Monday, 29 September 2008

Deutsche Bahn are useless Part 2

I rang someone at Kiel train station earlier...

-"blah blah blah blah blah blah blah...How can I help?"
-"I'm going to Esbjerg in Denmark on Friday...*cut off mid sentence*"
-"For train journeys you need to contact the Travel Centre at the station (Eh,I thought this was it...) They don't have a phone."
-"Oh"
-"Bye"

Will I ever get to Denmark? Stay tuned...

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Etoy nochyu

Because there's nothing like a fit gyrating Russian to lift the spirits :)

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Teitur is all around me...

Seriously- Hamburg,Odense,Esbjerg- how am I meant to decide?!At the minute,I'm swinging towards the Esbjerg option.Getting the train up there on Friday,staying the night and coming back on Saturday afternoon.4 hours,about €150,no problem.At least that way I can save money by seeing a bit of Denmark and the greatest Faroese singer/songwriter ever on the same bank holiday weekend.We'll see.Esbjerg looks really nice actually,it's on the North Sea coast which means there are a lot of seals by the looks of things (just like here,although I've still yet to see one),an art museum (*glee*) complete with "Art experiences for children and adults" and "Scent installation" apparantly.And according to the town website "Esbjerg has all the opportunities for shopping that anyone could wish".Stellar.

On a kind of related note- my God is Deutsche Bahn absolutely useless!The website tells you nothing about prices- it has no idea how much it costs to get from here to Flensburg,despite it being just over an hour away.OK,so you have to change at Neumünster,but still,it should be able to cope with such an event!And to find out how much to Esbjerg,it's like "mmm...don't really know.You can get to Rendsburg for €19 but can't really tell you anything more than that." Rendsburg is bloody miles away from Denmark!

Giving up with the website,I went to the station today to see what I could find there.A million timetables and booklet things later and I still have no idea about anything.They're full of great ideas like getting the train to Switzerland and London and even Minsk,but still don't bother telling you the thing you want to know most- how much it costs.*Sigh*

Friday, 26 September 2008

This weekend...

...werd' ich wahrscheinlich gar nichts machen- ich bin total kaputt!

Yes.My plan for tomorrow was to go to Eckernförde,just up the A7 a bit,on the Flensburg bus that I got last week.Easy to do,only €7 return,nice day out.But now I really can't be bothered.Bad I know,seeing as I only have about another 14 weekends here,and should do as much as possible,but still.I'm so tired this week.Had a flash of genius last night which meant I didn't get to sleep til gone midnight (only Keira will see this flash of genius unfortunately,but anyway),and today I had another trade fair surprised on me.I clearly didn't read the description properly- it seemed really interesting from what I read,lots of language/cultural people involved,but my God it was boring.Why I left behind comfortable office complete with Popo and nice 2.30 finish to go and sit in a freezing cold school in Rendsboyg (that's what we call places like that up here- Rendsboyg,Flensboyg,Hamboyg...It's cool) I have no idea.

Did get to see a little presentation thing about memory training though,which was quite entertaining actually- I now remember the last 10 presidents of America,although how useful that information will ever be,I don't know.Also had a few nice rolls.Well,they call them rolls here,but they're not really- they're half a roll covered in butter,with salami/cheese/god knows what on them,garnished very elaborately with salad and normally chives.I'm going to call them smørbrød from now on because that's what they remind me of.



(from dinmat.bt.no)

Nummy num nums,I'm sure you'd agree.

The other day I wrote about the planned lunch we were going to have with some sort of colleagues.Well it happened yesterday and I met who seems to be the only other British person in SH.I was so excited I could have just married him there and then.Seriously,when you haven't really spoken English for a month,it's a pretty big deal to have a conversation with someone who understands everything you say.We discussed pubs,kebabs,football...It was lovely,definitely the best lunchtime I've had since I've been here.Couldn't say the same about the food though.I had to pay for it for one thing- with real money!My main food currency here is my plastic canteen card,so it was a bit sad seeing my real 4 Euros being exchanged for a bland tomato sauce,rice and 2 giant meatballs.

