and homey and most importantly, really cheap. one place i saw today was about 250€ more per month and was much smaller (even the kitchen was smaller!). it also was on the sixth floor with no elevator. which maybe would be good for my butt on an every day basis, but i just can’t even imagine moving in. so, while i’m still committed to moving, i’m so happy i have my little home to come back to every day.

3. public transport

while i did get wet in the rain today (sun was shining – walked outside and boom: thunder, lightening, rainstorm. seriously), i just love it because everyone did. because when you take public transportation and walk around a city, if it rains, you get a bit wet. and most people were wearing sandals, and that’s just how it goes. at first, i thought, oh god, i’m wearing sandals. oh no, i didn’t bring my umbrella and then, i just embraced it. i didn’t go so far as to go twirl in the puddles, my face lifted up to the sky to catch raindrops in my mouth, but i got wet. and it wasn’t bad at all. and i’d take it any day over driving.

and more of my apartment:

my window

my book corner

day fifteen

25 Aug

1. julie’s visiting friend

i thought, after getting stung by a wasp at the wilderness festival, that i was over my fear of them. i was wrong. today at bastien’s i ordered a small baguette with jam, cheese and honey. bad choice. of course, the wasps flocked all around it and me and i sort of started to panic. i was trying to play it cool, but i think it was obvious i was a bit freaked out. so, i decided to go inside, away from the wasps. however, that required me picking up my plate covered with wasps, and i was sort of standing there, not knowing how i was going to do that. and this wonderful man (whose name i completely forget) picked it up for me and carried it all the way inside, brushing the wasps away before he brought it inside. an angel.

2. natalia coming inside

then, of course, i was sitting inside all by myself, a little bit sad. but natalia and her daughter came in to keep me company and she’s just such a sweetheart. she really made me feel special and as she’s new here too, we can really relate in a lot of ways. plus, she’s from colombia and i’d really like to start meeting her every week to speak spanish, which she’s agreed to.

3. old friends, like jamie

i had this great friend when i was little who moved to west virginia. of course, we kept in contact for a bit, and i saw her a couple times when she came out to visit, but for the most part, we lost touch. a couple of years ago, we had the whole facebook reunion thing, which was fantastic (and then i was grateful for facebook). we still don’t really talk much, but when she comments on some post or something, i still get a really big smile on my face and think to myself, “i like jamie.” and i do!


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.