Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas market in Dresden, Saxony

When I found an advertisement for short travels to various Christmas markets in Germany and showed it to the Auction Winner, we both found the idea wonderful. The travel advertised was already sold out, but we found us something else and off we went to Dresden in Saxony in Germany for the famous (apparently) Christmas market.

It's so weird. The advertisements always said "the famous Christmas market in Nürnberg/Dresden/Hamburg/Bremen/whatnot" and I've never heard of any of these. Sure, every town and every village makes its own Christmas market, but at what point is it famous? Hmm, I have no clue, really.

We went for three nights and had a great time. So the Christmas market in Dresden is famous and rightfully so. It was a lot nicer than the boring Christmas market at home. The arrangement of the booths and the overall atmosphere and the lighting... also there was a small orchestra and they played Christmas songs... I really enjoyed it all!


These are pictures of the Christmas market near the Frauenkirche. I wanted to buy something at every booth. Of course I didn't, it was all kinda pricey, because all handmade or in another way special.
This one is the Christmas market on Neumarkt. All decoration was Herrnhuter Sterne, no chains of lights. The ones you see in the background are on a decorated house. It was a bit darker on this market, but I liked it. The booths offered more traditional products, of course all handmade. (Sorry for the blurry picture.)

We also went to the Dresdner Striezelmarkt, the most famous of them all. No pictures though, it was too narrow and we had too much to do eating. Oh, all the yummy food! Really, I think most of the booths were either selling food (sweet or savory, whatever you want) or Christmas decorations. A huge Christmas tree stands in the middle, full of lights.

We went to a medieval market, too. They were selling yummy foods nowhere else available and medieval products of all sorts. You could shoot arrows with a bow or a crossbow. On weekdays the entry was free, but they charge on weekends. Probably to keep the masses at bay, since it's located in between houses and can get crammed easily.

There are various markets across town, but the ones within Altstadt/old town were the best! The others were the usual commercial booths and lots to east and drink, the atmosphere was different. We didn't go to all of them as we figured the rest would be commercial and we can have all of that at home.

Our visit was during the week and it was crowded enough, so don't you even try going there on a weekend. While there maybe some events on Sundays, it will be super-crowded. If you can stand people (I can't), that might be all right. But do visit, it was great and everybody should go!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

One Colour

When I saw this title "one colour" I immediately thought of grey. The grey of depression. For the lucky ones of us, who don't know what the eff I'm talking about, I'll elaborate.

A few years ago, when I fell down really deep into that awful pit that's depression, I didn't feel bad. I didn't feel sad. I didn't feel at all. There was a bit of fear, because the absolute absence of feeling is kinda scary. The scariness of it all made me get out. It all didn't seem like a part of myself, but a foreign part from outside that made me be this way. Like something invaded me and tried to kill me from within. Because the only way to escape it all seemed to be death. It's the wrong conclusion and I'm glad I had the sense not to do it. (But then again I battled with suicidal thoughts for about 10 years by then, so maybe I've been experienced.)

The depression not only made me feel almost nothing, it also let me taste and see almost nothing. All meals tasted like wet paper. Not in an icky way, just indifferent.

I also couldn't see. My vision changed. All the colours disappeared. Everything had a thick grey fog over it. Like really thick dust and this everywhere I looked. There was no real sunlight any more, it was all a very dark November. Even though I fell into that pit during the summer. All the things didn't have their original colour, instead they were all grey. And I don't mean like in a black and white photograph, because that's different. In a photograph everything has its own shade of grey and this looks quite pretty, I think. But during the depression everything had pretty much the same shade of grey. It made the suicidal thoughts even more sensible. "If the world looks this bad, then let's just get out of it."

Grey can be a pretty colour, if it's surrounded by more lively colours. But on its own, it's just so awful.

I never want to experience "one colour" ever again!


This post is part of Corner View, hosted by Francesca.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Some changes around here

My hiatus from blogging made me think what I want to do with this blog.

