Mafling in Berlin

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The stress factor

Having had two months preparation time for this interview for a job as a choreography lecturer I was probably the most prepared I have ever been for anything. Now having been through the four hour ordeal I realise that perhaps I need two years for the next one to be able to understand what's going on here........and that is not because of my language skills.
I felt like I had travelled back to the 1930s as an alien. There were only 5 students in the class. "What is this contemporary dance thing"I kept expecting them to say. With 10 people on the panel watching me teach everything felt decidedly unbalanced. No real introduction to anyone, no directions to the changing room or toilets so I had to ask a student and no offer of a drink or anything for that matter. Am I being demanding here or is this the way it's done? I am trying to fit in honest.
So, I started teaching and struggled with getting the cd player to work. Luckily I'd taken some music just incase the musician was ill. After all I was supposed to have a musician, and later while they were quizzing me about my choice of music I had nothing to say beyond.............."well, you said in the brief that I would have a musician so the choice of music was totally random"..........'there was a musician', they said. Am I totally mad or did that piano have an invisible pianist sitting at?
Anyway, the whole experience got decidely more confusing as I was meant to give feedback on one of the students dance works which consisted of her and her notebook telling me about what she planned to do but with no dance or dancers in sight. "Well it all sounds very clear to me" was all I could manage to stutter infront of the panel of ten, "but usually I would give feedback on something that exists". After four hours I was desperate to get out and hobbled away with a bad foot which later discovered was a stress appropriate.
So that was my interview and even though I haven't heard yet, I definately didn't get the job, if there was actually a job going and I'm hobbling about with blue crutches thinking it's definately time for me to open my own place and find my own imaginary musician.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007


Spent last week by the sea with the lovely Elf in Northern Germany where everything seems to be a palace and the locals do weird things. Jumping into the sea in minus temperatures is perhaps a normal weekend activity here?! Anyway this was our flat for the week so I definately felt like Rebecca at Manderley. The sea was frozen at the edges and it snowed and covered the sand.....the first time in 40 years I have ever seen that. So we ran in and out of waves, in our wellies of course and I contemplated a life full of windy weather, hot chocolates and big waves.

Monday, January 22, 2007

calling all recipes....

Does anyone know of a fail safe recipe, quick to cook, for eight people, one of whom can't eat wheat or dairy, and ends up looking fairly impressive. I can't cook Indian again, can I? Nothing on the web is inspiring me............and need something for tomorrow.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Yesterday reading the morning Newspaper which stated " Hurricane heading across germany" I got ready to turn into Dorothy, get everyone inside, remove potential flying objects from balcony and find a good place to watch 'The Storm'. I have always loved storms ever since my Gran told me about her fear of them when she used to open the front and back doors to let the thunderbolt through and crawl under the concrete paving slab in her pantry. I have often wondered how and why she did this although she never did elaborate. I couldn't understand how anyone could not be excited by the noise, the lights, the wind; but then I have never known real weather fear such as a Tsunami or a Twister. Though neither had she.......though perhaps WW2 had something to do with it. If I had lived through such fear then I might have spent yesterday in our suitably equiped Deutsche cellar.
Instead, above ground I became quite fascinated and excited by the days events as parents were told to pick children up from school early and everyone was advised to stay in, don't delay, do not travel and WAIT. Even the so called 24 hour shop across the road started packing up at 4pm.......unheard of. So The Elf and I did just that and yes the trees did get a little windy although we waited in anticipation at the window for an extraordinary event to occur. One flash of lightning and all was quiet. How does one explain the concepts of Hurricanes to an 8 year old after that?
However this morning I am convinced that it just didn't visit our street as I read the papers about the destruction and chaos it caused, even here in Berlin. The biggest storm in Europe for 20 years.(mmmmmmm)
It is now well into the New Year and it is time for me to begin on one New year's resolution, ' To start analysing my Dad's 50 years of daily weather recordings' and not rely on unreliable German weather predictions for my excitement.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Why is it....

.......that when one has all the time in the world, nothing happens and then suddenly out of the air when one has filled one's nothing time with enough self-development to fill 24 hours a day that jobs, people, activities, parties etc fly in at the same time from all directions? As a result I have spent the last week applying for a job at theHochschule für Schauspieler kunst 'Ernst-Busch Berlin. Yes exactly! I can't even say it's name so not much hope for the job I think, but as it was the only suitable job to appear since living here in the last year thought it wise to apply. Think I might need to improve my German though seeing as I couldn't understand a word of the letter that the F so kindly wrote for me.
Aswell as this I have been meeting some interesting types through some private shiatsu and yoga sessions. Berlin seems to be full of struggling artists and little else, all needing to chill out and get some sleep. So hopefully this can become my new career here. Keep finding myself giving out weird pieces of advice, but maybe this is still the language problem. Zum beispiel: I think you need to wear socks in bed to help you sleep..... and was that a bladder or a back problem? Anyway, I seem to be getting by, just about, but have permanently sweaty palms when I have to try and make myself understood. Thought I would be fluent by now ( ha ha). Those books that say you can learn a language in three months are talking complete and utter rubbishness......30 years perhaps.Yesterday we worked out that The F has been learning English for 37 years which means I will be a really good German speaker by the age of 76. Cool !! Can't wait!
Will also be doing a bit of work here it seems so need to claim a bit of Hausfrau status back before I become completely fulltime. Oh no, help don't want that.
Back to Goethe until Christmas with Hilda......fabulous woman teaching me lots of new words and letting us all make hundreds of mistakes without shouting. The class is, as usual a mixed geographical bunch including, Bolivia, Korea, The Ukraine, Syria, America, Switzerland, Japan and Nepal and me being the UK contingent which makes for somewhat heated discussions, but more about that next time.......