The best thing I learnt from yesterday afternoon is that (as I guessed),Northern Germans aren't the most outwardly friendly and welcoming people in the world.So it's not just that they don't like me,it's typical behaviour.Typical for a lot of Northern Europe though I guess.From my experience,it's in southern Italy,the Balkans and North Africa where people are most welcoming and want to talk to you/invite you to their houses even when you don't know them etc etc.

Anyway...yeah,there probably won't be too much going on on here this weekend.Maybe it's time to go and do some Norwegian-watching down at the Norwegenkai.Next weekend though,is a long one,because Friday is a bank holiday- hurrah! It's the Tag des Deutschen Einheits (Day of German Unity).You'd think that'd be quite a big thing,what with Germany as we know it only being 19 years old,but apparantly nothing's going on here to mark the occasion.So unless I can find somewhere where something is happening- I think a trip to Denmark may be in order.Looks like I'll be going in November anyway,but that's Odense,maybe next weekend I can check out Copenhagen.Let's be honest now,it's been far too long since I was in Scandinavia,and my close proximity is one of the main reasons I chose to come here...

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten?

Warning: This is a big,big post.But it's worth it :)

It's been a bad day today.Or afternoon anyway.The morning was great,I'm making a lot of progress with my presentation (well,I only started it yesterday but still...).Got to speak to some peeps in Maidstone and Rochester (via Brussels),which was quite cool.Maybe I've been away too long,but both of the guys I spoke to seemed to have really really nice voices...That's not normal for men from Kent.Anyway,that was good.I also appear to have succeeded in finding a partner.A project partner,silly.Probably can't say too much about what the project or the partner are exactly,but it was a big surprise actually.I've contacted so many people about it in the last few weeks,and this one success so far has come from the place I least expected.Then I had a gorgeous lunch (my God,the people in SH make good pasta),with someone I met on my first day.Found out his name today as well,although I still have no idea which department he works in or anything.Have also been invited to lunch,sometime...somewhere...where there will be people from other companies present.Possibly a British man too no less!Wow...

But this afternoon I "met" some of the apprentices in our company.Before I came here I was told Germans love English people.Now everyone I work with is lovely,but my God the younger generation (my age for God's sake!) are so cold.As Arctic ice as Ruslan might say.I felt like some kind of useless spare part there,and it was quite depressing.Seeing as I've been feeling pretty miserable for the last few days,it didn't help.I've given up all hope of finding a German friend.Maybe it's just a northern phenomenon.But then I already have one friend from just up the A7 and he's lovely.If not very talkative :) I've been chatting to him online for the last few evenings though,which has cheered me up no end.I'm meant to be seeing him at some point,but whether that will happen or not is another matter.Although if I did,I might just attach myself to him and not let go- I'm pretty desperate to see anyone I vaguely know at the minute,as you might be able to tell :)

I certainly don't miss home- I love my job here and Kiel is a lovely city,it would be silly to miss somewhere where I sit around all day doing nothing- with a crap internet connection too! I'm more 'timesick' I suppose.I miss the Rye Experience so so much,but I would do wherever I was,because it's not going to happen again.There are a few things about it in particular that I miss a ridiculous amount :/ Anyway,I was looking at pictures last night,and seeing as a lot of visitors to PVE don't know much about what went on at the Rye Experience,I thought I'd share :)



Ah my bed...My squeaky,creaky,wafer thin bed of IKEA loveliness.Note Dima on the wall too,he multiplied as time went on.Two particular episodes come to mind,but probably best I don't mention either of them.All I'll say is 'teeth'.I bet Keira doesn't remember...



Many happy times were spent in the company of Russkiy Standard.Many.



One of my birthday presents from James.Stayed where it was for the remaining 7 months we were in the house.Nothing like a Norwegian flag to brighten up crappy,moth-eaten curtains,oder?



