29 Apr 2011
I had a feeling they were ignorant because I am Swedish and don't master the grammar etc in the German language properly, you know, stupid foreigners kind of. And also it is not easier because I am a woman, some companies think that they can just treat women any way they want.
And then I met a neighbour on the way home....
Turns out that I am not the only one with problems with the "Verwalter" - they are as ignorant to everybody. Well, at least that is a relief. I don't have to take it personally, they are just ignorant and incompetent in general.
Always something, right...?
I'll never the less take this further if needed.
And today I am going to a concert, a punk band that is playing. I think I need it...
The way my Verwalter - the company dealing with the flats in my house - is dealing with the leak in my bedroom in the middle of April is totally unacceptable. After the second leak the water got into the floor as well, I have hole in my ceiling, my bedroom stinks of the drain - the pipe is broken - and I believe there is some mold that started to grow in the floor - you see, it turns out that the nice looking floor they put it is only put in over a carpet, so the carpet under is most likely also wet.
I sent them photos on the 19:th, I emailed them on the 18:th on the 19:th, on the 20:th, on the 26:th. Nothing. Today, after having sent a written fax AND an email, I got an answer, finally.
The b*tch at the company (yes, sorry, I'm so angry, I would never call use that word otherwise, and never directly to someone) has the STOMACH to tell me that the water problems are only about looks - and a bunch of other things that in some cases are direct lies. She doesn't listen as all - of course I have it in written and I'll take it further if needed but I shouldn't even have to do so. This is the same company that, for leak nr 2, told me that I shouldn't disturb them in the middle of the night but put a bucket under the leak?!?!?
Oh, and they also never called me back that night, but luckily I still had the number for the plumber that was there the first time...
Anyhow: flat is a mess as I had to move everything out of harms way, and the bedroom is horrible and smelly (no chance I'll leave my things in there, they may get smelly too), the plumber and the repair-guys told me then that they could not do anything until next week - a week I'm not even in Düsseldorf - and then they said they were going to come back to me, but never did. I insisted they have to fix it earlier, but they told me it was impossible.
The Verwaltungen now tells me that the reason I'm living in this mess is because I don't have time to have it fixed - when I was the one insisting that they need to do it immediately, at least the most urgent repairs.
Of course I have it all in written and I'll take it further if I have to but seriously, how can they even try and justify themselves, it is quite obvious that I am the one who has been chasing them. All the unanswered email, all the unanswered questions.
Oh, and rest assured, I'll warn my friends about using this company, and if it comes to that, I will out them and I'll take them to court too if I have to, I definitely have a case: they are also misusing their power, not just being ignorant.
But you know what? I am going to leave the flat and move somewhere else. I cancelled my contract today - I suspect that is the only reason why they even bothered to respond back to me - I have had it with them.
It's a very nice flat and had I not been so poorly treated I would have had several candidates to take it over, but now I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy. It's not going to be easy to find someone to take over a flat with a whole in the ceiling...
27 Apr 2011
So of course I had to check the new bakery out.
I'm not returning...
The place is located in an old bar, the bar changed names a number of times - never worked well - but it was always a bar. A tiny little bar. In Germany they haven't, unlike the rest of EU, figured out that little detail of national smoking ban - and in NRW, my Bundesland, my "state" (Nordrhein Westfalia) there is smoking almost everywhere.
WHO on earth thinks up the idea of opening a bakery in a disgustingly smoked-in bar??? There are ways of getting rid of cigarette smoke but it's tough and require quite a lot of work- and the bakery hasn't tried. It still smells of the smoke. Talk about marketing problem, I don't think this place will last. Personally I'd rather walk 5 minutes further to the bakery on the next corner or across the street for my ready-made sandwich... Because yes, competition is fierce too, in this part of town.
24 Apr 2011
This is the way life should be, relaxed, enjoyable, and peaceful!
We are spoiled in this part of the world!
18 Apr 2011
16 C is 61 F
28C is 82 F
And a 100 F is a temperature - in C that's over 37.
So if you don't measure C but F, at least there you have some guidelines to help you get a feeling for it!
16 Apr 2011
But you know what?
It's not leaking anymore, and it is sunny so I can hang all my laundry outside - because there is a lot of laundry, all the towels that I used to clean up the mess needs to be washed. I refuse to let some water destroy my weekend and I refuse to let stupid excuses get to me, I am calm now and will go out and enjoy the day.
And see it positively: I have some good stories to tell. Because bad events often turn into just that: Interesting stories.
Have a good weekend!
Something is leaking from the flat above, which is being renovated. Water. Except it smells like an ashtray.
So I am calling hte emergency number, no answer. No answer. No answer.
And eventually they call me back. Only to give me a f*cking other emergency number.
Germany, the land of efficiency, where you just divert people to somewhere else. It absolutely sucks!
Can you tell I am frustrated...? And wet...?
