Got hit by Murphy's Law

on June 30, 2010

Until last week everything had gone so smooth. People had bought most of my stuff, friends and family were helping clearing my appt bit by bit... Why not continue like this til the very end? I guess that would have been too boring. So instead starting this weekend things went from bad to worse.

First the guy who was supposed to buy my car cancelled the very last minute. Fortunately a few freaked out phone calls and a small talk with a friend later I had found someone else who's going to take it - though for less money ;-(

Then today was probably the most horrible day in I don't know how many years. First thing in the morning I got a phone call from my mom's bf and my uncle telling me the big car that was suposed to carry all my boxes and the rest of the furniture just broke down. They were trying to fix it - but no chance. So they arrived two hours late and we ended up hiring a transporter. Luckily for a very reasonable price.

Then the three of us - my brother was busy "studying" - were clearing out my appt on one of the hottest days of the year. Each of us probably went up and down from fourth floor about 20 times. The guys more often than me because most of the boxes were too heavy... Sweat was running and the guys grew angrier all the time. Could hear them yelling and screaming all the way up here. Felt really sorry for them but there wasn't anything I could have done to lessen their struggle.

Finally got it all in and I sent them off to unload at my mom's place. I myself went to pick up a friend who on very short notice had agreed to help me paint walls and ceiling. However when I was just about to leave I actually managed to lock myself out - after four years!!! I was about to cry. No, actually that is wrong. I WAS crying. How on earth can things get screwed up so bad?

The locksmith probably was having a party after he was done at my place - took him two minutes to open my door - and I had to pay him 114 Euros. Wish I got paid even half as much for that little work.

After a twelve-hour-day we were finally done. Now all I have to do is clean the place up tomorrow and turn the keys in. Hope they don't find anything that is not to their satisfaction. Can't stand another hassle on the way...

Anyway, it's time to thank some people... A biiiiiig thanks to Franky and my uncle Bernd for being my personal moving company - once again. I promise this will be the last time I'm moving at least for a year *lol*

Thanks to Thomas, the painter, for pitching in at the last minute.

Thanks to Sylvia, Andi, my mom, Kristina and all the others for hauling furniture and boxes in the last few weeks.

Thanks to my mom for taking all the worried phone calls and trying her best to sort things out where I had failed or couldn't find a solution.

Thanks to Jana and Olaf for letting me use their attic as a storage room.

Thanks to Micha for giving Darwin a new home. I miss you little fellow ;-(

Thanks to all the people who have bought my furniture and by doing so have helped me to let a little cash flow into my travel account.

Thanks to Mary, Steffen, Jenny, Romy, Sylvia, Elke, Nicky, Miri and all the others for your constant support, listening to my worries and showing me that no matter what there's always a light ahead. I am very grateful for your friendship *hugs*

Guys, without every single one of you I wouldn't have managed these last weeks. You are the best!!!

Give me the power...

on June 29, 2010

Found this funny picture while doing some research...

This is how the power sockets look like in New Zealand so remember to take the right adapter with you if you want to use your laptop or whatever.

Thanks to Miri I also finally managed to make enough room in my backpack. Probably am still taking too much but at least everything fits in now =D

HEEEEEEELP ;-(

Geez who would have thought it's sooooo hard to pack a backpack... been packing and unpacking three times now always sorting a few things out I probably really don't need. And still I can't fit it all in. Just called a friend who's been travelling with her bf for 6 months all around the world to ask for her advice. She actually told me her backpack was 40 plus 10 liters and she managed to fit everything in she needed - including walking boots!!! My backpack is 70 liters - so where is the problem?!?!?

Countdown: 14 days until departure


Only two weeks to go until I'm sitting on a plane on my way to New Zealand. Time for another ABC with all kind of thoughts that cross my mind when thinking of that new phase of my life...

A - adventure: I've been away from home before even for longer period of times. Yet this time it's different because I don't really have anything I need to come back to at a certain point. There is no school or uni to be finished. As every new thing in life this timeout will be an adventure because I have no idea what it's going to be like. And above all - I have absolutely no idea what's coming next. Anything can happen. Everything is open. Let's do this =D

B - bank account: Got one in Germany which is completely free of charge and comes with a free visa card. Check out DKB - Deutsche Kreditbank. You can even get cash at ATMs workdwide for free. Still I'll need another account in New Zealand for my monthly pocket money as an aupair and taxes and such... Will probably chose ANZ bank because they cooperate with DKB.

