31 Jan 2012
Figured I will improve my German at the same time as the course will be in the foreign language but helped by German where needed. That way I will also get a better understanding of German, especially the grammar. I mean, I do speak German, but it is VERY far from perfect, and it takes time, especially writing. But I learn every day - and now I will increase that to include another language...
It will be fun.
Or just really scary.
But the good news is, I havent said anything about how well I need to learn the new language, quite frankly my goal right now is to get some basic understanding and learn to order a meal, anything else will be a very nice bonus.
We shall see, we shall see...
I am never hte less excited about it! What a challenge - and what a great new year resolution!
Because now the real cold is on the way, the cold from Russia is on the way, even if the temperatures are expected to be between 0 and -8 this week, it seems it is going to be windy. I am not impressed, not at all. Although as long as it is also sunny I guess I can (perhaps) survive.
Snow and ice and cold is so much better when it is somewhere else than at home...
30 Jan 2012
The good friend who really is a good friend, someone you thought you were really connecting with. On a friendship level. But really connected with.
And then that odd moment: "I think we should be just friends". And then the even more odd response, when I stare at him and spontaneously say "but... We ARE just friends?!?".
I really wish I could take that back and say "Oh, yes, you are right, I have thought about it and I think you are right", there was no reason for me to make him feel odd or awkward or anything, I should just have played along and pretended to be surprised or hurt or surprised or something. But to be honest, there was never any of that kind of chemistry - with this guy I only connected as a friend.
Which isn't to say that there aren't OTHER guys I might have some other interest in but not THIS guy.
Although to be honest, I value friendships tremendously, especially the friends I am getting close to. Probably more than anything else, because friendships tend to last. I adore the male friends who I know well and that come to me with all kinds of problems they may have - with women, with work, with everything. I thought this guy was one of them all along. But I think there is a difference in cultures, to be honest. In a way it was so much easier when I wasn't single, because with the friendships that I built when I was in a relationship there were never any doubt, when I was in a relationship it was always 100% clear that we were friends even if we came from different backgrounds, me and my new friends. Now all of a sudden I am making friends with guys who may not be so used to having friends "of the other gender" And guys who are used to women, or singles in general, being out there "looking". I am not. If Mr Right would come along, fine, but otherwise, I am perfectly happy and content.
Well, hopefully my friend doesn't have a problem with me not being devastated and hopefully we can really be friends, because that's really all I want from this guy. No awkwardness, no nothing else, just friendship. A good friendship. A good and sound friendship, because we have a lot to talk about and we really get along well...
It is really that strange to be happy having good friends and not be searching, and is it really that strange to have both female and male friends, married, single, with kids, without kids?
27 Jan 2012
25 Jan 2012
I am quite excited about the cinema actually, I haven't seen a film in the cinema since... Well, since - and here I was about to use one of those sayings that we use but are really quite silly, it is enough to say it's been a while. A long while. Always so much else going on and when the weather is nice I don't want to go sit in some dark cinema, I want to be out and enjoy the light. Plus I sleep really well in front of a film, but I don't want to sleep in the cinema.
Today I am watching a dubbed film, something that normally is against my principles but sometimes a gal must make exceptions - and this time I do, because it is the only way I can see the specific film in the cinema, it is not shown in English here in Germany - so it is the only opportunity I have. I refuse to travel abroad just to be able to see films! Hollywood drama we can catch in one of the cinemas, far away from the city centre, but other films? Only the day before the premiere, then they are shown in original language.
OH, can't wait to go to the cinema! That I am looking forward It's not because I go with someone special, because I don't. Or well, I do, it is a special FRIEND. But a friend. A female friend, A good female friend. And she wanted to see the film.
Feels good that I am actually going to see a film. Me! I! I am going to the cinema!!!
(I still don't understand why they insist on dubbing everything in Germany though, I think it is really bad, the sound is as much a part of the production as the photo, if you ask me. Some of my German (male) friends despise subtitles but I despise dubbing more. Subtitles you get used to and you may even learn a bit of language...)
Oh well, enough ramblings from my side, lets just summarise by saying I am looking forward to seeing a film!
24 Jan 2012
I think someone needs a bit of space and air and time to think - but then again I was just away and had a lot of space and air and time on my hands, and did that help?