15 Apr 2011
But then there are things I just don't reflect upon.
Until someone looks confused.
The fact that some of my German friends can't hear the difference between ballet and belly sometimes amuses me, it is especially ballet dance and belly dancer they mix up. In the beginning I didn't get it but now I know that I have to be careful and prepared to be specific. I know ballet dancers and there are no similarities in body type between a ballet dancer and a belly dancer... Hence some very confused looks...
(In Swedish it is easier. Balletdans and magdans, where "magdans" means belly dance. No risk of mix-ups there, is there...?)
14 Apr 2011
One of the things that really frustrates me is when I can't walk properly, I need to stretch out and I need to have free passage - one reason I don't like crowds, they tend to be there, right in front of me, when I want to walk. I have dated men who weren't very fast walkers and it always ends with me walking in front of them - I don't LIKE to walk slowly, I enjoy the wind in my hair and I love feeling that I am getting somewhere. Fact is, when I am allowing something to become a bit more serious next time, I think I'll take him for a walk first, and if he doesn't live up to my walking standards, I should probably not chose him - it is just going to be a lot of discussions later on... (Believe me, I know what I am talking about... I am not prepared to slow down, I can compromise around many other things but not that, not my fast walk...)
I know some men who can keep up with me when walking though, so there is hope for me too.
But seriously, the walking thing is very much a part of me, and I need to walk to stay healthy, to stay sane. I run too, but I walk far more - I am a fast walker but a slow runner so walking often takes me further, as I don't get as tired even if my heart rate goes up a bit.
And right now, right now I am very very frustrated. I have stretched a muscle or the like in my leg, so my right knee is not doing what I want it to do. Sitting still and not moving is the worst thing you can do for your joints, and I am not much for sitting still anyhow, so I am trying to move it (and it is getting better, too). I have started to go for walks during my lunch break, which is great - I need strength in my legs regardless and being able to go for a walk and get some fresh air is also lovely. Walking is OK, I walk, but here is the frustrating part: It goes so much slower than normal! Really frustrates me!
I am not always the best person to be around when I am frustrated.
Good thing I can still walk it off - just wish it was faster
(but still doing just under 6 km per hour so even my "slow" is not that slow...)
13 Apr 2011
The first game I saw, we played really well, but it was still very even, 2-2 for a long time (not a lot of goals, for ice hockey, I know), but we finally won the thriller 3-2 on extra time. My head was buzzing when I walked out of the arena!
Game 2 took place in Berlin, there we lost. Back in Düsseldorf we won, but I couldn't see the game. In Berlin we won again. And then yesterday the fifth game was played.
The standing "seats" were sold out, the atmosphere was thick of anticipation. The fans were cheering - I really have to learn some of the DEG (Düsseldorf Eislaufen Gemeinschaft) songs! It was massive.
Düsseldorf scored the first goal - and we held the puck a lot more in the first 1,5 thirds - but the problem was that we didn't manage to get it over to the other side and into the goal... Neely on the other hand scored twice.
In the end Berlin won, and I am afraid I'll have to admit it: The better team won this game, just like Düsseldorf won the very first in the semi finals, we were without doubt stronger then.
But it doesn't take away from the feeling of disappointment. The excitement, the thrill of being at a hockey game again and following what's going on - the speed, the rush of adrenaline, not much beats that, at least not in terms of sports and more specifically live games. Hockey must be experienced live!
I'm Swedish, in Sweden hockey means ice hockey.
12 Apr 2011
And when my mum tries to call me back I am never there, I think she has given up by now. But at least I have an answering machine she can leave messages on. It is very nice to hear that mum tried. I guess in a way she has an answering machine too, except he is not always in - her husband, my very loved Dad number 2.
Oh well, most important is of course that they know I love them and I know that they love me, and mum tells me that she reads the blog so at least she knows what's going on. I know what is going on too as I talk to my siblings. The advantage of being many...
And Biodad and I talked recently too. Everything is under control in Sweden, and for that I am happy!
10 Apr 2011
But it is really wonderful, there is something special with the sun rays on your body the first day you can sit on the balcony, it warms you up in a way nothing else can, it is as if you for the first time get warm all the way through, the sun, the street, the open door that lets the fresh air into the flat, the birds that are singing - although to be honest most of them are on their "lunch break" now, they were really active early in the morning and they will be again in the evening - and the trees with their new leaves. I love this time of year, when the nature presents us with more tones of green than one could imagine or at least remember that there are. The first weeks, when the new grass is starting to come up, and the different trees are in different stages of getting their new leaves - it is magical.
I am well covered in sun screen, and I know that I still have to be careful, but me, who would never sunbathe, really enjoys this - April sun may be the most dangerous, especially since we are all pale from the winter, but it is the most seductive, just because it is the first of the year...
9 Apr 2011
I have spent a bit of time in San Francisco, especially if you consider I was only a tourist there, and I know some nice places.
