Seriously. So Much Easter

So Monday was spent not doing a fat lot. I really don’t remember what I did particularly. I assume tutoring prep like every week. Mondays are not the most interesting days.

In my first class on Tuesday, we sang a song about spring time and then the kids made a book out of a work sheet about eggs (because it’s Easter). It then turned out that neither of the other English teachers were in school, so I wasn’t needed for the rest of the day.

Tutoring was on Tuesday instead of Wednesday this week, because of reasons. The kids told me what happened in Fanastic Mr Fox, and we did some colouring and a wordsearch and it was generally fairly chilled. Then I pelted it home to get to the Café meeting on time.

My first lesson on Wednesday was cancelled because of an absent teacher. So in my second class I was in the class I’m not normally in, where we made Easter cards. My third class was also cancelled, and then my fourth class was making Easter cards again.

Thursday I did German with class 3/4c on the computers, which they proclaimed super easy, and I was actually, for once, inclined to agree with them. And thus ended the term. Which I’m super happy about, not because I hate school or anything, but 1) I need to catch up on sleep, and 2) it means I get to see Dad in two weeks.

Thursday afternoon, I actually went to the BC café not for a shift but to actually use it as a café, which was novel. And also pretty cool.

Friday, I forgot it was Good Friday, until Facebook reminded me, so I spent most of the day watching Game of Thrones series 1. Seeing as everyone seems to be talking about the new series which I can’t watch yet, I wanted to feel a little involved. Also, Game of Thrones.

Saturday, I realised an hour before all the shops closed that I actually needed to buy things in town, so got dressed in three minutes and legged it. Made it, bought things and then spent the rest of the day watching Game of Thrones series 2.

Easter Sunday I realised I had no Easter eggs. To get over that, I packed my suitcase, ‘cause I’m headed to Dresden tomorrow to see the ever lovely Manda. 


An Abundance of Easter

(Note: My internet is still down, hence this being super late. Apologies if anyone is desperate to find out how my week was.) 

So as I spent Monday travelling back form Bruges, my week begins on Tuesday. This week it was reading week at school, so there were lots of things going on, like book sales. And kids reading, everywhere. In my first class I talked about Easter, which included giving the kids a cadburys mini egg each. They thought that was fantastic, but what kids don’t like free chocolate. In my second and third class, we were doing about Easter as well. It basically boiled down to ‘do you have easter egg hunts?’, to which my reply of ‘well, I’m twenty so no’ went down fairly well.

I didn’t go to the BC Café meeting, because I super needed to catch on sleep from the weekend. Travelling’s tiring, yo!

Wednesday my first class had maths instead of English, because of the reading week (no, I don’t understand how that works either), but it meant I was helping in a class that already had a teacher and two teaching assistants. My second and third class was cancelled, because again, reading week, so I had a couple of hours of finishing off tutoring prep for that week. My final class were again doing about Easter. The easter rhyme they’re learning is ‘Easter eggs are yellow. Easter eggs are blue. Easter eggs are red and green. Here is one for you.’ It does not rhyme in German, as every class thus far has told me when they’ve translated it.

At tutoring we read a heavily edited version of Fantastic Mr Fox. I made them stop halfway through to do a wordsearch and both of them moaned so much, because they wanted to know what happened. That’s the first time they’ve ever wanted to do actual work over fun stuff. At the end of the lesson, Luka asked if he could borrow the book, so I let him. Whether or not he’ll get all the way through it, I’m not sure.

Thursday I got to help judge the reading competition. It kind of felt like being back in a listening exam, but at least for once, it wasn’t me being marked.

On Friday, all of my classes were doing Easter again, so there was much talk of easter eggs and chocolate, and not much else. Friday evening was the start of the BC Café’s birthday week, which began with an electroswing night. It was all kinds of fun, even if I didn’t do any dancing.

Saturday evening, I was out again, at a flat party. Again, lots of fun, but this time round, I did all of the dancing.

