Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nine months later..

Ok so I've decided to start writing my blog again! And it's only been nine months (yes, I'm being sarcastic). Obviously a lot has happened since then as you would expect. The first two months were fantastic- it was Summer, I was cycling to and from the train station so getting good exercise, work was going well, and I was generally enjoying all the new experiences-and also getting on brilliantly with the boyfriend. At that stage I was convinced that moving to Germany for love (and a job) had been the right decision!

Then in September we moved from one Baden Württemberg town to another for my bofriend's job. We got a nice maisonette apartment 15 mins on the S-bahn from town. Only problem is the commute to my work ended up being a lot longer and difficult than I was expecting. I had to get two trams to the train station, a fast train (IC) for 50 mins and then a tram one stop and a 5minute walk on the other side. All it all it was one hour and 30 minutes door to door. But sometimes, the train was delayed and it ended up taking one hour 45minutes or even 2 hours to get home. I had thought that well I can manage a long commute for a short time- like a year, but in reality it was tough! I was leaving the house at 7.15am and not getting home till 12 hours later. So like most commutes will tell you, my evenings were really short and I was pretty much living for the weekend.

That said I got it working for me as best I could- I used the train time to catch up on my reading. The boyf bought me a portable dvd player at Christmas and I watched dvds on the journey. But I would usually find that by Friday evening I was exhausted from the week.

It took us a few months to really settle in to the new apartment and get it fully furnished, and we didn't have any friends in the new town. And there were times I got really homesick- and times when I got really frustrated learning German. So yeah, times when I wondered if I should have stayed in Ireland! I read about culture shock and was able to relate to most of it. And I made friends with some fellow ex-pats (mainly American girls who've also moved to Germany for love) and it was nice to find people to really relate too. I suppose it was a mixture of good and bad days!

I went home for Christmas and it was great to see everyone back home. I returned with new motivation- I would stay in the job with the awful commute until July then try to get something in the area where I live now. Or if I was loving the job and made permanent, maybe we could move apartments nearer the train station. And we planed to take a weeks holiday around Easter and go on a package holiday to the sun, and another week or two in June to spend in Ireland. And from Easter I could start looking out at what other jobs could be available.

But the company I was working for weren't doing well and in February I got my 6 weeks notice. I didn't really see it coming! The fact is though, it was probably a blessing in disguise. Now I could look a job nearby without having to stay a full year or two for my CV!

Anyway so I finished up the end of March and I've had a few job interviews already in and around the town where I live. Am also enjoying the lovely Summer weather and having the time off! And the social life has improved a lot by this stage- I have two German tandem partners who have become friends. And am friends with other Americans living here I've met through expat meetup groups.And my German is a lot better now!! Though not totally fluent yet.