Friday, May 30, 2008

I Need A Holiday!

Iceland or Liverpool?
Well I have been debating this with one of my colleagues here on where to zip off to for a week. it is really cheap from Frankfurt Hahn airport and it is only 60 mins from me. I am making real currency now - Euros not Zloty and so I can afford things. one being a holiday.
Yes I know some of you are know that I have a huge amount of money to pay out in the next 3 months but i can afford a little something for myself.
Iceland seems like a country of great mystery and wonder. I would really like to see the volcanic flows and the glaciers and the raw nature. I hear the people are really nice and English is the second language. it would be glorious. ho I wouldn't want to go alone... anyone want to come with me??
Liverpool. Now Liverpool has its appeal, the Beatles and ready availablity of fish and chips. Commonly spoken English! I would really like to see some english countryside and a few castles even. I have a musician friend I would like to visit and say hello to in the Bristol area... so this option has a lot of appeal.
The apartment saga continues. I have to wait a little longer before I can move in and have a real reason to go to IKEA. I may have a nice visitor from Australia in a few months. A very Brown visitor. I do hope I can show her the sights and sounds of this wonderful little corner of Germany, the high hills and the castles and the 2 mighty rivers joining in this perfect wine country.
It amazes me how focused I have become. I really have my sights sent on aceing this job, which so far has not been hard. I am a very organised teacher and seem to do okay with the students, I don't know any that don't enjoy my classes. I am keen as mustard (as I recall Ben Ekberg saying quite often - Congrats on the birth of your son by the way!!) to get started on my business degree. I have all the stuff here and I am going to start this weekend... with a beer in one hand and a poetic license in the other - hey which hands are on the keyboard writing the essay masterpieces??!
I am really looking forward to cooking up a storm, I got quite good at cooking in Poland and now I have access to asian spices etc I can now cook want I wanna cook! So all is happening and all is in place for me. there are a few things I would like but that will either happen or not. I am not going looking for them, if they are for me they will find me.
Another odd thing is that I was daydreaming when I was burning up the autobahn I recalled I live in castle road in melb for a while, then in poland I lived in Castle road and now AGAIN I live in castle road.... now that is really odd.
So all is good - I need a bank account andthe bastard who hates Poles to stop smashing my side mirrors on my Polish car... but other than that I have a lust for life!!
Obi Rockin it real-time!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Uncomfortable in my own skin

