November 12th, 2007

Winterlight

Sudden Hailstorm

Winter has come to Schleswig-Holstein now. See, unlike the rest of Germany, we're very maritime, squashed between two seas, and as such, our weather is much more like that of the UK than it would be in Frankfurt. So, whilst Berlin got snow, we got wind and rain. Today, we got hail, and it happened to start hailing just as I was picking up my Pomm Döner, so I ended up eating it whilst under a canopy like everyone else on the street, which was rapidly turning into an avenue of small balls of ice. It cleared up fairly quickly, though, and I got to carry on. I was warm enough with my cardigan, scarf, gloves and coat. Actually, I was so snug, I bought some more gloves, black ones this time, so they don't clash with my jumper.

Alas, I'm getting quite used to Döners, even when I wouldn't touch a kebab in the UK. To be fair, over here, Döners are a national dish, and there's less risk of getting ill then in the UK. Even so, I am going to have to tone things down a little. The problem is when I'm so hungry, I don't want to go home and cook something, and the Döner place is quick, convenient, and reasonabley priced. I am going to have to watch how much meat I eat though...back in Britain, I kept things toned down somewhat, but that's a little harder here in the land of sausages.

Still no sign of the vanished remote control from the Truman Show on Thursday. We now reckon it was never there in the first place, because neither of us have a clue. I know I had the DVD control, but the TV...well, to be honest, I don't use TV controls. I always use the set at home. Anyhow, I didn't end up doing any teaching. My first lesson seems to have been forgotten about, and I wasn't too eager to push it, I'm regretful to say, because I was slightly late into the staff room after washing my hair this morning, and also because the 8th Class are the worst of all the classes I've sat with. I did sit in with the 6th class, but I didn't do anything, and hearing the recorded text for an exercise on ghost stories was aurally painful. The 12th Class are doing exams again, so nothing this week, but I do have something planned for next week, provided Mum actually sends me the newspapers I asked for.

I felt guilty having done so little in school, though, so I decided to work on a worksheet for a future lesson. It took me a whole 2 hours to decide on a topic, and then a further hour and a half working on it: it's an exercise on 'chavs', with an article from 'The Times', intended for the 12th Class...but I hadn't had much breakfast (yes, I prioritised my hair over Müsli), and by then I was ravenous, hence the trip to the kebab store.

...and we come full circle.
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Elle Nilfy

Friesian Grey

After posting the photo entry, I headed off to Husum. The trains to Kiel are hourly, and I'd have had to really run to catch the next one, so I went home instead, had a quick meal, and headed out again. The time made a difference, though, as the 20 minutes from my room to the station was a nightmare of very heavy rain, which snuck under my umbrella and soaked the bottom of my jeans, as well as changing the green colour of my carrybag several shades darker. The rain cleared up when I reached the station...ganz typisch!

So the evening didn't start well. I was still feeling like a drowned rat when we reached Preetz 20 minutes later, and Chris joined me. We'd been speaking on the phone a little earlier, and we discovered we'd got our respective timetables confused, hence we arrived in Kiel after the Kiel gang had left. Still, it turned out Ryan had missed his train, so he turned up soon after, and the three of us had sausages and drinks (coffee for me) before getting on a stupidly crowded train for Husum.

We ended up sitting slightly apart, and so I listened to my music and played Pokemon to pass the time. The others read an English newspaper. Eventually, the crowds on the train thinned, and we moved a little closer together, but when they did talk, they were making silly jokes, and I wasn't all that interested. Furthermore, from Rendsburg to Husum, the far side of the train was taken over by a gang of guys in very high spirits, who actually got a warning from the driver that he'd call the police if they carried on.

The train journey seemed altogether different from when I did the same trip with Holly, en route to Westerland a few weeks before. Even the light fantastic of the High Bridge at Rendsburg didn't trip the same way. Once at Husum, we hurried over to Alex's, where the girls were already sat around the table, tucking into some strange homemade liqour that was actually quite nice. The evening then passed quickly...which was no surprise given we had to catch the 9:30pm train for me to get back into Eutin without needing to stay somewhere overnight. Indeed, we had to leave just as the others were playing with sparklers. Suffice to say, I didn't really want to exchange their company with the same stale mood of Chris, Ryan and I on the train. They're nice people...I just don't have much to talk about with them.

Still, while we all together...it's a kind of a magic. We live all over the place, Schleswig-Holstein-wise, and we hardly ever see each other on a day-to-day basis. Each of us has their own school, their own lessons, their own experiences. However, we all come together, and we all have so much then in common. Swapping anecdotes about Germany, about lessons, or just getting to know each other. I'd say it was a British thing, but we have Canadians and Americans in the mix too. If only we met more often...but then, a lot of the assistants live very close to, or in, Kiel, hence the Kieler Gang I mentioned earlier. I'm not part of this...which doesn't make me feel not included, but I am aware I'm flying Eutin's flag on my own.

I don't suppose this is making much sense. The Year Abroad really is an odd experience that is hard to put into words without resorting to untrue cliches. It's not all that, though...I'd just like to have someone to confide in and do things with. There's Holly, of course, but she's so far away (we're meeting up in Berlin this weekend though), and I talk to her a lot over the phone every day. There's LJ too, but it's different when it's person to person.

When we got back to Kiel, Chris and I went to a Subway to get some drinks (coffee, again, for me), and we chatted about a few things whilst we waited for the last train to Lübeck. As we did, two girls passed by, one in an University of Oxford hoody. Chris left the train at Preetz, but he needed to cycle a fair way in the dark, and so I made my way home alone.

I slept for most of Saturday. After the latter half of last week, I couldn't say I was particularly surprised.

Still, it had been a good evening. Alex makes great jacket potatoes. I was amused when he asked for someone with a cookery qualification to check to see if they were done. I turned out to be the only one, proudly holding my A from GCSE Food Tech...but I had to explain that that was with desserts and not potatoes. Having said that, I should bake something again soon when I have the chance...
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