Then on Sunday I went to brunch at the BC Café, before leaving to spend the majority of the day bemoaning my lack of internet, especially as I was meant to be skyping England. Then in the evening I helped Therese translate something from German to English, which really hurt my brain. You would have thought I’d be better at this by now. 


In Bruges

Apologies for how long this post has been in coming. There’s a case of the mysteriously missing internet in Ilmenau at the moment, so if you see Sherlock Holmes, send him this way. 

I’d like to start this post by saying, that like most places, I only wanted to go to Bruges because of a work of fiction – namely the 2008 film In Bruges. I only know where Bruges even is because of the film (It’s in Belgium). However, last weekend Bruges suddenly had a much bigger draw, namely that two of my best friends were going to be there. 

They wanted code names in this blog, so say hi to Destiny and Pablo. 
Going to Bruges by train from Ilmenau was a trek and half, involving four trains and nine hours. What I learnt was that Germany is really big. Roughly seven hours of the trip was in Germany. Living in the Midlands in England means normally the longest I’m going to travel with in my own country is about four hours, unless I’m trying to take the train to Cornwall or something. It’s really hard to comprehend how big Germany must be. Anyway, after being asked if I spoke French a few times (Answer: no, not at all), I finally made it to Bruges. After Destiny and Pablo met me and took me to the hostel, we spent a couple of hours catching up till we realised it was going on one am and they’d been up since three. 
Saturday we had a wander round Bruges, did some shopping, generally caught up on each others lives. Bruges is very beautiful. The buildings all have crenellations and there’s flowers by the canals and it’s all a bit olde wordly, despite the fact that it has all of the shops you could ever want. Also a pasta place that was the best. Takeaway pasta for less than 5 euros that was really really good. Also free cheese. Free cheese will always makes things good. 
Happy Destiny and Pablo at the pasta place.
We were going to queue for the Belfry, but the queue was huge, so we went on a jaunt to the Königin Astrid Park, better known to fans of the film as the place with the alcoves. Or nooks and crannies, perhaps that’s a better word. We found no such places. Bang went our assassination plans. Then we went to Raamstraat (another place mentioned in the film) because we’re massive dorks, and it turns out it doesn’t look like it does in the film. But it is very pretty. 
There was a reason for them looking grumpy, but I don’t remember it…
Sunday we intended to get to the Belfrey when it opened. Instead the Tour of Flanders began from outside the Belfrey so we ended up at the Church of the Holy Blood first instead. It was beautiful. I think it’s possibly the prettiest church I’ve ever been in. We did not kiss the vial of Jesus’ blood, but we did kiss the frog statue outside in the square. A long standing tradition dating back all the way to 2012. We got some weird looks, especially when Pablo and Destiny made me kiss it again so they could get a picture. 
It did not turn into a prince.
After that we went to Belfrey and queued for what felt like forever, but was probably like half an hour. In that time we made friends with some English people, including two OAPs who then managed to walk up the Belfrey without dying at the top, like we did. The Belfrey gets very narrow and low at the top. I mean, seriously. I know in the film it’s played for laughs, but they’re not kidding around. Those tourists never would have got to the top. While we were up there, the bells started going, and played La Bamba. I kid you not. 
I have about ten billion photos of the Belfrey.
Post Belfrey we went on a wander, which took us through a market where we got very distracted by shiny things. We eventually ended up at a museum, that we thought was the museum we were looking for. After paying six euros for entry to a museum that was full of mostly dull things and one amusing picture, we realised it was not the museum we were looking for and went on our way. To the cathedral next door. Well, it could have been a church. What’s the difference between a cathedral and a church? Is it like a town and a city and you need a special charter from the queen to be a cathedral? Anyway, musings aside, this cathedral/church/whatever has the only Michelangelo work outside of Italy. It’s a statue of the Madonna and child. It’s alright. Looks like a Renaissance statue of Madonna and child. 
Pretty standard.
After Pablo and Destiny berated me for being a philistine and generally unappreciative of art, we got lunch where we made friends with the guy behind the counter, who informed us that the flag we’d liberated that morning from a fence at the start of the Tour of Flanders, was not the flag of Flanders, but in actuality was the flag of a right wing group who one could equate with the BNP. The flag was very hurriedly thrown in the bin. 
We walked to where we thought the chocolate museum was then realised it was actually on the other side of town. So then we walked to where it actually was. Free chocolate is always a plus and it was interesting, but I feel like no chocolate musuem is ever going to live up to Cadbury’s World. Sorry. 
The chocolate fairy – the tooth fairy’s arch enemy.
Post this, we went back to the hostel, fell asleep because we are pathetic, and then headed out in search of alcohol. We ended up at an Irish pub, and I have never been so aware of my accent. Well, except for when anyone points out that I’ve said “tuth-brush” not “tooth-brush”. 
Bruges at night
Monday we visited vintage shops and had ice cream. Pablo and Destiny had spaghetti ice cream, because Bruges has that. Four for you Bruges. You go, Bruges. And then we left. Headed out on a train to Brussels, where in a mix of German and English I was informed we were sat in first class and we had not paid for first class. And then I did the world’s longest journey* in reverse. 
So yes, Bruges. Is very pretty. Take friends (and maybe alcohol.) 
*Alright, that might be a slight exaggeration. 