Perhaps what I need is going away with a close friend and just go on and on and over and over, and then start fresh with fresh thoughts. Or even go away and not think about anything at all.
Travel to someone, allowing someone to just take care of me, control things and make sure I just do what I never do - follow.
Fact is that I am pretty sure that that is exactly what I need.
But at work everything is great!
23 Jan 2012
Update January 24:
Too funny... I learned this morning, after having read an article about the big furniture shop and their food, that one of the biggest exports, from a food perspective, from Sweden, is actually Tex-Mex food?!?
Interesting. I checked several articles and found information that supported that. Most in Swedish but here is a link to an English news article.
Who would have thought! Seems the Swedish Chef knew what he was talking about?!?
19 Jan 2012
And dear credit card companies: Great that you want to identify me when I am calling in, but getting me to give them a date that is "especially important" to me, when I come from a big family and have plenty of experience and hence plenty of important dates: Well, guess, what, I am not going to remember which of the important dates I picked, when I have to call you once every second or third year, just to activate my card.
And don't tell me to use the birthdate of my mum or dad. First of all I would still have to remember that I picked that, and which of my parents I actually picked, and second: That is pretty unsafe too, as that at least in Sweden is official information and anyone can find out when my parents were born.
There are no bisquits in the freezer anymore...
(Update: I am not chubby. But if I often work from home when there are biscuits in the freezer I may soon be... )
18 Jan 2012
Show a German a bar and he will claim his right to smoke. Germans smoke in bars and many restaurants are so smoked in that the food taste of it... They may have a smoking ban but as soon as the kitchen closes everybody will light up.
When they tried to ban smoking on a country level it just lead to everybody coming up with exceptions and after two months everywhere were totally smoky again.
OK, there are a few exceptions but compared to the rest of EU, this land is foggy. At least from cigarette smoke. No one tells a German where he/she can smoke.
As long as its in a bar or possibly a restaurant that is.
But in the train station it is different?!?
Outside, on the platform, smoking is allowed only in certain areas, areas marked only with a yellow line on the asphalt.
And here it works, here the Germans manage to stick to their little corners. Here they don't seem to have a problem being told where they can smoke and where not? What's up with that?!?
Why in the open air and not in a restaurant? Beats me, I wonder if I'll ever fully understand this country?!? I like it, but understand it? No. I don't know if it's even possible...
17 Jan 2012
Got lights in almost all my windows now... Because that is what we do, we Swedes, we like our lights. I even have timers for some of them so that there can be a sign of life before I get home, I don't like it when the flat is completely dark when I get home, but I don't like to leave lights on when it's bright outside either.
The Germans, on the other hand, have very little lights, very few lamps and very little lights.
The real hard core Germans could even skip having windows all in all because in Germany they like their curtains covering their windows 24/7.
German villages don't give a very lively impression. They may be, but they don't give that impression...
16 Jan 2012
13 Jan 2012
And I haven't told him that I do too.
How long can I wait until it gets really awkward that I didn't say something? If it is long enough I will end up in the strange zone where I can't tell him at all.
(Actually I kind of like that zone. Perhaps I will just stay there. I really don't think everybody needs to know everything. Just saying.)
And by the way, I am blogging anonymously (kind of) anyhow, he isn't.
12 Jan 2012
And it's not that it works swell for the cars either, they have to stop and start and stop and start and stop and start too.
Wonder how much CO2 could be saved if they managed to get the green wave right, i.e. get a working system with as many green lights as possible in a row.
Not to mention in how much better shape many people would be if they could walk without interruption...
11 Jan 2012
OK, women can joke about women, it is OK to joke about yourself, but stupid jokes (not any joke, but the stupid ones) about how bad someone else is are not funny. They are just stupid.
And that is all I wanted to say.
And it is equally bad when women do nothing but complain about their guys not being able to do this or that, when in reality it is because we don't trust them with it or try to keep the task to ourselves. That is not funny either. It is just stupid and makes us stick to ridiculous preconceptions on what a man is "allowed" to do vs what a woman is "allowed" to do.
No wonder we don't get anywhere when it comes to equal rights.
Can we please try and allow each other to be individuals now?
