Friday, August 24, 2012

Someone who is so hard to say goodbye to.



In my everyday life I rarely hang out with friends. Partly because I live a bit too far from where others do, partly because every time I listen to the random gossip I get utterly bored, it seems to be such a waste of time.
However, in Wiesbaden it was different. I came to this city with one particular goal: to see my friends who I,d been missing so badly. This is Evgenia and she was my first exchange partner. Luckily, she can speak Russian but other friends of mine do not and they have become my biggest motivation.



For sure, travelling gives the best motivation to learn languages. Travelling abroad makes you see that without language skills you are helpless.
I realized that when I came to Germany for the very first time more than two years ago. My A1 level of German was not enough to understand even the simplest conversations. The most annoying thing about being a girl with this stupid A1 level is that everyone who gets the satisfying "She speaks German just a little bit" answer starts discussing you with your exchange partner and stares at you as if you were an exhibited object. Of course, I,d been an encouraged German learner before but this trip to Wiesbaden was an extra push that I needed.
This year I could say with a certain amount of self-confidence that my German had become better. I speak not so well, not so fluently, but the progress is obvious.
Weird, but people tend to underestimate my language skills, some even prefer talking to me in English. Ok, ok, I do not mind it: English practice is always a good thing, even if you are in Germany.




Every time I get a chance to show what I have learnt and every time I see that people understand me, I feel almost euphoric. It gives me personal fulfillment and the feeling of happiness. This feeling keeps me motivated. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wiesbaden



The weather in Wiesbaden is pretty weird. When you go out early in the morning it,s so cold that all you dream about is a cup of hot Latte. After 13 o,clock it gets warmer and then it gets very hot: the temperature rises up to 30°C and you spend the rest of the day dying of heat, sweating non-stop and dreaming of ice cream. Then at night it rains. Getting dressed in the morning was a big problem because of this stupid weather.


I had German classes every morning. On the very first day all new students wrote a test that was supposed to show their level of German and according to results they were divided into different groups. It was surprising but I managed to write this test better than others and therefore I got into the C1 group, which was flattering of course. Actually, I don,t think that I can speak German that well. German clasees were a real pleasure because of the friendly and relaxed atmosphere and awesome teachers.







Our school was situated near the Hauptbahnhof, right in the city centre and I could easily reach all places of interest. To be honest, I hate being guided around monuments and other historic places, I prefer exploring cities on my own, like a local: walking through the streets, discovering secret places that tourists never get to know... I was enjoying being perfectly independent. Actually Wiesbaden is rather small but it lies at the foot of the wooded Taunus hills and narrow streets go up and down all the time, which makes getting home a pretty good workout.







It might seem sometimes that Wiesbaden consists only of bakeries and coffee shops. Ok, and also of ice cream cafes. You feel the alluring smell of just-backed buns, muffins and croissants and see people eating all that delicious things everywhere. I must admit that I spent my first week in Wiesbaden drinking coffee and trying everything that looked tasty enough.






I would like to stay sceptical and say that I hate Starbucks but it would not be true, I really love it. It must be the loveliest place in the city where you can get cozy on a sofa and have a great time catching wi-fi and drinking a perfect Latte, listening to nice music and observing other people and simply enjoying being the part of this wonderful world (read: Germany).






What to say about the clothes that Germans wear? If you look at people passing by, you notice soon that a typical German girl wears Converse sneakers, denim shorts, a tee-shirt and a Longchamp shopper bag. That,s it. Effortlessly chic. Comfort is key. However, sometimes you can see really strange and completely inappropriate outfits: some girls wear black tights and boots when it,s 30°C, some of them put on scarves. Ah, and one more thing. They seem to be huge fans of wearing leggings as pants.










What else to say? Wiesbaden is Wiesbaden and it,s beautiful. My heart will always yearn for it and I hope that I will come back one day.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Young Lady Takes the Plunge



 The flight. It was the very first time that I was travelling by plane on my own and I was more than nervous: one thought about it could make my heart sink, because in my head all airports looked like impassable labyrinths where I would surely get lost. My parents drove me to the airport long beforehand because of my stupid dream about missing the flight and we had to spend the whole hour just doing nothing. Saying goodbye to my parents was so unusual, I felt rather helpless standing in a queue for check-in and looking at other people who were travelling with relatives or friends and dying of jealousy. However, very soon I discovered that it,s impossible to lose your way because the boards that show the departure times and gates are everywhere. When I finally stepped on a plane there were no signs of being worried any more, I felt like a superhero. I got cosy in my seat and felt deeply relaxed and happy.



The seat was next to an old woman with a husband and when the plane took off she asked me if I spoke English and of course I answered "yes". The woman turned out to be a talkative one: she told me everything about her trip to Russia, everything about her life in Canada ( she lives in Canada although she was born in Australia), everything about her children and grandchildren. After lunch she even showed me her travel photos. It was the first time in my life that I was talking to a native English speaker and I was glad that I could understand almost everything and that woman could understand me too. She even called me "a young lady', oh, it was so flattering! The time went by fast and soon we landed in Frankfurt. I came to Germany.



It took me a while to find the guy who was supposed to pick me up. We got into the car, and soon I saw green forests, hills, fields... At that moment life seemed to be a fairytale. Seeing all the familiar places made me feel utterly happy. We reached Wiesbaden and I knew I was in the right place. My dream came true.



Back!





Hi, guys! I,m just back from my trip to Wiesbaden and there,s so much to share with you, so much to write about! I,ve spent two unforgettable weeks in the state capital of Hessen and it was amazing! It was so good to see my friends, it was so good... Ok. I,m too excited at the moment. I missed blogging and I can,t wait to post photographs and tell you about everything properly, just give me some time. I,m afraid I got used to thinking German, not English, hehe.

Big Hugs!

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Perfect Life

While recording my cat photography tips (coming soon), I came to realization that the most important  rule for animal photography (if there are any) is to take camera everywhere. When I give up and leave my camera at home, I always see something interesting (read: a cat). All these moments that I failed to capture seem to be a big disappointment yet a good memory training: they are all carefully stored somewhere in my brain. Seems that I remember things better when I cannot photograph them. Perhaps, my memory becomes rather lazy when I hold a camera in my hand.


I believe that cat photography is all about luck. Actually, it,s a perfect excuse: if I,m not lucky today, it only means that I will be lucky tomorrow or probably next week, who knows, luck is a tricky thing.
Of course, in my ideal life I would take nice pictures (read: meet new cats) every day, but I have to accept that it,s a kind of utopia. Ahh, my perfect life... A cat a day keeps depression away, you know. So, there would be lots of fluffy kitties and no depressive thoughts.



Actually, if I were to describe my ideal life, I would mention one more thing. Wiesbaden. I,m going to spent two perfect weeks in this charming city and the anticipation of all the joys that the coming days will bring makes my heart beat faster. What makes this trip even more exciting is that I,m flying on my own for the first time. There will be no daddy who always knows where to go and what to do, hehe, I hope, I won,t get lost in the airport. Anyway, I,m happy that I will have a chance to see my friends and to make new ones.

Big Hugs!