Fanfare, please :kissy:
It may be a little belated, since I actually got home before Christmas, but I’ve been catching up on a lot of stuff and really needed some asocial time after sharing my living space with three other ladies for half a year. Though about that, I got lucky and ended up in a smaller “corridor” with only the four of us sharing one kitchen and one bathroom. The others got to share bathrooms with three or four other people too, but they were about fifteen people with one small kitchen. Ouch. And our kitchen was much bigger than theirs, to boot.
Sooo anyway, I was in Düsseldorf, Germany for six months. Feels odd now, that I’ve been home for a few weeks. Everything pretty much looks the same. Now I’m facing the dreariness of Looking for Job, but let’s not get into that.
It was a language course with job training, so we spent the first few weeks in a classroom, then four days a week at a job place and three hours every Friday in the classroom again, or on school trips.
I eventually got a digital camera, but unfortunately not before the best trip which took us to a mideval castle in the middle of nowhere. That trip also included trying a few wines, and one glass had me stumbling down the street. Teach me to be so small and not eating right the whole day.
I’ve got some photos, but not so many because even with a camera, I’m not one for taking a lot of pictures. Which I will regret later on, but right now most of the place is fresh in my memory. Maybe a little too fresh
Things I discovered:
Saturdays in Germany are neurotic to say the least. That’s because everything (at least in the area I was in) is closed on Sundays, so people pretty much only have Saturdays to do all the shopping they need to do for next week.
Germans are rabid about crossing the street when there’s a red light. A friend and I were out walking on a Sunday in a completely abandoned area. You couldn’t even HEAR a car. Still, when we walked against a red light, some elderly gentleman shouted “STUPID FOREIGNERS!” at us.
I even witnessed people waiting for a green light and shouting at people who walked anyway… when the road was shut down for traffic.
Pausing for lunch is for pansies. You can live on a bottle of water from breakfast to dinner, and that’s that!
I’m not sure if that’s impressive or scary.
There cannot be too many cafés on one single street.
Same with bakeries.
I hate people who talk about White Russia.
Actually, I only hate people who talk about White Russia like one of my corridor-mates did. Now, I got along fine with the two others, but the third grated on my nerves like you wouldn’t believe it. I lived in the same apartment setting (we all had individual rooms, thank God…) for six months, and I don’t think I ever heard a single intelligent word pass over her lips. It didn’t help that she had that kind of voice that can cut through glass. Let me give you a prime example.
(When I say “White Russia” I mean the country known in English as Belarus. The Swedish name for that country is White Russia, however, and that’s important in this story as it only made it worse. And now I have to hate myself, too.)
It was in the middle of it all, and I had the cold from hell. Coming home earlier than the other I got into the kitchen and was grateful for being alone. I just wanted to eat and go to bed, because I felt like crap.
Just as I’m in the middle of my dinner I hear the door slam of Glass-cutter-voice coming home. As she comes prancing into the kitchen with her usual flair of over the top giddiness (she had NO OTHER state of mind), I mentally cursed but called upon my politeness and asked her how her day had been.
(Shrieking with joy as if this is breaking news) “YEAH, it was sooo funny today! See, there’s this guy at work, and I always thought he was from White Russia, but I wasn’t sure because it may have been Russia and not White Russia, see? So today, I asked him at lunch, I said, ‘say, aren’t you from Russia?’ and he said, ‘no, I’m from [strange sounding town name]’, and I wasn’t sure if that was in Russia or White Russia, so I didn’t dare to ask him because he said it like it was apparent, tee-hee! So then, when I got back to the office, I looked it up on Google, and there it said in plain writing, White Russia. So now I know that he’s from White Russia and not Russia. Though I know he’s lived in Russia for a long time, so really that might be regarded as his home country, though he was born in White Russia. Tee-hee! White Russia.”
Shoot me thrice, kthxbye.
But I do have a couple of funnier stories. There was a young lady in the group who might not have been the sharpest knife in the drawer when she got drunk, but she was nice (as opposed to the lady above), so you could forgive her. She certainly produced the best quote of the year. She was allergic to lactose.
“Guys, my stomach hurts but I haven’t been drinking milk or anything. I’ve only had some wine.” pause “Is there milk in wine?”
I shoulda had the camera ready for the looks she got.
Buuut, I did have my camera for some other stuff. I’m not showing everything I have, because many pictures include my classmates and I’m not going to put other people on the intrawebs just like that.
Don’t worry, none of these are big.
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/myroom.jpg”>Pic from my room</a>
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/workclothes.jpg”>Me in my work clothes</a>. First time in my life I ever wear a shirt like that. Hate high collars. That’s a poster I got for free from my job because it had been damaged so we couldn’t sell it. It shows one of the Gehry houses in Düsseldorf. They be famous and stuff.
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/hofgarten.jpg”>Part of Hofgarten</a>. I walked past a pond in that almost everyday. And almost everyday I saw a huge white fish sneaking around below all the ducks and swans.
I named him “Big White”.
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/nordpark.jpg”>At the outskirts of Nordpark</a>, another, smaller park. There’s a big Japanese garden behind there, but I don’t have any pictures of that.
Now, our jocular mantra was “Oh, this goddamn country!” whenever we saw something silly. Like…
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/triton.jpg”>This Poseidon(?)-gets-attacked-by-hippo fountain</a> may be a little odd in itself, but…
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/tritonside.jpg”>… it still looks okay from this angle</a>, although I’m still wondering why Poseidon would be attacked by a water-sprouting hippo in the first place. However…
… once you get around it, it looks like something out of a <a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/badporn.jpg”>really bad hentai movie</a>.
I have one more VERY odd statue, but Photobucket decided to start screwing around when I tried to upload those pics. You’ll get 'em later.
And now, for our day out walking in a famous wine-valley. “If you’ve been to Ahrtal, and can afterwards remember being there… you weren’t really there.”
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/arriving.jpg”>Getting off the station</a>.
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/below.jpg”>We’ll be up there somewhere</a> in a few hours.
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/ahrtal.jpg”>That’s all grapes</a>, folks.
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/grapes2.jpg”>They don’t taste as good as they look</a>. >_>
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/highup.jpg”>Don’t look down</a>!
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/romantic.jpg”>Cosy rural stuff</a>, down there.
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/schwedenkopf.jpg”>Those are the ruins of “Schwedenkopf”</a>, a stronghold once held by Swedes. They controlled the whole valley thanks to that. Blasted Swedes, the lot of them “Sitting behind Swedish curtains” means being in jail, because the iron used to make the bars in the windows was Swedish.
Would have looked nicer without those portable toilets though.
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/street.jpg”>Getting close and personal with that lil’ town</a>. I think that’s the lil’ town on the photo up there, at least. My photos are in disarray.
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/nicebridge.jpg”>Nice ol’ bridge</a>.
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/courtyard.jpg”>Hidden courtyard</a>. I only saw this because the gate happened to be open. They close things up in this area
<a href=“http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b195/weiila/dussel/vine.jpg”>You got some vine on your wall, there</a>.
Aaand that’s all. I’ve got some more photos but, people on them and all. Let’s leave it at that.
I really think that it was a great thing to do, but I’m not going back to Germany in a while. Country-overdose XD And I’m really glad to be back :3