The last 6 days of my year abroad life have definitely been the most hectic days so far, and bring me nicely up to the day before my 2nd month anniversary living here, which just so happens to also be der Tag der Deutschen Einheit (German Unification Day).
Let’s go back to Saturday. As I mentioned in my last post, Saturday was the day I was moving to Langenhagen. My tenancy agreement was unbefristet, meaning I could move out whenever I wanted.
And, well, ‘whenever I wanted’ turned out to be two days after I moved in, and that Langenhagen, was Nichtsolangenhagen (lyrical genius I know. Or just a tw*t. Take your pick).
All in all, I hated it. I slept on a sofa, in a living room, where there were loads of religious figures all around the room, as well as family photos. The house was the landlady’s parents’ house who died last year, and so the landlady was still slowly but surely clearing out the house. I had three tiny shelves for my clothes, as well as three tiny shelves for my stuff in the kitchen, and there wasn’t even space for my towel in the bathroom. It was absolutely horrific. I spoke to some of the other assistants about it, who all agreed I should move out, but I thought I would at least live out the weekend and chat with Ilka on Monday when I saw her about what I could possibly do.
On Saturday evening, I went to Oktoberfest here in Hannover for the second time, this time not only with Millie, but also with Rosie, David and Katharina. Again, it involved beer, as well as a half metre long Bratwurst, and another crepe (this time chocolate and marzipan).
It was nice to have a catch up with David and Katharina who aren’t based in/extremely near Hannover unlike Millie and Rosie, as well as exchanging our stories of being language assistants at our schools – we even heard about the wonderfully hilarious story about the word ‘spinach’ which happened to Rachel in Oldenburg. David, Millie and I even had a go on the giant slides, because we’re massive children like that.
Then came along Sunday. Wanting to get out of the creepy house in Langenhagen, and also mainly because Lucianna was visiting, I left the house around midday to meet with Lucianna, and together with Alex we did the Roten Faden tour (my 5th time now) but this time we had a leaflet which made the whole tour a lot more interesting, and also made me realise how much of the tour I’d missed out beforehand – damn you, Summer Academy, for showing me the quick route. After a casual visit to Jim Block, as well as the ice café at Kröpcke (the town centre), we met with Rosie and went to Jack The Ripper’s, where it just so happened had cocktails for 3€. No complaints from any of us.
Then came Monday; the day I was to tell Ilka I was not a happy bunny in Langenhagen. After a double class with the 4. Klasse (where I was told I was cool and was also asked why my German accent is so funny which I counteracted by asking the kid why his English accent was so funny – BOOM!) I headed to the staff room where the initial plan was to meet Ilka and go with her to her Latin class because, being a language geek, I was interested to see what it was like, after Ilka saying Latin is the perfect language to first learn to then see all the links between all the other languages grammatically. Anyway! I walked into the classroom where I was welcomed by about 15 faces, as well as a smiley Ilka, and out of nowhere (I even shocked myself) I said, in English, ‘Can I have a word please?’
The staff room fell quiet and I got a few looks from the teachers.
“…in private?” I added. So me and Ilka headed outside the staff room, where I almost immediately nearly cried at her after saying I was not enjoying Langenhagen whatsoever. After a long chat about what I could do, I mentioned that Lisa (my ex-flatmate) had said I could always move back there for 2 weeks if Langenhagen turned out rubbish. I think she said it thinking it wouldn’t happen, and I also heard it and thought it wouldn’t happen, but it turned out it was happening. Thankfully, Lisa, and Malte whose room I’m staying in, was happy for me to stay for the two extra weeks while I find somewhere else. So at around 8:30pm, myself, Rosie and Millie headed to Langenhagen (after I’d been out of the house since 8 in the morning) and grabbed my stuff, got the all clear from Ilka on the phone who had rung the landlady, and trekked through Langenhagen with my luggage onto the tram and went back to Lisa’s, where we were welcomed with freshly baked bread (so süß!).