At first this blog was created for me to have a voice when I felt nobody would really listen to my ramblings. But right now I feel rather okay about this, so I don't need my blog as an outlet anymore. I also have much less frustration and aggression in me (most days), so I don't need to rant as much. Rants usually just pass through my head once and either make it out of my mouth quickly or never make any appearance. This is good. But this blog needs to change accordingly.

I still want to blog, because I massively enjoy reading blogs and I like blogging. Just recently I read a post about optimizing your blog for search machines and how to earn money with it. But I don't want to earn money with blogging. It's not just that I don't need it (my job pays well), it's also that I don't want to spoil my blog with such interests. My blog should be about enjoyment and not really anything more. If people read and comment, even better!

Since rants are pretty much out I want to change the topics of this blog. From now on there's gonna be labels and new topics. For example I want to post about travels, too. I've been to some really nice places and want to show all of you. Also I want to post more pictures to liven things up.
Maybe I'll do some how-to posts about Germany. There are some things I encountered with Akane or other friends from abroad that made me think "There should be an easy explanation of this online, because otherwise how are these people supposed to know." So I might as well just do that.
There are more things I want to write about shared flats and moving. I have ideas, just need to write them down.

Actually, I look forward to these new times a lot! Looking forward to blogging is great!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Writing

I didn't blog. I'm having writer's block. Or more thinker's block?
I can't think of anything worth to write. My thoughts just scatter about and slip away when I want to write about them. Meh.
It also extends to emails. My soulmate finally emailed me and I cannot bring myself to answer her. Other friendships also need to be maintained. Via email, because I hate the phone.

Yep, there are women around who hate talking on the telephone. Really.

In an effort to gather my thoughts again and also promote deep thinking (yeah!), I bought myself a notebook (the paper kind). I love buying paper. Writing paper, folding paper, cards, books... I intend to write in this notebook every day. Every day for a while about my day. About anything. Like a diary, but then again not.

Also, because my handwriting looks absolute shit being all in block-letters, I made up a new handwriting. Because I can.

Now I have the notebook and the sheet with my new handwriting sitting on my desk, waiting for me.
We'll see what comes of it all.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Natsu matsuri in the rain

Didn't I write something about the Japanese festivals around here always having bad weather?

Well, yesterday was natsu matsuri, the summer festival. It's always held a local park and they used to say they'd cancel it if it rains. But after they cancelled it one time because of a bad forecast and it then didn't rain, there was an uproar against them. So now the festival will be there, no matter what.

We arrived and it rained. We had umbrellas with us, so we were fine, but we worried about the festival. Will it be there? Will all participants even come? But we were pleasantly surprised! Everyone was there and they were all pretty much prepared for rain. Umbrellas, pavilions, cover, gumboots...
But then it really started to rain! A real downpour! With thunder!
On the left the bonsai stand, on the right the flea market by a Japanese family.
We were stuck under a tree, looking for cover, when it hit that hard. We couldn't even walk away to find better cover, because we would have been drenched to the bone before getting anywhere.
But even under the tree, we weren't completely safe. Our pants were spluttered, my umbrella decided to be not up for the job and there was a little river forming and swelling up, limiting our room to stand.

After some time, it gradually stopped. Even the sun came out! Of course everybody was wet by then and the sun made everything damp. But who cares! Natsu matsuri!
We shared this one. Nom.
The matsuri was really full. So now it's clear: people come no matter the weather.
We listened to these great drummers. Akane told me, such drummers usually would only play for about 10 minutes, because it's really tiring. But these here played for over 40 minutes straight. The leader (the one with the white headband) was so full of energy! When she announced they'd play one more, the rest of them stared at her like they didn't believe what she just said. I guess the leader was really glad to have an audience that came even in rain and applauded so much.
They were great!
In the end the festival was a real success. Rain or no rain!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

My dear friend

I sold my old bicycle. I now earn real money, not just bits with little jobs on the side. So I thought it's about time to buy myself a new bike and that's what I did. Then I sold my old bike. Doing that made me think back what this bike and me went through together and how long we've actually been together.