C - Clima: Very different depending on what island you're on. It'll be winter when I'm arriving and compared to our winters the NZ ones are more moderate. At least in the north. The average temperature in the north will be 15 degrees celsius while in the south it's more like 5 degrees celsius. During summer time the north reaches temperatures around 20 degrees, the south is more like 15. And it usually rains a lot expecially in the winter.

D - Dollar: NZ's currency is the NZ dollar which currently equals 0.57 Euros so prices are always a little more than half of that amount in Euros. Easy to calculate :-)

E - Elizabeth II.: She is the Queen of New Zealand and therefore the country's head of state. NZ is still a constitutional monarchy - but with a parliamentary democracy. The Queen rarely ever plays an important role in daily politics. Those decisions are made by the NZ government. However Elizabeth II. still has a symbolic and ceremonial character.

F - Flight: It'll take 30 hours to get from Frankfurt (Germany) via Sydney (Australia) to Auckland (NZ). I'll be taking Quantas, the renowned Australian airline, and had to pay 1370 Euros including a rail ticket in Germany. The ticket is valid one year and I can chose myself what day I want to return to Germany.

After one night in Auckland it's on to Whangarei with Air New Zealand which takes about half an hour and cost me another 50 Euros. Fares for this trip vary a lot so check schedules for cheap flights.

G - guide book: As always the Lonely Planet is my absolute favorite. Haven't been able to read the one for NZ yet but will start doing so on the plane. Plenty of time to spend anyway :-)

H - holidays: NZ has typical Christian holidays such as Xmas and Easter. Special for NZ (and Australia) is Anzac Day on April 25th which is a commemoration for those who died in the service of their country. Very significant also is Waitangi Day celebrated on February 6th in memory of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document, in 1840.

I - internet: My host family has internet but I don't know yet how regular I'll be able to go online. I'm hoping for once a day at least for a quick check for emails. Also will have Skype so if you do too and want to keep in touch let me know your nickname.

J - job: With the Working Holiday Visa I'll be working as an aupair in Whangarei on the North Island. I found Pia and her family via the website newaupair.com. We exchanged a few emails, talked on Skype - and very soon decided it was a match. July 15 I'll be arriving at their farm where I'll be taking care of their two kids Lukas (4) and Eliza (6).

I've always wanted to work as an aupair. Twice in my life I had found myself a family and made arrangements, but something always messed up my plans. First it was the delayed letter from uni, then the surprising job offer. This time, however, it's all definite.

K - Kiwi: What comes to your mind first when you hear that word? Let's say the Kiwi is the national symbol of New Zealand. There are so many things a Kiwi can be - the yummy fruit that of course grows in NZ. It's also a bird - endemic to NZ - that has the size of a chicken and - watch this - can't fly! But "kiwi" is also simply the term for New Zealand's people.

L - Luggage: A backpack with 23 kilogramms isn't a lot. I'm still trying to figure out what I really DO need and what I can buy in NZ or don't need at all. How many pair of shoes? How many jackets, trousers, sweaters...? Heavy stuff will be put in hand luggage. Same goes for camera, laptop, ...

M - Maori: The indigenous people of New Zealand. Obviously there are more of them on the North Island so I should be able to get to know a lot about their culture in the first few months. They still have their own language which besides English is an official language in NZ. But I was told not that many people still speak it. The best-known phrase is "Kia Ora" which means "hello".

N - National Anthem: It's called "God defend New Zealand" and there are two versions - the English and - of course - the Maori one.

O - on foot: NZ is a country that yearns to be explored hiking. There are hundreds of walking trails ranging from a few hours to a few days. Do the Abel Tasman Coast Track along sheltered beaches and craggy cliffs or enjoy the panoramic views while doing the Milford Track (Lonely Planet). It's all up to you.

P - Population: There are four million people living in NZ. So you could fit all New Zealanders into Berlin. How freaky is that? After all the country is 270.000 squaremeters big. Both islands combined it stretches about 1600 kilometers from north to south - just as "long" as Germany is. As for the people - one in seven claims to be Maori.

