Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Letter 3 - From Munich with love

Hey hun, 

I hope you are well and that the mad change of weather is not driving you crazy. Jamie had his shorts on last week revealing his true Britishness to the sceptical Germans who dare not go that far when temperatures soared to the extreme of 19 degrees Celsius. I was still wearing my flannel pyjamas, being tropically exotic and all.

Things are still uncertain at the moment and we are both applying for jobs everywhere. We keep throwing stones in the dark with a hope that it will hit something. I keep thinking positive and hoping for the best. Of course you know me well, so you know that 'thinking positive' is a code for drinking wine and 'hoping for the best' another way to say that I'm eating cheese. I will have put on about 100 stones/kilos by the time anything actually happens!

We have travelled to Munich last weekend and I think I pretty much felt in love with the place. There are actually people in Germany who wear heels while shopping!!! It's a big city with an amazing cosmopolitan feeling, where people still look cool wearing their traditional dress. Awesome cakes, food, people and ohhh beer. 

Knödeltrio - beetroot, spinach and cheese

We were visiting one of my old school friends in Munich, who so kindly invited us to stay with her and her husband. It felt strange in some ways to see someone I have not seen for a long time and who knows me in a totally different way, under totally different circumstances. I keep thinking that I have changed and grown up, but the fact is that, deep inside, we were both still the same. Strange huh?

So back to reality now and current daily  activities now include job-searching and CV writing. The holiday is definitely over and perhaps some of my witness has gone with it. Real life can be depressing sometimes, but I keep thinking that there is a lesson in all of this. I will most definitely write about it as soon as I know what it is. However, if any of you readers have identified feel free to let me know.

Munich - Opera House

The Easter holiday is approaching fast and our main concern has been over the fact that most shops and places to go will be closed. Jamie and I have made a serious plan to ensure there are no milk or bread shortness during the 4 day holiday. In a proper British fashion we may stock up on all the essentials, or realistic, whatever we can carry from the supermarket in our bags. Having no car is a major issue in our war-like-stocking-needs. At least we still have teabags!

So if you don't hear from me soon, you will know that we have failed to stock on food to last us for 4 days and we didn't make it! Missing you lots and lots!

Love you loads, 
M. xxx 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Letter 2 - Keeping calm and carrying on

Hey hun, 

The first month in Germany has been somehow ironic. It seems that after all our efforts life keeps throwing different problems at us, maybe just to check how we react, like a constant test without any clear achievement marks. I don't want to bore you with details, but not sure if we will be here for long... but keeping calm and carrying on!

The boxes and furniture finally arrived 10 days ago, which is the main cause of the delay in writing this second letter. I have decided not to unpack everything, which means that every time I want something I must open a minimum of 5 boxes to find it. It is somehow fun, and I keep telling myself, a form of brain-training. Like play a constant memory game: 'I saw that paella pan somewhere... was it in the box with the light fittings or the box with the books?'

Jamie's Fortress of Solitude

We have adopted a new friend (I hope he doesn't mind me mentioning him), who has been introducing some German wines and a revival of my lost interest in football. I know I am officially growing a penis here!!! HELP! I even burped in front of him the other day... my ladylike manners have gone straight out of the second floor window. 

I have also been introduced to a bottle of rose wine which does not make me ill on a quiet Saturday by a Frenchman who cooked us a fabulous quiche (to be honest the boys are quite domesticated). It's called Cabernet D'Anjou and it was delicious. I also had to explain to said Frenchman the difference between brandy and cognac and he did not believe me that St.Remy is a famous French brandy sold all over the world. His argument was it does not exist (as a brand) in France, so therefore it cannot be French! a brandy existentialist crisis on a Saturday night :)

My daily mainly activities have now been reduced to brushing the floors just once a day, still fixated on Gilmore Girls and Chuck, but added My So Called Life to my list of daily TV intake. Our overflow of boxes and added furniture have created a sort of cover for the constant influx of dust to hid under. I love it!
Dust hiding away....yay!

The weekend promises to be a good one, with a raclette (posh name for melted cheese hehe), all night partying and me dressing up in a country where no-one else bothers to. Might go really over the top just for kicks! I'm thinking headband, glitter and actual lipstick instead of gloss! 

I am starting to really miss people now. It has become almost unbearable to drink wine and eat cheese without thinking you should be here too!

Love you loads, 
M. xxx 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Letter 1 - The German Cold

Hey hun, 

The first week in Germany has been somehow restful. Playing the role of hausfrau has been a blissful experience. I got to cook lunch AND dinner almost everyday. You probably sense some sarcasm, but the truth is that I have truly enjoyed not having to pack boxes, pay bills, contact people about change of address, etc. My main concern has been over understanding the recycling system and memorizing the TV channels in English. 

Jamie had his first ever German cold over the last weekend, which, contagiously spread to me. Vielen Dank Jamie! German colds have been meticulously engineered to achieve maximum damage through generations of tough mountain-climbing-extremely-tall people. I'm 1.60 meter tall and fail to climb 2 sets of stairs without losing my breath. I didn't stand a chance! 

It now seems to be lasting forever. I've been blowing my nose non-stop since Sunday and now have a really rough chesty cough. The German drugs don't seem to be working, so it's a good job our stuff arrives tomorrow so that I can get hold of my Brazilian super strength medication :) 

Anyway, still settling in... I need to register at the Rathaus (Town Hall) as being an Auslander (foreign), but I need my Brazilian passport as I have double nationality. And, obviously, it is coming with the removal stuff tomorrow. The worst thing is that at the office for foreign registration NO-ONE speaks any other language than German!!! Had no problems anywhere else, including pharmacies, supermarket, post office.... but the one place where they only deal with foreigners they rely on people pointing at things and miming actions! My ESOL students will know that I have great talent in the art of miming, so at least I left the office with 2 forms. There was a white one for the landlord to say that I live here and a blue one (which has been photocopied several times since 1991 I believe). This form can be completed in handwriting or .... wait for it... a typewriter! I knew I left something behind in 1993. 

A bit fed up with only having boys around... I feel like Penny (plus 3 stones) in The Big Bang Theory! I suppose that would make Jamie Leonard and hopefully not Sheldon! hehe (It just occurred to me... do you watch this show?? If not just wasted metaphors...) 

I found a bottle of Chardonnay at 1 euro 99 cents! Totally drinkable, but perhaps as a second bottle, once the idea of 'taste' in wine has gone out of the window and the main aim is to get drunk. Might need to invest in more 'expensive' bottles, like the Grauburgunder (or our old friend Pinot Grigio), at £3! 

My main daily activities include watching ER in German, feeling super intelligent because I can understand 'herzmassage', brushing the floor, watching Gilmore Girls, brushing the floor, looking out of the window trying to guess where the people at the train station are going to, brushing the floor again, preparing dinner, watching Chuck, brushing the floor, eating dinner with Jamie while we try to guess what is going on at 'Das Perfekte Dinner' (German Come Dine With Me), oh and just before having a shower I usually just give the floors a quick brush ;)

This man's shoes were way too big for him... he must have stolen them and now he needs to get  away before the Polizei finds him!
I'm excited as all our stuff arrives tomorrow, so it will be nice to have something else to do apart from watching old TV shows and brush the floors. It will, hopefully, start to look like a home and not just a flat with some of our stuff around... 

Have a fab week and enjoy yourself in whatever you do! 

Missing you loads, 

M. xxx