Tales From Lands Afar

The Adventures of Frankfurt~

Sunday Night Musings

Dear my lovely readers,

Alas, another academic year had come and gone and, as every seems to be the case when every journey ends, I cannot help but feel nostalgic for this time last year when I was packing up my suitcase in a flurry, trying to predict some of the amazing adventures that have happened. All the memories, experiences, knowledge and friends that I have gained over this past year have honestly and truly made me feel like the luckiest person on the planet!

So, today, I have decided to do my last post for the academic year on some of the interesting cultural (and foody) things that I learnt whilst I was away!

Chinese culture and history are such big topics that I am struggling to find the words to express just how different it is from Europe. And even within China, things are entirely different from each other! During my time in China, I managed to visit Beijing and Guangzhou and my are they different! It’s not only that they speak different dialects – in Beijing, people use mandarin for everything, whereas in Guangzhou, although they can speak mandarin, most people tend to use cantonese when communicating to friends/family/for general day-to-day activities, no it is more than that.

Snowy Beijing – The Great Wall of China

Warm and sunny Guangzhou!

 

From weather (Beijing is roughly just a more extreme version of the UK – fairly dry heat in summer and snowy in Winter, whereas Guangzhou is part of the tropics, therefore making it a lot hotter and generally more humid all year round!) to food (in Beijing they are famous for their Peking duck, whilst in Guangzhou, they are renowned for their dimsum – both amazing tasty dishes!)

And speaking of food, WOW was it amazing! I have only been back in the UK for two weeks now and have already managed to sneak away to Chinese restaurants three or four times! Food in China tends to be quite an important thing. The main centre point of the Chinese New Year would be families gathering from all over the country to come together and eat, friends will oftentimes invite other friends out for a meal to show respect or gratitude and colleagues will generally go out to discuss their meetings at fancy restaurants, rather than at offices. Food and eating is quite central to their culture in a lot of ways that it is not in the UK, and the cultural differences during eating could not be more clear! For starters, whilst I usually eat with a knife and fork in the UK, Chinese people tend to prefer chopsticks for most meals, and maybe a spoon for rice.

Not only that, but group meals in China tend to be more of a shared experience, with usually a group ordering a few big dishes together and then sharing them over rice, whereas in the UK, people tend to order separately.

In terms of types of dishes, there is just SO MUCH! I tried to have new food every day and in all honesty I still don’t think I managed to try even a fraction of the amount available in China! This isn’t helped by the fact that Chinese dishes vary a LOT depending on whereabouts in China you go (Generally there is a saying that ‘South is sweet, North is salty, East is spicy, and West is sour’) and each province has their own speciality dishes! Overall however, I managed to get a lot of duck, beef, pork, chicken, noodles, prawns, rice, dumplings, buns, egg and various types of Chinese vegetables none of which I can remember the names of.

So, as you can probably tell, I really enjoyed the cuisine aspect of living abroad 😉

Aside from that, it was just a totally eye opening experience. China is so fully of beautiful landscapes and scenery and architecture. It is very very very different to life in the West, and in some ways, that can be strange to adjust to at first. However for me, this is a good thing. Different cultures, languages, histories and lifestyles give the world colour! It can occasionally be a little frustrating to deal with perhaps, when you are used to a certain way of doing things, however I feel that it is very important to say that no one culture is right or wrong. They are just different. And with that in mind, I intend to discover as much as I can about as many different lifestyles and other countries as I possibly can, because for me, acceptance and understanding of other people is the most important thing one can possibly learn in a lifetime.

And so, that is it from me for today. To those of you who are about to set off for summer, I wish you an amazing and undoubtedly well deserved break! If any of you are planning on travelling, please do let me know where you are going and how you found it so that I may add it to my ever growing list of countries to visit 🙂 Other than that, I hope you enjoyed reading about my travels whilst on my Year Abroad and see you all really soon 🙂

Meine Familie

Liebe meine liebe Leser,

Ach, und habe ich nochmal wieder spät geschrieben. Ich muss mich wirklich entschuldigen aber im letzten Monat bin ich super beschäftigt gewesen, also hatte ich gar keine Zeit an euch zu schreiben. In diesem Monat, werde ich zweimal zu euch schreiben.

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Dieser erste Nachricht wird über meine Familie sein. In meiner Familie gibt es vier Personen.

