Last dash before Greece

Oh dear the bf is going to kill me when he comes over in a bit and sees the state of my apartment. I guess he’s realized by now that I am totally incapable of packing in advance. In fact, I feel incapacitated when faced with the thought of packing. The clothes are all washed and lying near my suitcase, since yesterday morning. Sigh.

So I’m procrastinating, sue me! I did so much running around today. Returned books and switched over bills, called the tax guy (who was very pleasantly helpful), rescheduled my appointment with my accountant (I kid you not, I just looked it up in English, forget my English sometimes), but the bf will have to move it back, cause I rescheduled it in a panic before I talked to the tax man. Then to continue, had a bike accident and scraped a nice chunk out of my elbow, went to finish work, but unfortunately only halfway there for the kids, and sent them off early without playing or talking. Then finished my work before the next kids came. Oy and then guess what, well the grades weren’t ready. My boss was pissed. I wasn’t trying to throw my colleague under the bus, but she dropped the ball. We talked it over twice and she was going to finish the last test and then give our boss the grades on Monday. She forgot, I didn’t double check and now my boss has more work to do. She was mad and did the Greek yelling thing, that sounds like it’s really angry to an American, but probably isn’t to the Greeks. I just left. It wasn’t my fault, BUT my boss expects us both to be on top of things. I don’t want to irritate my coworker by checking up on her, and she practically insisted on it, but guess I need to cover my own ass and not worry about her feelings. Le sigh.

Moving on, called up the oldies twice to tell them we won’t come to the garden party today. The will, or are, or were so disappointed, so I was very glad that no one picked up both times. I don’t have time to deal with hurt old people feelings and they knew it’d be tough for me anyway, will do damage control when I come back in August.

Then I managed to say a quick goodbye, still have to come in tomorrow morning before the flight to sign off all the grades, bah. Came back, ate while watching a John Stewart, and tried to get a hold of my friend in Greece. No luck. Who the heck am I meeting tomorrow?? I had all week to call, but had telephone calls all week, and by then it was far too late in Greece. Well it’s Greece it’ll work out. I’m excited but still have to pack and clean and text my boss, and give the bf a list of things he needs to take care of if we are going to be ready for our US trip!

Does any of that make any sense??? Probably not. I’ve nearly finished it all though. Have I done enough Greek??? Ehhhhhhhhhh, no. Thoroughly disappointed with myself, I’d like to finally have something to show for all my effort. I spent a whole year in a Greek class listening to horrible accents and a teacher drone on and on about Greek culture. Man I could write that book yo. But the Germans were happy, and I thought it would improve, so I didn’t complain.

Selber Schuld. As the Germans say. At least it’s a tax write-off. Oh yeah and then in August I have to organize a rental care and budget for this trip. But that’s enough from me for now. Maybe sometime tomorrow I will let out a big sigh and just think to myself, well there’s nothing I can get done now, best to just enjoy myself. 

And I will. I miss them all. I’m just too stressed to be excited and I’ve been too stressed for too long. 😛

Oh and to get me in the mood, this kid is great.

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one week til Ellada

Had my last Saturday lesson of the year, sniffling and coughing the whole time. What a great impression I leave on these kids!!

As soon as I get my health insurance card I’m taking myself on a tour of all the doctors I can to make sure I’m top fit for the fall. And next spring I’m getting an allergy shot in March.

Ah the beauties of “socialism”.

People laugh when I say I came for health insurance, I mean come on, you know I didn’t but it is so flippin fantastic living in a country where people expect you to have a relationship with your doctor(s) and being legitimately sick is not looked askance at as maybe a secret attempt to play hooky from work.

We’ve got problems here too, no doubt, but it’s a million miles away from what I’ve experienced back home in Ami land. Honestly I only remember my dentists, my doctors are sort of blur. I fail to understand how we’ve been programmed to go to our dentist for teeth cleaning every six months, but can’t talk to our doctor about diet and exercise and maybe, you know, this sort of dying thing we all do eventually.

Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...

