Monthly Archives: January 2008


Gisteren heb ik het resultaat voor mijn nederlandsles bekomen – 85 van 100 punten. Dat is goed en juist als ik al vloeg nederlands praat.

OK, for the better understanding, I’ll go on in English. I finished my Dutch lessons yesterday with what I thought is a great result. Especially if considering that I started only 10 months ago, that I skipped the first year, that I was quite afraid the first two weeks and that I did not do too much for the classes.

I learned the basic grammar, vooral de onregelmatige werkwoorden (irregular verbs), a good deal of woordenschat (vocabulary) and how to say more or less what I want to. I’m still bad in writing Dutch as the spelling is too close to German but not enough. That’s the only serious problem for someone with German mother tongue learning Dutch: the false friends. There are thousands. A part from that… het is gemakkelijk.

Vanavond zal ik naar een conversatieles gaan waar ik met anderen over verschillende onderwerpen kan praten. Jajajaja

* Angeber



The title of this post was supposed to be “Angeber”and the content a code related picture telling you that I type 78 words/minute. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work; i.e. I copied the code, I insert the code – nada.
If you are by any chance interested in knowing how fast you type, here is the link. 

Common statements proven wrong

Today: Money has no smell.

If ever you have to count a big plastic bag full of 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 cent coins and if you smell on your hands after doing so, you realise that money smells – metallic.

To put things right

After reading yesterday’s post, you may get the impression that I do not like Germany and that’s not true. I like Germany very much. I love to go home to my parents and grand-parents place. The best is to take the train and just look out of the window to see the landscape passing by – the fields in summer time, the forests, the small villages*. Germany is very beautiful and has some amazing cities.

I also learned to appreciate the German language much more than I did before. Only through learning French and English, I realised that there are a lot of expressions you can just not translate. Forget about it. German has it’s very own beauty, richness and subtlety and despite all my efforts I will probably never be able to reproduce this in another language.

So yeah, that’s it. I like Germany I just do not want or need to live there right now.

C’est comme ça. La puce

* Cities are always ugly seen from the train and I haven’t found an example yet which would proof the contrary.

Lost soul

So yes, I left Germany; again. This time, my new official resident country is Belgium, last time it was France. Some people ask me why I’m doing so. Well, why not living officially in the country where you have your work, your flat and a good deal of your social life going on? For me, it just makes sense. Though, as discussed a while ago, I’m part of the group of young, well educated East German women who leave nothing but social problems and a declining economy behind. So what?

In the history of mankind, periods of settlement and migration alternated. Whenever  economic or other conditions turned out to be too bad to make a decent living, those who could left.

Though it is true that I would have problems finding a (good and interesting) job in the region I come from, to me not only the economic situation matters. It is more the wish to go beyond borders, personal ones and geographical ones. Grenoble was a first real bit in this matter, South Africa an appetizer encouraging the desire for more. Now, as you may say, Belgium is rather unimpressive when it comes to migration, it’s not Australia, New Zealand, or another fashionable country where people turn green when you tell them about it. Right, but, Brussels is with it’s unique mix of people the most international city I know.

Very probable, it is not the last city/country I gonna live in either. However, I enjoy living abroad. I enjoy learning new things. I enjoy the experiences seeming much richer to me than what I could get in Germany. It is fascination for the unknown. And no, indeed, I do not see any obvious reason why I should go back to Germany. At least not now. Maybe later…


Since the 8th of January, I am not longer registered in Germany and since the 9th I have my shining new Attestation d’Immatriculation, i.e. registration in Belgium. Meaning that I live in Brussels, that I work, that I pay taxes, that I have my insurances here, that I am one more lost East German soul.

Sinon, rien d’extraordinaire.

Brussels at its best

Voilà, a proof that they exist: sunny cold winter days in Brussels.
Not like this weekend…

Years die young

After 365 days an usual year dies. Every forth year lives one day longer. Some are remembered, 1968 or 2001 for instance, some are totally forgotten. The destiny of a year is determined only its memorability will make the difference.

I can’t stop thinking about the word Schicksalsjahr. Never mind.

Belgian humor

It is difficult to believe but fire fighters in Brussels seriously receive fines and amendments up to the revocation of the licence when crossing a red light or exceeding the speed limit during a rescue drive. Even if there is no danger and even they drive with flashing blue light and siren on an emergency rescue, they are still supposed to stop on a red light before crossing it. Maybe I got something wrong but as far as I understood, the sense of blue light and siren is to warn other cars which then have to stop and to get out of the way asap. Well, to be honest, I did not have the impression that this would work particularly well here but that it is the other way round… To consider the fire fighters on an emergency rescue as a danger that needs amendment must be a kind of humor I just do not get.

Hopefully I’ll never have any problems here requiring a fire fighters’ action.

Ca craint!


When I went home for Christmas, I had some trouble with the train. Being informed in the train that I could claim my reservation fee and the ICE fee back, I went straight to the Client service counter. To claim the money was obviously not that straight. Instead of just paying me my money, I had to fill in a claim-sheet. So I started doing this and thought “Let’s try something” when filling in my Belgian address. My sister who was accompanying me and I started both laughing for about 5 minutes at the very idea that the Deutsche Bahn would ever send anything to this address.

Yesterday I received a letter from them with a coupon paying me my even a bit more than my claims back. I can change this coupon now for a price reduction when buying a train ticket in any German train station for the whole next year.

So, apologies to whom apologies are due.