This is it. My dear friend, that's been with me for 13 years. Thirteen!
in front of my house in a free parking space
For my 16th birthday I got a bike. No, not this one. But a real grandma one. It was lilac and grandma and I hated it. The sensible thing for my parents to do would have been to bring it back to the store and let me choose another bike, but they didn't want to. The insisted that I was now "of a certain age" and should stop riding sporty bikes. Maybe because I'm not a boy or something. I hated that bike and never locked it wherever I went with it. A lot of bicycles get stolen in my hometown and I was SO hoping for it to happen. One day, it didn't really take that long, that awful bike got stolen.
My parents took me to the hardware store and finally let me choose a bike. I chose this one, though it was silver at the time. The blue was added by me and a friend 8 years ago, because the silver had become so rusty.

With this bike I rode to school every day in every damn weather. I promised it there would come a time when we would only ride out in nice weather.When I moved out, this time came. We never rode to school again, we only made fun trips around the new city I had moved to. But now we were in a city and it was a lot more dangerous than in my little, tiny hometown. We didn't fall down in snow and ice, alright, but we had an accident involving a suddenly opened car door and we were stopped by policemen for riding right through the pedestrian zone. We also rode right through broken glass and it didn't always work out well.

Quite some things needed to be replaced on my dear bike like brakes, lights and the saddle. Actually I stole the "new" saddle from a bike that was parked in front of the library for a looong time. (That's something that happens a lot. People forget their bikes. Other people then steal them or vandalize them or use them as a scrapyard.)

But it is a very heavy bike and I always had to use so much force just to move its weight on top of mine. I wanted to have a better one. It felt kinda mean to my dear bike, that's been with me for such a long time, but I really wanted to be able to make big tours.

I made pictures of this bike and put it on the internet. Just 5 hours later two people came to look at it. A man and his girlfriend, who then told me she needed a bike, because her little daughter just learned to bike and they wanted to do that together. She was really happy with my bike, really liked the colour and was smiling when she rode away on it.
Her happiness made me happy, too. Selling my bike to her, who was so happy with it, seems a very good thing.

Goodbye, my dear friend. I know, you'll be a dear friend to her as you've been to me.



PS: Yep, I got a new job and it's a good one.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sakura matsuri and Turtle!

It's this time of the year again! Spring has sprung and people go outside to look at it. To satisfy this need there is a sakura matsuri in this town, the most beautiful town in the world!

There's got to be something wrong with this sakura matsuri, though, because the weather is always, always shit then. The first year I wanted to go there, it rained in sheets. The sakura matsuri gets canceled when it rains a lot, so it got canceled that year.
Last year spring hadn't sprung yet and there were no sakura to be seen, so artificial sakura twigs were tethered to about five trees. That was pathetic. Also it was cold as fuck.
This year spring had sprung a month ago and the sakura were all gone by the time of the sakura matsuri. And it was cold, the sky was dark and after half of the matsuri time it started to rain.

Anyway. I went there with Akane, who wrote this very cute post about it with pictures. She shows pictures, but doesn't really tell the story of the yummy onigiri she made. Or the yummy salad I made, for that matter. We went there, bought an-pan (omg, so good!), sat down on my picnic blanket and watched the cosplay people. We tried to guess their characters, but failed miserably. We're too old and too little into anime/manga, I guess. And we ate! Onigiri (one salmon, one shiso, just thinking about them makes me hungry again, yummy!), an-pan and salad, drank green tea and were absolutely stuffed! And then friends of Akane gave us sakura mochi, so we ate that, too. It was actually good it started to rain and we left, otherwise we would have ended up eating even more. Possibly sushi. They teach you to prepare it yourself, very nice.
We had a lot of fun and now Akane even painted me on her blog! It's my debut, people!

Buuut, since the weather was so shite, I remembered a very nice spring day a few weeks ago in the park. I sat on my picnic blanket (I go nowhere without it now that I own it!!) with a friend, when something caught my eye in the grass. Something was walking towards my blanket!
This little cutie belonged to the next blanket over and was very curious what we were all about. Walked around my blanket and looked at everything and everyone. Also tried to climb everything and everyone. These little feet are spiky!
But so cute! I could even pet it!
So much cuteness! The little turtle had to be picked up by its owners, because it refused to leave us to go home. Who wants to go home, when you can be entertained by strangers?! Not this turtle.