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Mein Vater heißt Kim und er kommt aus Wales. Er ist sehr hilfsbereit und hat immer etwas witziges zu sagen! Als Hobbys, mag er Fernsehen (bestimmt Dramasendungen und Rugby!), reisen und spinnen!

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Hier ist meine schöne Mutter, die Jie heißt. Sie kommt aus China! Viele Leute sagen, dass ich wie meine Mutter aussehe, und meine Schwester sieht wie mein Vater aus. Meine Mutter arbeitet jetzt im Finanzbereich und hat mir ganz viel geholfen!

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Ehrlich zu sein, fühle ich mich echt glücklich. Meine Eltern sind perfekt. Sie haben mich immer unterstützt und ermutigt! Sie haben mir viele Gelegenheiten gegeben und auch alle meine Entscheidungen respektiert. Sie sind mein größtes Vorbild im Leben!

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Die Nächste ist meine kleine Schwester. Sie ist nur sechzehn Jahre alt und momentan macht sie ihr Abitur. Sie studiert Mathe, Music und Textilkunde. Meine Schwester ist meine älteste Freundin. Ich kann mich noch erinnern, als wir nur klein waren und mit unserenBarbies spielten! Also ist es ein bisschen komisch für mich, dass sie fast ein Erwachsener ist!

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Und hier sind meine liebe Familie. Heutzutage haben wir leider wenig Zeit mit einander zu treffen, weil ich nicht oft in London bin . Aber wir sprechen so oft wie möglich und sind immer so eng wie normal!

Jetzt bin ich fertig, also bis zum nächsten Mal~

A Tourist’s Guide to Beijing!

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Dear my wonderful readers,

So, I had originally planned to write about the culture of China, and some really interesting points about Beijing and Chinese language however it suddenly occurred to me that many of you probably haven’t visited Beijing China before. So, to try and introduce my new city a little more, here is my list of top 8 things to do in Beijing! This list is a little eclectic as I have only managed to make my way around a few of the seemingly endless tourist sights here, and there are some slightly more obscure things which I enjoy but might not necessarily be specific to Beijing. Also note, this list is likely to change as Beijing is S-O H-U-G-E that I am constantly discovering new bits and pieces to add to my ever growing ‘must-see’ list of things to do 🙂 And now that the disclaimer is out the way, on to the list!

1. Tian’anmen Square and The Forbidden City

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 Number one, absolute MUST if you are in Beijing. Possibly one of the most historically and culturally significant places in Beijing, Tian’anmen Square is, for starters, absolutely mahoooossive with many interesting and insightful buildings everywhere you look. Quite easily able to fill a whole day, Tian’anmen Square is home to the National Chinese Museum, The People’s Monument, Mao’s Mausoleum as well as The Forbidden City (also known as The Imperial Palace but that’s not as cool sounding). Whilst it seems like a really obvious place to go and probably won’t make your trip the most unique of experiences, just standing in Tian’anmen is really a truly ‘Bucket List Worthy’ experience 🙂

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2. The Great Wall of China

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Again, not one of the most obscure of sights, however still well worth seeing. The Great Wall totally lives up to the hype. There are five spots you can visit on the Great Wall and whilst the most entertaining location is often said to be Mutianyu (due to the massive toboggan!) I really enjoyed the visit we made to Jinshanling. It is one of the more steep parts of The Great Wall, with just steps upon steps upon endless steps however I absolutely LOVED the trip I took there. The view from the wall is amazing however I feel that if you choose to use a cable car, you sort of forget the sheer scale of the wall. Which is why I relished the steps. A physical reminder of how difficult the wall must have been to build…. I also felt like I got a sense into what life as soldier must have been like having to climb the wall everyday! (Except they also had weapons and huge amounts of heavy armour whereas I just had a small purse…..). A little tip though – DO NOT WEAR A SKIRT OR A DRESS WHEN CLIMBING THE GREAT WALL! As cute as it looks in pictures, it is so impractical given that the entire trip is just walking up millions of stairs and given the huge amounts of wind that the top is prone to! (Trust me on this, I learnt the hard way….)

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3. The Summer Palace

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So, whilst the Forbidden City/Imperial Palace is, like I said, a must-see, in terms of the palaces of Beijing, I much prefer the Summer Palace. You see, for me, whilst the scale of the Forbidden City is impressive (I mean 9999.5 rooms…. that’s insane!), I feel that the Forbidden City is a little lacking in terms of variety. The Summer Palace however is a beacon of beauty, with vibrant gardens, stunning pagodas and, of course, the Kunming Lake.