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Although full disclosure: I dutifully went to the dentist here for a check-up and teeth cleaning. It was way more than I thought it would be, (old insurance) and even the dental hygienist thought it was an unnecessary visit, although she was kind enough to kind of hide it. I ended up kicking myself over it for weeks. 😦  but she did remind me that they don’t have fluoride in the water here, and told me what I needed to do to take care of it. Not without scoffing that we Americans would put it in our taps and then DRINK ENOUGH tap water that it would protect our teeth.

Oh Europeans and your distrust of anything but bottled water. Thank God you at least recycle.

That’s one thing that makes me really feel at home in Greece, fresh non-carbonated spring water that comes standard at cafes and restaurants.

Back to the lessons today. Darn kids and their young memories. Little A. said, “Oh it’s much nicer to get our grades from you, because we get gummi-bears.”

Mental: “oh crap.”

The rest of the kids can thank her this week. I went to the grocery store and bought lollipops and candy (with vitamins, hahah I’m so evil). It’s a tax write-off anyway and kids are ridiculously grateful when you give them candy. And I get 5 minutes of more or less silently chewing mouths. WIN-WIN.

I took pics of them today, for me, for my family. But kids pics won’t go here. Little kid pics do not belong on blogs. Despite how much I’d love to share my adorable, mischievous, self-described “school-haters”. Probably I’ll take some pics of the stories and pics they’ve written for me. Anyway, they were embarrassed but pleased.

Kids are so easy sometimes. They all just want attention, either they find a good way to get it, or they train themselves, often inadvertently, to misbehave for it. Teaching for me is just placing my attention at the right place at the right time and not losing my patience. Mostly it’s the latter and trying to remember the former.

Work is good though. Lots of work still, but the senior course are finished with lots of love and even some flowers and we’ve got most of the grades sorted out for the kids. I talked with my colleague for a long time about all the classes and not to summarize it all too quickly, but it feels like we’re on the same page again. Maybe she needed to feel that I was supporting her. The kids get so crazy Greek about wanting to be liked and they definitely have a “special” i.e. Greek government/village corrupt who-you-know system of advancement, instilled in them from a young age. I can only imagine how they try to use their FAIR AND NORMAL relationship with me to one-up each other and hurt the new teacher if they don’t like her, or think she doesn’t like them.

Is that confusing? Find it hard to imagine that Greek kids play these games? Ha, welcome to my village, and by the way, I have the kids from the more responsible parents.

I’m pretty sure she is now clear that I am not trying to court favor with my teenagers and I gave her a few tips for that tough class that was causing a fuss.

Anyway it’s high time I did some Greek practice. I’ll be there in a week and have nothing to show for it. Tropi on me.

Meanwhile one of my fave Greek male singers.

The good, the bad, the wedges.

Achhh! I feel awful and terrific at the same time. First off, my terrific bf made some calls today and found out that with just a couple of sheets of paper, I can make the final bit of my tax bureaucratic nonsense go away, without having to pay any extra money! This wasn’t a given, so I’m more than pleased.

Additionally it means almost everything is completed, or rather will be completed by next week (if not the end of this) so I’ve finally got a glimpse of the light at the end of this tunnel and spent today in a ridiculously good mood.

Unfortunately I’m afraid the stress has gotten to me after all and so what I thought was just allergy symptoms from the latest wave of pollen, probably is a little stress cold. Oy it’s funny how these things sneak up on you. I had been blowing my nose for a good hour or so and finally I realized. Hmm, don’t think this is an allergy anymore. 

But my nasal rinse has saved the day. Simple salt water is amazingly effective at reducing stuffiness and just killing bacteria. Imho, I think we’ve all bought a little bit too much into the health industry.

So just a quick note here and then it’s an early night for me. I’ve got just one more week of senior courses, then a quick last week with the Greeks and then I’ll be on a plane to Greece, probably mentally compiling a list of things I’ve forgotten to pack/take care of.

But as I said, the stress started receding today and I’m really just relieved. So relieved I was giggly in class today and kept making fun of everything, the kids were bewildered at first, but tickled too and I like it when I can make their after-school lessons a bit amusing.