That was the best day this year, so much sunshine! The sakura matsuri must have done something wrong in its early days, so now they only get shit weather. How can we redeem this unknown mistake?

Thursday, April 03, 2014

New life as a skirt

Being unemployed comes with loads of free time. So I thought I could do some sewing. I want to learn how to sew with a sewing machine and on I went to some places and got flyers about their courses. But the courses work like this: You choose what you want to make, you either have the material or buy in the store where the course takes places, and then you sew and the teacher helps you. This creates a little problem for me. I have absolutely no idea what to make. While thinking about this I remembered that I still have two tablecloths at home. I bought these on the flea market to re-fashion them into skirts.

Might as well do that first! I don't need a course for these and the material just lies there anyway.

I started with the red table cloth. I ironed and measured and finally figured out, I could make two skirts out of one table cloth. Why not?

First I made a mini-skirt. I don't have a red one and I like the bright colour.
Also introducing my new picnic blanket. Jaaaa~
The table cloth wasn't all that well sewn and the hem was crooked. I decided to rip it up and sew again. This time with a decorative woven band.
Stupid me! Couldn't I have thought about this before cutting the table cloth?! Oh no, now I had to fight for every millimeter or else my bum would hang out my skirt. Also, it took like thousands of years to complete. The ripping up took about two hours alone, because the damned hem was sewn on with three(!) threads!
Then I folded the fabric and made a new hem. Then I sewed on the woven band. All in all I've sown my way around this hem five times! I cursed this stupid idea so often while sewing! Well, I had a lot of time for cursing then...

This is how it turned out! In the end I was glad I did it. I really like the woven band, too.

Cutesy little flowers that just smiled at me in the shop. "Buy us, buy us!"
The ends meet like this: I folded each end and sewed the folds together. I deliberately put them together a bit further from the side seam, so the skirt wouldn't get a dent there.
Now its flow isn't interrupted, just as I intended.
I used an OPTI zipper. Gawd, never buy those, people! Look, what it does! It creates a gap! And I couldn't help it, because the zipper is so not flexible. I couldn't bend it any other way. I don't like things that I bought who then still don't want to do as they're told.
Guess, I could sew a little something on there to force the two ends together, but I won't. The gap won't be seen, because my top, sweater or whatever will cover it anyway. But it angers me to see this. From now on only YKK zippers are allowed in my house!

All in all, I'm really happy with this one. I haven't worn it yet outside the house, but the opportunity will come, I'm sure! Looking forward to it.

I wonder a bit, if the table cloth ever thought it would get a new life as a skirt... Stupid! Table cloths don't think!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Skin-crawling

Since I'm now unemployed with nothing to do besides what I effing want I do crafting. Sewing to be exact. Blog post to come btw.

So sewing occupies my eyes and my hands and I'm actually pretty much glued to my table, because I can't sew without light. Understand me right here: the best of lights. The brightest, the closest. Yeah. It's also the hottest, because I'm using up old light bulbs. They work just fine. Can't throw them away just cuz they burn my eyelashes, right?
Anyway.

Sewing keeps me busy, but my head feels bored then. So I watch documentaries on YouTube. Well, it's not really watching... my eyes are on my sewing, so it's more listening. And I don't even miss a lot. I don't need to see some ugly "expert" standing in some desert or library speaking. I just need to hear his words.

But here my trouble starts. Why can't people speak properly?! I mean, this is a documentary. It's going to be shown to a lot of people and every mistake you made will be repeated with every viewing. And these mistakes make my skin crawl.
Like when they say "itch" instead of "it's" or "leave" instead of "live". Or, the worst so far, and this was by the actual narrator: "pitcher" instead of "picture"!
Okay, English isn't my native language, but I try, okay? How come these people don't?! How come the director doesn't tell them that this was wrong and to please try again. Or to fucking stop saying "uh... ehm... uh" after every two words. Make up your mind what you want to say, sweetie. Take your time. Done? Let's try again.

Can't be that hard!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Shock!