Monday, October 16, 2006

The new Nachbar

It was a relatively normal weekend until I spotted our new neighbour. Should I befriend him or direct him to the airport?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rollerblade Berlin

:) I hope I am a bit better than this before the next marathon.

Monday, October 09, 2006

My new sport

Last month I left the house one calm Sunday and came face to face with 5000 rollerskaters wizzing passed. The Elf and I stood transfixed partly because we were unable to cross the street and after twenty minutes I had become completely hooked and vowed to be part of the Rollschuhe marathon next year. It looks like the most exciting thing to do ever! No, I have never even been on a pair of rollerskates but after my intensive rollerskaing research on the web I have discovered that it is the sport of the moment and there seem to be inline skating rinks all over berlin. The only problem is I have no idea what a beginner roller skater is called.......

Kurbis mania

Germany's answer to Halloween starts on the first of October and everything turns very quickly into a pumpkin and stays that way for a month. As we were in London this time last year we managed to avoid the Kurbis fest and avoid the takeover of our street by Kurbis people selling pumpkins in all shapes, sizes and manners. Every restaurant in the area also starts to whip up a pumpkin frenzy offering pumpkin in every dish, with everything from pumpkin pasta to pumpkin juice?? All one can do is go with the flow and swing a few pumpkins over the shoulder and hope soon that we can walk down the street without being overwhelmed by Kurbisness.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Word of the week.......Referral.

As I am soon approaching the big, oh so big birthday I have felt inclined this week to get everything checked. Don't know why? Perhaps my brain is telling me that once we reach that 4th decade everything physical will start to fall apart and one will be too old for jobs, so need to stay healthy because of a lack of funds to get ill with. Anyway, I am now officially Ms Uberweisung. The German health system is very good but fills up your life with paperwork and prevents you from having the time to find a job. First one must go to a 'normal' doctor to get an Uberweisung( or in my case 7) to go see another doctor. This is for everything, even for a cold. I spent the WHOLE of last week, collecting these pieces of paper and making appointments to see other doctors, and learning along the way. For a cold you see an ear, nose and throat specialist and for a headache a brain surgeon, it seems. I am totally confused and feel that I may need to become a doctor myself in order to know which specialist you see for which ailment.
Anyway the trip to the gyno was an interesting one, but I won't go into details, except just to say that I am a convert to specialists:) So this is what an Abstrich should be like. Not all that fumbling, agony with an English nurse, who never knows which object to use, let alone where to put it.
So I am feeling very well thankyou, except for my back which has decided to pack up for awhile............and then oh no, there are all the alternative therapies to go into. That's my job for next week then.
If you want the weirdest experience ever, go and try craniosacral therapy........ha ha. Back feels great but think I've officially left the planet.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Are we aliens?

My task of the day is, after very little sleep due to the snoring, juddering Mr F, to write an essay on the human beings relation to the Infinite Cosmic Consciousness and Ultimate reality. Phew! Think I need to go back to bed first in order to have enough brain power to tackle this one. I thought this yoga training was going to be easy.......didn't think I'd have to ponder over the worlds existence. According to my research so far everything is an illusion anyway so maybe I should just go back to bed and I won't even notice. Have 8 more assignments to complete before my practical in November which is unfortunately not an illusion. How did anyone ever function before the internet?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

If only.......

The Elf had her school summer fair today, and even though it is no longer summer here I was totally blown away by the talent of some 16 year old boy born to be a popstar, with his Blur like tendencies. It is true that this youngster needs a haircut and perhaps a new band but performance talent he certainly has. Were we like this at 16? I think not. I didn't even know what the word talent meant and was sipping hot chocolate at 9pm and revising for physics A level under the bedcovers. It is definitely time to grow my hair long and rediscover some hidden musical talent. Where did I pack my drums? Now is the time to buy myself a new piano. If anyone wants an old crappy one look on eBay..........going cheap for 30 euros
Goodnight. I am off in search of my ambition and youthful talent. You might not hear from me for months. Got to practice, no time for idle chat. xx

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


In the last few weeks I have become quite addicted to this. Everytime I go to this strange new yoga phenomenon called Bikram yoga I think of the Shark and how much she would dislike this class! It involves doing yoga in a room that is a minimum temperature of 34 degrees so that you just have to walk into the room to start sweating, let alone move and I am truly addicted. The cold Berlin winter approaches fast and I know exactly where I'm going to be spending most of my days. I should easily be a yogi by Christmas.....
If anyone's interested look here