Snow, snow and more snow.

February 18, 2010 at 8:39 pm (Germany)

It’s half way through February and it still keeps snowing here.  All the snow finally melts and then of course, it snows again.  I am sick of it.  I am missing the sun something chronic.  The mornings are getting lighter though, so I guess that is something.  I have now well and truly settled into my German life.  My room feels like home, I have friends I can do things with and am starting to get a hang of the indoor hockey thing.

The past month has been busy.  It started with a week long visit from Lis. Lis and I have known each other for 16 years and have played hockey together and also went to school together.  Having here was great.  We didn’t really do anything too exciting or touristy, but instead just enjoyed each other’s company.  Of course, we did go shopping and to the Aussie pub to celebrate Australia day.

Instead, I dragged Lis to random outings.  She accompanied my year 5 class on an excursion to the ice skating rink.  Amazingly, both of us can skate quite well… not that we remembered the last time that either of us had been skating.  I also roped into teaching a PE class at school.  She came and saw my bilingual class and then taught the same class we went ice skating with.   Lis is a sports teacher, but hasn’t taught for over a year because she has been travelling.  It was great to see her enthusiasm back in the classroom and to hear the differences that she found.  I live it every day, and being to able to share something like that with her, was really special.

Another random outing was a trip to purchase a washing machine.  I know own in Germany a bed, cupboard, bookcase, hair dryer, telephone, vacuum and a washing machine.  Very useful for an Australian…  The washing machine is STILL yet to be installed.  Alex has promised to do it,  just not so sure when he plans on this.

My friend Lindy from hockey introduced me to some of her workmates when we went to the Aussie bar for Australia day.  (Yes Kate A, my day was much more relaxed than last year too!)  She works at the European Space Centre, which is based here in Darmstadt.  People from all over Europe work there, and they mainly converse in English!  SO now I have a whole heap of English friends here in Darmstadt too.  🙂  I spent the Friday night before last out with them, and in true Kate style got home at 4am???  I did make the mistake of wearing my beautiful new teal high heeled boots and walked both their and back… my feet KILLED.

Then on the Saturday I went to a Karnevalsitzung with one of my workmates.  Karneval is a huge party festival here in Germany.  It’s celebrated quite differently here in Hessen as the one in Baden Wüttenburg, that I celebrated when I was here as an exchange student.  The Sitzung is put together by a club and people get dressed up as different things to go.  (I was a pirate)  You sit at long tables, drink beer and watch the show.

Karneval in Mainz

Unfortunately I was still quite hungover from my Friday antics and wasn’t really capable of the beer drinking part.  The show includes quite a lot of funny talks by different characters (too much talking and German for my brain), dance acts (it was a gymnastic club) and funny skits including a troop of male Brazillian dancers.  It was definitely a fun evening!

The big day for Karneval is Rosenmontag and the three big cities for the celebration are Köln, Düsseldorf and Mainz.  So I headed out to Mainz to see the parade and experience the craziness.  I was lucky to have Kathrin as a tour guide.  My god, the city was in party mode!  Drinking on the streets, dancing, costumes… AMAZING.  The parade is like a pumped up Moomba parade and all the different floatsthrow out food and gifts for the crowd.  All in all there were 141 different groups marching.  The parade follows a 4km route and takes around 4 hours in it’s completion.

Was definitely a sight to see, and if I am still here next year, I plan on doing it properly.   😉


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