Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The last 10 days...

Dear Readers.
The last 10 daze of my life have been rather full to say the least. Moving 1000km across borders into another country. A new language culture and ways of doing things. A new company and a teacher’s room full of new faces and several languages. New money and the scale of costs. The end of love and the loss of warmth in my heart. Yes, I actually chose to leave love. Love has left me so many times… I believe in love, love just doesn’t believe in me, so what would you do?
All this has me now in a dingy little flat, rented by the week, full of the smells of old cooking and fat in the air. Vague sounds through the walls and a feeling of utter dislocation. The place or space I have now is only big enough for a bed and a few chairs, in fact it is smaller than my bathroom in Poland and that is saying something. It costs me 100 euro a week, though I can exit with a few days notice.
I have the opportunity to take on another teachers old place, more expensive but bigger. It faces a nice river, which is actually across the road where the river cruise ships dock. It is around the corner from a carnival. And up the road from a dozen fine restaurants and pubs. I am hoping god smiles on me, as he has, getting me this far and continues to do so by letting me rent this new place my colleague is leaving. Extra prayers will come in handy folks – HINT.
I have a nasty last memory of my Polish home. My boss did me out of at least a month's rent money here in the new country, there at least a month’s wages. He was a bitter nasty man and I am disappointed that he sank so low as to steal from me and black mail me. He gave me refused to give me any money and stated that he would only give me 950PLN if I signed a paper that said I lay not further claim to the 1795PLN that he owed me.
He is a good catholic being a very poor Christian. He claimed that I did not give one months notice, I did. He claims that a months notice in polish civil law (which he was contracted to advise me on) was actually from the first of the month to the first of the month ONLY. I gave a months notice from the 14th to the 14th. Still a month as the contract I wrote and he signed states. So he is just hiding confidently behind a lie. I pity this man; he has done himself a great disservice. Everyone in the town knows and most especially the people who he is in business with and contracted to for teaching. They will not renew their contracts. They will never return to his school.
I left Poland 2 hours late after a stalemate round of arguments for 2 hours. Where I eventually conceded to my schedule and his plan of waiting me out.
I drove away quite incensed and full of rage. This served me in the 900km I had to drive over 10 hours. I reached my friend home in Germany beyond exhaustion, having spent the final 3 hours hammering my poor small car through mist hail and impossible rain. At some points on the autobahn I could see nothing but tail light of trucks and I had to guide myself at speeds over 140km/h in driving rain. I finally got to my friends home and collapsed after a bowl of soup. The next day was slow and I was weary. I went into the city and wandered around on foot. That night we had a birthday party. It finished about 3pm; I was deep in sleep at 11. The next morning I got up quietly and left. I hammered down the Autobahn and arrived 2 hours early in my new city. I have been running and barely touched the ground since.
It was good, I have discovered, not to take time off between jobs. I am still up to speed and found to my surprise that I am exceptionally organized in relation to my new colleagues. I have computerized everything and even have books on file. My goal is to never have to go to the office at all.
I am used to working on my own and now that I have 20 colleagues, 6 native English speakers, I am finding it tough to adjust.
For my colleagues – I have already rescues a laptop from the jaws of the blue screen of death. I have rewritten a key template used by all teachers; I have found items of importance for colleagues and connected colleagues by information by intuition. I have done well in my new job. I have made a positive mark. (I am waiting for the sky to fall in as it always does… but it doesn’t seem to be falling)
I have a company car at any time I need it. I have access to a huge library (mostly useless), I have a bright new and shiny school to be a part of in a huge city. I have huge emotional wounds still open but I have my suit and tie and smile on. No one cares about my losses, or pain. It isn’t important. So I just push. Push to do well by my new students and colleagues, I push to keep up and be organized, I push hard against the tears every damn day. Wish me luck kids… Obi

Monday, April 21, 2008

In Germany Now

Hi all, sorry for the delay in writing and even now i have no time to write so i must keep it short and sweet.
I have a good job and a company car. I work in company at a big manufacturing company most of the time.
I need to get registered to live in the city and get the work visa rolling.
I will have a new flat soon, overlooking the rhine across the street, where all teh crusise ships dock. IKEA is on my target list.
This school is more organised than the last one but less than ideal, so in the next 18 months I will be starting my own company and being my own boss, it really is the only way.
PS / German keyboards are very different YUCK!
I will make a long report about the dramas of leaving Poland etc when i can.
hey people / come visit mee!!
Obi stein

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday & Upon the morrow...