9 Jan 2012
I don't say anything at work, but I think it. And no, can't blame the men for this one, it is in the ladies room, and there are never any men in there, even though I know the men often get the blame in other countries and other locations, but here it is really only the women using the bathroom.
It even happened to me that I was yelled at, in a club, because I had closed the toilet lid. The person coming in after me got really angry with me. Odd thing to be angry about. And I continue to close the lid, also so that I don't drop anything and it falls into the toilet, because that would be really awful, I definitely don't want to try and fish something out, and flushing, as a friend's father did when I was young(er) and he had accidentally dropped the toothbrushes into the toilet (yes - brushES, they were in a glass that toppled over) is not a good idea, it is so expensive to have the plumbing fixed because something got stuck...
But there are many reasons to close the toilet lid - apparently all reasons not got enough for the Germans because I have never seen so many unclosed lids as here.
On the other hand they also love to keep their bathroom windows open so that it is freezing cold in there, plus the warmer air, the "old" air from the bathroom if you like, is pressed into the rest of the flat/house/what ever shared space there is. A bit of air never hurt anyone but the Germans take it to extremes. Mid winter, and sure enough, the bathroom window is open...
Well, at least they most of the time have the common sense to switch of the radiators.
Five minutes past the phone rings, when I pick it up it is them, the builders. Telling me that my address doesn't exists.
And the weird thing is my address also doesn't exist on Google Maps, nor in some of the systems that Deutsche Post uses. The house next to mine is there, and the one on the other side too, but not my address. Somehow my house is invisible. You can see it on pictures, you just can't find it in any systems. It sometimes worries me.
But maybe it is a positive sign, I live in a fairytale world where nothing is real and I can let my imagination take me anywhere. My world is magical and I just have to remember that it is...
Although the builders manage to find their way in the end, after we start talking about what's on the other side of the street they realise they are on the wrong street and they do indeed manage to find my door and my doorbell, and it doesn't take many minutes, and then they are there...
7 Jan 2012
But from there to actually getting LOST in a shopping mall?!?
In Egypt I could understand it, there I ended up in a huge mall where some entrances were just entrances and some of the exists were locked, plus there so many different levels and it was built like a labyrinth of sorts.
But today I actually managed to not find my way out of a small mall in Düsseldorf?!?
I stopped paying attention and just wanted to get out and home with all my bags, full of things I had picked up because I needed them (see, I do shop, I just don't see the fun in it, and I am a very efficient - fast - shopper).
Oh well, no more shops for me in a while, obviously I can't handle it.
6 Jan 2012
Definitely remember some of the reasons I prefer Germany to Sweden... ;-)
4 Jan 2012
Anyhow, I have written about that before, so I am not going to bore you with it.
But I really don't have any issues, despite eating street food, also in Indonesia and Egypt, two countries that they say you need to be in for a little while, getting used to the food, and the bacteria specific for that area/region, before you can start enjoying the food. I go straight for the streetfood, just following my own simple rules (OH, and yes, I do carry some antibacterial gel or so so I can "wash" my hands before eating, as soap and water isn't always availabe.
And I never have any problems.
And then I get to Germany and start eating canteen food, and my whole body starts protesting. Not the way other people's bodies are protesting in Egypt and elsewhere, but the German canteen food really doesn't appeal to me, and I really don't feel happy after eating it - I can't explain the feeling but it is as if my body gets semi depressed by the lack of flavours and the greasiness and the saltiness. Yuck!
My New Year resolution for 2012 really must be to cook and bring more lunches myself! I had forgotten how bad bad food is for me. At least the people working in the canteen are very very sweet but it doesn't help much when the food isn't...
3 Jan 2012
I am and always was a very stubborn girl, thankfully, so it wasn't very easy to label me, I would go my own way anyhow. I was a bit shy when I was younger, but learned to work with that (even though that took longer than needed, but that was due to other factors).
I am also very happy that my mother stopped trying to get me to dress in certain ways very early on, she would say that I was the one who was going to be comfortable with what I am wearing so I was allowed to dress myself from a very early age - probably a good idea, you need to know which fights to pick! I never wore dresses (or at least very seldom) when I was a kid, I was more comfortable with clothes that would let me climb my trees and discover the forest, and so forth. Which didn't mean I didn't like to dress up from time to time, I remember, with love, still, a beautiful shiny skirt, black background, and bright flowers, that flew beautifully when I was whirling. It was, looking at it now, a pretty hideous dress, all synthetic, but I loved it, I had gotten it from my second cousin, who had outgrown it years before. The thought of that skirt still makes me smile - the feeling of everybody watching when I was spinning round and round and round, admiring the skirt flowing.