My birthday.That's Ioana,our fabulous Romanian friend on the end by the way.My party was a brilliant night.For some of us anyway.For others it ended pretty early in silence in the armchair in the corner of the front room :) Bless him,I love quiet drunks!Was also the night where our obsession with a certain piece of kitchen equipment began...



I still can't believe after all the time myself and Keira spent making this,I still spelt Razhdeniya wrong.Aagh!



It was Singstar battle all round when Shabooby came to stay.Talking of Singstar...



What a night Keira's birthday was :) The karaoke efforts of Diana's and my (at the time) boyfriends were a delight to listen to.Although the cosy behaviour was a bit worrying...The night culminated in everyone except the birthday girl watching the cinematic masterpiece that is The Golden Seal.If only I could find it on DVD...



Bloody buses.I wonder if they've updated the software thing yet?Maybe Diana will give us the answers when she returns...



Miy lyubim this city!



This is no ordinary chicken,let me tell you.



On what was officially the worst night of my life,I then came home to discover the ceiling had broke and was dripping water at an alarming rate,meaning we had no electricity.The week that followed was one of the best of my life though,so I guess it all adds up :) And anyway,a broken ceiling meant we found Ruslan,who's now living somewhere on my bedroom floor at home.



James on The Commode,which I fell through once.Sunday nights before Christmas were fun.Well,they were after Christmas too,they just didn't involve QVC,Barbra Streisand and various travel documentaries.



The last night of the Rye Experience :( I just saw the ladder and thought Bilan.So that's what I'm doing.

But of course,one thing sums up the Rye Experience better than anything.We all enjoyed a bit of Willie in the 10 months we were there- I remember one occassion when myself and Diana indulged in public! Don't know what elephants have to do with anything,but never mind...



It's not as good when it doesn't get stuck and repeat itself every 10 seconds though :)

Monday, 22 September 2008

I never panic

Been feeling a little bit miserable the last few days,not quite sure why.It's getting slightly boring being on my own all the time,but then again,in travelling terms I wouldn't really want it any other way.I don't particularly like travelling with people to be honest- I'd much rather explore on my own and do what I want.But on the occasions when I'm not visiting one SH town or another,it would be quite nice to have someone to watch re-runs of Fabrika with :) OK,now that may be pushing it,but still,I want some conversation sometimes!That doesn't cost a million pounds a minute and is not via MSN anyway.

However,things are so looking up.It's Mussel Week in Kiel in a few weeks' time! I love how on the website it says...

Für Nicht-Muschelesser bietet die „Sprottenbar“ viele kulinarische Alternativen wie Scampi, Backkartoffel mit und ohne Lachs oder frische Salate, etc. an.


For non-mussel eaters there'll be a Sprottenbar with lots of alternatives...I never knew you could categorise people as mussel eaters and non-mussel eaters :)

I had a little chat with Andreas today too which was quite nice.I like talking about non-work related things sometimes.He came to see me especially to give me lots of work to do.It's all kind of physics related so I have no idea if I'm doing the right thing or not,but still.It's good to be a bit of a department ho and get to see what the people in the rest of our company do.

Also- and I really need to get this sorted quite soon- I may be (I really really hope so anyway) going to Hamburg to see Teitur next weekend.OK,I didn't realise it was next weekend til I just checked the calendar,but still,hopefully I can get at least Friday morning off.Anyway,I've written about Mr Lassen on WYM before,and we played a lot of his songs on Sounds of Europe.I've been really getting into his second album Stay Under the Stars lately- particularly this song: I Run the Carousel.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Prime time Polski entertainment?

I've been watching Poland's Got Talent (or rather Mam Talent) on youtube.Don't ask why.And it seems it's just as bad as our version...



Still,credit for playing In The Shadows at the end though.

Gestern in Schleswig/Holm

If Neumünster was voted the ugliest town in Germany, then Schleswig must have been in the running at least for the prettiest.