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4. Phoenix Mountain (Fenghuang Shan)

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One of the things I find really interesting about Beijing is that, despite being a major city, it is SURROUNDED by the most amazing mountains. Although surrounded is probably not quite the correct word, given that these mountains are considered a part of Beijing (the Phoenix Mountain for example is even part of my district in Beijing, Haidian, despite being about 2 hours away from where I live!). Given that the UK isn’t exactly the most mountainous of countries in the first place, and the fact that I have spent the majority of my life in London where we boast of concrete jungles but no actual wildlife/natural scenery (because no, Hyde Park does not count as natural scenery), I am really enjoying the opportunity to trek up into the mountains during my weekends.

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So far, my trip to the Phoenix Mountain is the highlight. It was a truly amazing experience! I have been city hopping all my life (London, Manchester, Frankfurt and now Beijing!) so the ability to leave behind the roar of cars and just get out was amazing! And the sense of achievement you feel when you reach the top is truly unrivaled. Again though, bring lots and lots of water and some food as there isn’t much in the way of shops on the actual mountain. Also, something worth pointing out maybe – Chinese mountain climbing is very different from what I’d previously experienced in the west. Instead of making your way up a vague dust path and having to cling to precarious rocks to get up, in China, most mountains have stairs, which makes it a little easier! (Although does have the after effect of making me not want to see steps ever again!)

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5. The Olympic Stadium

This one, is, for me at least, best appreciated at night because, whilst the Bird’s Nest is still spectacular during the day, as is the aquatics cube, at night is when this sight really comes alive. The lighting is just simply spectacular! Although, I might be a little biased because I’m sort of obsessed with bright and colourful things (making fireworks one of the most exciting events ever for me!) However seeing this at night does have the downside of not being able to go up the viewing platform and you wouldn’t get to see the Olympic Park. Sooo I guess you could either go twice, or just choose which you value the most!

6. Wangfujing Night Markets

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One thing I really do love about China is the shopping. I must admit, given my penchant for both pretty things as well as cheap prices, China is pretty much my dream in terms of places to shop! And the night markets are just the start of it! Night markets in China tend to be predominately dominated by food’y things and trinkets, from jewelry to cards to toys as well as many more things I’ve almost certainly forgotten. As well as being reasonably cheap, the night markets are also notorious for serving weird and wonderful ‘specialities’. The weirdest I’ve seen so far has got to be the deep fried scorpions on sticks! I mean, I love experimenting with new foods and in general I love Chinese cuisine but even I had to give that one a miss!

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 7. Tianjin

Alright. So. I know this isn’t *exactly* Beijing, however Tianjin is a city really near Beijing and so it perfect as a ‘day trip’, just …. well just because you can really! Personally, I love Tianjin. I mean, I probably won’t go back as there isn’t enough to do for more than a day, but the day trip was, again, perfect. Tianjin has a very different feel to it than Beijing, and is noticeably smaller and definitely less busy! It is home to the infamous China House, which is truly magnificent albeit a little expensive and again there are more markets (The Ancient Street is the best place for shopping!) You also have the option to do a 2 hour bike ride round part of the city, which is a truly great way to view all the sights whilst also have fun biking! My favourite part of Tianjin, however, has got to be the night time scenery next to the river. Skylines, rivers, bridges are all things I love in cities, however Tianjin also has so much more than that! There is a lovely Tianjin Eye (although the London Eye is obviously better 😉 ) and there are lanterns! Everywhere!!! I must admit, part of the reason I was so desperate to visit Tianjin in the first place was because I heard about the lanterns. Having watched Tangled at least 500 times, letting off my very own lantern has been a dream of mine and I was not disappointed! So many people, all letting theirs off one by one next to the river into the dark sky has definitely been a highlight of my trip. It was truly like something out of a dream!

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8. The F.R.I.E.N.D.s Cafe

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A rather odd addition to the list, given that Friends is a) finished and b) not Chinese, however considering the fact I am a massive Friends fan and the fact that I missed the pop up version in London, you can only imagine the excitement I felt when I discovered there was one here! Located in the CBD (Central Business District), the Friends cafe can be found at the top of an abandoned mall and, despite the eeriness of the abandoned mall, exudes a very homely, if slightly surreal, feel. The cafe is almost a perfect replica of the one from the TV show, with a TV dedicated to playing friends on loop and quotes scrawled all over the walls. They even have their very own smelly cat!

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And there you have it! My top 8!

