The past week and a bit has most probably been the most up-and-down time I’ve ever had in such a short space of time, and it’s time to rant it all out on here, both the positives and the negatives, because I feel I just need to get it all written down to let it all kind of sink in. I was considering just avoiding writing about bad news on here, but hey – a blog is for writing about the good and the bad. I can’t exactly lie and say it’s all fun and games here in good ol’ Deutschland! It does sound a little depressing, but there are positives, too, don’t worry.
Let’s start with drawing-gate: Just over two weeks ago, I was asked to fake some pupil work. So I did. And I discovered my drawing is a little better than expected. I’m no Picasso, that’s for sure, but somehow the style of my childish-looking drawings and colouring-ins seems to work quite well with the textbook we’re making at work. From Big Ben and a hand puppet, to juggling balls and a skeleton of a T-rex, I got quite into the creative mode, and it was finally nice to do something more creative at work, as I had had quite a boring patch if I’m completely honest.
On Tuesday 25th November, I came into work, and I was given another basteln-ing job – make a Mother’s Day card. So I did. Admittedly had to make two because the first completely failed, but I managed it.
And then my mum called and told me what possibly is the worst news you can get when you’re sat there stuck in another country – I’m not going to go into great details, but my wonderful and beautiful Nanna Teacake, Marion Theaker, had passed away peacefully that morning with my mum by her side. Now, it didn’t come as a surprise as I had been expecting it for a few months, but that doesn’t stop the initial shock.
Which brings me then onto bad news part two which I’ve been hinting at for a couple of months. Quick background information: at the beginning of October, we were told at work that the Frankfurt office will be closing at the end of March (and my internship is meant to last until the end of August). Out of the 17-odd employees in Frankfurt, I’m definitely the one who is least affected by this. And I’m not going to go into a lot of detail because it is yet unresolved (there was a meeting on the same day I found out my nanna had died). But it’s something that’s been on my mind for two months now. And it has put things into perspective, in that I don’t have a fooking clue what I’m doing or what I want to do after my internship is over. Gulp. Any suggestions, please do let me know.
I actually had quite a nice weekend 29th/30th November (and thus the rollercoaster commences). I went with my housemate, his girlfriend and David to the Christmas market for some drinks, followed by a big night out on Saturday evening which resulted in me getting home at 7am. And hence most of Sunday was wasted, apart from in the evening where the alcohol was topped up again with a Glühwein at the Christmas market with Amy, Saskia and David (oh, and tasty, tasty Kartoffelpuffer), and, along with Alexander, we went to see the new Hunger Games.
Back to the low part: I flew home on Monday 1st December for my nanna’s funeral. Long story short, my flight was delayed resulting in me missing my train home and having to pay £40.15 for a new one. Thank you very much, Olly, for keeping me sane in King’s Cross with a glass of wine. It was really, really needed. An hour later than planned I got home, and, despite the circumstances, it was nice to see family I haven’t seen in a long while who were staying at ours.
My nanna’s funeral on Tuesday was a really nice send-off, and meant I got to speak a little to other family members who I haven’t seen in years and years. And in the evening I went to Blacktoft with my dad and Gilly, followed by a trip to Foodies in Howden for some needed, fatty and unhealthy pizza. And tomato garlic bread. Yum.
Getting ready to leave on a high after a pleasant late morning/early afternoon with my mum, Darren, Adam and Lola, I got on my train to Doncaster ready to change trains there. Only to find my train was delayed… oh no, wait, it was cancelled. I was stranded in Doncaster, 5 hours before my flight from London. Luckily I caught the previous train to King’s Cross which was 45 minutes delayed. So I jumped on, heart beating a little too fast as I thought of Monday’s delayed flight meaning I’d missed my train – there was no way that was going to be swapped around with a delayed train meaning a missed flight.
Before we even got to the next station, the train stopped. Electric problems in Newark. It was not until an one hour and a half later until we finally set off again. 90 whole minutes. I arrived in King’s Cross about 1 hour before my flight gate was supposed to close. In Stansted. I’d text Olly already pretty much begging for a hand because there was no way I was going to be able to run all the way with my now relatively heavier suitcase (why did I think it was a good idea to bring a big coat and jumpers back with me? Oh yeah, because Germany is getting damn cold!). We managed to get from my train to the underground with no problems. That is until we realised we were going the wrong way. So we jumped off at Euston, ran around and got on the right underground. To find it was delayed 5 minutes because some selfish b*stard decided to press the passenger alarm in the carriage in front. OK, maybe it was an emergency, but still. I got to Tottenham Hale, ready to catch my train. Ticket problems. Luckily that didn’t delay me enough to miss the next train to Stansted, because said train was, yep, you guessed it, delayed.