But I haven't been writing much about them - and when my friends asked me about places I had to start thinking... But now that I am at it, I will post some tips! I know that they are old, but I'll do it anyhow...
|Biscuits and Blues 2008|
It is slow food though, cooked slowly, and I personally believe that is the best food for you, at least if you eat it the way it was cooked, slowly. If you do, you'll be be fine, eating slowly best trick to avoid over-eating, because you will feel when you get full. Actually that is a great trick all the time; Eat food slowly, and enjoy it, it it, life is too important to rush - especially when it comes to good food. Typical southern food are fried (or grilled) chicken, meat loaf, corn bread - I LOVE cornbread, it's got a kind of sweet taste, crab cakes and so forth, plus there is also creole food, like Jambalaya. Southern food is not unlike Swedish "husmanskost", the basic food that used to be very common up until the early 80-ies in Scandinavia, or at least Sweden (and Finland), food for people who would work outside, in Sweden it was in forest, in the south of US I guess it was on the fields, so I feel at home with the southern food.
Biscuits and Blues is great for another reason too, it's not too big, but intimate and - at least when I was there - the staff was really nice and friendly, without seeming stressed or pressed, they gave us our time and they were very very helpful, answering questions (there are things I can't eat) and really helped out.
And the music is brilliant too! It is a great venue, so you can go there just for a drink and to listen to the band playing, you don't have to have dinner there - although personally I think you are silly if you miss the opportunity...
I felt so welcome when I visited. It's been some time now, but when I go back to San Francisco I will definitely go and visit again!
6 Apr 2011
And yesterday evening I had dinner with some of the greatest people I know.
I LOVE my life!
(I missed some other dear friends but that's because they asked me the same day if we could meet up, and that was too late, had already made other plans...)
5 Apr 2011
In Germany that's not the way it works. In Germany you have to run down the doors at the bank. I still try to do a lot over internet but it is not that easy. Over the three years I have been in Germany I have been to the bank more often than I was the ten years before that in Sweden - and still I did so much more in Sweden, I had so many more bank transactions, and did so much more- here I wanted to build a buffer before I started actually doing other things.
I must say that I find it quite frustrating, things are quite bureaucratic in Germany - and it is as if they don't understand that you have other things to do with your time than running back and forward to the bank.
I am VERY happy that I listen to the advice of my boss and got myself my primary bank not too far from work, because anything else would have been ridiculous!
Although I must say that the bank IS trying it's best to actually meet my requirements, and the bank also stays open later than in Sweden, which is good. I can also get hold of my own bank contact via email which is good. But they don't understand what I want all the time, because it isn't in their culture at all to be using "internet banking", in Germany it is built up around having your own bank man and so forth.
It's odd for me though, and it is complex. In Sweden you can even get a house loan online, without having to see anyone face to face. But then again we have what we call a "personnummer" - a personal number, kind of a social security number, so the bank can get all the details about our payment history and debts online too together with our salary statement (declared yearly income two years ago), hence they are relatively safe and know what they are doing - but it is a cultural difference to me, having to go to the bank to see them face to face.
Odd... Wonder if I'll ever get used to it...?
4 Apr 2011
But now I am sure. It is working out. I can't really use them during the work day, at least not a normal work day - when I am in front of the computer it's too dry, especially since I seem to blink less often. But during weekends I use them now, especially with the sun coming out - because with contacts I can use the sunglasses and still see, very nice.
I don't use the contacts every day, nor every day of the weekend, and not every evening, but now and then (and most of the days during weekends, actually). I have really gotten used to them now, even though it took a while. Putting them in and taking them out was never a problem, but getting used to having them in my eyes was a little bit weird from time to time, it would work OK most of the time but then now and then something was odd. And then I learned a few tricks and now it works really well. It makes a big difference - plus next year for Carnival I can perhaps test out special party lenses, it would be cool to have snake's eyes or blue eyes, and see how people would react, wouldn't it? Although the main reason for wearing contacts is of course to see well...
(And in case I'd go for a drive with a cabriolet, I can wear my sunglasses if the roof is open, and still see, a reason as good as any, isn't it? Except most of my friends have normal cars and even those who have fancy cars don't drive around a lot but takes the train... I guess I just have to find a hot boyfriend with the right car, right? (I actually love taking the train myself, so...))
Update: I had a comment here from a contact lense company. Appreciate feedback, but I am afraid I don't want advertising on my blog, especially not free ads that I don't have any control over, so the comment is deleted. I am sure there are plenty of great forums where you can get your ads publishes. It was a nice and clean comment though so I may come and visit the website, but I chose to not publish comments like that. Thanks for understanding.
2 Apr 2011
I have been out both running and cycling today - it's been fantastic. It smells fantastic and everybody is smiling. I love this magical time of the years, then the trees are about to start blooming and everything is fresh and new, there is something promising about it all. Love it!