And since I now don’t have to give my money to the German gov’t, and because I’ve been trying to find shoes like these all over town and haven’t forgotten about how cute they are, I’ve gone internet shoe shopping. This means no more shoes for me til maybe after the Christmas sales, but oh well I can live with that.

I can’t decide though. Do I get the hot turquoise wedges that tends to be my summer color scheme

Or

Should I go for the more versatile and also super summery white wedges?

Wedges are a winner with the stupid cobblestones round here. Very stable and no stuck heels in-between the stones. I’m bored with flats and little mini heels.  I hate wearing flip-flops and summer sandals in European cities. My feet get filthy and there’s no water nearby to clean it off with. A bit of heel isn’t too bad. I wanted white to replace the summer shoes I no longer have, for whatever reason, but what if it just gets dirty too fast?

Well just need to decide on a color I guess. They deliver in 2 days and if it doesn’t fit, the shipping is free anyway. Any suggestions?

Additionally I had to start the kids grades today with my colleague and that went surprisingly well too, but more later. Right now it’s time to lay vertical and let my sinuses sort themselves out, because tomorrow is my last class of my new senior beginner course and I want to be well enough to explain things in German one last time before summer, otherwise, they’ll all start panicking and thinking they won’t understand and we go too fast and they’ll all drop out before September. Ha!

My last year in photos

Ahh I started looking around on other expat blogs here. So cute! So interesting to read about how other people made the same decisions I have. Whenever I travel somewhere and notice other Americans that clearly live abroad, I always want to ask how it came about and how they like it, but I’m always too shy.

I also suppose I’m held back by the fact that sometimes I know I’m too busy running around to take the time for curious questions. Maybe people left America and they’re happy not to have to talk to strangers about their personal life. I know sometimes I am. Besides mostly I hear people on the street and it’s a bit awkward to run after them saying “hey do you live here/abroad too?!” 

I’m too eingedeutscht. (germanized) What can I say? Here anyone that addresses you on the street that isn’t lost, is generally up to no good. At least around here. It’s a bit different in Berlin and other cities and in the countryside too I think.

Anyway after I looked at all the pretty set-ups, I dinked around with mine for a bit. I don’t think mine will ever be a mostly photo blog, but then again I’d rather use this than fb for friends/family, so I thought I’d try it out today for the first time.

So the highlights from last year are:

July 2010

An old elementary, middle school, high school Omaha friend, comes to visit. From German to band, we spent several years sitting in class writing notes to each other and then hours after-school on aim chatting to each other.

Little bro came for a visit. There were so many great photos. We had so much fun going out and having him try new things. The best part was every morning he’d run next door to the grocery store and buy fresh rolls while I was still clutching my coffee. Here he is with a Radler (shandy) and massive schnitzel. Both of which were too much for him this day. Wheat beer and sausage were what he liked.

In Wheelers, back in our Erlangen with bff. This pub opened during our study abroad there and was the headquarters for all the mischief the English speaking community got up to. The end of an era.

August

My bday in the village on the 14th, right before the big Panagiri on the 15th of August (with my bff and fam) She’s another girl I met in Germany when a classmate of mine said to her, “Hey you’re Greek. That’s cool. This girl (me) likes Greek things.” Not really, but it did the trick.

the bf and I in Skiathos. He’s was so happy to be back on a beach.

The thing that keeps me coming back to Greece, despite all nonsense I’ve dealt with over the years. Let me tell you the restaurants were expensive and rubbish, but when you have an oven, you eat like a king for pennies. The highlight of our stay here was the local butcher, who always “freshly froze” her fresh meat that morning. Yes, it was so frozen that we had to wait 2 hours for it to thaw enough to cut it. Very fresh.

The beach on Skiathos had the clearest, most comfortable water. I never wanted to stop swimming.

September

Back home and back to work!

Oktober

Up in the Bavarian forest right near the Czech Border. It was basically a little ski town and dead, but the area had lots of zoos and nature preserves and it was fall break and I wanted a change of scenery.

November

Birthday steaks for the birthday boy. Sometimes he really loves dating an Ami.