Stood on the train to Stansted, unsure whether I was going to cry, faint, throw up, or just burst out in hysterical laughter, I started texting Olly to ask if I could sleep on the floor at his whilst I wait for my new flight tomorrow morning, due to seeing that my train was arriving at Stansted at 19:01 and my gate was apparently closing at 19:05. I got into the queue at security, managed to push through front a little bit with puppy dog eyes, and after a woman took about 3 minutes to work out that “take off your belt” means take that f*cking leather thing round your waist off and just put it in the f*cking box already, it was my turn to strip for security. I asked the woman working there if it was even worth me trying to make the flight (it was past gate closing time, but still another 15 minutes before the scheduled flight). She looked at me and said “just run for it”. So I did. Why do they make the gates so far away from security? I ran and ran, bashed a few people whilst I threw loud “sorry!”s at them. Then the announcement came: “Passengers for the flight to Frankfurt Hahn, the gate will be closing in 2 minutes”. I don’t quite remember what happened in those 2 minutes, but I do remember pushing into a woman who was STUPIDLY stood in the way to the gate (I did say “sorry”) and I burst up to the woman sat at the gate, threw my phone with my boarding card on it at her, followed by my passport. And I’d made it. Had I been 5 seconds later, I would have surely missed it. So I got onto the plane, the steward cheered “You made it!” as I showed him my boarding card. I was getting stared at by every person on that plane, with sweat dripping off my face and my trousers falling down due to not having time to put my belt on properly, but I didn’t care because I had made the plane. So I shall not be joining the Heane and Kate club, just yet. To top things off, the flight ended up being delayed as it waited for another flight to land, meaning I missed my bus back to Frankfurt, meaning I had to wait an hour in the middle of nowhere in Hahn for the next one. Safe to say at 1:30am (now my birthday), I caught a taxi home because there was no way I was going all the way to the centre to wait for a night bus.
Now, thankfully, the week improved. I walked into work to the biggest, smiliest faces and a desk covered in treats, from truffles to presents to the work advent calendar to a “birthday brew” – I can not thank you enough, Amy. I was truly spoilt. We ordered indian for lunch, and after work we went to the pink Christmas market where about 9 of us enjoyed Feuerzangenbowle, Glühwein, Kartoffelpuffer, and the lot. Amy’s mum was also there who had brought me a Terry’s Chocolate Orange and two bottles of orange Lucozade after I’d called Amy the night before when I was finally in Germany and joked that the most sad thing about my horrific journey was that I had no time to buy myself those things like I usually do when flying back to Germany. Me and my housemate then went home when the Christmas market closed to play the new Super Smash Bros. happy and merry on tasty warm Christmas market drinks.
Friday was pretty quiet at work, but me and Dan had a feast of two curries after two workmates didn’t want their leftovers from the day before. That was definitely the highlight of the day.
Yesterday, Saturday, I went to Cologne to visit my little brother who was doing the Howden School trip to the Christmas markets in Cologne. It was wonderful seeing him again for a more happy occasion, and he even had a go at some German (I must say, I was pretty impressed). Thank you as well, Miss Brownlee, for the Köln Trip hoody and the THREE Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, as well as letting me spend the day with you all!
Today I’ve had sturmfrei (“the house to myself” – we need one word like the Germans), and I have barely done anything, apart from washing and playing video games. Definitely needed it though, the past two weeks have been pretty damn hectic as you may be able to tell. I’d say I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine, but with going home in less than two weeks as well as still being in the unknown regarding the work situation, I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon.
Wow, I know people said this big adult life was tough. But I would have never guessed it would be this tough! I reckon once I know what I’m doing after my internship, be it a masters, working more, staying in Frankfurt, moving to another German city, moving to another country (the possibilities are endless which is what makes it so difficult), I’ll be able to calm down a bit. But for now I’m just going to enjoy the rest of December. On that note I’m off to make some tea, decide what I’m getting myself with the Amazon voucher I got from my colleagues for my birthday, and get ready for Tatort later on. Congratulations to you if you actually made it all the way through this blog!