We drove past it on the way to Husum the week before last,getting a classic postcard-type view from the other side of the Schlei.So I thought I'd visit properly,seeing as it's pretty close and everything.So after 2 hours on a pretty full up bus (God knows what time it actually reached Flensburg) yesterday,I went straight down to the harbour.I was pretty disappointed that the weather was so rubbish,especially seeing as on the way up it was sunny and nice in Eckernförde,Gettorf and Fleckeby.So that made for some pretty gloomy looking pictures...





I'm sure it's really nice there in summer though.

But it didn't really matter,because the best part of town is undoubtedly Holm,the old fishermans settlement.It's so impossibly pretty,and although it seems like it's in its own world,it's only about a 10 minute walk from Schleswig town centre.Oh,and in Schleswig by the way,shops are open on Sundays!I must transfer to the Flensburg branch of my company immediately so I have an excuse to move there...









The front of nearly everyone's house in Holm is covered with colourful flowers- it's quite bizarre seeing somewhere where everyone makes an effort to make their house look nice.

The only downside I could see to living in Holm is that it's full of tourists,which could get quite annoying.They were mostly German tourists yesterday from what I heard.I overheard two of them there yesterday...

- "It's so nice here,I've never been before"
- "Where are you from?"
- "Cuxhaven" (Lower Saxony- not too far away)
- "That's always the way,you never bother exploring what's close to you."

True,but the difference here is that the local towns are worth visiting- I can't say the same about Kent or Surrey :)

I went to St Peter's Cathedral after Holm. Schleswig is a bit like Guildford- if you get lost always look for the spire...



Couldn't take any pictures inside obviously,but actually it's better looking on the outside.

At lunchtime I went to the town square,which reminded me of the one in Malèna , just without the evil Sicilian old women.There I spent far more time than I intended to,waiting for my toasted tuna and cheese baguette (better than it sounds) and Holsten (Rouven tells me this is one of Germany's not so nice beers.I don't believe him) I took this opportunity to sit and write some notes for this blog,like a proper travel journalist :) But they're in my bag on the other side of the room now and I can't be bothered to get them.Pubs in Schleswig old town are very nice though,I thought this sign outside one of them was really cute...



My insanely long lunch meant by the time I got to Schleswig town centre,most of the shops were shut.Which was probably just as well,I have to stop spending money.I will go back there some time though seeing as I missed the Palace and the Stadt and Holm museums yesterday.Hopefully the weather will be a bit nicer next time.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Kazhdi den vsyo luchiy i luchiy

Just another Baltish video...The guy with the hat is Budulis,a shady Lithuanian character involved in dodgy dealings.I love the way the neighbour has transliterated everything into Cyrillic- classic!

Heute

I did go to Schleswig today,but right now I'm far too tired to write anything about it.So you'll have to wait til tomorrow :) Here's a few pictures before then though.








By the way,Paul Potts is on telly again- on some large-scale Top of the Pops type programme.Wahnsinn...Ah,seems it's not just me who cries at Nessun Dorma every time- some German rock band were a little bit emotional then too :)

Friday, 19 September 2008

Untitleable Post #2

Today was my friend's last day at work which made me quite sad (although she's back on Monday apparantly- it seems no one really ever leaves there...),then I had to write some things that were kind of slating the EU,which made me quite sad,and then a guy on Holstenstrasse asked me for "ein bisschen Kleingeld",which made me quite sad.I declined of course,come on,I'm getting taxed €140/month,every cent counts!But anyway,then a Popo also on Holstenstrasse smiled at me (probably because I was miming to Hero or something without realising),and that made everything better.

I actually worked all day today.Well discounting the first hour where we sat in a conference room and ate doughnuts,and discounting my hour at lunchtime- I worked straight through til 3.On a Friday too!I learnt all about SMEs (or KMUs as they are over here) and put my new knowledge to good use.Sort of.It's times like this you really wish Business A Level contained useful stuff.