December

1st Glühwein of the season. Man once they open up the Christmas market, I am just loving life! Nowhere else beats the festive atmosphere here during the holiday season.

Another old Omaha classmate, comes to visit. She’s living in Germany now toob (small world), and teaching at a kindergarten.

The bf had ear surgery in Dec. while I had loads of guests. I brought an old Michigan friend  to visit him and get fed. She’s also a priest kid, as we’re called, s we’ve got a very sisterly relationship. She had finally gotten over to Spain to study and was travelling around before going home.

Love this pic of Lorenzkirche. We got so much snow. It was a slushy nightmare, but after a couple winters without any snow, this CO snow bunny was very happy.

Gone to Berlin for NYE. My thing I guess is to spend this holiday in new cities: London, Berlin, Cologne, New York, so far. Even though I actually don’t really get what all the fuss is about. Berlin was by far the best. Amazing, long firework show that you could see from all over the city.

January

Driving a Trabi at the Eastern Germany Museum, my normal museum-hater loved all the hands-on stuff here. Definitely go if you get the chance.

Visiting my German gf in Trier and helping her move in. It was so nasskalt (bone-chillingly) cold there when I went because it’s in a valley and gets gusts of wind with the damp, that I swore I’d never visit again in winter. BUT I’m looking forward to going this summer and trying out the wine.

February

All these years of living abroad and my parents finally come for the first time, for a measly 2 weeks. This was taken on a somewhat pleasant day, but the rest of the time, I’m afraid they spent walking around freezing (I thought it was normal, but they’re spoiled living in the dry air of CO). What can I say, I warned them about February, at least there was no precipitation.

Here we are in Dürer Platz. Poor mom had just had foot surgery and went walking all over town on these medieval cobblestones. All in all, made February go by much faster than normal!

March

Altdorf, took a day-trip somewhere new, but there was nothing to do here, or any small village in Germany on a Sunday, so we went left fot our favorite brewpub

April

After a whole winter without our two favorite people, we went over to visit their new set-up and my Easter break coincided with this royal wedding event. My bff’s bf, being the patriotic Englishman he is, was determined not to miss a chance to see the Queen. Despite my reservations it ended up being an all-around wonderful experience and we saw the queen mum and happy couple 3 times, not 20 meters away.

And that’s what we saw.

May

Spent an afternoon in Cambridge together before flying back. How can you not love this town, I was ready to send in my application, tuition be damned!?!

June

Nothing like the Erlangen Beer fest to bring people together and give faraway friends the excuse to return. My study abroad experience has introduced so many people into my life and kept us all close and connected as well.

The middle bro came to visit and kick off his college opera tour in Germany. Guess who got to feed to hungry men. Hahah.

Bayreuth was super cool. The rain was miserable at first, but when it let up, we had tons of fun. And get there quickly, they’ve got a pretty unique all wooden (read: firehazard) Opera house, which will be closed for 5,6, maybe even 7 years for a complete renovation. But it, and the Italian palace were pretty cool.

So there’s a short look into my last year. Can’t complain. I’ve got to see some cool things, but even better, I had a lot of long awaited visitors.

For me, since I’ve never really stayed in one place too long anyway, it’s not like all my friends are in the same place back home. I mean, no matter where I lived, I’d be apart from the people. That’s what I enjoy the most living abroad, taking people around and showing them the sights.

When you live and work somewhere, everything begins to get old and you take it all for granted so it’s always wonderful when someone see it for the first time and makes you stop and appreciate how cool it is to live somewhere that for your friends is so picturesque and interesting.


What am I missing here?

On Thursday this mess should start to get cleared up. But I got more tax nonsense asking for more taxes. I just spoke with them recently and THOUGHT I cleared everything up. I don’t know what these new bills are about, but if I don’t get my visa settled and then a letter sent about my taxes for this coming year, I’m expected to cough up a lot of money for taxes that I am 100% sure that I won’t have to pay for the coming year. But I can’t prove that until I have a copy of the new visa. 

What are up with these taxes?? And you know it’s the end of the year and I just want to enjoy my last lessons and wind down, get everything settled for the year. Everything takes ages in Germany, regardless of what the Germans think. I haven’t even had my kitchen light since March. 