Illness, Illness Everywhere

Monday was a day spent doing prep for lessons on Easter. This mainly involved finding pictures of Cadbury’s crème eggs and getting them printed off in town. I also whinged about having a cold, because I am a massive whinger, and what are colds for if not to be whinged about?

Tuesday I was at work, despite the fact I felt like my brain was made out of cotton wool. This meant thinking in German was harder than it normally was, and this was not helped by one of the kids having a tantrum because I said her name wrong. I try very hard to say people’s names right. It’s just difficult when the names are spelt the same as in English but pronounced differently. Michael as ‘mish-ay-el’ I can cope with because it’s very different. Saying ‘Ashley’ as ‘Eshley’ is a tad harder. But yes. Despite the cotton headedness, I taught both my classes about wild animals, fairly successfully. Although I’m not sure if the kids were playing up more than usual or if my temper was shorter than usual, because ill.

Wednesday I was at work, and in my first lesson, I was meant to be doing a lesson with one of the guys on placement. However, he’s been ill (are you sensing a theme here?) and although he was in school on Wednesday, his voice was basically non existent, so I did the lesson by myself. I accidentally put up a picture of a goose instead of a duck, but other than a couple of coughing fits and the kids laughing at my pronunciation of English words, it was alright.

As an aside, on both Tuesday and Wednesday kids laughed at my pronunciation of English words, and I think it’s because my voice is so much lower than usual at the moment, thanks to the aforementioned cold. What I don’t understand however, is why that’s funny. They’re laughing at words they’ve never heard before said by a native speaker. That’s like me laughing the first time I hear someone say Hörsaal (lecture theatre) or  Verkehrkreis (roundabout). Ah well.

Three quarters of the way through that lesson, the teacher insisted that I go home. I insisted that I was fine, and she told me that I looked ‘blass’ – a word I can only assume means ‘terribly terribly unwell’. (Sidenote: it actually means ‘pale’, but that’s not as interesting.) And then she sent me home. So the rest of Wednesday was spent half watching films and half sleeping. What an exciting life I lead.

Thursday again, I wasn’t at work and spent most of the day preparing for my trip to Bruges, by packing and watching ‘In Bruges’. I also went on a wander through the woods when I got bored of being inside and all the trees turned into the monster trees from Snow White, so now I have some fantastic scratches. I was feeling better, and the plan was to go to work on Friday. And then I didn’t fall asleep till half two. Four hours sleep do not a functioning Kathryn make, especially when she’s still not fully healthy.

So Friday has been spent checking and double checking my packing and generally not really knowing what to do with myself. But I’m headed to Bruges in a few hours, and a nine hours on trains will at least give me something to do – namely panic that I’ll miss my connections.