Tomorrow I'm probably going to Schleswig.In it's history it's been conquered by Swedes,Franks and Danes,all within one century.I think there's still the remains of an old Viking settlement there,which might be quite interesting.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

I always have black caviar on my бутерброт

I've had enough of RTL- which is just as well as I've just come across Baltish- a comedy series on MTV Lithuania.Baltish is an ex-Soviet state where life seems pretty depressing.The humour is very black indeed and the characters from what I've seen so far are all caricatures of Baltic/ex-Soviet stereotypes.I guess you actually have to be from the Baltic region to appreciate Baltish properly,but I find it quite funny all the same.Here's Gazik,my favourite character so far :)

Krank

Today's PVE comes to you from my bed- which isn't a bad place to be,there could be worse.Everyone at work has had "die Grippe" lately and it seems I'm getting it too.No sneezing yet but everything else is present.

My Happy Housemate did leave me some tablets this morning (before hurrying out of my room before she could catch anything or extend the conversation- one of the two),but I don't know what they do exactly or how many I'm meant to take,so I thought I'd go to the chemist nextdoor.My 24 Grippostad (sounds like a town in Sweden) set me back €8,95.Yes,£7.That's like 3 quarters of a Zara jumper!No wonder Germans are always exercising and cycling everywhere- they can't afford to be ill obviously.

Now I'm enjoying the delights of daytime TV on RTL.Just so you understand what that means,here's the opening sequence from RTL's best known programme...



OK,that's an old one- Yvonne Catterfeld's not in it anymore and I never knew Jeanetter Biedermann was,but anyway,I think that's a good indication of the naffness of RTL.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Deutsche Männer sind besser

Today I was back in Neumünster for Nordbau- the builder's trade fair.It seems it's not surprising I didn't think it was too great a place at the weekend- Lisa told me today that it was voted the ugliest town in Germany :/

Anyway,today was pretty much the same as last Thursday at Husum.I spent all day with Lisa walking around bitching about things,discussing music and moaning about getting lost all the time.We discovered early on that Nordbau is no place for girls.The outdoor section was full of various tractors and things that we really couldn't tell the difference between.There was a plus side though,a man gave me this...



Isn't it cute?He made it out of a bit of slate in about 10 seconds.

Our little area was pretty damn fabulous.We weren't representing our company exactly,we were more representing the EU and informing people about it through the medium of a trivia quiz,lots of brochures and the fittest man I've seen since I've been here.His name was Arne and he dresses very nicely indeed.Think I might have bored him very early on though by talking about the differences between Norwegian and Finnish.But then he was the one who asked.Anyway,we had lots of lovely EU merchandise of which I brought home quite a lot.There was a rather nice umbrella that someone put aside for me,but I felt a bit bad about taking it- it was the star prize of our trivia quiz after all- so I didn't.

This afternoon we went to a meeting of various companies doing projects that are funded partially by the EU.It was basically just 2 hours of bigging up the EU- particularly one man,whose company I had absolutely no idea about as he just kept going on about why we need the EU and why it's our future.I was pretty hooked on his little speech actually,I was a bit like Mark Corrigan listening to Johnson...

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Kiel.Lauf

As promised,here's some pictures of today's running action...



Yeah,I missed the actual start...



Some of the slower adults from the 6k run got caught up with the kids doing the Bambinilauf :)



Crowd outside the town hall near the finishing line at the bottom of Fleethörn



On a crossroads at Holstenstraße



Going past where I work on Fleethörn



A man in the square trying to entertain everyone.
Man to kid (before I took the picture)- "So how often did you go running to practice for today?"
Kid- "I didn't."

At the top of Fleethörn,some people in a flat above the Italian travel agency were blasting out power ballads (what else?This is Germany after all...) and making interesting noises of encouragement...




There was a mini sailing event for kids in Kleiner Kiel too- the little boats were really cool



Was quite a nice morning really.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Of Neumünster and athletics...

Oh my God,look who's on telly...