Stop.

Breathe.

The women on Monday almost sent me on my way again to wait further, indefinitely. As if 3 months for a  visa isn’t unreasonable. But then I told her to stop and that wouldn’t work and I had done absolutely everything I needed and planned and budgeted, but it can’t go any further. And I think she understood and she made an appointment for Thursday morning early. All because of typo, saying 3 years instead of 2.

This stress is going to do me in. Did I believe I would get my Visa Monday? No not at all. Thursday. 50-50. If I don’t I’ll tell her to call up all my seniors herself and say that since they can’t be bothered to give me a proper timeline, I now have to cancel a year long course,against my contract, maybe,  at the last minute. Which I’d hate. Guess who looks irresponsible.

I’ll get downright aggressive and nasty on Thursday if I need to. This office has been abusing me since 2009.

Everything has been on hold for 3 months. Nothing has been able to function as it should financially and I have had to keep replanning as this isn’t taken care of.

I asked for Monday off I was so stressed out. My boss didn’t like it, of course not, but gosh darn it, I never would have worked Mondays, HAD I KNOWN that I would still be billing her as self-employed and DIDN’T need to increase my income at all. My boss didn’t understand. I got offended. This isn’t about a work permit this is about trying to jump through all the legal hoops and watch all your options and money taken away from you, and in the end being faced with the exact situation as where you started. I can’t make a situation based on my finances and tax rules and then later end up in the same boat again.

I straight up told me boss that I had I known how everything would be come July, I don’t know that I would have made the same decisions back in April, i.e. another year. And I think she got it.

I cannot believe this. I never ever want to go to this stupid office ever again. I am ready to leave this city as a resident forever.

Were it not for the bf I’d go home.

I can’t even go over the multitude and minutiae of difficulties that this issue has brought about. All I have to say is that things will start going downhill really quickly if I am not officially working for my boss in July and my tax status has changed.

We have a problem when I am calling up a month before my appt. to check if everything is really ok. then after no success, finally getting someone to open my file, and then telling me everything looks good. and then when I go the person looks at it for the first time, insinuates it’s not her problem and tells me to eff off. So even though I’m checking that they are doing they’re job, they’re not and I have to pay for it.

This isn’t clear. I don’t care. It isn’t clear in my head. I’m totally overwhelmed trying to make sure I’m taking all the proper steps and if it doesn’t get sorted out, my summer vacation time won’t happen. And hey guess what I’ve already bought all the tickets.

I’m so offended that after all we’ve been through with this, my boss doesn’t get that if I don’t earn enough money, my plans will change. I might have to move my appt.

The thing is, guess what, this all doesn’t have to work out. The bf told me that about Monday. I mean, come on he has to, but I was sitting there stubbornly saying, nope, nope nope dear, it doesn’t. No one is under any obligation to look out for me except for me.

And you know I’ve got fantastic plans and a decent job, and wonderful support and I’m excited about getting some time off this summer, but none of that matters if this thing that I have been worrying about since January and going to offices all over town for and getting advice about the best way to do things doesn’t get resolved.

I’ve been telling myself every month just to be a little bit more patient and it’ll be over. And it isn’t. 2011 will forever be known as my year of bureaucratic torture and abuse. My life has been on hold. My to-do list has stayed constant for 4 months. That alone is torture.

But I need to stop now seriously. There’s nothing I can do. If I’m screwed, I’m screwed. And I think I’m screwed.

This is not how I planned this entry going.

*SIGH*

Took another bike ride. Didn’t want to actually. But I made myself. It’s too hot for the fitness studio. I was already on my bike in workout clothes with water. At least it gets rid of some of my anger.

The oldies were good today. It was a nice time together.

The night before I chatted with my dad and that helped both of us, but that feeling disappeared with the tax letters I got today. (Is it what I supposedly just paid, or is this something new? Also how the hell am I going to explain my new status to them in German!!!)

My bike ride was nice in the sun. I made my favorite meal, Gemista for the first time ever, more or less successfully.