I have been in Germany now five weeks and aside from a looming operation on a pesky yet persistent stone, I am still uncomfortable in my own skin. I like Germans generally; I have no biases nor do I stereotype by nationality or religious or gender preference. Having said that, I can say that I have found all the people I have asked for help here to be lacking. Even medical professional I have paid to see have been less help than I experienced in Poland.
I can also say objectively that the sound of Polish in a group of people is far easier on the ear than that of German. I find it grating and the sounds too harsh, I am sure I will get used to it in time and learn to speak in the same manner… Time changes things; it just doesn’t bore you with the details…
I have to pay a rudely high commission on the flat I have rented. The real estate agents in this part of Germany seem to have a monopoly on this stupid system. I have to pay 2 months rent to them as a finder’s fee etc. And not only that, I have to pay 3 month as a bond instead of 2 months. Which means that my land lady doesn’t trust me, but liked the idea of a foreigner under her roof.
I am really uncomfortable in this fleabag long term stay hotel, I haven’t used the pots or pans or the other stuff provided here. I had some ‘idjut’ knock on my door and ask me for 2 Euros the other day, I told him to piss off rather quickly. Someone also introduced me to the neighbourhood by ripping my side mirror off my car overnight a few weeks ago. I just love this shithole ghetto I live in…
On top of that I have no social life, well, more to the point I have found that with the culture I am in the locals need to see you around a lot and often for a long while before they will be bothered speaking to you. I found this doing business with Germans a few years ago and it is still true today.
It is funny how many looks I get from people because of the Polish plates on my car. When I say funny I mean snide looks, Germans just don’t like Poles and the reverse is true as well. Could even be the reason my mirror was ripped off my car…
Now – before my devoted friend jumps in with a message and says that I sound depressed and so negative, I must remind her that this is my spleen venting valve and if I didn’t see a future I would leave PDQ…
To be positive in the middle of all this mire, I must say the feel of the city is good; the feng shue struck me the moment I left the tunnel and emerged into the rivered valley below. The Alt Stadt is really quite quaint with its narrow cobblestoned streets, except for the overpriced cafes and restaurants. The climate is warm and I have no complaints about the weather. It has a densely populated 130,000 people. A well run and organised city with shopping centres and cinemas. The Rhine and Mosel rivers split from here and the rising air I am told is great for power gliders, much like Bright back home is.
On the whole I have good and attentive students. I have a teenage girl class that I would happily throw from the fourth floor window, but I digress... I like it here.
As expected, arranging a visa is tough, and quite the pain in the ass. It will take time, I hope quicker than Poland was.
I have been thinking about Poland a lot lately. Missing my home above the restaurant, missing the familiar sights and sounds of the little town I called home. A boring place, but I felt a peace there.... that bordered on a comatose complete loss of touch with reality.... but a calm peace nonetheless.
I miss a great many things. I miss Penny a lot. I do love her dearly and miss her daily, but I also knew that she needed to give her marriage another chance and I am glad that I helped her to realise that. She is moving to Dublin in a month so her daughter can have her father again and so she can put her family together again. I find myself missing the sunshine too; I work a lot and don’t seem to get out much. The warm of the sun can never be forgotten, no matter how much winter you have had since you’ve seen it last.
I have figured out the whole love thing out. It has cost me more than I ever wanted to pay to finally learn about it, but the summary for me is that I do certainly believe in love, it is just that she does not believe in me. So whoever she is, the goddess Fortuna or the Goddess Venus, she does like a laugh that is for certain.
So I will do my economics degree and write up a storm, teach and enjoy learning to teach, I will learn German and do what I can to get by, but I don’t have any illusions about what I can expect or deserve for myself. It is all utterly irrelevant in the big picture. As I was discussing with someone today, if atoms can be smashed in a particle accelerator then what hope for me?
Obi taking a deep breath in and reaching for more pain medication...

O.P.S. – Saw Indiana Jones the other day, it really sucks ass in German.... Siiigh....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Internet Explorer Error Messages

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Guess who needs surgery! A stay in a German Hospital

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A special hello to all UK visitors!

Nice to see you online and still reading!


Now I know I seem to complain a lot on this blog, but weally, I didn’t wealise how much until a friend I chat to stated quite matter of factly that I am a sad sap.
This Blog's express purpose id to get my thoughts out - a detoxifier if you will. I am sorry to those who read and don't come away happy. I will try and polish up my act and be more cheery...
Another friend who has exhibited odd behaviour is my friend from Poland who I will call Ralf. Now Ralf is a German teacher and I have a lot of fun with him in Poland and we hung out at Christmas and Easter - 2 big holidays in Poland. and i appreciate everything he has done, but I must add that I did volunteer to do his homework for his English course, for a lark, and ever since the first time he has been thrusting his homework into my hands and expecting me to do it.
Generally I have time and energy to do this, but on my last day, when he and his wife and son came to wish me a safe journey - there was the ol'- 'by the way' moment where he thrust his latest homework into my hand and said, "something for your trip, my next assignment, due in 5 weeks.'
Now I was a little peeved but like a good friend I took it and smiled and after a 1200km driving into a new country job and life I even tackled it one exhausted Friday night, I got 3 of 5 parts done, (letters to people) then I sat back tired and thought, dammit that will do, he should be able to finish the rest himself, the hard part is finished.
I emailed the work and said as much to him politely saying, here - you can finish the rest. to which I got a reply the next morning stating that he was waiting for the rest to be done. Now I had left the assignment sheet here on the desk at work and the cleaners the diligent devils had thrown it out and I told him this. and said that he will have to do it himself. I apologised appropriately and enough for this and sent the email. The reply was quite short, indignant and shitty. What kind of friend does that??
Has he revealed himself to be the superficial user I suspected him to be? Has the only child syndrome kicked in and the emperor is not happy. I mean, I have asked him for things and he has not done them. I didn't not do his homework on purpose, I was just exhausted and left the rest for him. Please folks - comment on this. Is Obi bad or now seeing a user clearly... The lines are open...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My idol!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Dizzy Sunshine