Also, tja, ich weiß doch, dass acht ein bisschen komisch ist… Ich wolltete eine ´Top 10´ Liste schreiben aber dieser Post war schon lang genug und ich habe weniger Zeit momentan also… Ja. Top 8. Ich hoffe, dass Sie es gut oder am mindenstens interessant gefunden hatten, und bis hoffentlich bald!

xxx

Mysteries of the Orient…

Dear my lovely readers,

I apologise. It has been far too long, I know. I have little cause for my not having written, other than the fact that moving half way across the world turned out to be slightly more of a hassle than I had originally thought. However, I recognise that this is not a hugely great excuse and so, for April and May, I shall be writing two posts to make up for the lack of in January and February.

Sunset from my dorm <3

Sunset from my dorm ❤

So. Beijing.

Where to begin?? So much seems to have happened that I barely know where I should start! The first thing I must tell you is that China is so unlike anything in Europe. The cultural differences between the UK and Germany seem now to be minuscule in comparison to the cultural differences between Europe and Asia! To start with, China is huge, meaning that their cities are H-U-G-E, both geographically and from a population density standpoint. The bustle of Beijing really puts Europe to shame and the phrase ’24 hour city’ seems to really be the case here! Shops, cafes, restaurant and cinemas are open every day of the week for hours upon hours before the darkness sets in and night markets spring to life. It is a truly amazing lifestlye and I feel that every moment of my being here is not only helping my language ability, but also my cultural understanding of Beijing.

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Ablaze with life~

Ablaze with life~

Night Market

Night Market

Unlike in Germany, for the next few months, I will just be studying in China, rather than working, and that in itself is a very different experience. Right from the get go, I was surrounded by new friends and classmates, all eager to learn the language and culture of not only China, but also where everyone else is from! I am lucky enough to have met a lot of international students from America, Denmark, Sweden, Japan and Korea so far and am endeavoring to find more!

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Unfortunately, a lot of my time in Beijing so far has been spent settling in, finding my way around the campus and studying, so I have not yet had a chance to tour any of the big sights, apart from this one:

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Am fünften März, bin ich und meine Freunden nach die Olzmpische Stadium gegangen. In 2012, war ich einmal schon gewesen, aber dieser mal, hatte ich es im Nacht gesehen. Ich muss sagen, es war wirklich wundershön! Vielleicht besser im Nacht, die Lichte könnte man von überall sehen! Weil es noch nicht Frühling war, war es doch richtig kalt, aber ich habe noch spaß gehabt!

Beijing 2012 Olympic Stadium

Me and some friends 🙂

All in all, Beijing is truly wonderful. The lifestyle here is just so different to everything I had experienced, and I absolutely cannot wait to share this wonderful adventure with you!

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Until next time where I shall talk more about food, shopping and other such fun stuff!

xxx

T’is the Season~

Why hello there my lovely readers and welcome to another post! It feels like not long ago since I wrote the last but alas, December is already upon us and Christmas is in fact fast approaching. And what better to write about than the ever so famous German Christmas Markets!

Now, I am not going to lie. I am a complete sucker for Christmas markets. I love them! The sweet smell of Gluhwein, mixed with all round festive cheer is just something I cannot get enough of. So one can only imagine just how excited I was to discover I would be spending my Christmas season in Germany! The origin of these beautiful markets! They have only been up for just over two weeks now and I have already been more times that I can count.

Not that you can help it really. In Frankfurt, although the main Christmas markets can be found in Römer (the old part of the city), the market stalls can actually be found spread all across central Frankfurt! Which means, every day on my way to and from work, I have to walk through these beautiful (yet permanently busy!) huts in order to get home. And, if I am walking through the area anyway, there is no harm in stopping buy a few stores for caramel coated peanuts, or a lovely mug of cinnamon flavored hot chocolate, right?

Because eating at a Christmas Market is obviously part of the fun. And with the crazy amounts of food they have on offer (over half of which I have yet to taste although this is definitely something I am going to rectify) it is almost a crime not to try as much as possible. There are pretzels in seemingly every flavor, from the traditional salted, to chocolate flavored! And then all the other assorted baked good, which, luckily for me, included Lebkuchen, my utter FAVOURITE christmas snack! And then of course they offer pizza, pasta, crepes, waffles, assorted nuts, candy apples, candy floss, chips, bratwurst mit rind- oder schwein- fleisch and burgers. Because how could you forget burgers, am I right? As for drinks, as you may know, Germany is almost famed for their delicious Glühwein at Christmas, which traditionally does contain alcohol however you can also buy it without alcohol (which in my opinion is arguably nicer – the warm berry flavour is definitely a lot stronger!). There is really nothing nicer on a Friday afternoon that to join your friends at the Christmas Markets, warming your hands on the steaming hot mugs of berry flavored drinks.

