Where does the time

Miscellaneous

go?

It’s been over four months since I posted anything.

Many reasons. I got depressed. I got anxious. Blogging about how awful I felt just did not appeal to me in the slightest. And I kept hoping, or rather, kept promising myself to write another post when I got “better”; when I’d feel an inkling of joy, hope and a sense of looking forward to something. But the days and weeks and months rolled by without a significant change in mood. Life was just suckety fuck. Fuckety suck. My life was in constant black and white with Donnie Darko on repeat.

But things changed. I discovered or rediscovered mindfulness meditation. This time, I signed up to a program called meditationSHIFT. I’m almost through with the 21 day program, but the practice isn’t to end EVER.

And slowly, I feel like the colour is returning. S L O W L Y.

 

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Where did Sep/Oct go?

Miscellaneous

You know that cliche, “Be careful what you wish for ..”. Well, it’s true. September and October have clearly highlighted the fact that my wishes do come true. Some wishes. My first class travel only has not yet materialised. Nor the BFF thing with Jessie J.

There have been so many days during my three years of being a SAHM, where I longed for busy-ness that had nothing whatsoever to do with raising a kid. Important, money making or brain stimulation busy. Not play date, tantrum controlling or laundry busy.

It’s taken a while (just over four years), but my desires have been fulfilled so fully that I have completely become of fan of Boredom, my new idol and god.

Not that I’m complaining. Just saying.

dog

I’m sooooooo in love with this tea cup malteser. We’ve been thinking about getting an apartment friendly dog for a few weeks now. source

To keep those anxiety bogeymen at bay I just need to take on less projects – in fact, I turned many down in the last months. The people pleasing part of me who finds it hard to say no said no. Big yay.

So as we slowly wind down for the year, I’m trying my best to be as calm and present as I can with my mischievous M. Now before I sign off, let me point out that this really stupidly spelled adjective is pronounced “miss-chuv-us”, and not “miss-chee-vee-us”. That really gets on my grill. I need to get a life. I. Know.

Amongst the headless chook running these last couple of months, I did manage to squeeze in a couple of major baking sessions for some lovely friends, so I am so stoked about that. Baking is one of my favourite un-paid passions and maybe, just maybe, my wish in this area will be fulfilled and I will be able to sell some cakes legally in Germany. And this month is also my birthday month so expect to see a ridiculous cake in my next post. I’m so excited about this one!! Eeeeeee!

Have a great November!

 

I’m not sensitive. I’m just not German.

Miscellaneous

Okay, most of you know that I am a sensitive person. In fact there is a category of people that psychologists call highly sensitive and I am one of the 20 percent of the population that is more sensitive to the world around us – emotionally as well as to physical surroundings. And despite what the post clearly states, I am not implying that all Germans are insensitive. That is just silly. Bear with me and you’ll know what I want to get at.

One of my probably erroneous favourite pastimes is to bitch about how rude people in Germany can be. They are in general very direct and it does can come across as being rude. It’s wrong and what you focus on expands and all that. Really, I believe in the power of language and emotion and how it can guide our tomorrows. But sometimes you just gotta have a good moan. I’ll stop for a while after this post. Promise.

I’ve lived here for just over a year now and have become immune to what people from Oz, the UK or America might consider as rude. Us Aussies like to take detours when it comes to saying anything negative. Being an Aussie with a Korean heritage makes this even more complicated when voicing desires. If I am hungry, for instance, and someone older than me who I am with asks me if I would like to eat, I wouldn’t necessarily say , “Thank god you asked because I am starving. Let’s get a pizza!”. No, that would be a bit forthright and unbecoming. So I would say something like, “Oh, you know… It’s not that I’m not hungry…Are you hungry?” All the while, hoping that the older person will suggest going out for a meal. Clear as mud.

I was saying to my mother in law the other day that the hardest part of living in Germany was not the language (no really) but actually adjusting to the cultural differences when it comes to communication. In general.

So when I was discussing a certain unpleasant exchange of words this morning involving some yelling and finger pointing (I was first the receiver of this lovely exchange of words until I had enough and became guilty of giving back as good as I got) to my father in law, he asked if I knew what the word ’empfindlich’ was. Like hell I do. I’ve got my B2 certificate <proudfaceemoticon>.

