So this little town of Flensburg has some quirks, but I’m starting to get comfortable here. The one thing that drives me batty is how things close down early. I guess its the same in Richmond, but at least on Sunday we have the mall open. Here Sunday makes the main drag a ghost town. I’ve never been in the shopping area on a weeknight before 8pm so maybe they have some stuff open til 6? I dunno.
One thing I really like is that there are so many places to eat that are NOT franchises! Classy decor and original layouts and menus every night. While I do feel sometimes like coping out and grabbing a burger from McDonald’s (the Royal T == Big Xtra… and the fries come with mayo by default!), it is very rewarding to find a hole in the wall and get a quality meal and a half liter of beer to wash it down. 😉
I went out for dinner tonight with the intention of getting real food again and avoiding McDicks and Subway. I was frustrated cause nothing I found looked that interesting. All I wanted was a steak and a bier, but reading menus is tricky when they use non-basic words. Anyways, I ended up at another Italian place and ordered a super spicy pizza and a Pils to wash it down. Super good. They even had those pickled green peppers on the pizza. It was a good time all around.
I wish I had a bike here cause then I wouldn’t have to rely on the cabs here so much. It’s about 8.50E from my hotel to where I’m working but the company is going to pay for it so it doesn’t matter much. The trouble is almost none of the cabs do Visa even though they are supposed to. They claim their swipers are “defective.” Must have all been made in the States. Anyways, I was worried that I was going to run out of cash and the banks are all closed before I get home. Worse yet, the access to the banks’ bank machines requires a bank card with a smart card chip in it, which I very obviously don’t have. Luckily, I ran into a random bank machine pole (serious, it’s a huge pole in the ground with Geldautobank written across the side (or something like that). I saw Geld and Auto and figured, “This looks promising.” Sure enough, my CIBC debit card worked and I got out enough funds to cover food and my cab to Hamburg in case Visa fails me again.
Work has been ok, but I’ve been working fairly long hours. I’d say I’ve been averaging 12 hours a day with the max hitting 14 on my first day here. The testing isn’t very hard work, but doing it in a way that is useful and organized requires a vigilant eye and quick fingers. The operators of the test equipment like to turn stuff off when you don’t want them to, or start before you are ready which causes you to have to restart the whole thing. I did about 10 hours straight of it today. When people ask you questions about what you did during that time though, you’ll find that all of it mushes together and you have to look up what you wrote earlier and hope it has enough detail to spur your memory!
Jo has told me that she has gone into our new house and started removing the crown molding and and floorboards… What was surprising that she started the process by just pulling at them with her fingers. Apparently, the previous owners had never heard of glue or screws or anything other than tiny useless nails. Oh well, makes our lives easier cause we hate the stuff. We are going to repaint the walls and then put up some better looking trim.
Anyways, I just spent 30 minutes long distance roaming with my office in Vancouver just now. I can’t wait to see my phone bill when I get back. Thank goodness it’s a company SIM card!!!