And if the excessive food eating does not epitomize the essence of Christmas, then the endless rows of shops will! They sell everything! From the traditional wooden figures of nutcrackers to mouldings of famous buildings in Frankfurt, to glasses and mugs to Christmas decorations to honey candles to the cutest teddies I have ever seen (I am definitely buying a kitten on. No question.)

And then of course there are other pieces of eye candy at the Market. There at least three different merry-go-rounds in the Frankfurt Christmas markets, which are amazing fun, for adults and children alike (although predominately for children, I have heard….). And then, our WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS TREE (which was donated to us from a company all the way in Austria! Our Christmas tree traveled all the way from Austria! Is that not AMAZING??)

Being in Frankfurt during this time of year has been a truly magical experience. It was like stepping into a fairytale except everything was even bigger and better than I could ever have imagined. Because the Christmas Markets aren’t just about eating tons of food and spending all your money. It’s about sharing the space with what seems like the entirety of Frankfurt, all of whom who have gathered to celebrate this wonderful time of year. It is about spending the evenings outside, despite the freezing cold, to talk and laugh with friends and colleagues. It is about that sense of family and other such traditional values which, to me, is very symbolic for German culture. I feel honoured to have been a part of this experience and, I hope that if you ever get the chance to, you will also get to participate in the wonder that is Germany at Christmas time.

Anyway, that is it from me for the time being. I want to wish everyone who is reading this a truly ‘frohe Weihnachten’ and a simply amazing New Year! 🙂

xxx

Oh, and ps, for all of you who can read German and are interested in making your very own Lebkuchen, check out this awesome recipe!

German Section:

Lebkuchen Recipe:

1 – Ofen auf 200 degreesC vorheizen

2 – Zutaten:

350g Mehl

300g Zucker

1 päckchen Vanille

1 päckchen Backpulver

100g gemmahlen Haselnüsse

(ggf 150g kandierte Früchte)

3-4 TL Lebkuchengewürz

1 TL Nelkenpulver

3 – Add und Zutaten:

2TL Honig

150g flüssige Butter

250ml Milsch

4 Eier

4 – Teig auf Backpapier auf dem Backblech ausbreiten

– 20 min backen

And there you have it. It is really that simple! Do try this at home and let me know how you get along! 🙂

Happy baking y’all 😉

xxx

Light Up the Sky~

Dear Readers,

As promised, this is my second post of the month, to make up for my lack of during October. As November comes to a close and the cold really starts to creep in to Frankfurt, there is a certain amount of festivity in the air. The Christmas Markets officially opened in the city today and boy, am I excited 🙂

However, as advent does not officially start until this Sunday, I thought I would share a different festival with you that is celebrated at the beginning of November instead – the Laternenfest.

The Laternenfest, otherwise known as St. Martin’s Day, is a festival celebrated in many European countries. I, however, had not heard of it before living here. A widespread custom in Germany, St Martin’s day is a little reminiscent of the British Bonfire Night. It is celebrated on the 11th November and every St Martin’s eve, there is a huge bonfire called MartinsfeuerIt is usually considered a children’s festival as usually the children of Germany would sing a little nursey rhyme about it (click on the lyrics below to hear the song) and make lanterns at school to carry to the local bonfire.

German Section: See if you can translate the lyrics and learn the song!

Laterne, Laterne,
Sonne, Mond und Sterne.
Brenne auf, mein Licht,
brenne auf, mein Licht,
aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht!

Unfortunately, I had not realised that this festival existed prior to the evening, so I did not have time to make a lantern, so instead I went to the festival, camera in hand and just spotted all the lanterns I could!

   

So what is the story behind St Martin’s day anyway? Why is it celebrated in the first place? Well, my dear readers, I shall tell you….

German Section:

Martin und seinen Mantel

Eine Winterabend, Martin und die anderen Soldaten fährt nach Amiens. Am Stadttur ist ein Bettler gesessen und er war so kalt, dass er nicht um Hilfe bitten konnte. Marten hat kein Geld oder Essen mitgebracht, so hat er seinem Mantel mit dem Schwert geschnitten. In dieser Nacht, hat Martin von Jesus Christus geträumt. Im Traum, hat Jesus ihm gedankt, weil Martin ihm den Mantel gegeben hat. Dieser Traum  überzeugt Martin, Christ zu werden und sich taufen lassen.