And then I proceeded to tell him about the cultural differences yadayadayada which had nothing to do with being sensitive and all about decent human interaction. And that shouting at a shocked mother (that would be me) on the street and finger pointing was not acceptable. That DM doesn’t take that type of garbage from anyone. When he asked why I responded to the lady in the way I did, the exact words were “Ich lasse mich nicht verarschen.” I don’t know if that is entirely applicable in my situation but it sounded good at the time.

So I before I close this unpleasant chapter of the day for a good while, I’d like to let you newbie German expats know that being shocked at the ‘rude’ German communication style will unfortunately be experienced at some point. If not to you (lucky! Where do you live? Or: Lucky! You must be soo evolved!), then to your friends and family. So you have a few options when someone just decides it’s in their right to have a go at what you’re obviously doing wrong:

1) Don’t participate. Ignore, move on and let the “Besserwissers” have the last say. This works for me most of the time. Feign ignorance, say in a very foreign-y accent that you don’t speak German or if you’re in a very international city, just say “I no English”. I ain’t got time for this kinda shizzle on a normally fab day. Life is sweet.

2) Apologise, agree with them and move on. I did that one time even though I knew that the person was out of order. “If only I was back in Sydney, I would never let them get away with this. Better still, this would have never happened in the first place!”, I angrily thought to myself. It made me feel like shit the whole day so I vowed never to do that again. Which brings me to the third option.

3) Participate. Engage in the ‘conversation’ in the style of the initiator. If they start yelling at you, yell back. If you can’t understand exactly what they’re saying, yell back slowly to s p e a k  s l o w l y (Koennten Sie bitte langsamer sprechen?). If your German is not at debating levels, then just give back in whatever language you fancy. Just. Do. Not. Cower. Your lack of language skills should not make you feel like you have nothing worthy to say or that you cannot stick up for yourself. You matter, your feelings matter and common courtesy matter. Just make sure that you are not in the wrong before you embark on a verbal world war. You cannot be wrong.

If it wasn’t clear, this morning I chose option three. I don’t feel good about it, but I would have felt shittier if I had taken option one or two. Sometimes it’s better out than in!

And that my dear friends is all that I’d like to say on this matter.

Why I run.

Miscellaneous

Lovely M, thank you for accepting that mama runs in the morning. Thank you for either eating your breakfast alone quietly while papa sleeps and mama runs. Or for cuddling up to papa in bed while I run off the excess mental and physical energy that I so easily accumulate.

I run because it keeps feelings of anxiety at bay. I run because it’s such a quick remedy to any feelings of negativity. I run because it’s the most efficient form of burning the calories (bonus!). When I’m feeling restless, hopeless, bored and frustrated I know it’s been too long since the last run.

And it’s (almost*) free.

* trainers and attire cost. But no gym membership required. Just motivation, dedication and action.

 

 

 

 

Simplicity, please.

Miscellaneous

I love stuff. I love beautiful and unnecessary stuff. Think Diptyque candles (Baies is my all time favourite), Alessi metallic fruit bowls which are waaaaaay too overpriced in my opinion, and beautifully made German wine glasses. And I don’t even drink that much wine (yet – give me time). I could go on about homewares but the blog post could span thousands of words before apparel is even mentioned.

And whilst I don’t consume a lot, I do spend a bit of my free time pondering over decorative items for the flat (unfortunately most items costing “say what??” a lot) or thinking how much more relaxed I’d be if the bathroom was adorned with dozens of previously mentioned candles (I’m thinking the WHOLE range) and luxury bath products. I could create a sanctuary to wash away the stresses of daily life, complete with lusciously fluffy and decadent gazillion euro towels. Deludedmother more like.

Now imagine this space with a massive bath in the middle. That's what I'm talkin' bout! via

Now imagine this space with a massive bath in the middle. That’s what I’m talkin’ bout! via

I know things don’t make one really happy. I know it. I experience happiness and unhappiness regardless of the stuff I have. Sometimes having too much stuff overwhelms me. I get irked when the flat is full of bits and bobs and really unnecessary stuff, but I’m not helping myself when I hold onto old dish towels my mother bought me (which I secretly loathe). Because obviously the dish towels represent my mother, and god forbid I chuck my own mum in the bin…

So yes, DM has a bit of de-cluttering to do, and even though living minimally is really the ideal, let’s start with binning a few things each day: What is not needed, used or loved goes!

