Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Auf Deutsch, und auf Englisch.

Just while I think about it - here are some fun phrases in German.

Auf DeutschRough TranslationAuf Englisch
Drachen steigen lassenTo let dragons climbFly kites
Es ist in die Hose gegangenIt has gone in the pantsIt is broken/screwed/f'd etc...

Hmmm...turns out that the word for Dragons and Kites is the same in German. Guess they got that one from the Japanese who fly Dragon Kites all the time.

There is also another ripper phrase that I heard last night. It is something about biting yourself on the arse, and it means that you are really mad.

Ah, I just found it on this page.

Auf DeutschRough TranslationAuf Englisch
Ich habe mich in den Arsch gebissenI have bitten myself in the arseTo be angry at yourself

Back to doing my study now.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I HAVE A JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I HAVE A JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well assuming I am given a work permit I do. WV offered me the job today!!

I am meant to start Feb 1



Thursday, January 19, 2006

Chillin' with the King of Norway

That is the castle of the King of Norway. Unlike Buckingham Palace, or any of the American Embassies, you can get within about 15 meters of the building before encountering any kind of fence. Even then, it is only a single chain that is about half-way up your shin.
That being said, the two REALLY COLD looking guys standing outside those litte hut things, with guns, would probably stop you if you tried to knock on the door and leave a bag of burning dog poo on the door step.

This pic was taken at about 7pm, in -6°C weather. It has been snowing here for the last 2 days solid.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Good luck!

So Belinda has her interview with WV today, and I am stuck in Oslo, Norway. I wish I could be there to give her a big hug and wish her good luck, but a phone call will have to do for now. I hope that she reads this and knows that regardless of how the interview goes, I still love her.

That is all.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Stamp collecting

Today I became a stamp collector.

Picture this - you arrive at the airport to fly to Norway. You successfully check-in, and decide that you want to spend some quality time in the Star Alliance Gold Lounge before your flight, which is in about 2 hrs time. Your flight is leaving from B13, so you head in the direction of the B gates.

You pass through the boarding pass check, security screening (including special bomb screening because you are carrying a small Ethernet switch), and follow the signs to the B gates and the Lounge.

You come across passport control, and pass through it without batting an eyelid, because you are flying to somewhere outside the EU, collecting a nice "You have left Germany" stamp for your troubles. You then find the Gold Lounge and have some food, some coffee, and some Apfelschorle.

About 40min before boarding, you decide to leave the lounge and head to the gate, via the duty free shops (just to have a look). Strange thing is that the signs to YOUR B gate points back through passport control (B1-B19), but all the other B gates don't. You are a little confused.

Anyway, you don't question the sign, so you head back through passport control, collect ANOTHER stamp in your passport, along with a strange look from the passport control policewoman when she scans your passport...guess she could see that I only left Germany 1hr ago. Then you head down a hall, around the corner, around another corner, and you are facing the security control again. ????

So, again you pass through the security control, and start following the signs to the B gates. A strange sense of deja vu passes over you as you see passport control looming ahead of you. WTF?!?!?

You then notice, on your right hand side before passport control are 3 small gates, B11-B13. Guess I didn't need to go through passport control in the first place, huh? That is, unless I wanted to use the Gold Lounge.



PS: Greetings from Oslo, Norway.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Brr its cold out there

So after being here for, what, three months(?) we forgot the Sunday rule again today. (For those who have been reading awhile you may remember that the Sunday rule is that nothing is open here on Sundays.)

I just ventured out in this -6 weather to try and hire a DVD. After nearly freezing while scraping the windscreen I remembered half way there that it wouldn't be open!!!!

Oh well, I did a perfect parallel park when I came back home (on the wrong side of the car)!!

The forecast for today was a low of -7 and a high of -2. Brrrrrrr. It is going to be like this all week I think :-( and I have no Brett to keep me warm, as he is in Norway all week.

So think warm thoughts for us.

The Awful German Language

On our second or third language lesson, our teacher gave us a book by Mark Twain called "The Awful German Language" - and now I am living it. My German lesson today covered a part of the German Grammar that Twain also found frustrating, so I want to capture some of it for you.

Nouns in German have genders - something which is foreign to us native English speakers. As an example, let's talk about a table. In German, "the table" happens to be masculine - der Tisch.

So, now if I told you that the German word for "on" can be translated as "auf" (sometimes), how would you think you would say "on the table"? If you chose auf der Tisch you would be unfortunately wrong. If a book was currently lying on the table, it would be auf dem Tisch.

That's all well and good, unless I want you to take something and put it on the table for me. Then I would have to instruct you to put the thing auf den Tisch.

Confused yet? Unfortunately that isn't the end of it either. If I had a chair (der Stuhl) that belonged to the table, then it becomes der Stuhl des Tisch, or even der Stuhl von dem Tisch.

A little confusing, huh?


PS: That being said, I am enjoying learning this language. The cool thing is, if I get it wrong then nobody really cares - they still understand you. But, if I get it right, then you get a lot of really impressed looks and stuff. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

My Haircut - A posting for Tansy

Lieber Tansy.

