Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm Moving To Berlin On Wednesday

And this is supposed to be one of the most powerful times in my life. 
And it really is. It really truly is.

But it's also powerfully overwhelming and heart-wrenching. 

After receiving both jobs for which I interviewed in THE City that has always been my Absolute Dream Spot To Live, I played the DO NOT MAKE ANY SUDDEN MOVEMENTS AND FOR GOD'S SAKE DO NOT PINCH ME BECAUSE, DAMNIT, I LIKE THIS DREAM card for a bit. 

But now that part's over. I'm not dreaming it. 
I'm living it. 
It's happening.

And I'm scared to death.

Oh sure it doesn't help that I'm completely hormonal at this point; the two-year-old found all of my feminine hygiene products, hid them from me and I'm all, "duuuuuude, you can't be serious,"; due to the aforementioned roller coaster of hormones, I've eaten my body weight in chocolate so I feel like a failure after my desperate attempts at being Stairmaster Queen; and I'm home alone feeling lonely all alone by myself.

I really thought I had things under better control than this.
I had worked through my List of Cares and Troubles and felt that everything would sort itself out. 
I was, as of 13:00 Greenwich Mean Time completely sane and coherent.

Well folks, I snapped.

I think it was filling space-saver bags whilst the two-year-old looked on and filling suitcases with the total catastrophe that is my room currently. Packing makes me see red.
Punching myself in the face does to and that is what I would compare packing to.
Hands down.

It didn't help that my phone call to my parents included a conversation with my father that went as follows:
me: (violent sobbing) "And then....and Jan said....and I just don't....and I'm so scared...and it's like this..." (more violent sobbing)
Dad: "Well.....sometimes when we leave places, we miss it," (to my mother), "Are you done yet so you can talk to her?"


Round that all off with a promise to my mother to live on 10 €/week for food while I wait on my work visa (read: make money) and a suggestion for her to sell my old flute for extra cash.
She followed this up with, "Do you not want it?"
Me: "Well can I eat it?"

But really, it was mostly the fact the young master of the household finally grasped what "Berlin" meant in relation to "Liesl."

I was stoic while he cried and begged me to stay with him and asked why I couldn't stay for forever.
I was brave when he kept bringing it up and asking me if I was going to Berlin after I put him to bed and he fell asleep.
I was even rigid when he asked me if he would see me in the morning or if I was going to be in Berlin. 

And then I wasn't brave anymore. 
Cause then I wept.
I drew a warm bath, I sat for an hour, and I. cried. my. eyes. out.
I wept like a fool. A big fool.

The only thing I was able to say to the little one was to tell him that even though I would not live with him for forever, I would most definitely love him for forever.

So he just looked at me and grinned. 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Quadratic Static O'Matic

I pattern my decisions or conclude future outcomes based on completely circumstantial occurrences. 
For example, when I am driving down my favourite road, I always think to myself, "If, when I turn this last curve, I meet a car coming in the other direction, I will ___________ or ___________ will happen."

I used to think that I was completely alone in doing this until I saw the movie "A Very Long Engagement." Obviously I am not the only one because someone had to think of the concept for that movie, seems to me. 

I also count throughout my day. I count how many steps it takes me to reach a destination, how many times someone says the same word in a sentence, or how many of one item are left on a shelf at a supermarket. 
I have also been known to count out my days based on what I have to do. I break down my day into a list (Keyword: ctrl-shift-"I'm a sucker for anything involving lists") and count each thing off after it has been completed. My day then becomes less of a - shall we say - Monday, than it does a list with sub-points and bullets. 

I'm feeling like a Karma Police subtext.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Letter Of Complaint

I was commissioned to write this complaint letter for some friends after their plans to visit me in Germany fell through due to a certain airline and its penchant for HIGHWAY ROBBERY.
And we're talking the type of highway robbery that doesn't leave one for dead; rather, leaves one wishing they were dead after having one's lunch money emptied from their pockets in front of all the mean kids that are still too big to beat up.
But mark my words, ONE DAY....

To Whom It May Or May Not Concern,

I have always sworn by RyanAir. Truthfully, there is no other airline on which one can arrive, relatively unscathed, at the final destination despite the fellow, flanking, drunken passengers, receive absolutely no form of sustenance with which to keep one's blood sugar from reaching dangerously low levels, and simultaneously purchase a teddy bear sporting the airline's logo in efforts to be left alone and avoid being pestered further to buy overpriced merchandise. 

But it's the initial ticket price, you see. 
It's akin to experiencing the Shakina Glory when one realizes that the possibility of traveling to see loved ones MIGHT actually be possible with an actual budget of We-Eat-Beans-And-Rice-Three-Times-A-Day. In all sincerity, the prices that RyanAir offers from the onset during a ticket search are almost sinful - they are really that appealing. 

Which is why I would imagine that 4.5 in 4.5 people have probably fallen for the same run-around that I was handed yesterday when I purchased my tickets to Frankfurt, Germany.