I've been here nearly 2 and a half weeks,it's about time I watched a bit of Bernd :)

I woke up at 9am today as usual despite being able to sleep all day if I wanted to,and it seems I've developed another kind of mystery illness.I had a bit of trouble standing up and kept taking big massive steps like I was either drunk or walking on the moon or something.I also had a headache and felt really sick for some reason.Bizarre.But it turns out the weather forecast was wrong again (it's been sunny,dry and 20 plus degrees again),so I thought I should try and do something.

So I ended up in Neumünster.









(I didn't realise that last picture came out so badly)

Not very adventurous,seeing as Neumünster is only half an hour away,but still I thought it'd be a good place to start.I'm going there for another trade fair on Monday so thought I'd check out the town as I'll be shut in the Holstenhalle all day.I concluded it was OK,probably not one of Germany's most exciting towns,but pleasant enough.Turns out nearly all of the shops were exactly the same as what we have in Kiel,although I'm sure some things were a bit cheaper than they are here...I bought 2 rings in Bijou Brigitte (a chain which we apparantly have in London too)- they're very nice and I paid under 5 Euros for them both,but getting them home,I realised unless I want to wear the gold one forever and ever or unless I see some serious weight loss in my finger- it really doesn't fit :( On the good side though,I finally bought some of this lovely stuff...



Mmm...

My headache and sickness returned in Neumünster though,so I got on the next coach back to Kiel,and got down to the Bosporous Grill in Sophienmarkt for something to eat.Namely a kebab.The man who runs it is really sweet and he recognised me from last week,and spoke to me in a little mix of English and German today.Although he should brush up on his English meat names- doner kebabs are not really made from beef are they?

Anyway,I came home to hear what I've just discovered is a little party going on at the Rathausplatz.Tomorrow is Kiel.Lauf (there's a series of half marathons and things going on),and there's a pre-party thing happening now with live music and various things going on for the runners taking part tomorrow.I'm so gutted I didn't know about it before otherwise I would have gone down there.Even more gutted that there's some kind of competition there where you can win a trip to Norway!Anyway,I felt too ill to do anything earlier so I guess it doesn't matter.And it's loud enough here,I can only imagine what it's like 15 minutes away at the Rathausplatz.

I'll go into town and have a look round at what's happening tomorrow though- they were installing a bouncy castle or something earlier in the park opposite where I work,so maybe there'll be things to do for those people who are not running.According to the website there's 5500 runners though,which is quite a lot.I've also seen there's some kind of kids sailing event going on near where I work as well,so that might be quite interesting.

I've seen the posters around town for the running every day for the last few weeks,but I didn't realise they made a whole weekend of it.That's one of the best things about this city,it's only small but there's nearly always something going on.

Pictures and words about Kiel.Lauf tomorrow probably.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

The greatest wind show on Earth

The big event at Husum today was OK.It was very large indeed,with loads of stalls from at least 10 different countries.I spoke to a few of the British companies there,who didn't really seem that interested despite me asking things about what they do.Typical.There didn't seem to be too much action going on on our stall though- the fact there were 4 of us there and only one bar stool didn't really help matters in the comfort department.So myself and my colleague (the apprentice) divided our time by walking around the 4 big tent things and a) being impressed by some of the rather flashy displays some companies had b) being jealous that our stall was so tiny c) collecting free pens and d) admiring the attractive men.The rest of our time was spent sitting at the bar drinking a hell of a lot of apple juice,eating chocolate biscuits,bitching about a few things,and admiring the attractive men.

Some of the stalls and displays were pretty cool,it wasn't just pure boring science and technology stuff.Some of them were giving away really cute cuddly toys as well.Our section was quite sweet actually,with all the various companies from Schleswig-Holstein all in one little area- all of them wearing matching ties/scarves.

The only 2 downsides were that it took forever to get there- we were stuck in traffic for 45 minutes,most of the time literally having to turn the engine off because we really weren't going anywhere kind of stuck.Also,it was probably about 23 degrees today,and that heat combined with the heat of thousands of people in a proportionally small place,really wasn't fun.

