Archive for June, 2008

My Beautiful Launderette

June 22, 2008

Today was an adventure.

Here in Germany, everything is actually an adventure for me

You know the movie “My Beautiful Laundrette’? Well, this is how mine went: My colleague tells me about this place, where you can do your OWN laundry. So, I goes.
Put my money in. Pressed for the soap. Nothing. Sweated over the insructions (in German!): don’t put the powder in the detergent box. Ok, but where is my &%$#* powder?
“Entchuldigung” I say to the nearest victim.
“…Ach ja. Alles klar.” Then he proceeds to demonstrate the advanced aspects of automated laundry. Like closing the door. (You see, I normally get the hotel to do it, but at 40 euros for a few shirts , they were getting expensive!)
Then the powder button works. “Ach so, vielen dank”, I say. I could have kissed him, he was so cute

If another man says to me ‘Press the ‘Delicates’ button”, I don’t know what I’ll do. hee hee

I met Carolyne and we lay and tanned (in a French accent) on the Schlosplatz lawns, after some  Häagen Daz ice cream . But it was too humid. So we headed to the Biergarten in the park opposite the hotel. It was full of people. Not as full as Konigstrasse was yesterday, of course.

I had Hahn und kartoffel and a weisbier.

Then I walked Carolyn home. It was only to get more ice-cream. But that made me a little bit sick actually.

Undercover German guardtjies

June 13, 2008

Leaving work tonight, I waited with Caroline for die Zug. There was a group of four people sitting. They laughed, ad we commented that they were happy that it was the weekend, ust like Caroline who was depressed in teh week, mainly, i think because she is a French girl, and only eats on meal a day,  but primarily because she is going to see her new German boyfriend this weekend. now where was I? Oh, right, we got on the train, and had our usual fun with the train lady voice: ‘Bitte Umsteigen and ‘Peregrine Strasse’ are our favourites.

Anyways, to my great surprise, at the next station the group of four people that we saw sitting at our stop suddenly move into our carriage and start asking for tickets. Was it a hold-up? No, they were undercover ticket conductors. Imagine that, hey! Fortunately, we had bought tickets and had stamped them on the train. What will happen next, I wonder?

…and Automobiles

June 13, 2008

well, the seqence did not extend alphabetically: tonight was M again. So it was MNM. Funny that.

N again after this? Back on track, as it were? The train, I mean. der zug.

Planes, trains, now where and when is the automobile’s turn?

June 13, 2008

M, N..th next one must be O!

My mother’s tongue

June 10, 2008

She had a stroke a few months ago. So her speech is slurred. But she beats on. I guess it is another phase of your life, when people don’t understand you as much as you would like. I suppose that is often the case, though:)

 

What a day yesterday was.

June 6, 2008

It all started the day before. Hee hee.

Eva called to say that they need me (schnell) in Germany. So I started at 09h00 yesterday by booking my ticket for Sunday adn getting my ’embassy’ letter. That all finished at 10h30. The it was off to teh bank. I didn’t have to wait long in the queue, but at the desk it was painful: I changed euros into rands, and then back into euros again. All for getting a slip of paper saying that I ahd mad  aforeign exchange. But I wasn’t going to use Rands to buy Euros, not at R12 to the Euro, no sirreee! I rather used the R9.5 to thte euro money from last year. I lost R600  in commission & fees to teh bank.  What a strange thing foreiegn exchange is. It turns out that it is easier to jst get a bank statement with and credit card limit details. Next time.

 

But the fun did not stop there. Because the transaction dragged on for forty minutes (dring which time I went to print teh exmbassy letter I had requested by telephone earlier), it was 11h40, still no money. I said I had to go and pleae ro fax the receipt to me. I hurtled into town, parked on the pavement, adn dashed into the Safmarine building, got my ticket adn sat down for a minute. The Noon gun went off! Just in time. I went downstairs again to await teh fax at the potnet just around the corner. No answer from the bank people. Park teh car.

Call the bank again. Get money from the Autobank, even though I have Euros900 in my pocket. Call again. Yes they will fax it. Wait at the postnet. No fax.

Back to the embassy / consulate. Queue number 54. The queue is at 36. Wait. Call the Postnet to find out if they have the fax yet. No. Call again in ten minutes. Twenty minutes. Yes, they have the fax. Finally! Gettit. Back up to the 19th floor. Thankfully the lift works, no load shedding. Hand in my application two hours after I got teh ticket. Smiled sweetly. Got a hard time, of course, as usual, but thankfully wasn’t teh monster lady from before. I don’t thnk even I could charm her. I will have to go thru the French next time. Who do I know in Paris?

Rushed back to do some work. But wait, have to go to the bank ot get the actual money. Guess what? Wait again! feels like I’ve been queueing all fucking day. Eventually get out of there at 15h00. Six hours of admin!

Better go now to get my visa…

John Scott was very funny this morning

June 4, 2008

He managed to tangle together fertiliser, Eskom and some other issues, resulting in the memorable concept of ‘personal load shedding’!

I happened to read his column while sipping my cafe latte at Mimi’s in Obs, which has been my daily stopover this week on the way to work. Not deliberately, except for Monday. Yesterday Ginny called me because she had some free time. This morning I took my car in (the water pump is buggered, and I had an interesting time negotiating the car home last night, cajoling it, cursing it, until even the steering stiffened – this is because water started seeping onto the belt tht fed the power steering too). So my mechanic gave me a lift into Mowbray for a meeting which didn’t happen because the other participant was sick, so I walked into Obs and had my drink, before taking the bus to the office in Woostock.

Interesting times, huh?