This week has been a strain - I have had to schedule my time dow to the 30 minute blocks so I get see people and get things done and take on the double classes that students requested because I am leaving, I should be flattered and I suppose I will be but I am too exhasuted and distracted to do taht right now.
My fav class this morning gave some some company product, cushions, and a not that when I miss them I can cry into the pillows. a sweet gift and rather funny. I came home after that as my next class was cancelled. I decided to trash everything I could see - I love heavy duty garbage bags...
I have to go back to the company to have one final class (which I think will be a coffee and cake session) and maaaybee a gift from the chairman. I am sad to go and I do value my life here and I am genuinely shocked by the positive impression I have made on the staff and students. it makes it all the harder to leave and has be really questioning my decision to leave. ...then i think of my boss and the messying around he has caused and all the niggly details... and I take a deep breath and go.
I went to my old pub last night and hung out with the old crew, a quiet night and a beer and a final chat and I was gone.
I am trying to make time for Penny Century, it seems the shoe is on the other foot now that I am difficult to catch, I remember days when I would wait for her to have time all day. She doesn't like coming second, no one does, but I just have to do things.
I have not done enough research on my route and tonight I will do a cramming session before bed at 9pm, I am up at 4.30 tomorrow and out of here by 6am then the boss comes to collect the keys.
You know it is still funny, he has been asking me for the second key to the flat for months now and I always say no - my privacy is bought and paid for, I am not having some body coming in any time - not even my boss. If he mentions it again today I will finally say what I always wanted to say. which was - '...sure you have this second key, and give me one to your home too'
he is a nice enough fella when he has no control over you. I do like him, but his behaviour in the last month has been insulting and he still is completely ignorant of this fact and continues to ask me to stay. He is an ostrich, head in the sand or his own ass, I dunno which... maybe his ass is sandy - who knows and cares.
it is raining here and has been since 3am, so the roads are very wet. I do hope it stops and I can have a clear run tomorrow, but unlikely. tho if it is cold out then I can be sure teh care won't over heat so fast.
Wish me luck kiddies - I hope I have no excitement to report until I start work on Monday.
Bye from Poland.
Obi - 'I’m movin’ with the strength of a spear, I’m cruisin’ with the past in my mirror. Done leveling my city of ghosts. Cool ashes, like it’s all that she wrote' - Sadness Soot - Grant Lee Philips

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Saturday started at 8am, I can't seem to sleep much the past few weeks. The anxiety is wearing me down. I had my last class with my dear friend and student. We went to see her near completed home and chatted and then had coffee. I came home and started to dismantle my bed, as someone had bought it and was going to pick it up at 3pm.
The replacement teacher came as I had asked him to so I could explain the job a little more thoroughly. I was still angry with him from the night before but that had to be put aside. I wrote a 26 page report for him, class plan and structure, student profiles covering 7 criteria, the time table and everything else. He didnt even thank me. He just staggering in the door already drunk and cracked another can of beer. Throughout the info session he repeated questions and asked me things that were in the report. I finally finished answering repeated questions and then I decided to drive him to the company sites so he would know where they were then dropped him off at home.
The bed guys came and went and were fully expecting the bed not to be disassembled, but I dunno how they expected to carry it down 3 flights of stairs. Numb skulls.
I had a snooze and then went to supper with my student friend from that morning with her husband. A nice meal in a quiet place outside town, it maybe my fave soup. Home and a DVD and be on the sofa in the living room. I have walked to my bedroom several times this past day and I get there and there is no bed, I really miss that bed. It was the MALM bed in the IKEA catalogue, very comfy and my refuge from fatigue.
Today I am going to a friends house for lunch - a traditional Polish Sunday lunch. It will be nice.
I had some tears yesterday, it is extremely difficult to pack up a life and all the other things. Penny Century was also crying yesterday and called me saying her heart was broken. She didn't blame me but knew she loved me so deeply and that I was going. You know you can really tell someone loves you when you see their eyes wide and full of love everytime they look at you. Now those eyes are full of tears.
The double gravity season is here and I am straining under the weight. Help anyone - I'm Drowning. Obi

Saturday, April 05, 2008

T muinus 5 daze and counting

My meeting with my boss was a disaster, I am far too polite. He didn't pay me, he gave me a token third of my wages, holding the rest and justifying it by saying that he wanted to see the fridge and the washing machine in my flat still worked before he would pay me.
Personally I thought he was just short on cash and that was why the stalling and pissy excuse. No, he had bought a brand new Chrysler Voyager for this growing family. So wide eyed with incredulity abounding, I stood up and did what my horoscope that day had told me, whichas not to argue or make waves and go with the flow. So I stood up and walked out the door and let go of my angst and headed for my going away party. Which ended up being very good and I had a lot of fun time the end. My replacement that I picked for Arek, a raving alcoholic started expressing his ungrateful bitter manifesto - so I stood up and left. I walked home angry and went to bed. Obi

Thursday, April 03, 2008

low blood sugar

Looking back on yesterday's post I see that I was a little low on blood sugar. Sure I am still bracing for the worst, but I still have to plan for and compensate for the unexpected. My cleaning girl is coming next week towards the end. All I can do is the best at tying up my loose ends.
I need to watch my meals.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

darkest before the dawn

As the day approacheth - I am starting to see little warning signs that my boss may start to be difficult.
He wants to do the final hand over of my flat and my monies etc on at the very minute I leave. This dear friends is at 6am on the 11th - Friday morning. So all the deal breakers are at this final moment. I stated I wanted it all done Thursday at 5.30pm, which happens to be the end of my last class - I think this if fair an equitable. On Friday morning I drop the keys in the post box and all is done.
I sense, as was my experience in Russia, a few hiccups on their way.
Now it is stressful to the max to up and move country and drive across europe with only a faint idea of where you are going, It is stressful enough to grasp the challenege ahead - new country new culture and language etc. I don't think I will have a 10th of the patience needed to cope if my boss starts knit picking at the very last moment.
I have not been sleeping well the last few days and I have been forgetting things and all round distracted but doing my best. I have a lot to do and a long way to go and I don't need any hitches.
making changes at the last minute is required, I pray to God I don't have too many.
Everyone - Pray Obi can leave without incident...
I - Obi...