Watch this (hopefully empty) space!!

Hello 2015.

Miscellaneous

I could offer many valid reasons as to why I’ve not blogged for a while, but I won’t. Suppose it was for the fact that blogging was not really on my priority list and the writing itch was just not itchy enough for me to indulge in scratching it.

Our little family has been bumbling along, experiencing lots of laughs, fights, tears, joy, frustrations, hopes and inspiration. You know, the normal stuff. All in all, we’re doing ok. No, we’re doing marvellously!

Even though some of my thoughts on what I’ve achieved in 2014 have been a bit average, I gotta acknowledge that I have done some mega stuff this year, including:

– relocating to Germany.

– learning the basics of the language. It is a special language, indeed. I have to cut myself some slack about my abilities. I took in total 23 days of half lessons, and I can understand most things. And I can complain. Auf Deutsch. So, I have to tame the high achieving, perfectionist Asianista in me and just relax.

– making new (and extremely fabulous) friends. So lucky to have met such amazing people here in Frankfurt. Looking forward to nurturing these relationships.

– And the most exciting and scary thing of all: registered myself as self employed!!

Though I don’t have any concrete New Year Resolutions, I hope for myself this year to make self care a priority. And doing lots of things that bring me joy! And drink more good wine (in moderation)!

Happy New Year!

Slowing down.

Miscellaneous

Eek! It’s been a while since I last posted anything.

A few reasons:

– I was doing waaaay too much.

-Mr B was abroad for work for seven weeks (mon-fri) which is why I stuffed my calendar with stuff to do to keep myself busy, not feel lonely in a new city, getting by on my current level of German. Yes, I know Frankfurt is a very international city and everyone speaks English. But, I’m not into speaking English to a German person in a German shop. To assume that they should be able to communicate to me in a foreign language is a bit out of order, in my opinion.

-Mr B fell ill, then Amazing M, then Deliciousmother.

-Deliciousmother is not feeling so crash hot, due to a sudden breakout of those pesty things called pimples/spots/acne. Spots sound so much nicer to me, bordering on cute. Kind of. Anyway, it’s such a vain and petty thing to feel upset over, but that’s just how I feel. I’ve never had it worse than now, so I’m trying a few things to remedy it internally and physically by

S   L   O   W   I   N   G down, eating more healthily and getting the sleep that I have deprived myself in the past two months. Time to decrease the levels of cortisol. Yoga, gym and reading trashy books are in order.

IMG_5292

Like my method of learning? 🙂

And even though I cleared the past week of things to do except for German lessons and getting over a cold, I managed to create some stress inducing situations over the past few days. Which is why I’ve decided to just have a lazy Sunday evening, play a bit, get on the blog and not do any German homework.

So that’s my fortnight in a nutshell.

A rough morning.

Miscellaneous

Deliciousgrandfather needs to urgently undergo a medical procedure and quite frankly, I’m gutted that I can’t be there for him, my mother and sister. When my mother answered the phone this morning, the tone of her voice was strained. I instinctively knew something was amiss, and when I asked her if anything was the matter, she explained the situation.

My heart sunk into my stomach. Tears welled up and I fought hard to keep it together. I know, as a rational and intelligent adult that human beings are mortal. Medical conditions happen or develop as a result of lifestyle choices or by fate. It’s a fact: we will all one day die. But of course that should never happen to my family. My family never gets sick. I won’t ever have to deal with death in my family (!).

I conversed with DG over Skype and he was his merry self, not too worried about it all. Where I would be too devastated to speak, he seemed more interested in chatting with Amazing M. I suppose I just have to leave it in the hands of the Universe and pray that it will all go smoothly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new life in Germany.

Food & Travel, Miscellaneous
source

Green and glorious Germany! source

So here we are in Germany. Land of bier, BMWs, bratwursts and Boris Becker.

It was a long time coming. We knew London was just a temporary home for our little family. Many tears were shed, and many a heated discussion had before coming to a decision. We had a point system for Australia vs Germany vs U.K. and ultimately Deutschland scored the highest. And here we are, starting again. New flat, new friends, new food and nearer to the in-laws! Which is a great thing, by the way. Amazing M has a wonderful relationship with them and it really is nice to be able to send her to them for a few days whenever we want. Apologies for the alliteration peppered throughout the post so far. I’m just so excited about getting excited about blogging again that I can’t help using my favourite language technique (?).

