Saturday, 17 July 2010

I am lacking in human interaction

So, it would appear that M!crosoft W0rd is not happy with my blog post. I would normally compose blog posts in Blogger itself (which is, of course, a way to guarantee that my posts will never get lost), but I am without Internet access in this flat. That explains the funny formatting you may have noticed in the previous posts – they were just cut and pasted from Word via some other programme. No idea what. It wasn’t co-operating when I tried to post today’s offering, and so I was unable to accomplish the task of copying and pasting my favourite blog (for this week) onto my memory stick to read at home later. This means that I will have to be productive and learn some German this evening, instead. Damn.

Thinking about it, you were lucky not to have to read my previous blog post (the one eaten by W0rd), as it started off describing what I was going to eat for dinner, then saying that this really wasn’t an adequate blog topic, and that I could really do with some human interaction. This paragraph was much shorter and only a miniscule amount less funny.

It’s funny, though, because I don’t appear to be making a very good job of responding to my e-mails, and they are interaction with a real person, albeit at a distance. I suppose that I don’t really feel like responding to other people’s questions.

It is lonely here, you know. I don’t speak the language, and don’t know anyone who is helping me to get integrated into any sort of social scene. I missed going to the garden to help out today because I got up late, and figured that people would be unimpressed were I to fail to be punctual, so I made no new friends today. Tomorrow, I shall try out the English-speaking church. It looks like totally not my scene, and could take a long time to get there, but social interaction is social interaction, and it might surprise me...

However, in order to get there, I must ride the bike. The bike is a lovely piece of machinery, which really seems to want to be good. It could teach Marigold the Death Bike a thing or two about being nice to people (although I feel that it would be a mistake to expose it to Marigold’s malign influence). However, it has a few problems. It really likes to select its own gear (although it has been holding steady for a few says now), it is only the forces of good holding the front wheel straight, and it is too big for me. The first two problems would only really be an issue with a bike which wasn’t so anxious to please (go, anthropomorphic personification!), but the third problem has started to hurt my knees. My knees are important to me, and so I shall have to brave the bike shop very soon. Probably on Monday. Argh! If I could speak German, it would be less frightening. I only hope that the shopkeeper speaks English. I think that the place over the road from here is a bike shop which sells a lot of second-hand bikes, and I think that their prices will be reasonable, especially as I particularly do not want a bike which looks good. Here in Münster, bikes are disabled by means of a bike lock, and then abandoned, not attached to anything but themselves. I feel that a bike which looks as though it might be worth actual money might not last long here. There’s no point in paying extra for a more nickable bike. Oh, how I miss Marigold. Apart from her lack of seat (thank you, Louise) and stand, she is exactly what I want. I suppose that her homicidal tendencies are hardly ideal, but she has never actually tried to kill me...

I made a discovery today. Orange-flavoured milkshake does not taste good. Of course, I knew this already, but I decided to try it anyway. Now I know for sure. Please trust me when I say that it is as bad as you might imagine it to be. There really is no need to try it out for yourself. I should have trusted my instincts, but I was thirsty and it was cheap. Never go shopping while you are thirsty! (Although I realise that sometimes it is necessary to go shopping while thirsty in order to buy oneself a drink, and that one might possibly become ill were one to be denied this opportunity to go shopping, should a suitable drinking water tap not be in the vicinity. Under these circumstances, I would argue that it is more useful to go shopping than to refrain therefrom. Which is a word the spellchecker seems to think that I just made up.)

I bought plants, seeds and nectarines at the market today. The plants were basil, parsley, sage and lavender, the seeds were sweet peas and wild flowers (all due to be planted before the end of last month), and the nectarines smell tasty. They will be eaten with yoghurt – this is my new favourite snack. It makes me feel healthy and virtuous, and tastes excellent. Any deficiencies in the nectarine’s flavour can be disguised with honey, which is so much better than sugar because it is more natural. Or something.

Anyway, I now have a little garden on my balcony, and it should smell good. The sweet peas, should they grow big enough, should climb towards the balcony above me, and hopefully won’t cause me to fall to my death while trying to cut a particularly high-up bloom (because that would totally be the fault of the flowers, as opposed to me). The wild flowers may look pretty, should they do the flowering thing. The Lavender will annoy my mother, and the other herbs will smell good and help with my cooking. Which reminds me – I need to get Delia’s parsnip and parmesan bread recipe at some point (the tenuous link being that it involves sage, and is pretty much all I ever used my previous sage plant for). Probably before I have someone to visit me for a meal. Although perhaps I should be feeding them potato soup with potato croutons, followed by mashed potatoes with potato sauce and potatoes on the side, then sweet potato fritters (as in potatoes with sugar on, as opposed to sweet potatoes themselves, which are, in fact, a different species from potatoes and, moreover, are absent from this flat). Perhaps with a potato smoothie. Potato lassi, anyone? I have cheese to go with it now. Anyone?

Tomorrow marks the one-week anniversary of my arrival here in Münster. It’s weird to think that this time last week, I was sitting in my last church service in Taizé. How things change. At Taizé, life goes on, and here, nothing much happens.

I felt, when I arrived, that it was a good idea to cut myself some slack and not worry about getting a job straight away. I felt that one or two weeks would be long enough to get settled in, and then I could start to look. Now I am feeling slightly guilty because I have scarcely made a start with advertising my amazing English skills (about all I have that is marketable at the moment, I think, because pretty much every other job requires some German skills, at least while one is applying for the job), and certainly feel no closer to finding out how one might go about getting a cleaning job. Of course, it could all change tomorrow when I go to church. Or it could not change at all. The latter scenario seems more likely to me, but I am aware that I am a reasonably cynical sort of person. Also realistic, sometimes. Except for that time I really trusted that guy, and it turned out to be a bad idea. That wasn’t cynical at all. So not only am I inconsistently cynical, but I am also not good at arguing my own point, and step in to ruin my own argument. Go me. I don’t think that I have a point any more. Instead, I shall have a shower and go to bed. I shall see what tomorrow brings.

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