Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My week: September 18 ed.

This week, I spent several weeknights at home because I was worn out. Why am I worn out? I think that it was the usual suspect of poor sleep resulting from nighttime congestion related to allergies. I also think it was to do with work and learning.

Work is very busy right now and we've all been running in circles and working on multiple, simultaneous projects. At home, I have stacks (or should I say lists?) of (virtual) books to read because I'm trying to update my skills. For example, I really want to up my Photoshop, project management, online teaching, marketing, and video producing games (or in some cases, start them!). All of these skills are very relevant for my job, which is amusing because one wouldn't normally associate such skills with the type of job that I have. In addition, I'm working on my German almost every day and I hope to take the B2 test sometime next year.

It's starting to look as if my brain can't handle this so adeptly any more. Basically, since I've been 14, I've juggled a heavy load with education, work, and hobbies, and I could easily and quickly move among these. Several decades later, I feel about ready to come home and crawl into bed after a long workday that's been loaded with problem-solving. I love my job, no doubt, but man, have I been tired and a couple nights this week I just came home and read books in bed for the remainder of the evening.

I did meet up with my tandem partner A. and we discussed Redewendungen, or phrases and idiomatic expressions. This term, I'm focusing on higher-level German since I'm in a C1 class and it's a major component. Also, it will be useful for the B2 test. The middle and higher levels of German focus on language that one would see/use at work, school, or the news. It's becoming more academic as we move away from "hello, I'm soandso and my hobbies are..." to "I agree with the research, but I also think that further exploration is warranted." Okay, that's not exact, but it's the feel of what we're trying to do.

K came to visit for a girls' weekend and we traveled to the Rhein region for Rhein in Flammen, or "Rhein in flames," which is an event with fireworks along the Rhein River. It occurs five times a year from spring to fall in different cities along the Rhein. (More information here.) The celebration we attended was in Sankt Goar.

Along the way, we stopped and visited Burg Sooneck in Niederheimbach. We arrived just in time for a tour in German. The man giving the tour was very animated! I didn't catch everything he said, but K, although Romanian, is fluent in German and filled in the spots that I had missed. My favorite story was the one he told about a writing kit that was, as the guide put it, like the laptop of the 19th century.

Laptop of days gone by
After the tour, we visited Bacharach and found a wine festival in the town. We didn't actually drink any wine since we had been hoping for neuer Wein and there was only regular wine. The town is small, but beautiful. However, I recommend parking the car outside of the city walls, along the B9! We drove in to the narrow, one-way alley and I had to maneuver the car back and forth to go out another tunnel. It's not enjoyable.

Defeated in our quest for neuer Wein, we drove on to Sankt Goar. The town was crammed with people and cars in anticipation of the fireworks. We lucked out and found a parking spot about 3/4 of a mile from downtown. Even better yet was that we found a Weinstube and drank a glass of neuer Wein.

We continued the way down to the river and entered the town. There was freshly-made Flammkuchen so we shared one then watched the fireworks. There was an alternating show of fireworks in the river, from the castle on the opposite side of the river in Sankt Goarhausen, and from the castle in Sankt Goar.

K stayed the weekend so I made an American breakfast on Sunday. When I stay with her and C, they present an impressive German breakfast. Mine was not as varied but we had more than enough to eat. I made pancakes from scratch, using a recipe with an egg. This made them like a cross between a pancake and a crepe - quite good! I also made pepper and cheese omelets. I was very pleased that the one I made for K turned out well since I am awful at turning them over. I transferred it to a plate to turn it and avoided turning it into a crumbly mess.

K soon had to leave and I spent the rest of the day lounging around. It was just what I needed.

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