Q - quakes: New Zealand once belonged to Gondwana, the "ancient continent". Today it's right between the Australian and Pacific plate and NZ belongs to the so called pacific "Ring of Fire" which leads to earthquakes (15.000 a year but only 150 of them are noticable) and volcanic activities. NZ has twelve fields with tons of active volcanoes. Mount Ngauruhoe is the one that was used as Mt. Doom in "Lord of the Rings".

R - Rugby: Number 1 sports in NZ. The "All Blacks" are probably the best team in the world even though they have only won he World Cup once in 1987 - it was the first World Cup by the Rugby Union hosted by NZ and Australia. Yet their balance is positive no matter against what national team they have played. The next Rugby World Cup will be hosted in NZ from September to October 2011. I don't know much about the rules yet but I'm defnitely going to learn - and maybe I'll try the game myself?

S - sheep: Yeah, we all know the funny jokes about kiwis and their sheep. But in fact there used to be 20 sheep for each New Zealander. Now it's only 12 sheep for one islander.

T - travel: New Zealand has always been on the list of places I wanted to travel to. The landscape is beautiful - not only after the "Lord of the Rings" was filmed there. Here you will find anything from green meadows to glaciers, fjords and sandy beaches, geysers, volcanoes, rainforest, mountains... I can't imagine someone not wanting to explore those beauties of our earth.

U - unique: Not only the landscape is stunning. Probably hundreds of animals are unique to New Zealand. You won't find them anywhere else. Also New Zealand doesn’t have any snakes, scorpions, bears, wild cats or crocodiles. There are spiders but none that can do lethal harm.

V - Visa: To get a Working Holiday Visa you have to apply online. More Information here.

W - Whangarei: The district I'm going to be living in while working as an aupair. Whangarei has about 70.000 people and belongs to the area northeast of Auckland called Northland. Its coastline is approx. 200 kilometers long. The area is known for its beautiful beaches and therefore a favorite spot for surfers. The must-dos include the picturesque Whangarei Falls and the Wildlife Gardens. Keith Urban, musician and husband of Nicole Kidman, is from that district!

X - X-perience: The year ahead will definitely be life-altering. Leaving the shelter of a secured working position, leaving your friends and family and everything you have behind will contribute to becoming more independent, mature and maybe even a little wiser. These experiences are something nobody can take away from you.

Y - yearning: I've always felt it, that urge to travel, to explore the world, get to know different cultures and different countries, meet new people. Couldn't stand it any longer which was part of the reason why I decided to take this step in the first place.

Z - (time) zone: New Zealand is close to the international date line and one of the first places on earth to start the new day. The time difference between Germany and NZ varies from ten to twelve hours depending on what country has daylight daving's time.

A little celebration...

on June 28, 2010

A few days ago I wrote my 200th post - and today I got my 4000th visitor! If that is not at least a small reason to celebrate =D

What a waste

Sometimes it's the people you least expect it from that disappoint you the most. Four years I have dedicated my time, lots of effort and above all my heart to the Little Lights. I have juggled around schedules, begged colleagues to switch shifts, ignored family matters, gone straight from a soccer match onto the autobahn to drive four hours - everything just to attend a concert. I have organized, helped and what not...

And after four years all I get is a simple "bye". Well - what had I expected? A few words like "it was great to have you"? Maybe something like "all the best for you" or "it's a pity you're leaving"? Maybe that. But at least I would have expected a simple "thank you". Not more than that. Is that too much to ask for?

Instead this weekend I once again had to learn that there are people in life who will always be treasured more, who will always be favored more. No matter what you do for some people it will never be enough. They just don't know how to appreciate what they have.

Well at least that makes it a lot easier to say goodbye. So goodbye Little Lights. And thank you for that wonderful farewell party.

Fifa World Cup: Gastspielhaus

on June 27, 2010

Another rating for public viewing places in Leipzig - unfortunately I have missed a few games lately because of organizing my trip to New Zealand. Also watched a lot of games at home while cleaning out cupboards and packing.