There are many expat blogs out there that will tell you about some of the strange cultural habits/practices/manners of Germans, so I’ll quickly summarise the good and not so delicious things I’ve experienced so far:

CYCLE FRIENDLINESS I’m in bike paradise. It is safe to ride your bike here (unlike in London), and there are specified cycle roads that lie parallel to the roads. I can cycle everywhere. To the gym, to the city for drinks (maybe not such a good idea if you plan on having a few drinks), to our local Aldi (which I love almost as much as my old local Waitrose in London- that’s another blog post topic!), and anywhere else I fancy.

Uber RUDENESS I got massively told off by a seventy something year old cashier in the food hall of a department store. Just for having a buggy! Apparently there was no space for it to go past the aisle, but the annoying thing was that she did not even offer a solution. I was dumbstruck by her rudeness so I lamely walked away to find a cash desk that my ‘mammoth’ buggy could fit past. But I must say this it is the only experience of the stereotyped rudeness of customer service in Germany. Perhaps I’m lucky or perhaps there will be more instances to follow.

MAKING NEW FRIENDS I’ve been meeting new ladies through an expat forum. Daunting, at first. Like going on first dates again. But it’s been great. I don’t think I’ve been this socially busy since my singleton days. All I can say is that the internet has been my saviour again. Like I’ve said in one of my previous posts, you just have to put yourself out there to meet new people and form friendships. Having great group of friends makes settling in a new country so much easier.

FURNITURE SHOPPING Forget fashion! I’ve been drooling over many items of furniture whilst shopping for a dining suite (is it just me, or does ‘dining suite’ sound so 70’s? A brown table with rounded corners, matched with chairs upholstered in old school granny bag material come to mind). Let me tell you the immense rise in endorphins I experience when entering a Boconcept store is just something else. I love Skandi anything. Well, we finally agreed on a dining table and chairs for our living/dining room. Hooray!

MISSING MY USUAL EATERIES I’ve had to get used to not having exciting, non-German food at hand. I just can’t walk up the road for fantastic sushi or fresh Mexican whenever I want. I miss my Iocal Italian for their amazing pizzas, and miss my dim sum. And my £20 lobsters. Next time I’m in London, I swear to Life that I’ll be feasting so much I’ll be rolling back onto the aeroplane.

LEARNING THE LANGUAGE IN CREATIVE WAYS My official lessons haven’t started but I’ve been taking some initiative by way of using trashy television shows as an excuse to watch them. Immersion is key, so I’ve been watching trashy German shows like The Bachelorette and Shopping Queen. Looking forward to the upcoming show, Adam Seeks Eve. It’s a dating show where the contestants are naked. For reals.

MISSING FRIENDS The first couple of weeks in our flat were fun. A new flat and new city is very exciting when you can share discoveries with a husband and child you love very much. However, when the dust settled, I was in tears, missing my dear group of friends back in Blighty. I was thinking, ‘Who else is going to love me, with all my quirks and faults?’ Okay, maybe a little bit overdramatic, but when I got over that I decided that I had to put myself out there. Again. Mr B nudged me a bit, thank goodness. And it all worked out in the end, thanks to the internet and thanks to a great group of expat women, generous enough to welcome me into their homes. To all you beautiful friends back home in OZ, missing you is a daily occurrence, a given, and something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to.

GETTING USED TO NO RETAIL ON SUNDAYS Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for having a day of rest, more family time and going back to the good old days of simple living. Really. But I just like having the option to be able to go shopping should I wish. Window shopping at a department store on a cold and wet day sounds like a good idea. I’m not one of these mums who embrace the rain and go out stomping in puddles with their rain jacketed children. No, siree. That’s what Kindergarten is for.

There you have it. A brief account of life so far in Germany. So far so good.

Back to work!

Miscellaneous

So… I haven’t been flexing my writing muscles lately due to the simple fact of getting an unexpected interview and an offer to go back to work! (That’s a good excuse reason, no?)

After experiencing a brief* moment of The Imposter Syndrome, I am looking forward to using my brain for a whole day (gulp)!

* more like the WHOLE WEEKEND up to the point of writing this blog post. Thank you, MsH for the chat earlier!!