It’s rained and cooled off the heat. Also tomorrow. I will have very little work. Just spending time together with my class.

But I won’t enjoy any of it. I will just be thinking about Thursday and worrying about what else I need to take care of before summer vacation. Even if I get this visa I’ll be hard pressed to do the other bits and prob the bf will have to look into some things while I’m in Greece.

So now I’m going to stop and trying to distract myself and read and fall asleep and hope that one day this will be behind me.

Woe woe woes at work

There’s a work conundrum I’m trying to figure out. My co-worker’s being a bit weird and not (really) to me, but to the kids. This is eating at me a bit.

My boss came up to me yesterday and said she had just gotten off the phone with the parent of a long-time pupil who was furious about what this colleague of mine had said. Something about not paying for the courses. It never became clear to me why this was offensive. She wanted to know how the class was and if I had any idea. We both agreed immediately that this wasn’t the type of girl who’d lie about the situation. I only mentioned to my boss that it was a tough class because they hated each other earlier and only this year have I had any fun with them. Also I know without a doubt that they don’t like/think my colleague isn’t cool, which I mentioned of course, so the situation was clear.

So there’s a few things that are possible: the girl didn’t understand what was said (which I doubt), it wasn’t serious and she didn’t catch the irony/humor, it was an earnestly bitchy statement. I can’t rule out any of them. My boss takes offending clients seriously, so she’ll have to watch her mouth no matter what occurred. She is also worried because this is the third girl who have come up to her and said I don’t think she likes me and I didn’t want to tell you because I was afraid you’d get mad and as she very rightly mentioned, if the Greeks here start turning against her, there’ll be no stopping it. But all I’m thinking about are the other girls that think that, but don’t haven’t said anything.

Because I know for a fact. I see the eye-rolling and whispered jokes and I know that my oh-so-cool teenies make fun of her. And I’ve certainly said to my boss once or twice I think they just don’t get her humor. A Greek girl, who grew up speaking German as a native language, fell in love with English and then lived in Ireland for years, lost her job and decided to come teach English. Maybe she’s got that black Irish humor, hell I don’t even get that nonsense half the time. But I don’t know.

I’m concerned. I’m concerned that she is playing favorites with the students who speak perfect German and making snarky comments to girls when she senses that they don’t like her. That isn’t fair and I hate to imagined my girls being subjected to that. Hey that’s life, I know but they are still kids after all and the adult in this situation should be mature enough to realize that you can’t take these comments to heart. It’s not about you, it’s about the lesson. It’s great when the kids like you, but that’s not our job.

I remember the first year I was here. There were some really trying situations where the older girls were giving me the bitchy-I’m-way-hotter-than-you-attitude and I didn’t play into it, because I was 24 not 18. But I remembered thinking, if this happened two years ago, I’d be devastated. 

It can be hard to remember to be the adult sometimes and being a good example in front of the kids can be exhausting.

But let me take a step back. Because I don’t want to be too quick to judge. I was wrong about the new physics teacher. She was making eyes at the bf, before she knew we were together… that didn’t help her case… but we’ve become very chummy at work and have a good laugh over our language struggles.

I’ve been dead wrong about people before. I’ll be wrong again. I try so hard not to make snap judgments. I try to keep re-evaluating my opinion of acquaintances. I’ve been trying so hard all year not to dislike her. I tried to be welcoming. I had her over at mine and it was a good chat. I told her about an English speaking group, but she “couldn’t manage it until next year”, at my boss’s suggestion I reluctantly asked her for a bit of occasional Greek help, which she declined being busy. I’ve tried to be patient with the learning curve at the beginning. I’ve come to realize that she’s totally German in her inability to make small talk and her reluctance to verbally communicate things, preferring notes instead. And so I’ve adapted.

I’m not trying to be best buds, that won’t happen, but personally I feel like my extended-open hand has been pushed aside.

I’m living in Germany. I know that I have to deal with this direct, confrontational work environment, they don’t have to change for me. I just wish it could be pleasant and not always so serious.