Overall, the night was really lovely. Despite the fact that weather has now got Germany firmly in it’s grasp, the bonfire warmed everyone’s hearts. I found the sense of community spirit to be inspiring, and it was really lovely to see all the children running around together with lanterns that they had made. The sense of pride, the fun and youthful spirit (Goodness do I feel old…).

   

It is times like these that I find German culture to be truly fascinating and although unlike bonfire night in the UK, there are no fireworks, the atmosphere more than made up for it. With Gluhwein in one hand, and a sausage roll in the other, the night ended perfectly with my friends and I all stood round the bonfire, listening to the live brass band and laughing the evening away.

   

  

And that, my dear reader, is the end of today’s post! I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any experiences to share or thoughts on the Laternenfest, please do write it in the comments below! I will also leave a link to the festival for all those who are interested in learning more about it, and ways you could even celebrate it at home – but other than that, I look foward to catching you again in December!

Yes. This is a Lantern.

http://www.alphabet-garten.com/freebies/unitstudystmartin.pdf

Recruiter: A Day In the Life Of~

Dear Readers,

I apologise. It has been more than a month and I do realise that. Unfortunately Germany got very cold very suddenly and I, being the Fun-Loving-Summer-Chic, was too slow to exchange my skirts and tank tops for scarves and thick woolly vintage jumpers resulting in a two week long flu. (And sharing food with my flu-ridden boyfriend probably didn’t help either….!)

But I am back now and back with more enthusiasm and excitement than EVER! This month will therefore have TWO exciting blog posts for you to indulge yourselves with.

Now as you may or may not know, I am doing my seven months in Germany with the multilingual recruitment company, Euro London Appointments, in the bustling city of Frankfurt! This blog will be a day in the life of a recruiter 🙂

German Section:

Mein Tagesablauf

Outside my building, Goethestrasse 🙂

Der Arbeitstag fing täglich um neun Uhr an, deshalb muss ich um acht Uhr aufwachen, sodass ich meine Haare waschen und duschen  können. 

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Mein Zimmer

Normalerweise, weil ich so müde bin, fahre ich mit dem S-Bahn nach der Arbeit. Es kostet EUR1.60 und der Reise dauert nur fünf Minuten, deswegen kann ich manchmals ein bisschen später aufstehen. 

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Ich steige am Hauptwache aus und gehe zum Fuss nach dem Büro. 

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The life of a recruiter is actually surprisingly exciting. After I get into the office, I then make myself a nice cuppa tea to help perk myself up before setting up my lovely desk. Luckily, I get to sit right next to the window with the heater behind me, so despite how cold it is outside, I am always warm in the office.

My desk – Cosy right? 😀

So what do I actually do? Well first, I should tell you what a recruitment agency does. Pretty self explanatory, we companies with their recruitment processes. For example, if a company is looking for a “sekretär/in” who speaks German and Chinese and lives in Berlin, we will find a secretary in Berlin who is looking for a new position and can speak German and English, we will present them to the company. Quite simple right? Just think of us as the matchmakers for companies and people.

And what I do is I support the recruiters in any way I can – whether this be finding people who are looking for jobs, or writing job adverts or finding companies who are recruiting or testing doing English tests, I basically help the office in any way I can to get things done faster. This means I spend a lot of my time on social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Xing and on the phone.

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Common phrases I use:

  1. Hallo Euro London Appointments, Sie sprechen mit Lauren.

  2. Wie kann ich Ihnen helfen?

  3. Wie heissen Sie bitte?

  4. Darf ich Ihr Nummer nehmen bitte?

  5. Okay, ein Moment bitte.

  6. Ich biete ihn/sie zuruckzurufen

Um eins Uhr, nehme ich meine Mittagspause. Wenn es sonnig und warm ist, würde ich laufen gehen. Jetzt aber, ist es so richtig kalt draußen, dass ich normalerweise ins Cafe gehen, um mich zu warmen. Oft bin ich in der Kafe Karin’s. Es gibt ein Indie-Cafe und ich liebe die hausgemachte Kuchen und Chai Tea Latte mit Elefant-Vanille.