Game: Argentina vs Mexico (8.30pm)

Location: Gastspielhaus(MB)

1. size - approx. 50 people inside and about the same outdoor

2. audience - lots of students or people my age (20s to 30s)

3. reachability - Petersteinweg/Münzgasse is close to the city center - maybe 15mins to walk from the main station, 10 from Augustusplatz... Tram 2, 8, 9, 10 and 11 to Leuschner-Platz or Tram 10 and 11 to Hohe Straße/LVB

4. indoor/outdoor - both - not sure though if there was a TV inside

5. equipment - small TV outside, no volume - we got that from the nine-screens-in-one-TV from next door

6. range of products - excellent menu with delicious food, hot and cold, tons of different beverages to chose from

7. pricing - 0.4 apple cider 3.40 Euros, snacks from 3.40 Euros, hot food like baguettes approx 5.00 Euros and more

8. hygiene - neat toilets, very clean AND they have audio books there - tonight it was Benjamin Blümchen

9. atmosphere - I love the Gastspielhaus - you pay 1 Euro each and you can play board and card games all night long... good place to go with people who are not fond of soccer - you can play with them AND watch the games at the same time :-) - friendly staff also never had a reason to complain and I've been there many times

10. overall summary - if you really want to enjoy soccer with all the emotions and party surrounding the event you should go somewhere else... for a nice evening just to socialize AND watch soccer though it's perfect

Some say love...

After hours and hours of rehearsing with the Little Lights of LE for our big 10th anniversary concert I'm still in a very musical mood and searching Youtube I stumbled across one of my most favorite songs of all times...

Bette Midler - The rose... enjoy it (this video is a version with Wynony Judd...

Goodbye, Darwin ;-(

on June 25, 2010

Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy. Especially not when you've been living with that someone for 2.5 years. Yet everything in life eventually comes to an end. So today it was time to bid someone farewell.

Darwin, I'm going to miss you very much. I'm sorry I can't take you with me to New Zealand. You have been a great companion during these last years. You have kept me company when no one else was around. You have made me laugh so many times. I'm sorry for the loss of your brothers who are not amongst us anymore. I do miss them also.

I hope you will have a wonderful time at your new home for as long as you might live. I'm sure Michael is going to treat you well. Take care my friend.

Goodbye.



Darwin after he made a nice little tunnel



Darwin taking a sand bath



Rocco and Feivel on a mission



Darwin and Feivel



their home



exploring their home



Rocco

International Driver's License

Finally got my International Driver's License today. Only 18 days to go til I'm on my way to New Zealand and I was worried I wouldn't get it done on time. I had read it takes up to six weeks to get that license and so far I hadn't been able to organize it. But no worries... In the end it only took about 15mins until I had it.

Here's what you need to get an International Driver's License (if you are a German citizen):

1. valid ID to prove it's you

2. EU driver's license (the small one that looks like a credit card) - if you still have an older version in paper form you need to transfer that into an EU license which takes a few weeks so keep that in mind

3. current passport photo according to biometric standards (more Information here - PDF)

4. money - in Germany the Int. Driver's Lic. costs 16,30 Euros

I went to the Administration Office in charge for driver's licenses today and applied for one. I had all the above mentioned with me and after 15mins I was able to leave with my International Driver's License. It's valid for three years from the date of issue.

Here's what it looks like...





P.S.: The Int. Driver's Lic. is ONLY VALID combined with you national driver's license!!!

Also got a few more things crossed off my list today - like all the necessary insurances and prescriptions for medication I need to take with me. If you're thinking about going abroad for more than just a holiday here's a helpful list of things to consider.

Come back as heroes

on June 21, 2010

As for every world cup there are tons of more or less official anthems, some good, some not so much. This one I heard on the radio a few days ago. It's the official world cup song of ARD, a German TV station.



I just love it - and even though the band The Parlotones is South African and their team will definitely not finish that tournament as heroes - maybe Germany will. The loss vs. Serbia was sad but not all is lost. We'll make it to round 2, I'm sure.

So please guys, make us proud and COME BACK HOME AS HEROES - and make us heroes too.

Haushaltsauflösung - wer braucht Möbel etc?

on June 17, 2010

In zwei Wochen gebe ich meine Wohnung ab und habe noch immer ein paar Sachen abzugeben. Alle angegebenen Preise sind Verhandlungsbasis - bei Abholung in Leipzig (Gohlis-Nord)!

