Friday, March 14, 2008

Tea and Sympathy

Eventhough our Deutschkurs has finished, our little band of intrepid language aquirers have decided that we like each other enough to keep meeting once a week at a cafe for coffee and conversation (in Deutsch of course), or tea and sympathy - or perhaps a little of both. We are all in the same boat - we don't know many people and are looking to expand our circle of friends and improve our language skills.

The last time I was in a similar(ish) situation - new town, not knowing anyone, I had just finished university and moved to Darwin to start my first proper job. Darwin could possibly qualify as the friendliest town in the world. Within a week or so, I had received phone calls from friends-of-friends-of-friends inviting me somewhere - there were even squabbles between people within the same circle of friends as to who had befriended me first (I love a good bidding war). Darwin was way easier than Mainz as conversations were conducted in english, but I don't miss living in the tropics - 50 degrees north suits me just fine.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A photo a day keeps boredom away

For the next little while, I'll be helping out a fellow antipodean by contributing to Mainz Daily Photo - a project in which, yep you guessed it, one posts a photo daily from ones city of residence, in our case Mainz, along with a brief commentary.

It should be fun and gives me added incentive to get cracking on another of my new year's resolutions.

So, any Mainzers out there, I'm looking for interesting stuff to photograph. Any suggestions?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Confusitive Case

You will be pleased to hear that I passed the 'abschluss test' for my Deutschkurs. I can hear your collective sighs of relief.

I understand just enough German to be dangerous....they'll never know what hit them. My verbs continue to be all over the shop, and my grasp on the correct usage of personal pronouns remains tenuous, but I'm ready to go forth and converse - badly.

So, if in the coming weeks you see confused and perplexed locals wandering around, don't be alarmed, I've probably just tried to engage them in conversation. I'm sure they'll recover - eventually.

Friday, March 07, 2008

International Women's Day

Remember when I told you I was helping my sister prepare for a debate?

The debate is held annually to mark the occasion of International Women's Day, and is a hot ticket in Brisbane. The event is hosted by the Australian Institute of Management at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, and is attended by over a 1000 people. Now you know why she donned the 'brown underpants'.

The debate topic was "That heels have a rightful place in the boardroom".

She was on the negative team.

So after her initial plea for help, I set to work doing what I do best - surfing the internet, and coming up with truly appalling puns.

She had sent through her initial ideas and finally, after much to-ing and fro-ing, this was the finished piece. I think she was fabulous and only had a couple of little verbal stumbles, but then again, I'm biased.

(The content is heavily Australian-centric, so it may not make a lot of sense to everyone). Also it is about 6 minutes long.....

So ladies, Happy International Women's Day.

PS. They won.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Galloping Death

There has been a devastating outbreak of Galloping Death at our house. No fatalities yet, but definitely two casualties. It started on Tuesday with a desperate phone call from R at work - "I'm sick. Can you go to the Pharmacy and get me some medicine?"

Surely this could not pose a problem. I think there is a law in Germany that states there must be at least 4 Pharmacies per square kilometre, or 1 Pharmacy per 10 people, whichever is the lesser figure. You can't go anywhere without tripping over one. Either the German people are very vigilant about their health (or are all hypochondriacs) or there is so much scope in their health system to support that many Pharmacists. I'm tending to lean toward the Hypochondriac Hypothesis at the moment.

I managed to procure some medicine without too many dramas, although I do miss the convenience of buying basic medicines like Panadol/paracetamol and cough syrup at the supermarket.

By Wednesday, R had a full-blown 'man-cold' - complete with an acute chicken soup dependency.

By Saturday, I was sick as well, and the standoff had began.

"Can you get me a glass of water?"

"No, I can't. I'm too sick to move."

"But I'm dying."

After several unsuccessful attempts to train the cats to fetch the necessities of life for us, I relented, and got him a glass of water. He was only moderately dehydrated by this time.

By Sunday, I was feverish and firmly ensconced on the couch with the computer and two furry hot water bottles that purred. R was recovering and had to fetch and carry for me.

R has declared himself fit to return to work, but I'm taking it easy today - just me, the cats and our rather substantial DVD collection.

Oh Happy Day.