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Es ist manchmal teuer, und nicht so gesund, aber es ist wirlich lecker! 🙂

Dann muss ich von zwei bis fünf. Manchmal bleibe ich ein bisschen mehr, weil ich so viel zu tun habe. Danach, gehe ich wieder nach Hause.

And that is my day! Usually once I get home, I am so tired that I end up just watching TV or reading until I go to sleep, however I do try to go out at least once a week for some sort of special event (last night I went on a historical murder-mystery tour of Frankfurt!).

However, whilst that is an overview of my day, life in recruitment is often very varied. It is quite a fast moving industry, so we are always getting in new recruiters to join our team. This is the team I started out with:

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Coworker selfie~

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#amazingworkmates

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I am working, I promise!

One of the things I love about working for Euro London is that everyday is amazing. Yes, I have to work hard but I am learning so much and I am surrounded by amazing people. They are truly an amazing group of people, so international and all with so many different stories to tell of all their previous travels… I am constantly discovering new countries and places to add to my ever-growing-list-of-places-to-visit! Not to mention everyone can bake SO well (as I soon discovered from out weekly ‘cake-o’clock’ sessions every Friday 😉

Overall, I am really REALLY grateful to have got accepted into this amazing company. It has been an absolute ball so far and I cannot wait to learn more about this industry!

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And with that, we have reached the end of this post. Thank you so much again for reading, I hope you have learnt a little about recruitment and also life in Germany! As always, please leave a comment and I will see you again in a few weeks 😉

xoxo

A Tourist’s Guide to Frankfurt.

10/09/2014

Dear my wonderful readers,

Hello there again. I hope all is well with you. I realise that it has been two months and a week since my last update, so I apologise for the month long delay, however I hope that your summer holidays have been going well and that you are all settling back in to your usual school routines, feeling refreshed from the wonderful sunshine that I hope you had.

How have I been for the past two months? The term ‘busy’ (or beschäftig) springs to mind! There is always SO much to do and what with the amount of people who have been visiting me (I have either friends or family visiting every single weekend, quite literally!), I have pretty much perfected the tourist route round Frankfurt. And so, my lovely friends, I have decided to put here a little “Weekend Gettaway” plan for Frankfurt, so if any of you ever get the opportunity to visit, you will have a few ideas of what to do before you get here!

1. Main Tower

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(photo taken by Thomas Wolf, http://www.foto-tw.de)

So, this is the first, absolute must-do of Frankfurt. It is the second tallest building in Frankfurt and is simply marvelous for trying to get yourself round to seeing the entire city! I have been up on three separate occasions, in all sorts of weather conditions and during various times of the day and it is ‘wirklich wunderbar’ each and every time! Not only that, but students get in for only EUR 4.50 (which, when compared with the shard is simply marvelous!). The viewing platform is on the sechsundfünfzigsten Etage, however there is a lovely (but rather more expensive) restaurant to be found in the dreiundfünfzigsten Etage. Be warned though – at that high up, you might want to bring a nice wind proof jacket and some sunnies as it can be both windy and blinding at the same time!

Tickets!

Tickets!

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Lift Selfie 😉

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Told you it gets windy...

Told you it gets windy…

2. The Cathedral

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So this sight actually is two fold as you can go into the actual cathedral, which is super schön with the pointy arches, candles, choral music and multitudes of religious paintings and then you can go round the corner and climb up the tower! Now, this tower is only 66m high, but as it was built yonks ago, there are no lifts. Which means? You get to climb 330+ steps! Wooooo! However, it is very worth it. Because unlike the Main Tower where you are a part of the skyline, from the Cathedral you can see the skyline as a whole, which is just such a rewarding experience. Which is why I have now climbed those stairs 5 times. That’s right. 1650+ steps… My thighs are like rocks… And is brilliant views aren’t enough, it only costs EUR1.50!

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3. Römer, The Alte Oper and Lock Bridge

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Otherwise known as the Old City, Römer is famously the one of the few parts of Frankfurt which weren’t destroyed by the second world war. It is very distinct from the rest of the city with it’s old, Germanic buildings and cobble stoned flooring (which eats up high heels). One can find a huge number of German pubs and places to buy various different types of Wurst! After

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The Alte Oper is slightly out from the rest of Römer, but is also another old building. It is just down the road for work and so it quite often where I eat my lunch! On a sunny day with ice cream, the fountain is the perfect place!

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And Lock Bridge, my favourite of the many bridges in Frankfurt. There is something about the colours and the view it presents, as well as the style of the bridge that makes it just so special to work across!