Wenn Ihr an einem der folgenden Interesse habt, schreibt mir eine Mail an maerchen82 (at) gmx.de oder ruft mich an unter 0176 320 662 62.

In zwei Wochen gebe ich meine Wohnung ab, da ich für längere Zeit ins Ausland gehe. Löse gerade meinen Haushalt auf und habe noch immer ein paar Sachen abzugeben. Alle angegebenen Preise sind Verhandlungsbasis!

Wenn Ihr an einem der folgenden Interesse habt, schreibt mir eine Mail an maerchen82 (at) gmx.de oder ruft mich an unter 0176 320 662 62.

Schrankwand für 100 Euro



Couchtisch LACK von Ikea für 10 Euro

When the ckecklist keeps getting longer and longer

on June 15, 2010

It's been three months since I decided to leave the country and start a new adventure. Three months full of planning and organizing and making lists and more lists. And there seems to be no end to it.

Now I only have four weeks left and there seems to be so much that still needs to be done. Am I going to get it all done on time? Right now I wonder... I've been living on a construction site for weeks now selling furniture, packing boxes, throwing stuff out. But still my appt is full of things - even though I'm moving out in two weeks.

I feel like I'm going crazy. Especially when things don't work out the way they were planned. It's amazing what you have to keep in mind when you're quitting your job, giving up your appartment and "just" want to take some time off. Whenever you think "Now I've got it all figured out" something new comes your way that you haven't thought off at all.

For all of you who are planning to do the same or are thinking about doing that in the future here is my - probably still not complete - TO-DO-LIST (in alphabetical order):

Appartment: If you have rented an appt just like me make sure to end that contract on time. In Germany you usually have a three-month-notice. If you want to leave before that you either have to find someone who takes over right after you move out or you'll be stuck with the payment anyway.

Bank account: Make sure your bank account suits your needs when going abroad. I had to change mine for several reasons. The main one of course was money - I switched to DKB, Deutsche Kreditbank, because my bank account with them is free of charge, I get a free Visa Card AND I can get cash at ATMs worldwide without paying any fees. Make sure you tell ALL companies like mobile company, your employer, insurance companies etc that you have a new bank account so you don't get in trouble for not making payments.

Car: I was lucky enough to be able to sell mine to a friend. But even that takes time and paperwork. The ADAC has a good example for a contract (PDF) when selling your car to another private owner. Once everything is settled you have to tell your insurance company and the office where your car was registered. They should automatically delegate all paperwork, documents and payments to the new owner. I'm yet to find if it's really that uncomplicated.

Clubs/Organisations: Are you paying any membership fees? Tell them you're going early enough and check what payments you can cancel.

Contact lenses: Take some with you so you can last the first few months. That should give you enough time to check out whether you can get the same product abroad or if you have to re-order from your home country.

Documents: Make copies of anything that is important. Store one copy with the person you chose will be your contact person for mail and other important matters. He/she should be able to contact you at once if something happens - and vice versa (see Mail). Store one copy online where you know you always have access to - for instance GMX has that offer. Important documents are insurance policies, plane tickets, visa, ...

Driver's License: Depending on your home country and the country of your destination your national driver's license might be accepted abroad. However it's recommended and in many cases even compulsive to get an international driver's license. You need a valid passport picture and should apply five to six weeks prior to your departure. It will cost you 15 Euros.

Employment Center: Since I'm not earning money in Germany to make my living nor am paying taxes or anything in Germany I have to sign off here as well, let them know where I'm going, for how long and promise them I'll call as soon as I get back and let them know my status of employment after my return.

Furniture: If you're selling your household like I did start early enough. Ask friends and relatives if they need anything. Advertise on notice boards like the ones at uni or online, use small ads like with Ebay where it's usually free. Anything you can't get rid off there is household clearance. They will have a look at what's left, tell you what they need and what they will pay you and then come by and pick it up. You won't get a lot but it's better than throwing things away that are still in good shape.

GEZ: In Germany you have to pay when owning a TV, radio, computer with TV, car radio, ... - not necessary when you're not in the country so sign off with the GEZ.