Heute habe ich einen Bus zur Stadtmitte erreicht, um einen Haarschnitt zu erhalten. Letztes Mal hat meine Friseuse mit mir auf English gesprochen. Dieses Mal arbeitet sie nicht, also mußte ich eine andere Friseuse benutzen. Meine neue Friseuse hat keine English gesprochen, deshalb mußte ich mit ihr nur auf Deutsch sprechen. Ich hat viele Angst.
Als fragst sie wie meine Haare zu scheiden, dann ich mußte auf Deutsch antworten. Ich habe gesagt "Ich mag meine Haare auf der Seite und Hinter mit die Machine schneiden - etwa 5 bis 7mm, und dann so lang oben. Ich stehe es auf." Sie hat mich verstanden, und ich denke, daß sie eine gute Arbeit getan hat.

Ich hoffe, daß du diesen Brief lesen, und daß er dir gefällt.

Bis zum nächste Mal,

Now, here is Google's attempt at translating what I wrote:

Dear Tansy.

Today I reached a bus to the city center, in order to receive a crop. Last mark spoke my hairdresser with me on English. This mark does not work it, therefore I had to use another hairdresser. My new hairdresser did not speak English, therefore I had to speak with it only on German. I has many fear.
As she asks like my hair to separate, then I had to German to answer. I said "I may my hair on the side and behind with the Machine cut - about 5 to 7mm, and then so long above. I rise it." She understood me, and I think that they do a good work have.

I hope that you read this letter, and that he pleases you.

Up to next time,

And here's what I think I wrote:

Dear Tansy,

Today I caught a bus to the middle of town to get a haircut. Last time my hairdresser spoke to me in English. This time she was not working, so I had to use another hairdresser. My new hairdresser spoke no English, therefore I had to speak to her only in German. I was pretty scared.
When she asked me how to cut my hair, then I had to answer in German. I said "I like my hair cut with the clippers on the side and back - about 5 to 7mm, and so long on top. I stand it up." She understood me, and I think she did a good job.

I hope that you read this letter, and that it pleases you.

Until next time,

Monday, January 09, 2006

Belindas Geburtstag

On her birthday, I took Belinda to France to ski at Gérardmer. Gérardmer is a small mountain - only about 20 runs - that is about 2hrs from the Germany/France border.

On the way there we encountered our first entertainment for the day. The Autobahn (say it with a French accent) that we were on decided to have roadworks on it. This wasn't too much of a problem because there were Deviation (again with the accent) signs directing us off the Autobahn onto some smaller roads.
What would have been really nice would have been if the detour signs continued after that...but they didn't. Instead they just direct you off the main road, onto some smaller roads, and then don't bother telling you where to go from there.
"Shouldn't be too much of a problem", I hear you say, "You have navigation!". Sure, but the frickin' navigation kept trying to navigate us back onto the closed Autobahn. She even tried to direct us back onto the Autobahn when we were on a road that crossed it...about 50m below where the Autobahn went over our heads on a bridge. So, this is roughly how it went...

Her: Nach rechts abbiegen (Now turn right)
Her: Wenn möglich, bitte wenden. (If/when possible, please turn around)
Us: And you expect us to do this on a dinky, one lane country road???
Her: Wenn möglich, bitte wenden. (If/when possible, please turn around)
Us: SHUT UP!!!!
Her: Wenn möglich, bitte wenden. (If/when possible, please turn around)
Us: Fine! (Turns around)
Her: Nach 300m, links abbiegen. (After 300m, turn left)
Us: Screw you!

Eventually we found some signs that directed us to a town that was on our way, so we followed them...and after about 1/2hr we rejoined the Autobahn. Alles gut.

Finally, after driving through a foggy, snow-covered mountain range, without snow chains (we think the signs said that we needed them...but we don't speak French), we reached Gérardmer.

This place kinda reminds me of Bear Valley in California, because it is so small and cute. Matty - You should really try out Bear Valley one day. It is dirt cheap, and a shit load of fun.

Because it was Belinda's birthday, and because my skis were being serviced, I hired Snowblades for the day (try doing that when you don't speak French...and they all say they don't speak English...). I think the blades were €8 to hire for the day...nearly broke the bank! And then adding the €22 lift ticket to it...don't think we will be able to eat this week!

The first couple of runs were a little shakey for me, as I never seriously rode these things before. Because the damn things were so short, I kept trying to walk in them when I got off the lift...not a good idea!

After that, I started to get the hang of the little bastards, and actually had a fun day. By 16:30 our legs were absolute toast, and it was starting to get dark, so we packed up and headed home. A day on those dinky shit-sticks did make me realise how good Belinda is at riding them though - her legs weren't nearly as tired as mine.

(Ok, they just showed some guy accidentally pissing on his shoes on TV...)

Remember that trouble we had on the way there? Well double or triple it on the way home as the car kept trying to direct us through a tunnel that was closed. The signs were even worse this time, and we ended up horribly lost. Luckily, after a number of U-turns, Belinda spotted a lot of lights off to our right, and we found our way back to the Autobahn...and eventually home.