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 4. Sunset Viewing

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This should actually probably be number one on the list because oh-my-goodness, Frankfurt really does the BEST sunsets. Regardless of rain or sun, the sunsets (or Sonnunter) here are always astonishingly beautiful. I have seen at least a million by now but they really really never disappoint me. In fact, I think I have more sunset photos in my collection than I do selfies! 😮

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5. The Museums!

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So Frankfurt, as most big cities tend to be, is absolutely FILLED with museums! After two months here, I still haven’t managed to visit them all! Here are a few of my faves so far:

Goethehaus: The house belonging to Germany’s answer to Shakespeare~

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Historische Museum

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Film Museum

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Architekturmuseum

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6. The Chinese Gardens

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Continuing with this cultural theme, I am sure you won’t be surprised to know that I was more than excited to discover that Frankfurt has a Chinese Garden! With the soothing atmosphere and serene location, it is the perfect place to take a book and just relax for a while.

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7. Boat Tours anyone?

As Frankfurt am Main actually means Frankfurt on the river Main, it is probably not a stretch of the imagination to think that boats are pretty common place here. Now, naturally not everyone can own a boat (although I wish I could sometimes….) however the city does offer two options for Tourists so everyone can get a little go actually in the river!

First things first, you could rent a little peddle boat (or treppboot) and then get some strapping young lads to peddle you up the river for a nice 10EUR/30mins – not bad at all when split between three!

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Or for those of you who prefer to travel somewhat more luxuriously, there is an official tour boat that goes every hour which allows you to sit back, relax and enjoy a cup of whatever takes your fancy whilst the captain gives you a little information about the city in both German and English. Being the British girls we are, my friend and I opted for tea 🙂

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8. Shopping

Because what’s a holiday without a little bit of einkaufen to keep one happy?

German Section: In Deutschland, es gibt zwei verschiedene Ort, wo man einkaufen kann. Für Leute mit viel Geld, haben wir Goethestrasse. Goethestrasse ist wo mein Arbeit ist und es ist im Stadtzentrum. Man kann Louis Vouton, Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Dior, Tiffany’s und Burberry alle da kaufen, wenn man genug Geld hat!

And finally, we have the big shopping mall called MyZeil, which is also located in the city centre! With it’s funky architecture, bazillions of cool sales and even more food-stalls, you can be sure to find whatever you need. But be warned, Germany has a NO-TRADING policy on Sundays so best get all your shopping done on Saturday!

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And so that, my lovely readers, is the end of my Frankfurt Tour. Of course there were a million and one other things I could have added, like some of the lovely food restaurants or the zoo or some special food and drink we have here in Germany, but alas, this post was long enough already… So for thank you very much for reading. I hope you have learnt a little German along the way and if you have been to any of these places, please do let me know in the comments!

Alternatively, if you have anything to recommend me, please do this too as I would love to keep exploring new things to do in Frankfurt!

Other than that, I will see you next month~

A New Journey.

08/07/2014

Dear my lovely readers,

I have, finally, moved to Frankfurt after three months and twenty two days of waiting and oh my goodness, I cannot even begin to describe just how much of an adventure this experience is! From the packing to the moving to the working to the sight-seeing to the living-by-oneself-without-much-money… It has truly been the experience of a lifetime so far. And it’s only been a week!

However, before I delve into the depths of Frankfurt life, let us rewind back to the very beginning.

Am Montag den 30sten Juni 2014

Packing. It felt like not long ago since I was last packing all my stuff into boxes to move to University for the very first time… and now… I’m doing it all again, but this time with an essential difference. I have only one 23kg suitcase to take with me!

To do this, I had to ask myself, what do I really need?

The immediate answer of EVERYTHING did spring to mind however I eventually managed to keep myself together and against it. After all, tights can be found in Frankfurt, I’m sure…

So in the end, this is what I brought with me.

GERMAN SECTION:

In meinem Koffer, habe ich:

Ein Deutschen Buch. Es heißt ‘Schneewitchen Muss Sterben’.

Viele Röcke

Viele Kleide

Viele Hemden

Ein paar Schuhe

Ein Notbook

Meine Handy

Mein Laptop

Mein Reisepass

Und letzt, meine Fahrkarte eingepackt

Leider, habe ich meine Decke nicht mitgebracht…

Next up, getting to Germany!

Meine Reise~

Pre-Flight Selfie!

 

Travel Essentials~