Back to School

Trip Start Oct 18, 2012
Trip End Dec 14, 2015

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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Monday, February 11, 2013

Howdy folks,

On Tuesday I went back to school for the first time since Christmas and it was good to get out of the house and get back to a normal 'routine'. One of the interesting things about travelling is learning new things about yourself (for better or for worse) and also the wonders of hindsight. For example I knew that I woud have a few months of learning German before I could say pick up a kids book and read it, but there are many things about learning a new language that I never thought about. The first thing is that you can say just about any sentence 10 different ways with roughly the same meaning i.e. I will go to school, I am going to school, Today school starts, I must go to school etc... The second thing is that it doesn't matter how long you study a language, you will NEVER be perfect. In fact even to be fluent requires YEARS of practice. After 4 months, I can sit down and have a basic conversation, order in a restaurant, ask questions and most of the time I will generally get the gist of the reply, but that doesn't mean that I understand every sentence. That is made worse when you bring slang into the equation!

Finally, learning a language doesn't mean that you have the capacity to say work in an office or at a front desk. I might be an accounts clerk, but having looked for jobs in the last 2 weeks I can say that it doesn't mean I can get that sort of job. I might in fact have to start housekeeping or cleaning or general help type jobs if that is all I can get. At the moment though, I am focused on finishing my current course. If I had the ability to go back and change a few things I would have done the German course in January rather than waiting for my Visa to come through, but c'est la vie.

I would like to apologise to Steffie because over the last 4 months I have been a grumpy bastard. Moving to Europe has been a tremendous challenge for me and I guess I was naiive about how difficult it would be after how easy it was to set up in Banff. Without her support, I couldn't have done any of it because it just wouldn't have been worth the effort to go through all the hassle. At times I have been depressed and homesick while I was able to keep myself busy in Banff through work and play, I have too much time on my hands here without a job. I know there light at the end of the tunnel, I just have to keep pushing through it.

Steffie has been making the most of her new hobby baking and the kitchen was a blaze of activity on Saturday as she attempted to make macaroons and cake pops: two things which I never bothered trying to make in Adelaide! That is because they are incredibly difficult and time consuming and I only made the easy stuff like biscuits and slices. In the end everything worked out really well and the results speak for themselves.

On Sunday I suggested that we do a bit of a tidy up because upstairs in our apartment it is a bit chaotic with furniture everywhere. We sort of have our own kitchen now and there is space for the new crosstrainer now that the old one is gone so hopefully it stays clean. Luna the cat took a while to get used to the new setup! We both sat down and took a look at our goals for this year and Steffie certainly has a few interests she wants to explore like learning Spanish or a dancing course, but definitely travel is still on the top of the list. I want to continue writing and photography and possibly go further to try and submit a travel review to Lonely Planet or something. I'm not so keen on writing opinion pieces or fiction so there doesn't leave much else!
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mike60 on

Right my friend. We are a german company with some native english speakers and when we discuss in english with them we talk like kindergardeners. Simple sentences with simple words. So look for a job where you need your english and you are the king.

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