This is my last week of "freedom" before my university German classes start again. It was also still the holiday for my Volkshochschule class so I did some lazing around. Next week will start an intense schedule as I will work on learning German four nights a week after work. I did this last year and was stressed. It's a good thing I was able to laze around a bit in advance of this!
-I had my regular meeting with my tandem partner. My brain is broken because I said "sheeps." Dangnabbit. I've been hanging around with Indians too much (not that my tandem partner is Indian). The funny thing is that I was on a roadtrip once with two Indian friends and they said, "oh, look at those cute sheeps!" and I was like, hehehe, that's cute! They were not so happy with their Indian teachers back home who told them that sheeps is the correct plural use. I have no idea why I said sheeps when I was speaking with my tandem partner, other than I think my brain was revolting against bilingualism. Naughty brain.
-We've been having a ton of teleconferences with our US HQ at work lately. With an upcoming worldwide database merger and software upgrade, we have more than enough to work on -- in addition to our daily workload. I am very happy to be working more closely with the other office; I think it's silly to duplicate work where it's not needed and our collaboration is reducing that and is improving customer service too. The other really cool thing is that I've coordinated a vendor visit for training at multiple locations and I've invited some of our colleagues from another Service to attend. They were thrilled and the vendor was, too; she'll be able to reach more of our overseas staff. I'm a nerd and enjoy making connections for people, especially ones that help them learn.
-A friend stopped by one evening. She still had on her "clothes" from work, where they had dressed up for Halloween. I have nosy neighbors who are always looking out the the windows and I'm sure they got quite an eyeful of someone wearing a wet suit and ski mask visiting my house. Heck, I'm not quite sure what she was supposed to be, myself, but dug the weirdness.
-For Halloween, I didn't do anything other than eat some candy. I didn't feel like rustling up something to do or to wear. I regret nothing.
-My friends C and K from Neustadt invited me to go hiking. I had some reservations because several weeks ago, my foot was hurting which in turn caused my back to ache. Once that improved, my asthma kicked in so I haven't been in rare form lately. Since C and K were fine with potentially keeping a slower pace I met them at Schwartzsohl, a Waldhaus in Weidenthal. It's a place to park, grab something to eat and drink, use the restroom, and start one's hike along the forest trails.
Though the day started out foggy, by noon it cleared up and we were even treated to some sunlight streaming through the forest. The trees were lit up in beautiful fall yellows and oranges, glowing in the crisp air. I love this time of the year; I'd much rather bundle up a bit than deal with heat.
I was happy to keep a decent pace. Neither my foot, back, or breathing decided to revolt; instead, I was able to enjoy the company of C and K. We haven't hung out since this summer and were happy to meet up again to catch up.
After a five mile hike, we circled back to Schwartzsohl for lunch. C had homemade pea soup and C and I ordered Knödel (a dumpling) with chestnuts, meat (pork? not sure), and a gravy with mushrooms. Normally this isn't my kind of food since I don't like stewy or gravy dishes, nor meat so much either. C tried some and felt that it had too much of "gingerbread spices" for his liking. The dish is mostly savory but indeed had a touch of nutmeg and something else. It wasn't too overpowering but I prefer not to have it in savory things. (When I make Spätzle, I never add nutmeg.) It tasted decent enough after hiking though. After finishing our meals, we parted, with some plans to meet up again soon.