Saturday, April 10, 2004

Y is where Z is

Yes, this is the reality that I am in now, for the next week anyway.

Anyway, hello all, from Stuttgart where the temperature today is a barmy 0 degrees and the sun is out. It's my first opportunity at the computer, so what do I do. Write to the husband who is down with flu and feeling strange in an empty house, check my work mail which has like 50 messages unread!!! And go look at the blogs that I miss reading.

I must say that in the past week, I have suffered severe withdrawal symptoms. From...
a) Dan
b) the computer and my blog
c) hot soup.

Stuttgart is nice, but it's an industrial town, so there's nothing much to do, although we did go to some duke's old castle and that was way cool. Broad swords and amoury that were on display, and history of this region from the time of Caesar. Cool. But I must say that the Germans are a very military race. All their history revolves around war, decapitation, blood and gore.

It is a strange feeling to be in a country or city where the only sign I have seen in English is "we love sex and the city!" Says a lot doesn't it? It's also a city where all the cars you see on the road are cars that would be labeled as expensive and mid-range continental cars in Singapore. Very Very affluent society here. People shop here more than they do in Singapore judging from the streets at the mall on Saturday afternoon. I haven't made my contribution to the German economy yet, we'll see nearing the end of this week.

So, the all important question... Am I enjoying myself? Well, I like being in a foreign country but it's strange being here without Dan and having to share the room with a bureaucrat from the ministry. One, I'm not likely to cuddle her, two, she speaks funny and three, she has no sense of humour, whatsoever. Also, there're just somethings you can't say to a stranger. You can't be irreverent because she might report you to the higher powers and you can't steal her socks because well, they're her socks! The debates, well, they're interesting. These kids are so invested in what they're doing that when they lose and you have to tell them why, they look like they're going to kill themselves. The Singapore team lost yesterday, in a match that they shouldn't have and they broke down and started crying. It's hard when you put your heart and soul into it and somehow or other it just isn't enough. I remember crying everytime I lost a race and it's the same here. To them, it is the end of the world.


Ok, any post about a foreign country isn't complete without a list. So here goes.

1) The toilets here look like they could swallow you up when you flush.
2) Stuttgart is in the Swabean area of Germany- anyone who knows what that means, is welcome to explain it to me.
3) ALL food is salty here. Salt is in excess everywhere you go.
4) They drive on the wrong side of the road here
5) Buildings and schools are drab and colourless. Very utilitarian- the adjective, not the philosophy.
6) Kids are kids everywhere. We have a whole host of chaperones who are chaperones because they get to skip and entire fortnight of school. And they have the perennial love hate relationship with janitors. Some things don't change, regadless of language, race or religion.
7)Hot water cost 2 euros in the hotel. Hello! It's negative something out there, at least give us hot water!
8) Everything said aboutGermannefficiencyy is true. Clockwork- the trains, the trams and room service comes in a split second after you hang up with them.

So there, my list, not the most entertaining, but seeing that the keys in the keyboard are all over the place, tough! My fingers ache from being contorted into different positions.

More interesting one later, if I can once again get access to a computer and if the keyboard isn't so funny!

16 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:49

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