What I’m on the fence about is whether or not these underlying currents of disrespect and resentment I feel coming my way from time to time (like when I go home one class earlier on Sat.~I work a second job ~yo) are real or if I’m just projecting. The bf has a good sense for this. He always calls bull when I fret too much about my boss.  And I don’t know what the kids are doing. Kids are mean man. I don’t know how I’d react. Maybe they deserve it.

Two separate things to mention still, first with our new projector for the younger kids, we’ve taken to locking the door so the kids don’t get any ideas. Well in my room there was the biology teacher with a class. I needed to use my room obviously I opened up the third locked room and told him in Greek to go on over. It was a teacher who’s been teaching once a week a few years now. He’d be over before the boss got in. She came and tried to stop me saying that I should stay in the room and not switch. My stuff was in the other room and I didn’t feel like having a complicated chat in Greek. And I think it wasn’t a big deal. So I said no. and she said to me point blank, some thing along the lines of if anything happens it totally your responsibility and I wanted nothing to do with it and fine you know him, not me.   

I remember staring at her with an open-jaw. First, that she was so direct and second, that she felt that I was so irresponsible that maybe I’d go tattling to our boss and blaming her for it. Couldn’t hide my face that well. She definitely saw my disbelief and later after the lesson tried to explain just that it’s better that we always take the room. And I agreed with her to shut her up. But I noticed however strongly she felt, she didn’t offer up her room. No her room is under lock and key to protect her plants.

Later I went to the boss, told her none of that, just said that it was my idea and I hope that it was ok. They were in my room and since my lessons were in their prepared, I didn’t think it’s be a problem to move them over. She also thought it was no big deal and that was that. But afterwards I was still shocked and decided if that’s how she wanted to play things, forget pleasantries.

It goes on and on it’s all spilling out. I’ve been holding it in too long.

Last week she was surprised I was speaking German with the kids. Hello, where you’ve been this whole year?

The second point: before any Americans reading this start to say oh hey, man chill out, just be cool. It doesn’t work like that. Last year I got bitched out by my 30+ Greek acquaintance’s MOTHER in the middle of a crowded square because the one time we had gone out together and had a nice time, she took my query about meeting Americans since she works  near a base, as a command to go out and have orgies with American soldiers, etc etc etc. And then told her mother.

So no thank you, I will not underestimate the European women tendency to wind themselves up in a jealous fit and lash out when you least expect it. I live my life happily in Germany and I like my work and the bf. I know I’m lucky and I don’t go around flaunting it. But I understand that an insecure women will bristle when I get attention from the curious, no matter how much I downplay it and that’s why I don’t bother going out anymore, or meeting new people. The bf is much more drama free.

So I guess all I have to say is that despite my efforts to the contrary I do rather dislike her. But how well she does her job is none of my business. I just want to make sure my girls are taken seriously when they complain.

Tomorrow I’m gonna hear all about it and I still haven’t gotten an explanation from my boss.

Countdown to vacation

Another Thursday has come and gone. I’m counting down every Thurs. until summer break. Two more full days to go! Then a last little week before I hop over to Greece. I have a very good feeling I won’t be ready.

I’m a bit overwhelmed with everything at the moment. There are just so many things to figure out before summer break and I don’t have any down time to deal with it. And everything is taking so long. I have had a problem with my lights for 2 months, but still not sorted. Ai. Never mind my contacts, my driver’s licence, my VISA, my bank account, taxes for 2011, health insurance switch, US taxes, summer vacation budgeting double-check. And these are just the biggies.

Not to mention that the bf’s parents are away and while he doesn’t ask for anything extra, I just can’t help cooking dinner for him more often. I mean the boy shouldn’t eat currywurst everyday. His sis feeds him a bit, but goodness knows, the last thing I need to do in a family of feeders is be the one girl who doesn’t a proper job. Later I’ll slack off when needed, but I need to build a reputation in the beginning. He’s not helpless, in fact he’s very helpful and thankful, and is really delighted that I’m cooking more than normal. I’m training him slowly in the kitchen. Everytime I cook I have him do little tasks, he’s willing enough and it’s high time he learned to do some basic tasks especially if it helps both of us eat dinner together sooner. But shhhh don’t tell him.