Health Insurance: Most policies are not valid during long-term stays in another country. I was able to shut my insurance policy down for the duration of my absence. All it needs is a phone call when I come back and I will be insured in Germany again. As for my time in New Zealand I will have to get a private insurance that includes health, casualty and insurance against damage to third parties. Those are the most important ones that you definitely will need. I will buy an insurance package with STA Travel that includes all these.

Immunisation: Are there any severe medical problems in the country of your destination? Do you need to get any vaccinations? Check on time with your doctor because for some health issues you need more than one shot.

Insurance: Check with your financial advisor what insurance policies you definitely need to keep when going abroad and get rid of those you'd pay for without any benefit such as household insurance (not necessary if you give up your appt). Also check which of your policies are valid in foreign countries at all and for which you need a substitue anyway.

Mail: Decide who you want your mail being forwarded to in case you forgot someone who still sends letters etc to your old place after you have moved out. Usually that'll be your parents. I chose a friend of mine because my mom neither has internet nor knows how to work the computer. So if something urgent occurred she wouldn't be able to inform me instantly.

Place of Residence: I was told I have two options. I can either keep a German adress - like my mom's - but then whenever something occurs I have to contact the registration office of that city. Doesn't make sense with a twelve hour time difference. So I went for option number two: I'm leaving Germany completely, I'll give the German authorities a New Zealand address so that when something happens abroad I can contact the German Embassy overseas.

Telephone: Unfortunately in Germany you can't cancel your contracts for mobile phones before the official end. With O2 I was at least able to shut my contract down for one year. I have to continue paying when I get back and of course the contract will be extended for another year. With Vodafone however even that wasn't possible. So I'm trying to get my mom to take over that contract.

TV/Cable: Another contract you have to cancel early enough. Usually it's four weeks notice, sometimes more.

Visa: Get the right visa for whatever you will be doing and apply early enough! For New Zealand I got the Working Holiday Visa which I had to apply for online. It took a few days until the visa was granted, it cost 65 Euros and I had to pay with credit card.

If you can think of anything else that is not on the list - please let me know.

Happy Birthday, Little Lights!

on June 14, 2010

The Gospelchoir Little Light of LE is celebrating its 10 year anniversary and we would like to celebrate with you! How? Join us for our big birthday-concert...

Fifa World Cup: Moritzbastei (MB)

on June 12, 2010

Game: France vs Uruguay (8.30pm)

Location: Moritzbastei (MB) - that is where I watched the 2006 finale Italy vs France, loved it so I came back

1. size - I'm not good at guessing but I'd say the terrace fits about 150 people

2. audience - multicultural - people from all countries, ethnic and age groups come here to celebrate together

3. reachability - excellent! - MB is right in the citiy center near Augustusplatz, where most of the tram are running from

4. indoor/outdoor - outdoor (don't know what they do if it's raining)

5. equipment - amazing sound system, a little too loud you could barely hear your neighbor talk - not good for socialising... screen is big enough so the view from first row is excellent... not sure if you sit further back guess it's the same as if you were at the movies... if a tall guy sits right in front of you - you're screwed...

6. range of products - ok: beer, dark beer, red/white wine, non-alcoholic drinks, bratwurst, steaks, fetacheese and more from the BBQ, also snacks and coffee from the adjoining bar

7. pricing - 0.4 beer for 2.50 Euros, bratwurst for 2 Euros

8. hygiene - could be better... one container with 2 toilets for girls... not too clean but at least they had toilet paper and soap

9. atmosphere - great! you can't really talk during the game because the volume is too loud but in between halftimes it's easy to get in touch with other nationalities, people are generally friendly even though their team is losing

10. overall summary - so far my favorite place for public viewing BUT you have to come early to get a good seat!

Fifa World Cup: Kontor & Paroli

Told you I was going to rate Leipzig's public viewing locations. Here is the first: Kontor & Paroli.

