Learning German

Trip Start Oct 18, 2012
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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Thursday, October 25, 2012

Howdy folks,

I was supposed to start my German course on Tuesday, but the class was full so they put me on the waiting list. I received another email saying that there was an additional class starting on 25th, but the website said the 24th so just to be sure I got up early and we drove into Heidelberg just to be sure. We were wrong, so we had to drive back! Steffie had her first haircut in more than a year and when I was there I got my beard taken off. After having a beard for almost 2 months, it is always a dramatic transformation!

Steffie got sick on Sunday with a cold and she hasn't been very well and by Wednesday I started coming down with it. Not good timing for the classes, but nothing I could do to change it. We hadn't done a proper grocery shopping since we got here so we headed to the local REAL (re-al) supermarket. It isn't as big as a Walmart, but it has a few clothes and shoes. I've been trying to calculate the exchange rate as I have to add 25% to find the value of an Euro to dollars. But even still, things here seem to be pretty cheap except for fruit, electronics and petrol. At €1.54 per litre, its a good indication why there aren't any big cars around. I guess Canada is the most expensive then USA then Germany, but more on that later.

We were supposed to babysit for a few hours while Steffie's mother went to work, but we didn't have to. Instead we went to help Oliver with his apartment again. I think I have the art of cleaning windows downpat, although it isn't up to Steffie's perfect standards! I don't think he will be able to move in anytime soon because the kitchen and bathroom are in a state of chaos.

Wednesday morning I got up early after a restless nights sleep and ready to hit school for real. The school that I'm going to is called VHS or Volkshochschulen. Its basically an adult learning school like WEA. After doing so much study after high school and not much in the last 5 years, it is a bit strange entering a classroom again. I'm doing a basic German intensive course which is basically 4 hours a day with a total of 80 hours in a month. By studying every day, it is sure to be more successful than trying to do it at University. My brain was certainly fried by 1pm.

Steffie had herself booked into a pedicure and kindly booked me in as well! I've never had one before and I couldn't imagine so many men other than metrosexuals going in for a cut and polish. But her father was going as well, so I thought I better suck it up. I had a few questions while I was sitting in the chair which I have never thought about before in my life. What kind of people get pedicures? Who has the worst feet? What is the local town gossip. The answers are: mostly women, the elderly and the weather/health. Just in case you were wondering...

Since I've been helping Oliver out with his apartment, he offered to buy me a case of beer as per Australian tradition. I was pretty surprised when I saw the prices though! It was around 70c for a 0.5L bottle of beer or between €10-14 for a case of 20. Even spirits like Jagermeister or Smirnoff for under €10. Don't even think about paying more than €5 for a bottle of wine! Compare that to Australia and you know we get ripped off.

Steffie also went to her first job interview and she was pretty nervous, but she is playing the waiting game. She did well, but she has another interview as well next week. My frisbee has arrived...
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