Anyway, here are a few pics of Gérardmer:

Schön, oder?


Ich brauche ein Überlebenspaket!

Ok, I am sorely in need of a musical survival package! You know things are getting bad when you start singing along to Westlife, Shania Twain, Sugarbabes, etc... What I really need is all the JJJ Hottest 100 CDs that have ever come into existence, and I need them BAD!

Repeat after me:
Triple J good
Pussycat Dolls bad
Triple J good
Westlife bad

I'm busy throwing hints that he keeps missing
Don't have to think about it
I Wanna kiss and
Everything around it but he's too distant
I wanna feel his body
I can't resist it

I know my hidden looks can be deceiving
But how obvious should a girl be?
I was taken by the early conversation piece
And I really like the way that he respected me

I've been waiting patiently for him to come and get it
I wonder if he knows that he can say it and I'm with it
I knew I had my mind made up from the very beginning
Catch this opportunity so you and me could feel it 'cos

If you're ready for me boy
You'd better push the button and let me know
Before I get the wrong idea and go
You're gonna miss the freak that I control

I'm busy showing him what he's been missing
I'm kind of showing off for his full attention
My sexy ass has got him in the new dimension
I'm ready to do something to relieve this mission

After waiting patiently for him to come and get it
He came on through and asked me if I wanted to get with him
I knew I had my mind made up from the very beginning
Won't miss this opportunity so you and me could feel it 'cos

If you're ready for me boy
You'd better push the button and let me know
Before I get the wrong idea and go
You're gonna miss the freak that I control

If you're ready for me boy
You'd better push the button and let me know
Before I get the wrong idea and go
You're gonna miss the freak that I control

I've been dropping so many hints
You're still not getting it
Now that you’ve heard everything I have to say
Where we gonna go from here?

After waiting patiently for him to come and get it
He came over and asked me if I wanted to get with him
I knew I had my mind made up from the very beginning
Won't miss this opportunity so you and me could feel it 'cos

If you're ready for me boy
You'd better push the button and let me know
Before I get the wrong idea and go
You're gonna miss the freak that I control

If you're ready for me boy
You'd better push the button and let me know
Before I get the wrong idea and go
You're gonna miss the freak that I control
(I control)

If you're ready for me boy
(For me boy)
You'd better push the button and let me know
Before I get the wrong idea and go
(Oh, oh)
You're gonna miss the freak that I control

Ohhhhhhhh Ohhhhh Ohhhhhh

That, my friends, is solid gold SHIT!


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Unser Ofen ist geschmolzen!

Don't worry if you don't understand the title. Even if you could, you wouldn't believe it! In English it is Our oven has melted! Let me explain.

So, inside our oven is the grill. We were making some tortilla things for dinner, and we had to grill them with some cheese on them in the oven first. We did the first lot, and then wanted to eat them before they went cold. So we left the oven door open, with the grill on, and went to eat the first lot.
After a few mins we came back to make the second lot. I was putting them in the oven and thought that a black hair was hanging down from the knobs, obscuring my view. I followed the "black hair" upwards and saw this:

That's right - you can see a big hole in the knob on the left, and little drippy things on the knob on the right. Before dinner, neither of these not-so-natural features were there. How does one explain this to one's landlords? Especially when one's landlords don't speak English? How come this never happened when we did the same thing in Australia and America?

PS: Sorry for the quality of the picture... Taking a good picture was the least of my concerns at the time.


Burg Frankenstein

Belinda and I took a quick trip up to the ruins of Burg Frankenstein today. The trip was quick because it was damn cold up there, and also not so much of the castle remains.
Burg Frankenstein is only about 15mins from our house, so we can take you there when you come over to visit! :)


Mmmmm...Kaffee.... :)

Der beste Kaffee in Deutschland ... kommt aus meiner Küche! :)

Mmmmm...er schmeckt lecker!

It is a real struggle to find a good cup of coffee in Germany. Every time I order one it is too weak. I could ask for it "stark", but I never get up the guts to make my order more complicated than Ich möchte einen (Milch)Kaffee, bitte. Luckily my Krups machine turned up in our shipment from Australia, so now I can make good coffee in my own kitchen (using Fair Trade coffee, of course! (You all know what Belinda's like...)).

Tour de France

Am ersten Januar sind wir, mit unsere Freundin, nach Straßburg gefahren. Straßburg ist eine französische Stadt mit einem deutschen Namen, und sie is etwa 0,5 Stunde von die Deutschland/Frankreich Grenze. In Straßburg gibt es viel Hundedreck auf dem Fußweg. Es ist nicht so nett. :)

On the first of January we drove to Strasbourg with our friend. Strasbourg is a French city with a German name, and it is about 1/2hr from the Germany/France border. In Strasbourg there is a lot of dog shit on the footpath. It isn't so nice. :)

In the town square I stumbled across this arch...

Looks like the Tour de France will be starting in Strasbourg this year! (See the TDF website for more) Maybe I will have to jump in the car and drive down there for the start. Anyone want to join me?? :)