October 13, 2010

Frustrations & Misunderstandings, Attack of the Cluster Flies, Return Flights, and the Root of All Evil

It would be an understatement to say that I’ve spent the last few days in kind of  a funk. I’ve been all off center – dreading days spent with my au pair family, resenting my host-mom, missing home and wanting to go back – and, as a result, have been acting very much the part of a recluse and staying well contained within the four walls of my attic bedroom. I think that most of this had to do with the fact that I was stressed out about money stuff (what else is new?!) and that I was having that horrible monthly affliction known to and cursed by most, if not all, woman (and probably men, too).

Things around the house have been somewhat stressed. Relations with my host-mom have made me a little stressed but that’s to be expected when you’re dealing with cultural differences and misunderstandings and especially so since I’m living in this woman’s house and have to go by her rules. Pretty normal au pair concerns, I suppose. There’s a lot of stuff that bothers me but it’s not very professional or moral of me to complain about my employer on a public blog. It’s human, normal, expected to have complaints but… you know, unprofessional. I’ve thought about this a lot lately and I really wouldn’t want a potential job (or this job, even!) jeopardized because a future prospective employer was concerned that I might bad mouth them on my blog. I suppose I should just try to talk to her about it but I don’t even know where to start! So, I’ll try to cut the her some slack and if you’re in my real life posse or if you’re my Skype or Facebook friend, consider yourself blessed (or not!) when I use you as a vessel for venting my frustrations.

Anyway, on to bigger and better things. Or not. There is a cluster fly infestation in my ceiling. On a daily basis I vacuum up about 40 flies. I swear they’re all just flying around inside my vacuum bag having an annoying pest party. Cluster flies (I Googled them!) don’t really do anything other than come in through your window and roof on warm winter days and then hang out on your sunny window panes, they’re not really bothering me but they’re just GROSS. They’re doing this activity in the hallway just outside my room by the stairs so I have to walk by them a million times a day. And at night, they all die and RIP on the floor so when it’s dark and I’m not thinking about them, I step on little fly carcasses. Nobody should have to do that. Hopefully they’ll leave. But I don’t think they will. It’s a winter thing. Hopefully we can get an exterminator up in here and flush them out.

I’ve added a new skill set to my resume: gardener. On Monday and Tuesday I spent a few hours raking leaves and bagging them. It wasn’t so bad because I had my iPod and good playlists but it’s just annoying because I’m going to have to do it at least twice more because fall isn’t over just yet. I should have raked all of the leaves into one big pile and jumped into it but I wasn’t feeling very young at heart, I guess. Hopefully we get a really windy day and all the leaves fall off the trees at one time. But then what would I have to take pictures of? Naked trees, I guess!

In future news, I bought my return ticket to California yesterday. $530 for a June 20th return to Los Angeles. Five days after my contract ends and three days before my au pair visa expires. It would be really nice to be able to travel the world after my au pair gig or even live in Munich and live some cool and fancy European lifestyle but, if the last four months are any indication of my financial status and worries for the coming eight months, then I’m in no position to extend my stay. I really need to head home and get my shit together. I have student loans and credit cards and personal IOUs to attend to. I need to work on a car loan and saving up for an apartment. I guess I just need a real life? Hey, everybody has to start somewhere and I’m glad I did this before I tried to take on reality. Because now that I’ve actually done it, it is more likely that I will return. And even if I don’t, then at least I did it and here I am and I’m going to enjoy it as best as I can and live my fancy au pair life to its highest potential. Starting with a practical budget and a bit of a semi-prohibition lifestyle. Less beer = more money. Because if I’m not drinking but still going clubbing with my friends, I’m only paying for the cover charge and not an additional 10 EUR for some overpriced drinks. I can do it. I swear. I will.

Money, money, money. You are the root of all evil. Without horribly suffocating my everyday experiences here, I also need to save money and budget for my (maybe!) birthday trip to Italy next month, my winter trip to England for the New Year, Lauren’s visit to Munich in early January, a higher level language course in February, a two week Eurotrip (I’m thinking Ireland, Scotland, France, and Belgium!) in the spring, and, of course, the constant budgeting of credit card and medical bill payments and my 44 EUR train ticket every month. Oy vey! Wish me luck.

To relieve stress (and it’s been working!) I’ve been going on jogs and walks nearly everyday this week. Every morning at 8:15 I put on my coat and my gloves and turn on my iPod and I venture into the English Gardens. I try to keep a consistent jog to walk ratio by jogging through every other song but some days I just don’t have the energy and I jog the beginning and end of the adventure and walk through the middle. Haha. My favorite part about these morning walk/jogs (wogs!) are the dogs. Dogs are plentiful here in Munich and especially so in the English Gardens. And they are incredibly well behaved. Hardly any dogs walk on leashes and they never bark or run up to you. They’re incredible. Today I witnessed two dogs who thought they were man enough to carry sticks five times their size as they walked along with their owners. And one dog, a Newfoundland, I believe, was walking behind me with his human as I headed home and he was just la-di-da walking along with this MASSIVE stick in his mouth as if it were just another day in the life. Ha. It was so cute. I’ve never wanted a dog so bad until I lived here and when I can afford and take care of one, I’m definitely getting on and then turning to German methods of dog training for its proper upbringing. Haha.

Speaking of animals… here’s the only picture I can provide in this blog entry today, coming to you from last Friday. Eric was petsitting some cool cats (not people, Brittany! ha) and this feline dude got to share my wine with me. Actually, no. We didn’t give him any. But obviously he was interested.


And that’s all, folks!

Just kidding. I just wanted to shout out to my darling girl, Chelsea (aka CHESTY!), for always answering the phone when I call her at 3 in the morning. My time, not hers. I really appreciate your company from 3 hundred million miles away. I love you!


Ellen said...

Interesting observation about German dogs. I'd be interested in knowing what training method they use. And I love the picture!

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