30th December, 2010
Another ‘Old Year’ has gone by … well I hope it was as happy as it could’ve been for everyone. So many things have happened, so many new things have been learnt! Personally speaking I think 2010 has been a year of such growth for me. I started my MSc project in January. The first time I ever did real research! Got a job! Went home and understood even more about how much I had grown in the time I was away. My best friend from 7th to 10th grade passed away after a battle with cancer. I still send these emails to her though. Because she can’t really be gone. 3 friends got married. I’ve now moved to a new country, started to learn a new language.. What a year !
What’s the latest here in Oldenburg? I spent Christmas day after lunch with a colleague and her husband. They live in Wilhelmshaven (pronounced wil-helms-haafen). We walked along the bay, on the snow and just before sunset, we headed to their apartment on the 11th floor to watch the fading twilight. It is an even smaller and quieter town than Oldenburg, if that is possible. They are Swiss but have lived in Germany for several years. They met during her highschool years and have traveled to India many times together. We had some interesting conversations and it was quite refreshing to have them understand when I said something about the complexity of India. Most people don’t seem to understand how many cultures and languages and cuisines there are in India! The comparison of India to the EU is helpful though. If any of you are asked to explain India to a non-Indian, it might be a good starting point to use. And as we talked, we also started cooking and drinking tea. They are vegetarian too 🙂 and they know how to make their food. I must add here that their apartment was nothing like a students place (she is a post-doc). They got married only a few months ago but had been living together for a long time and seem to really be well set together. I guess who wouldn’t be after a 14 year relationship!
Back in Oldenburg I tried a different route to the University and got lost. A very kind but gruff looking man tried speaking English just for my sake and said ‘at the second lightning, take a left’! This is probably how I sound to them when I try speaking German. I’ve been amusing Germans with my attempts at speaking or writing German. I do get my point across and make them smile too 🙂 I think its sweet that we try for each other. It totally goes against BBC’s recent report of ‘Germans struggling with their multiculturalism’. In Oldenburg, they’re doing quite well with me 🙂
I apologise for not taking any photos yet, I hope Winter won’t run out by the time I get around to it! I see very photographable things. Large and small icicles hanging from rooftops and traffic signs, bare trees with a layer of snow on every branch and twig. Snow that lies on plants, weighing down in their leaves; Frost that decorates the various gymnosperms and winter plants, holly bright with red berries, large falling snow flakes, and snow laden rooftops in this Winter Wonderland. It is beautiful.
I’m going for a New Years party tomorrow. It will be good to see humans again and socialise after a few days of just people in the grocery shops and the dear cats at home. I’ll surely take my phone-cam with me 🙂 !
Speaking of cats, (the beasts) I must say, I don’t understand why anyone would want them as pets. They eat, sleep and rarely play. They follow you around where ever you go, always eager to eat your food too because no matter how much you feed them, they aren’t satisfied. They never let me eat in peace so I keep having to trick them into staying in another room while I grab my food and rush to this room to eat. And all this is actually fine and acceptable but cleaning the cat toilets! Most unpleasant indeed! I had to do it just this morning after watering the house plants (which is a big thing here in Germany- indoor plants! well, at least they stay in one place!). It stinks! Oh how it stinks!! For someone who’s sense of smell is so keen, it is such a horrible experience. I opened the window to let the cold air in rather than to breathe that!
Well, its safe to say, I won’t be wanting pets for myself ever! It’s something I can’t handle and conceptually don’t understand either. Not to mention I’ve always objected to the buying and selling of animals (pets) as though they were property! It’s like trading slaves or children! It’s a life form, people! Let it exist in its natural state!
Anyway, I wish you all a Happy New Year! Live every moment to the full!