Enjoying one of nature’s little surprises

Liebe Leser und liebe Leserinnen,

Dear Readers.

The last two weeks have mainly been dedicated to studying. I made a mistake with my courses and didn’t realise until six weeks in that I had accidentally chosen a Masters class and that this may be the reason I wasn’t understanding much (or…understanding anything). Almost everyone else in the class already has a law degree! Anyway, it was too late to change classes and this has lead to some frantic cramming. The exam was today and it went ok, although the lady sitting next to me introduced herself and mentioned that she was working on her Phd and I felt well and truly out of my league. And when I opened the paper to start the exam I did sort of feel more lost than Alan Partridge walking down the wrong side of the motorway singing Goldfinger.

I sat in the exam scrawling the longest German words you could ever dream of whilst simultaneously trying my hardest to undo the public law shaped knot inside my brain. I can only hope now. Not sure if I am in law school or in the Hunger Games at this point. The lack of sleep didn’t really help either – my next door neighbour locked herself out and came to my door at 2am last night so that she could climb onto my balcony to reach her open balcony door.

It is fine though, my only real goal in life is to have my own Wikipedia page and you don’t need to pass exams to achieve that.. do you?

In better news, the fluffy white stuff has made its home in Munich this week and the sunsets are still painting the loch.

Olympiapark
Olympiapark yesterday

The Austrailians (and others who have trekked here from faraway lands) are treating their first snow like it is their first love. But who can blame them, who doesn’t love snow? The thick, fluffy kind that falls softly and silently in the night. You wake up in a totally different world – it’s magical.

I think it’s the nostalgia of it all – the white stuff whisks you into a time machine straight back to your childhood. Straight back to all that childlike fascination and joy. Walking to uni was silent today on the snow-carpet beneath my feet, except when I walked through some that was deeper and I felt that oh-so-satisfying crunch of the snow under my wellies. It’s the simple things.

When the Olympiapark was clothed in snow there was nothing more enchanting. It was all just silence and snow and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the only reason it was there was to make things look beautiful. And there was nothing better than the feeling of sitting in my room with my cup of tea and my blanket watching the snow fall by candle light. The world was like my very own snow globe.
BUT as the days get colder, we all need to start having warmer hearts. And by this I mean doing things that make us happy – for example NO STUDYING!

We piled up snow my friend's door as a joke while she was out at an exam so she couldn't get in.  I got a text to say she had found her exam had gone badly so I immediately felt horrible and frantically tried to bash the snow down from her door failed miserably as it turns out, snow freezes very fast and had turned into an ice block.
We piled up snow my friend’s door as a joke while she was out at an exam so she couldn’t get in. I got a text to say she had found her exam had gone badly so I immediately felt horrible and frantically tried to bash the snow down from her door failed miserably as it turns out, snow freezes very fast and had turned into an ice block.
Sledging
Sledging in Olympic Park behind my little house
Stopped to take a selfie mid sledge, little did we know that this man was doing 40mph down the hill towards us.. moral of the story is that selfies are the root of all pain
Stopped to take a selfie mid sledge, little did we know that this man was doing 40mph down the hill towards us.. moral of the story is that selfies are the root of all pain and embarrassment

Having had more than my annual fair share of study moaning, I have got lots to look forward to after all the studying is over. I’m off to Vienna for a trip shortly and I have been ordering some work- appropriate clothes for my official start in my new law office job next week. However that has lead to problems of its own. I got a delivery from the courier of some new black boots for work at 8am yesterday and I answered in my pyjamas. The postie man said that he might however have to come back later because he needed me to sign something to confirm I had received them but that he had forgot the electronic signing device thingy. I went out and had my day at uni, met my friend for lunch and taught an english lesson. Came home around 5pm and got back into my pyjamas – y’know, for optimum comfort – and yep, this is when the postie decided to return. From his point of view, I looked like the laziest student ever who sat around in her pyjamas all day, no amount of ‘oh by the way I have been out today’ could end his smirking face of disapproval.

Anyway! Here’s to more sun and snow! I don’t think I’ve ever come across a pair more suited to one another!