Oh,and I had my first proper experience of the Autobahns today.Most of the way back we were doing 160km/h and between accidental small sleeps,I noticed the fuel gauge going ever so rapidly down.Was very good though,seemed like we got back to Kiel in no time at all.If only we had such a lack of rules on British motorways...

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Neue Tasche...



Isn't it great?!

Tomorrow I'm off to Husum,on the North Sea coast,to Husum Wind- "The leading wind energy trade fair"/"The greatest wind show on earth" apparantly.We'll see about that.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Tolle Sachen

I can't look at that phrase without thinking of Bernd das Brot these days.Speaking of whom,there's been a disappointing lack of on my telly.I have KiKa and everything.
But today has been full of Tolle Sachen.I bought a tolle jumper from Zara- I'm so happy there's at least one shop here where things fit me.I got a sandwich from Woolworths for 29 cents (yes,23p!).I don't think there was anything majorly wrong with it.We'll see tomorrow.I went to a meeting at the German Ministry of Environment- no more details there unfortunately,as it's all top secret :) Or rather,if I was allowed to discuss it,I couldn't because I didn't understand very much.But best of all,at Sky supermarket this evening,I bought a few things which apparantly came to €9,01.So I gave her €10...and got €9,01 in change!That was such a great feeling...

Monday, 8 September 2008

I know...

It's old,but still.It's good :)

Sunday, 7 September 2008

And finally...

I had a whole 100g Ritter Sport square of milk chocolate with cornflakes in it yesterday*- and I haven't had a headache!I'm living here forever.

*Bought from Perfetto,a supermarket within Karstadt- where there was a small brass band playing yesterday afternoon.This is the second time I've seen such a thing occur in Karstadt and now I'm starting to wonder if it's a common occurrence...

Dieses Wochenende

My second attempt at visiting Flensburg was aborted yesterday because Yahoo Widgets told me the weather in Schleswig-Holstein (I'm calling it SH from now on,I always type it wrong) was going to be bad.Sunny all day here though,apart from one shower that lasted about a minute at 4pm.Mmm...It seems everyone I've had contact with this week has mentioned Flensburg at some point (walking home the other night there was even a guy shouting something about Flensburg to a guy on the other side of the road) so I thought it was a bit of a sign that I should go there.Maybe next week.Or maybe not.

Instead I went shopping on Holstenstrasse for the 5th time in a week.It's not that big a street but I don't think I'll get bored with it any time soon.I finally found some much needed trainers in good old C&A that didn't cost a million Euros...



I'm so happy with them.

Also bought the new (well,old now) Harry Potter book,although when I'll have the energy to start reading it,I don't know.

Then yesterday evening I watched a bit of the Eurovision Dance Contest,despite not liking dancing whatsoever.Germany weren't in it so it wasn't on telly,and I had to watch it on a stream that kept cutting out.Once it'd got to Poland,I gave up with restarting it every 5 minutes,so Diana kept me up to date with everything that happened (thanks Di!)I don't know where Austria finished,but they certainly deserved more than 28 points from the judges,their routine was pretty cool.

This morning,being a really nice day and everything (21 degrees and very sunny indeed),I thought I'd better do something.It was either the aquarium or the botanical gardens,and seeing as the aquarium is open til 7 every day and I can go there after work,the botanical gardens won.So after a nice 2,5km jaunt up Olshausstrasse,and about 45 minutes of looking at plants,I decided botanical gardens aren't really my thing.There were some pretty cool things,like...



The smallest apples in the world (honestly!)



This interesting thing from Japan

and



Wooden reindeers

But to be honest,unless plants are particularly colourful or strangely shaped,I'm not that interested.It was a very nice place though,I was jealous of the people there with mini-picnics and things.