Game: opening match of the Fifa World Cup 2010 South Africa vs. Mexico (4pm)

1. size - 2 rooms with a big screen, one room holding about 50 people the other a little more than that

2. audience - when we were there it was a lot of kids with their parents and some smaller groups of people aged 25 to 35

3. reachability - Kontor & Paroli, Könneritzstr. 95, 04229 Leipzig - south of Leipzig in Schleußig, Tram 1 takes approx. 13mins from the main station to Rödelstraße which is directly in front of Kontor & Paroli

4. indoor/outdoor - screens only indoor but in general seats available outdoor as well

5. equipment - sound was loud enough to understand the commentator but you could still talk to your friends without yelling, screen was visible no matter where you sat

6. range of products - good variety: some beers, non-alcoholic drinks, coffee and also snacks, ice cream, cakes, hot dogs

7. pricing - 0.5 Radler (shandy - beer & lemonade)  for 2.50 Euros, 0.5 Apfelschorle (apple juice and mineral water) for 2 Euros, hot dog for 3 Euros

8. hygiene - only one bathroom each for girls and boys, clean but you can't lock the door

9. atmosphere - that location has really ONLY opened especially for the world cup and they are going to have live commentaries AND live music for a few games - wasn't the case when we were there... the atmosphere seems to be very cozy, more like a family's living room than a lively pub... rather quiet except for the kids

10. overall summary - maybe on a sunny afternoon when a less exciting game is on... I'd recommend that place for families with smaller children as it is also non-smoking (the do have an extra room for smokers)

Fifa Soccer World Cup 2010

FINALLY!


All the waiting has come to end. The soccer world cup 2010 has started *woohoo*

Watching the first game today a friend and I got the idea of rating the public viewing locations throughtout Leipzig. There are soooo many of them - how are you supposed to know which ones are worth going to and which aren't? So we developed a small survey. Whenever we go to see a game at a pub or any other public place we're going to rate he location by the following criterias:

1. size - how many people are able to watch?

2. audience - what age group is the location suitable for?

3. reachability - how far away from the city center is is? does public transport go there?

4. indoor/outdoor

5. equipment - how good is the sound quality? how good can you see what's going on on the screen?

6. range of products - what drinks and food do they offer?

7. pricing - how much does everything cost? - mainly beer, non-alcoholic drinks and main food offer

8. hygiene - do they have bathrooms? how clean are they?

9. atmosphere - how is it? are there any special offers, surprises, ...?

10. overall summary - would I go there again?

Question...

on June 11, 2010

Why is it that sometimes you don't really get to know people until you're about to leave (them)?

I'm loving it - again

It's amazing how fast things can change sometimes. I'm not really working anymore (besides those four early shifts that are left next week) and all the sudden I've started to love writing again. Even for work! Done three articles in two days - all written in my freetime at home - and yet the words just poured out of my fingers. I can't remember the last time that has happened. And I actually liked what I was writing. A few weeks ago I had almost feared that I'd lost all interest in being a journalist. But no - all it needed was some change and the love for that profession is back =D

Sometimes it's scary

on June 05, 2010

Usually people have lots of "firsts". First kiss, first car, first appartment, first day of school... For me these days it's a lot of "lasts". Yesterday it was my last day as a sports editor with the company I've been working for almost the last two years. Today is the last time I'm doing my laundry with my own washing machine because on Sunday it will be gone. Sold. Like most of the stuff in my appartment. Sunday will be the last soccer match with the girls - not only the last game of the season but for me the last game in many months to come as well. And there will be more "lasts". The last day I'm sleeping in my appartment, the last choir practice...

All these things finally make me realize that my time here is almost over. In 38 days I'll be on my way to New Zealand. For one year. At least. It's not going to be the first time I'm far away from home (my home country). But unlike before this time I have absolutely no idea what's happening next.

When I went to the USA as an exchange student being only 16 years old I knew my time over there was limited. I had to go back and finish high school. Same a few years later when going to Australia. After half a year of interning and travelling in down under I had to go back to Germany and finish uni.

This time there is nothing left to finish. I'm going. Maybe for good? Who knows. Anything can happen. Is that scary? It is a little. But it also makes this experience a lot more exciting. There is no pressure. No limitations. Just freedom. The freedom of doing whatever I want.

Of course there are people I'm going to miss. Even some of the belongings I'm leaving behind will be missed. But missed doesn't mean forgotten. Remember that :-)

You may have noticed...

on June 03, 2010

... that I am currently experimenting with the look and the content of this blog. Hope you like the new design! It will take a while to put the final touches to everything so please be patient if one link or the other doesn't work yet. If you have any advices for improvement let me know :-)