But anyhow, this was not going to be about me but about labelling in general...
Got this very well written article from a friend, it's from "Rethinking Schools" - the title being "It is OK to be Neither". Now, I don't really like the title of the article, because at first the title gave me the impression that it is about not being a boy OR a girl, but reading the text the theme of the article is more around not putting certain expectations onto a person just because her/his gender. A girl is a girl regardless if she wears clothes that some people associate more with boys, and the other way around - and it is very important that we are aware of the stereotypes we unfortunately have in society, because only when we are aware we can challenge them, and only when we challenge them, can we get somewhere. When we in the western world fool ourselves to think that we are so equal, and that people in other parts of the world are the only ones that need to change, we are in thin ice. Obliviousness is not OK - we need to be aware. If we aren't aware, how are we ever going to reach equal salaries for the same job, how are we ever going to reach a state where everybody is free to make their own choice, and be who they are?
I have always felt very much like a girl, I am a girl - well, now a woman, but a female, never the less, but I was never comfortable with the labels and with the expectations, the things I "had" to like just because I was a girl/woman. I'm still not, but now not fitting in is something I am very proud of. And I DO fit in in many ways, just not in all. I guess it is what is called social competence and it needs to be practised.
What I really wish for 2012 is a year when boys and girls, gals and guys, ladies and gentlemen, men and women, female and male can be who they are, regardless if that means guys wearing nail polish and women going to Formula 1, or women wearing skirts, and men top hats. We are individuals, aren't we, not a gender?!?
I know I am...
But where I live now I wish that some people would have curtains closed all the time. Or at least when in the bathroom, when the toilet is right in front of the window. It bugs me, I really don't like to see my neighbours in the bathroom, especially not on the toilet. That is a bit too much. And we are not talking about a tiny little light either, we are talking lights so bright that they could have been used where surgeries are performed... How rude, on a scale, is it to send a blinder over, anonymously? Because this is what I am contemplating...
Or a small light that gives them some cosy light instead of the sharp and very bright light that almost allows me to see WHAT they are reading in the bathroom...
2 Jan 2012
I love it, it is such a strong expression, but then again, the stickers are coloured stickers, not the stickers that you find here and there and that would make a much messier impression.
I'll keep an eye open for this artist, I want to learn more about her!
For Cairo I would really recommend that one starts with what I had last on the sightseeing part of my tripo, namely the Citadel. Cairo is a big city- much bigger than one may understand when one is there. You hear it, and you see the hectic traffic, and you hear the numbers - but you don't really understand it. I spent a lot of time walking around, crossing the Nile, walking here and there, strolling around in the bazar (the Souks), looking around, meeting people, and so on. I understood that it was big. But not how big.
And then I went to Citadel, and then I understood. The Citadel (link to Wikipedia), built to defend Cairo from the crusaders (and one really had to have defence against the crusaders, they were not exactly friendly, there is an interesting book called "The Crusades according to the Arabs" by Amin Maalouf, that I would really recommend everbody to read, gives you an interesting view into the whole era, but from another angle), is placed on a height, overlooking the city. While the citadel in itself is interesting, as its a part of the history and very beautiful, especially with the mosques, and there are some museums up there too, the most interesting part may well be that you get up a bit and you get to see Cairo from above - a magnificent sight! I was also lucky enough to actually have blue sky when I was there, and that's when I really realised how vaste the city is!
I could see places I had walked, areas I had tried to reach, and I almost got dizzy from seeing it, it is just so enormous, and goes on for block after block after block, and it seems to be in a form of chaos, but it is an interesting and fascinating chaos, a chaos I could stand and watch for a long time...
If, no, when I return to Cairo, and if I come with someone who hasn't been, I will be visiting the Citadel again. The citadel, and then down to the river, the Nile, the Nile that is the reason why Cairo is where it is, the Nile that is the very reason Egypt could live and bloom the way it did in the past, before modern transport and watering systems...