Explanation first: My parents are divorced and have been for years. My mother always talks badly about my father. All her time with him was shite and blah.

So last year I went to my mother's birthday party. She made a big thing out of it, rented a room with awesome food and lots of people came. Her boyfriend wanted to make a speech about my mother as entertainment. She had wished for stuff like that. He had asked me to help so we'd deliver the speech as a team.

So he picked me up at the station to accompany to my mother's place. The ride takes a bit less than an hour and he wanted to use the time to show me the power point presentation he made. Started kinda nice. My mother as a baby, as a child, as a teenager. Then a picture of Voldemort. I couldn't make the connection and asked "Why Voldemort?"
He answered "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
I still didn't get it and looked at him showing cluelessness.
So he said "It's your father."
I was shocked. So shocked.
I said "Delete it."
So he did and told me "It's too much, right? That's why I wanted to ask you."
I was too shocked to say much. But what is there to ask! Just switch on your brain and think!

Later I found myself asking myself what he wanted to say along to that picture.
My. God.

There was to be more. Of course.

During the party my grandfather (weird, but mostly funny man) got up to give a speech about my mother. It was funny. He told little stories about her as a baby, then went on about her childhood, her finishing school, starting to work, being all adult and how that wasn't always easy for him as a father. But he just couldn't keep it nice and funny: "Then she married this man and got a child. Luckily, this marriage failed and she divorced him."
It almost knocked me off my chair! Luckily?!
Is it ever lucky when a marriage fails?! I think it's always a sad, regrettable thing to happen!
Also, I sat right there in his audience. The child of this marrige, that "luckily" failed! If this marriage was all bad and better wouldn't have happened to my mother... what am I then?!
Gawd!

Awkward to be at this party to say the least.

At this party my mother's workmates later tried to coax something out of me about my father. I had the feeling they thought me pitiful. I also had the feeling they thought my father a violent, evil and stupid asshole. What did she tell them?!

It's true it wasn't all sunshine, but my father is not the evil man they think him.
Also, this marriage didn't happen to my mother. She begged him to marry her, she decided to have a child early in the relationship. She wanted him.

Of course this can change, emotions change... but does it have to swap to this hostility?

I'm surrounded by madness!

Friday, February 28, 2014

What a bother

Applying for a new job sucks. Badly.

First, because you have to and being forced into doing something is just never fun.
Second, because it's all bullshit. Children's theatre for adults. With a lot of carnival. I never liked carnival. Never liked having to dress up to pose as somebody I am not. (Seems like a lot of people actually love that, but I always found it bothersome and annoying.)
Third, because it's a lot of work. Writing applications with a nice design and a nice picture (applications around here MUST have one) and even though there are rules to all of that you have to fill it with glamouring personality and all your qualifications and stick out from the crowd.

It leads me to thinking about how much glamour and personality and qualifications I really have and I find it all very depressing. The most annoying is that it fills me with a lot of self doubt, which in the end will turn out to be totally unneccessary, because the big bosses don't care about my glamour or personality one bit! They just want someone dependable who doesn't give them any trouble.
To think I do so much for them!

I dress up in stuff I'd never wear voluntarily. I smile at people I don't know and don't care about. I tell them stuff about myself, about my strengths and weaknesses, my goals in life, about my overwhelming desire to work. To work for them, to improve myself daily, to always always give my best.
I lie. A lot.
I pretend it's not about the money. I pretend I like to get up early every morning. I pretend to like to work full time. And I really pretend to be motivated to start something new.
"It's all not true", I want to scream at them. "Why do you even ask me? It's so obvious that all this is just a silly game for adults!"

In truth, I lack the motivation and it's all about the money. I'd love to work part time just to have more time to do nothing. Starting something new doesn't give me the thrills. And I think my goals in life are none of your business!
I'm slacking off on my applications. Shameful me. Have to get started. Like really. Not halfheartedly, but where will I get this motivation?
Ah. Inside myself. Nothing's changed about this.

On to new waves!
I wonder how many people said this and then drowned. You never hear about them.
But I'm way too stubborn to drown in such a small puddle.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Just a note

I lost the job.

Damn it.