DSC_0023
A lonely little schneeman in the Englisher Garten

Law school Germany fact of the day:
The Bavarian Reinheitsgebot (purity law) was brought in by Albert IV Duke of Bavaria in 1487 and specifies that only water, hops and barley could be used to brew beer. The European Union Court in 1987 decided that this Reinheitsgebot was unlawful because it prevented free trade within the EU because other countries could not import their beer to Germany as their beers did not comply with the law. Lots of Bavarian beers however still proudly present ‘Gebraut nach dem Reinheitsgebot’ (brewed according to the purity laws) on their beers. The Germans LOVE a good quality beer and want to know exactly what they are drinking!

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Sunsets and Solace

I went home to Scotland for Christmas and although our time together was but short – it was fun.

So as I said hello to Germany again I also said hello to January. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t like to wish my life away but I normally can’t wait til January is over. I miss Up Helly Aa (celebration in Shetland) due to uni, it’s always dark outside and the weather is miserable WITHOUT even the promise of Christmas. It’s just a gloomy month and to be fair to January, Christmas is a tough act for any month to follow. And this year I even have exams in January. It’s a fairly dreich month, as we would say in Scotland. LEBENSMÜDE!! (life tiredness. tired of life.)

BUT THIS JANUARY

…has been the January to top all Januarys.

Reason number 1 – I got a job in a German law firm! I am now officially European chic. I will say  ‘ciao’ when I leave the office. Job hunting is really an emotional coaster and I can tell you for free that phone interviews are the work of the devil when they involve bad signal and a different language – however I did manage to not fall off that roller coaster and things are great.

Reason number 2 – The weather has been outstanding.  None of this gloomy dark stuff. The weather back home was pretty disappointing. In Scotland it rains sideways if you know what I mean. But the weather is really making it easier to get outside more and that was in fact one of my resolutions – to get my butt into the great outdoors a bit more often. I know a lot of people hate and moan about the whole clichéd New Year New Start thing and put others down about it and I agree it can be a bit annoying and yes people should try to be the best versions of themselves all year round. But actually if the year changing is the thing that gives you the motivation to do new things and be a better person then that’s fine – what’s the problem? (Clue: there is not a problem.)

Picture of the sunset two days ago.  Just taken on my Iphone I couldn't believe how beautiful it was.
Picture of the sunset two days ago. Just taken on my Iphone I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was.
Less showy-offy sunset yesterday from the highest hill in the Olympic park
Less showy-offy sunset yesterday from the highest hill in the Olympic park
Calm night yesterday
Calm night yesterday
Out for a walk with my two frien
Out for a walk with my two friends

Reason number 3 – The sunsets are incredible! I mean the pictures speak for themselves but I can tell you that there’s nothing more special than standing on top of the Olympic park hill and being able to momentarily escape your crazy thoughts and feel like you are being transported into a fairy tale world where the sky is burning. .. Just me? Maybe exam stress is actually getting to me more than I thought! Ha.

Reason number 4 – Autumn is officially over and the obnoxious early morning leaf blowing machines have finally disappeared.

And it is supposed to snow this weekend!

There’s been lots of other things going on in life such as I bought a pair of black boots that I don’t even really like purely because they are practical and fur-lined for the cold. I actually chose practicality over fashion. I am becoming German.  Well maybe not quite – yesterday I was in the supermarket and they only had a few tills open and the queues were starting to get sort of long but nothing compared to the co-op back home.  A woman from the back of the queue bellowed to the cashier ‘ANOTHER TILL OPEN PLEASE’ and not one person batted an eye lid.  Another till was opened. I stood in shock at how bold she had been. But yet in awe at how effective.  SO maybe I have a bit of a long way to go before actually becoming German.

So it has been a month of coincidences among chaos and I’m not complaining the way I would normally do in January.  Happy new year to everyone and all the best in 2015! Prosit Neujahr!

P.s. small tip for anyone thinking about doing a year abroad in Germany: you know how we use Kleenex tissues at this time of year when we all have a snotty nose?  Well in Germany the popular brand of tissues is ‘Tempo’.  When said in a German accent this will sound like tampon.  SO when someone asks for a Tempo, do not hand them a small feminine hygeine product made from absorbent material. This will lead to embarrassment. Mark my words.

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