Sunday, August 12, 2007

update on my life

As I look back at my previous two posts I realize that it is extremely unlikely that I will be getting away with not posting anything about my particular doings for the past two weeks so I will attempt to give a brief update.
This past week was my first full week as the only au pair. Frankly, it was exhausting. Carolin is currently finding herself bored nearly to tears as she enters her third week of summer holiday from kindergarten. So instead of looking after the kids only in the afternoon, I pretty much make myself available as an entertainer from 9 or 10 in the morning to 7 or 8 at night. Don't get me wrong, this time includes meals and usually an afternoon nap during which I am not "working" but I am spending astronomical amounts of time with the two kids and Sabine at the moment. This will change when Carolin goes back to school, but for now, I must say that I treasure early mornings and late evenings when I am alone with myself and the weekend I spend almost entirely wandering about the city. For the most part Carolin and Felix are all that you would expect of a four year old and a three month old. Carolin talks incessantly and doesn't seem too bothered by the fact that I only understand a fraction of what she tells me. Felix has gotten used to my voice and in fact the easiest way for me to quiet him when he frets is to sing to him. I hate to admit it, but taking care of Felix has forced me to practice singing more than I ever did on my own, and I think the two of us throughly enjoy my mix of old jazz standards, Broadway and Over the Rhine.
I continue to read fairly voraciously in my free time and have already finished all of the Firefly episodes for the first time since I have been here. I take walks several times a week both in the city and toward the countryside and find nearly everything that I pay attention to either amusing or beautiful (I must not be paying very careful attention, because there can't be that many amusing things without a proportional number of ugly or stupid things, I just haven't been concerning myself with them). Oldenburg as a town is charming. I think most of the charm can be ascribed to the fact that nearly all of the buildings are either old or made of brick which lends itself to an old feeling. Downtown, where I spend most of my time, has an absurd number of cafes. Although it is not my intention to go broke visiting all of them, I have already found a couple that are quite nice, and tonight I had the best stracitella ice cream I have ever tasted in my life. Some of you will be annoyed to hear that I have not yet tasted German beer. The reason is quite simple: I have never gotten used to the idea of having a beer alone, so I am saving that experience to share with friends when I make some. I haven't yet started language school, so I don't yet have any friends. That is really a bummer for a loner-who-loves-people like me. But I have high hopes that as soon as people meet me they will be dying to know me better, and have only to start meeting people.
I hope this update will suffice to save me from abuse of those wanting to really know what is happening to me on this side of the world. If anyone has specific questions you can always email me and there is a slight possibility that I will respond. Oh, and for everyone who has been asking my address is:
Valerie W.
Suedweg 20A
26135 Oldenburg

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