The landlady of the Langenhagen house called me and we had a chat about the whole situation. From what I gathered, she thought I was moving out purely because the two people who lived there as well had barely spoken to me, which most certainly wasn’t the case (was it not obvious it was more the fact I was in a living room on a hard sofa in a house which was clearly made for two tenants?) Though I have to admit she has been very lovely about the whole thing, thankfully. That is, intil Tuesday came along and I got a text from Nils, the guy who lives in the Langenhagen house, basically saying the landlady had called him and kind of put the blame on him as to why I moved out (not literally as harsh, but that’s the best way to sum it up), so I text back nicely saying that he was not the reason whatsoever, and that thankfully resulted in us sorting out that little misunderstanding there.
Tuesday (yesterday) was an extremely good day, and involved some great classes at school as well as getting internet connection on my laptop, iPad, and iPhone at the school (kids nowadays with all their gadgets, eh?) followed by meeting with Millie and getting our money transferred to the University ready for signing up (ignoring the fact the main service centre of the Uni closed early due to it being the day before a holiday – why would you do that? You have the holiday to not be working, so just work bloody normal hours the day before!) . Millie even managed to finally get a room, in student accommodation, which I have been offered too, but I also had a flat viewing yesterday which I feel went extremely well and I find out on Friday if I got it. If I do get it, then fantastic. If not, I’m going to email the University and ask if they do still have a room I can move into. So there definitely is a light at the end of the dilemma-filled tunnel! To celebrate, Millie and I went to Oktoberfest (for the third time…) with Erasmus students of the Uni here in Hannover, where we met more British people, as well as some others which was brilliant. Half a Maß, a full Maß, Currywurst, and a shot of Jägermeister later, not to mention a ride on the log flume, it was home time.
Wednesday, which is today, is German Unity Day, which means no school, and most shops are closed. It pretty much felt like a Sunday. I was invited to Ilka’s house this morning where we had a delicious traditional German breakfast, and I was also offered champagne (at 10am) which, with my booming head from the night before, I had to sadly turn down. The morning was filled with a fantastic array of meats and cheeses and bread, but my favourite part was the coffee – Ilka asked if I wanted a coffee, which I naturally said yes to, and she asked if I wanted a little bit of milk or a lot of milk. Suddenly unsure of which one I wanted (adding to the fact this whole morning was in German which still stresses me out sometimes) I asked for a lot of milk, and she asked if I’d like it like a cappuccino, which I said yes to. Then (get ready for the cutest thing ever), she brought me my frothy coffee, and sat down next to me, when she then asked if I wanted chocolate powder on top, which she then put on for me, and then she asked if I wanted this special sugar which had cinnamon in it, and smiled and said it’s like Christmas. It was unbelievably adorable. I absolutely love my mentor!
Later on, I left Ilka’s, and headed to Rosie’s where I met her housemate, Roman, and us three, along with Millie a little later, went to Café Extrablatt where I had a hot chocolate, and then we headed back to Rosie’s where we had homemade Currywurst (with tomatoes, carrots and peppers on the side, just because we could). The plan was to go to a nearby club which had been open since 2pm, but it got quite late and, still knackered from our third trip to Oktoberfest, Millie and I declined, and I think Rosie and Roman also stayed in.
So, what a mental few days. Moving in and out of a house within 48 hours is definitely a first for me, and hopefully I’ll never be repeating it again. Today, I posted the letter to the landlady to say I no longer want to live there (she honestly seemed to think over the phone on the night I moved out that there was some chance I was going to move back if I chatted with Nils), as well as a nice little note to say thank you for her ‘Entgegenkommen‘ (similar to ‘understanding’ or ‘cooperation’ I think… I just like how typically long it is in German).
And now there are just more 2 days until the real deal – Oktoberfest in Munich! I hope you’re looking forward to pictures of me with my Maße (or Steine or whatever they call them) in my Lederhosen along with a bunch of fellow Exetonians and others. It’s going to make an awesome photo of the day.