The starting price (I say STARTING) of 16 English Pounds for two tickets seemed really too good to be true but hey, I thought, it's RyanAir and, looking on the upside, if there is a souvenir that I can't find in Germany, I can probably find its equivalent on board? Sure why not. I had nothing to lose. 
The world was my oyster. 
I was walking on sunshine.


After being smacked with an additional 19 Pounds for NOT carrying on any luggage.....Actually I would like to address that matter for just a moment.

It does not take a rocket scientist to ascertain that being charged for NOT adding any additional weight to an aircraft by NOT carrying on luggage would be just a teensy bit questionable: a concept of addition based on subtraction. 
It makes the idea of inhaling the equivalent of 19 Pounds worth of steak dinners directly before takeoff, one right after the other, rather appealing simply because then I would feel like I was bringing something along for which I had actually paid.

But that's no matter, right? The total still came to a whopping 35 Pounds and that still beats any other beverage-serving airline so I decided to ignore my complete and total confusion as a result of my lack of extra luggage and to push forward. 

But after realizing that the chosen dates for travel were not, in fact, compatible with my host's schedule, I made the call to RyanAir in order to make my inquiries regarding the cost to have a flight changed. 

96 Pounds.

I believe that really says it all but, if the morning coffee has not quit kicked in, I shall be glad to spell this out.

Allow me:


This instance of Near Heart Failure was quickly followed by Red Red Rage. I'll try to explain:

Permit me to throw a hypothetical situation out here.

Let's say that you have this friend. This friend decides to purchase something over the Internet, the World Wide Web. This friend then comes to the portion of the story in which payment, an exchange of goods, must be made. Due to the fact that we, as consumers, are still lacking a handy little device attached to our computers in which we can slide money and kiss it goodbye on its way into cyberspace, what would you recommend to your friend that he or she do?

Let's say that I'm your friend. We're friends, right? Golly, I hope so. Well, regardless of our relationship, you'd probably recommend to me that I pay with a debit card. That's what I would recommend to my friends.

Then comes the Clincher. A 19-Pounder Clincher and I'm not talking about a fish either.

No. I'm talking about 19 Pounds for the use of a debit card.
I couldn't believe it either. But it's true.
19 Pounds for the use of a debit card.

I don't know who gets that 19 Pounds but I want to be the person that does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and receives 19 Pounds every time someone use a debit card for an online payment simply because they have. no other. choice.
The analogy comes to mind of having my hands tied by force, being blindfolded and then made to pay for the fact that I was just tied-up and blindfolded when I had absolutely no say in the matter in the first place.
There are much better ways to enjoy being tied-up and blindfolded that people actually do pay for but I'm largely certain it has nothing to do with airline tickets.

That being said, I would only recommend using a debit card to someone if I truly and sincerely hated them considering the existence of a 19-Pound fee for the use of said debit card - because that's just mean-spirited. 

Surely you can then understand that I somehow feel that someone hates me.

And surely you can understand that I just don't darken the doorways where I'm not wanted.

Cheers, RyanAir.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Week Rundown

1.) One complete missed night of sleep.  
1a.) Which, people, is the life of a student and, may I remind you, the life which I am looking to one day regain. 
1b.) One fleeting realization of my own impending insanity (see 1a).

2.) One failed German language assessment test in an effort to start Master's studies at university this winter.
2a.) One complete and total lack of surprise considering the number of native speakers standing outside chain smoking and wringing their hands in sheer terror because they were wigging out about the difficulty of the test.
2b.) One admittedly ridiculous test but nothing more than a Test To Test How Well You Take Tests and a Test That Is Obviously Testing My Resolve To Try Again.

3.) One weeping mother. 
3a.) One reason being that I called the aforementioned mother in tears and gave her the news surrounding the aforementioned test, 
3b.) but really the main one reason being that, upon her mentioning that I should consider looking for a job overseas from the comfort of the family home in Virginia, I might have maybe did it is possible let's not rule out the likelihood that I went mildly BERSERK.

4.) One apology to aforementioned mother for being a total assclown.
4a.) One "Aw hey it's cool" exchanged between mother and daughter. 

5.) One *sharp intake of breath* followed quickly by one "Hate to tell you this" in regards to the job that I wanted with a fashion company in Berlin due to one missing work visa or (translation) one that never existed. 

6.) One invitation to come to Berlin and be assessed for an English Teaching Position over the weekend.
6a.) One writer of this blog that might have maybe did it is possible let's not rule out the likelihood that she went mildly BERSERK.
6b.) One lack of Raised Hopes which was quickly replaced with one Warm Blanket Of Cynicism in regards to No. 6 as a result of having already experienced Nos. 2 and 5.

7.) One conversation with a friend in which the writer of this blog was reminded of the best punching bag for her frustrations, excluding all of the following:
- mothers that are trying to be helpful
- toddlers that are trying to be helpful
- friends that are trying to be helpful
- random neighbours that are trying to be helpful
- anyone not included in this list that is trying to be helpful
7a.) One sweet sweet sigh of relief because it. really. could have. gotten. bad.