The weather just keeps getting better here, maybe it took two winters with snow and cold to start to appreciate the summer sunshine, but I seem to all the more this summer. It is the summer of something big...
I have secured the apartment that I wanted and I am pleased. it is very nice and only a few blocks from work in the centre of the city. It isnt cheap but it is nice. Penthouse views and a private elevator with a glass atrium for a dining room and a great new kitchen.
I am still feeling unsettled and missing a home. I won't be able to move in for a 5 weeks sadly but now I can get all my residence papers organised etc.
Summer is coming and work will start to dry up. I am on salary so they have to fill my time, but the downside is that it could be utter crap that they fill it with. I won't know until it happens.
My new apartment was rented with a reason, aside from the people that are coming to visit me, I want to invite more. So consider yourself welcome!
My idea of starting my own school is persistant. I keep looking at the organisations I work for and see so many things I can learn from them, like how to be organised. They are completely hopeless.
I need a dose of home - I don't think I can afford to go back to Australia in December - so I think I will have to consider going in the shoulder period.
I am not going to be able to buy furniture for a long time - there will just be no money for it.
Good news for all things French - I am off to France on Monday for a bit of a jaunt with the boys from school. I got a cheap cheap train ticket and I will be off to discover the border towns. So I look forward to seeing the sights and sounds.
I went to lunch today with my Saturday morning students and we went Japanese. a glorious day filled with fun and laughter. Japanese food is great!
Love to my peeps. Obi Won Kenardly cope with the wonderfulness of life - I am smiling wide kids!!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Hump Day - Err Week...

Why am I here? It came up in class the other day – what is good about Germany. And, after a stumped silence someone answered, “the good thing about Germany is that you can leave anytime…” Everyone looked at this student and started laughing and agreed.

I asked a similar question to my students in Poland, I asked them to give me 3 things they liked about Germany and no one spoke… I should have taken that as an omen, but I was so caught up in trying to get away from my cushy job and nice apartment and friends that I didn’t really listen.

What is it with me? I had a great job and a nice apartment with plenty of room. I had good friends and a wonderful sincere and loving girlfriend. I left. I left and now looking back I have no good reason why.

I think about it and I must say that I was bored in that little hick town, but strangely I miss it. I used to spend hours staring out my window and wonder what the hell I was doing so far from anywhere. I consoled myself by reminding myself that I left because I was learning nothing as a teacher. Because I was becoming lax and lazy in my day to day life and work. I left because my boss was a wanker and proved it grandly when I left.
The only constants is that I am still alone, or more to the point, more alone than I was.
That I have my work and starting from the basement again.
That I have to struggle (I seem to like situations where I really have to push, likely because they are the only ones I am used to)
That I am broke again.

I am so so tired of being alone now I can’t manage it for much longer. I really want to just settle down and just be happy with someone to care for. But I keep using the tango dance steps to do the waltz and tripping up again and again. Shakabuku anyone??

What I do have….
I have a new job and a fresh chance.
I have a group of people to work with (hmmm… that can be in the bad column too.
I have my dear friends closer to me, now just 2 hours on the Autobahn.
I have my uni course starting, and that should be good.
The summer is coming – thank god!
I have a very interesting city to explore.

What I don’t have…
I don’t have any cooperation or friendship from the people I work with; they all turn down offers to go out and on the weekends don’t even answer their phones or have run at full pelt for another city and are secretive about what they did on their weekends.
I don’t have any company or anyone to talk to. The most beautiful sight in the world is nothing if you have no one to share it with.
I don’t have a place I can really relax and call my home, I have been living in a stupid fleabag hotel for the past 3 weeks and I hate that I can’t open the front door all the way because it bangs into the kitchen, or that I have to step sideways to get through the kitchen, or that 2 paces after that I am on a creaky balcony looking at horrible backsides of buildings.
I don’t have enough money to afford the bond for the flat I took a look through on Friday night because my wanker ex boss didn’t pay me.
I don’t have anywhere to go or anyone I can ask to go out or just go window shopping with.
I am not free of this damn kidney stone that is causing me pain every night and affecting my sleep.

All I have are my teacher’s books and some small hope for the future… Obi bottom lip dragging champion 3 years running…
I - Obi...