Ich heiße Ali. Ich komme aus Australien. Ich wohne in München

7 Nov

What a busy and adventurous week this one has been! As Monday rolled around after Tors and Michael left we were presented with an unusual week. Due to Tuesday being a public holiday – All Saints Day – Mark was working from home, like the rest of his colleagues who are from all over Europe so it was pointless them flying in until Wednesday.  Anywho,  Monday called for a sleep in which was lovely, the weekly grocery shop and then off to my first day of my Deutschkurs. Markie got a few hours to himself which he hasn’t had since we arrived so he went to the shops and got some nice warm shoes, and jumped on the bike trainer for a workout later in the afternoon.

My “kurs” is going well. I have now done 3 days and 9 hours of class and have learnt quite a lot of verbs, some phrases, numbers, and objects. The tough thing with the objects, however, is that in English we have “the book”, “the chair”, and “the camera” etc…you get the jist. In Deutsch they have 3 words for “the” which are die (feminine), der (masculine), and das (neutral) and there is no rule around which one you use with which objects – you just have to learn all of them. My class is also taught in German …how do I learn anything when I don’t know what she is saying???….a lot of attention, sign language, and drawings. The reason being is that my class is made up of 8 students – we have an Italian, a Spaniard, a Hungarian, an Arab (is this politically correct?), a Russian, a Chinese, a Maldivian, and me – and not everyone can speak English. I have a test today as soon as I get in so I will let you know how I went next week, but the course is good, I’m enjoying it and am able to get by in the shops and restaurants, although at snails pace, so im happy with the progress so far.

We made the most of the public holiday on Tuesday with a drive to  Austria to check out some ski fields for February when we hit the mountains with Timie who is coming to visit for a couple of weeks. We settled on the Kitzbühel Alps which  has heaps of runs and the town it’s in is pretty big, so nightlife and off slope activities won’t be hard to come by. While we were there we drove up some mountains which we intend on cycling up when the weather warms up – in about a year or just under, for 3 days. I think the main one we intend to climb up is called Zillitel (or something like this) and has an average grade of 13% with the steepest section of 18%. Should be a blast!
It was only a day trip as the Austrian alps are only a 2 hour drive from home, so we were back in time for dinner and an early night.

The middle of the week was pretty normal – more Deutschkurs, more train rides for Markie – although Thursday he had to work from home because the “zug” was running late and he would have missed his connection meaning getting to work after lunch so was pretty pointless to even bother.

As most of you probably know, my dad is no longer with us and there really hasn’t been much contact with any of my dad’s side of the family. Just after Mark and my wedding, we received a card from my Uncle (Dad’s brother) wishing us all the best etc. I immediately got in contact with him and sent him, my Aunty and cousins a photo album, dvd of the wedding and a card. At this stage we knew we may be moving overseas so I let him know that as well – they live in Prague, Czech Republic. There began the contact and when we first arrived in München I wrote an email to my cousin arranging for Mark and I to go and see them…this happened on the weekend just gone. Mark and I drove up there on Friday afternoon/evening – and after a small heart attack from a very bad driver trying to very nearly merge into a truck on the autobahn and 4.5 hours later, got us there just after 8pm. I haven’t seen any of them for many many years – the last time I saw my aunty and cousin was 17 years ago when they visited Australia, and I think it was longer since I saw my Uncle. As soon as we walked in the door we were presented with some very yummy schnitzel and a potato salad type dish while my family sat around and chatted to us and the chatting continued after dinner in the living room for about 2.5 hours before we hit the hay. Not all of them speak English but one of my cousins and 2nd cousins could, so did all the translation… we worked it all out and it was a night full of excitement and many questions.

Also while I was in Aus I got started on my Czech citizenship application and I used my time in Prague to hook up with an approved Czech/English translator so I could continue on my merry way with trying to get my passport so I can work and live in the EU without any problems. I have a few more “action items” to add to my list that came out of our little get together but hopefully it won’t be too long. With any luck I will get it before I get my German residency, but no Government administrative tasks seem to be all that straightforward over here I have learnt thus far….so we will see.

The rest of the weekend involved plenty of eating – Spanish bird, made of pork, sausage and egg…no bird???, lots and lots of Schnitzel – which even Rocco has now become accustomed to and refuses to eat anything else – and because of this has gained the new name of “Schnitzel”, and a surprise  lunch of Roast Duck with Dumplings and Sauerkraut at 10:30am on Sunday, after we had an egg and croissants breakfast at 9:30am…like sacks of potatoes, we made our way to Prague Castle  for the last tourist attraction. Whilst in Prague we got to see the Old Town Square, Old Town Hall and the Astronomical Clock with the hourly display (we walked up the top too and saw over Prague city), Charles’ Bridge, the little Eiffel Tower (proper name = Petrin Tower),  and of course all the Prague Castle including St Vitus Cathedral. This city has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world – if you haven’t been, you should definitely pay it a visit.

We learnt my Uncle is quite the comedian and a very funny character indeed. He is like a little boy trapped in a big kids body and is always cracking jokes and taking the piss. It was so nice to see a family where absolutely no secrets are had, no judgements are made, and everyone is friends with one another – through each generation. Here is an example… my 2nd cousin is 22 years old and the night we arrived she was going out to a club, one which was of a dominatrix style after we saw the video but apparently this is the norm, and she was wearing a denim skirt and had some bandaids, we could see, just under her knees. My Uncle (her grandfather) told us the reason was because she was kneeling on the carpet too much with her boyfriend. Mark and I almost wet ourselves from laughter – this was just the opening line for the non-stop stand up show for the weekend.

Many meals, translations, hugs, memories, and sore jaws later, (from the laughter- i’ll get in before you take that elsewhere since we’re on the subject) Mark and I hit the road for the drive back to Munich. No drive in a neighbouring country is complete without a fine for not having a toll sticker on the windscreen, so a few hours and a few dollars later, we arrived home. We have a normal week ahead and are not planning on going anywhere this weekend but maybe investigating a bit more of our new home town.

I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine while we see this week into a max of 4 degrees with a low of -5. Brrrr!!!

Till next time…..xx

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