Diese Woche

So...I really haven't been bothered to blog very much this week because I've been so tired and haven't really done anything that interesting for most of it.Researching the EUs 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development and how the infrastructure in provincial Russian towns is being developed thanks to EU funding may be (semi) interesting to me,but I doubt it is to anyone reading this :)

My computer finally arrived on Thursday which means I now officially have half an office and a huge desk to myself- (there's 2 EU flags on this one!),which is all very exciting,and means I of course needed to buy some new stationery and things.So I took a whole 45 minutes lunch on Friday to go to Karstadt and buy cute things such as this Diddlina mousemat...



(The pink one that is) Check out the Diddl website for more stationery brilliance :)

On Thursday,our department (all 12 of us including 2 people who don't actually work there anymore and someone who hasn't started working there yet) had our once-every-two-years afternoon out.We took the ferry up the fjord to just south of Laboe and walked along the coast for an hour before stopping at the cutest little country pub for a drink and then carrying on to this restaurant. There are great views of the fjord there,which you can see if you click "Die Aussicht." After the biggest lasagne lunch in the world,I really wasn't up to eating much,but managed most of the pumpkin soup (an experience I'd rather not repeat) and massive chicken salad.It was a really good afternoon/evening- it was nice to meet the new guy and the one who'd just left,and also nice to have a proper conversation with one of the girls who's doing her apprenticeship in our department.She likes shoes and she likes Sex and the City- I like her already :)

Earlier this week I discovered Crazy Swedes- a blog which is about exactly what the title suggests.I think I could use some of the things I've heard this week to make my own spin-off blog called Crazy Germans...

Example 1: Myself and 2 colleagues are sitting on a bench having lost the rest of our group and hoping they'd come back.A woman on a bicycle spots us...

Woman on bike- "Excuse me,do you know what time the big ship leaves?"
Colleague (pointing at big ship in the distance sailing up the fjord)- "I think you've just missed it"
Woman on bike- "Oh.Maybe if I wave my balloon,they'll see me." (Waves her aforementioned balloon at the ship which is a good few miles away) "Oh.It didn't work" (Cycles off)


Example 2: On a kid's first day at school,his mum says to him: "If you don't like it,just phone me and you can come home" (I wonder if that works with new jobs too?)

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Tomorrow

Is Sunday which means there'll be nothing to do.So expect a lot of blogging from me.Ihr habt Glück,oder?

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Another day

Another lunch with a middle aged man whose name I didn't quite catch.He was very nice though.

Today was OK,apart from the seminar of which I understood about 3 words.And that was only because I looked them up by chance this morning.I can see this is going to be a very Power Point filled 5 months *groan*.Another seminar tomorrow,potential sorting out of a bank account,and God knows what else.Hopefully my computer will be delivered and I can stop squatting in everyone elses office.Or conference rooms with wireless keyboards and massive 32 inch plasma screens.I've never seen such a big Word Document!

Mmm,there was a T-Mobile advert on ZDF with Paul Potts in it just now.Interesting.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Yawn

Check out Work Your Magic for one of the best songs I've heard all year!It's been quite a while since I found a song I could listen to repeatedly without getting bored.

Oh,and check this out too.If you can't read it,you should be able to soon :)

Today I acquired a nice big desk with an EU flag on it,a pen with EU written on it and some magazines about the EU.In case you hadn't guessed,I'm working for a company who are directly linked with the EU.Or the European Commission anyway.Everyone's nice,I've been translating which is what I do best (well...) and I got to go home early.And I've wanted to work for the EU for lots of years,and this is pretty close to doing just that.Still though,I'm knackered.The longest I've ever worked full time before is a week (if that makes sense),and I've decided I don't like it too much.Still- infinitely better than being stuck here with no one to talk to all day.It's like the bright yellow holiday camp all over again,only a million times cleaner (thank God) with no noisy Nigerians that watch telly til 6am (thank God) and without Keira (boo).

We're finishing work early on Thursday to go on a ferry trip up the fjord though,so that'll be something different.