Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What a neat date!

1.11.2011. I just had to write something!
Well, today was a hard lesson in the planning department. When you need a prescription in Germany, you must think and act accordingly at least 2 months prior to. What could have been an easy prescription refill back home now turns into a huge escapade. Last time I went to sign up with a doctor, he gave me this lovely calendar with all his holidays on it. As I turn up at his office today, turns out he's decided to extend it by another week. Totally lost, I ask the pharmacist where I can get a prescription refill, as she motions over to the next building, saying there is an office there, and it should be no problem. As I am climbing up a staircase in a small apartment building, there is a note on the door saying something "today only...prescriptions..3rd floor" (was I ever glad I had my German dictionary with me, thanks to my German class later on). Upon arriving at the third floor, another note greets me, with more unfamiliar German words. 15 minutes and many confusing word meanings later, I figured out the note said how they are only open from 2 til 4 today. Man, these Germans really need to check their work ethic. I mean, really, it's been 10 days into the New Year, people, enough celebrating!

Feeling a huge need for  improvement in my German, I was happy to get back into my twice a week language class routine. Only when I could not even say the first sentence fully in German did I realize how rusty I've become. It's funny how you can live in a country, yet completely get away without speaking the language. Ah, one day, German, I will conquer you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Back at school!

First day of school back was horribly dreaded for a few days prior to, but turned out to be quite great! Of course, waking up before sunrise seemed like a horrible punishment for all those late holiday wake ups... but it was great to see familiar faces on the bus again, after two weeks off. Everyone was sharing stories about their travels and holidays breaks. Some went to visit friends in Dresden, Heidelberg, Berlin...others went all over Europe or back to their home countries. One thing was in common: all were complaining about the trains being cancelled, delayed or simply stuck in the snow. What should have been a 2-hour trip took at least twice that. Once again, I was quite happy with my decision to not leave the small and safe surroundings of Tuebingen. 
Later on, after surviving the glorious four hours of lectures, an impromptu trip to Metzingen was in order! How else do you celebrate the beginning of the last month of the winter semester? Thinking of all the exams and projects ahead, much cheering up was needed. So the four of us jumped on the first train heading to the shopping mecca of south Germany, giving the whole end of the season sale one more chance! That's one decision you can never go wrong with-shopping. Once again, I hit up my favourites: puma, triumph and lindt outlet (something for every part of the body). Of course, Lindt wins by a long shot in the instant gratification category. You should see all the flavours they've never even heard of in North America... it's a chocolate lover's heaven...I am reaching for one right now!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Some music for my gentle ears

I've finally decided to give classical music concerts a try. Not the free, amateur church kind either, but the real, big concert hall and full orchestra kind of concert. Am I ever glad I did.
Ok, so I can't say exactly whose pieces were played, as there were quite a few of them and I have decided to forgo the program (hey, they charge extra for it!). All i know is the selection was fantastic, the Prague Symphonic orchestra brilliant and the overall experience delightful. 
It is interesting that almost all the seats were sold out and all age categories were present.Watching some people in the audience, it was clear that this is not some social function for many, but a night to appreciate the genius of many great composers of the past. I will definitely be making these concerts a part of my cultural life here in Germany, especially with the 50% student discount on tickets!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

where is the snow?

It's been abnormally warm and spring-like in Tuebingen. Went for a nice walk by the Neckar river and the air smelled so fresh, so full of hope and the things to come! Everyone was out: older men with their dogs greeting each other on the streets, families taking pictures, moms pushing the kids in toy cars in front of them... Tuebingen is full of life on a Saturday!
Photo from last week, when I thought there was still a chance to go skiing this weekend.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

the travel bug

Some days all that gets me out of bed in the morning is dreaming of the travels to come, researching and planning the sights to see, things to take and to buy at local markets.
 A certain sense of excitement and adventures to be had renews my zest for life. 
When small town winter hibernation seems too much, I remind myself that I am in Europe and there are a million of places to go and see and now everything is that much closer.

 Today, out of curiosity, I “googled “ the best places to live in the world. Not surprising, Canada and new Zealand were second after Europe. Reading one of the websites full of reasons “why move to Calgary” did not inspire me whatsoever. What once seemed like valid, good points now are just weak justifications for settling for something else when my heart desires more. Maybe Calgary is a good place to settle for families with children, but from a single person's point of view, I would rather experience all the other places the world has to offer. 
Ones next to the ocean, preferably.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Once again, I come to the conclusion that happiness is a choice. You have to actively choose it and the actions that support it. This means not wallowing, not dwelling, especially in self-pity, or imagining the worst outcomes in the future, or even taking your thoughts seriously.
 By choosing happiness you are taking on a responsibility to dispel any negativity, to always choose love over fear,  to not associate yourself and your identity with the drama and past hurts and pains made up by your mind and perpetuated by your thoughts.

"You are unique, and you have to accept you as you are, instead of trying to repeat other people’s destinies or patterns. Insanity is to behave like someone that you are not.
Normality is the capacity to express your feelings. From the moment that you don’t fear to share your heart, you are a free person."
 Paolo Coelho,
 (I highly recommend to check out his amazing, inspiring blog)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Stand Forth

Quietly contemplating life today... I want to share this with you, written by a very inspiring yoga teacher at the Bodhi Tree Studio, Jon:

"Stand forth. Find your natural state of being full, of being whole, of letting your inner light shine.

Find that internal confidence that is like a quiet inner light, smooth and steady, and allow it to shine. 
Let it shine for no other reason than that it is there and it is beautiful. 

Your inner light has grace and beauty that can be seen even when you are by yourself. 

Be proud, with a quiet humble pride that remains the same when you are talking and when you are silent, that is unwavering whether you are the center of attention or find yourself alone.

 This is your newly familiar feeling of empowerment, settled into your everyday way of being. 

So with faith and courage, stand forth."