But I’m a stresser. I will just have to wait til this Monday and see that everything is set for the next year and then get some more big things crossed off that have been sitting on my to-do driving me crazy since March. I never would have imagined that I’d still be dealing with all these super important things right before I was getting ready to start my summer break!

Germany is doing me in plain and simple. I want to get away and feel at ease knowing that all the bureaucracy is behind me.

Butl I’m already looking forward to next fall. This tax fiasco turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I needed to push my senior classes into next year and because of that, I’ve managed to squeeze in an intensive German course. My German is good enough. It gets me where I want to go, but I want to improve my grammar, and push my vocab to the next level. A language is such a fickle thing. The bf doesn’t want me messing with my accent, but I think I’d be taken more seriously if I spoke correctly 80-90% of the time instead of 60-70%.

In-laws

Short and sweet:

Yesterday I used Laki’s empty kitchen to my advantage and baked pb cookies for me and for my classes today. With a big oven it goes quickly. I also made brownies. Then Laki’s brother rings telling us to come over. It’s like he knows when ever I make desserts.

Good timing anyway, I brought two tupperware containers to share. The little dog Ellie is so happy to see me. Hahah. His bro was a bit shocked and demanded to know why his brother couldn’t be more like me. And his sister and her husband were there too. Her baby has just started kicking. Her husband is so ready for their baby. He has another little girl from a previous marriage, and he loves being a dad.

Anyway they didn’t stay long but we chatted enough and watched her practice. I got to play with Kosta then. Hahah little munchkin is starting to make eyes at everyone. He’s got ridiculous little ears. Poor dear. And he’s already starting to coo at everyone. He was just looking around, being a baby flirt.

Well I’ve had lots of baby practice. Trust me. In fact I’ve had a good 7 year break during Uni and afterwards. I didn’t want to see any kids. It was fun yesterday though. S. asked if it bothered me that she kept giving me to him and I said no way! Normally I have to pass him on to be polite, but yesterday there was no one but Lakis, so after a bit of food and a diaper change, we took a baby nap together. Heehee

Anyway then we dropped the baby and dog off at Grandma’s and went out to see bad teacher. I wouldn’t have bothered to see this movie ever, esp not dubbed, but I’m easy. We expected it to be funnier. I don’t like Diaz’s face that much anyway. She’s got a weird lip thing she does, reminds me of a fish, and now with more wrinkles,which she can’t help I understand, but prob she’s my least fave actress.

So we had a bit of movie strife they paid for our tickets, oy with the Greeks. Then I bought a water, much to the consternation of the sis in law, then afterwards we went to dinner at the polish beer garden nearby and got the dinner. Well I got the dinner and I was happy to. I slipped Laki a 50 Euro note, and they protested but we won. Then having the sneaky bf I do, Laki slips me money secretly that I found this morning. Oh my goodness Greeks are ridiculous.

Anyway it was a lot of laughs and we talked about America and different travels and they wanted to find out if all the things they’d ever heard were true.  But it was lots of fun and I’m glad we get a long well together. We talked about maybe going to see some cultural things together. Since the brothers only cultural interest is football and her sis is gone now, so she’s got less people to do stuff with.

I’m excited. I already liked Laki’s sis a lot. She’s so kind and open. His bro’s wife was a bit harder. Sweet but I met her when she was pregnant and lots of things were going on. She had more to worry about than getting to know her b.i.l’s new gf. So now things have settled and maybe they’ve also gotten over, why is the American girl interested in him and realize that I might stick around and so going out was just what we needed. We got along swimmingly and that was an unexpected plus. Because it’s fine when you just hang out from time to time with family, but these people will always be part of our live (as long as we’re together) and so it’s even cooler when you realize oh hey, we might even be friends.

I haven’t whipped out the charm in ages. It’s just not worth it in most situations. It’s so hard to make friends in Germany. It takes so much time and even then I’ve been planned out of some friendships and so recently I’ve not been bothered. But yesterday was out of the blue a lot of fun. So hopefully this is the start of closer family get-togethers.

In two weeks we’ll be having burgers at mine.