Auf Wiedersehen und Danke schön!

goodbye

Nuremberg in Numbers:

Twenty-four: the number of weeks I was living in Germany.

Three and a half: the number of months winter lasted.

Eight hundred and sixty-four: the number of hours I worked.

Five: the number of wonderfully dedicated people who came to visit me.

Nine: the number of days I have left.

 

It has been a long journey, but it’s finally coming to an end. I feel like I’ve been here so long at this stage, that I’m pretty much a part of the furniture. However, I feel like a piece of furniture which is living in the wrong house. I have been put there for a while until my old home is ready for me to move back into it again, and every day for the last one hundred and seventy two days I have been looking forward to returning to my proper abode. I’ve been waiting (not always patiently) to come home.

Now, I am on the final stretch. The road before me is smooth and I can just about see the finish line up ahead. It hasn’t always been this way though. There were times along the way when I thought I would never reach the end. I felt tired and alone and I just wanted to sit down in the middle of the path and cry. Cry so hard that my tears formed a river beneath me and carried me the rest of the distance I needed to travel.

But looking back now, I’m glad I walked this route. It wasn’t something I was looking forward to and it definitely isn’t six months I would like to repeat again, but I feel a great sense of accomplishment, knowing that I can do this (and have done it!) on my own.

Despite the fact that winter here lasted what seemed like an eternity and was the coldest in Germany since way back when, I don’t want to paint a picture completed covered with thick, dark clouds, because I feel that would be unfair. Unfair to a city which, I’ll openly admit, is beautiful. The buildings here have been rebuilt and there is a wonderful mix of the old and the new. Riverside cafés, pretzel stands and bakeries filled with assorted glazed pastries on every corner, market stalls specializing in every possible knick-knack, along with an abundance of fountains and statues all contribute to the character of the city.

Of course there will be people and things which I will miss: my work colleagues (i.e my work friends) and the crazy conversations we have together and the uncontrollable laughter which follows, the friends I have made in the apartment complex, the public transport system here (seriously, why can’t there be U-Bahns at home?), the regular restaurants which I frequent and their welcoming staff and last –but by no means least- pretzels! Trying to imagine a world without pretzels is just heartbreaking! Although for the past twenty years I have survived just fine knowing little of their existence, I now find myself wondering “without pretzels, what’s the point?” I figure I’ll just try and stuff as many of them as possible into my case (and face!) before coming home!

So, to sum up, Germany –and Nuremberg in particular- is a very picturesque place. There are some wonderful people here, some great sights and some DELICIOUS breads! This has definitely been an experience to remember, something which has helped me to grow and become independent, and a reminder of how much my home, family and friends mean to me.

Thanks for all the memories, I’ll never forget them.

I guess all that’s left to say now is:

Auf Wiedersehen, Deutschland!

The return of the prodigal daughter

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Pandas know what they’re talking about!

Wilkommen zurück! Bentornato! Bienvenue à nouveau! Basically, welcome back! 🙂

Sorry for the lack of posts as of late, but as you know I was back home in Ireland for Easter. And it was GREAT!! I had such a lovely time with my family and boyfriend. I didn’t actually do that much, but that’s kind of what I wanted. Last time I went home with an agenda to do this and meet that person, and it was just too much! I was mad I didn’t just chill out more and enjoy the simple stuff.
So that is exactly what I did for this trip home: nothing! And it was EPIC!!
I mean I did small stuff, like go for walks with my mum and visit my grandparents and go out for dinner and go shopping and get pizza with le boyf, but nothing hectic. Also, I ate Easter eggs, as promised! My goodness, they should sell them the whole year ’round… although I’d be über fat afterwards and probably broke too… On second thought, maybe not!
It was super hard to get me to come back here. Not because Germany’s awful or anything *darting eyes* … but just because I’m a home bird at heart and I’m really only my happiest when I’m at home or with my family. At the start of this stint abroad everyone said “Oh, the experience will do wonders for you” and “You won’t want to come home once you have a taste of freedom and independence”. To these people I say, I have tasted freedom and it made me go:
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That is not to say that I am dependent on other people in order to survive… I’m just saying it makes things a lot easier! I’m obviously managing, because I’ve been here almost 3 months now (is that ALL?!) and I’m still alive, so that’s always a good sign! I’m simply saying that having other people around makes me A.) happier and B.) less likely to die by eating out-of-date foods because I forgot that not all foods last forever …Do you see why I need other people now?
Anyway, that said, I’ll try and veer this post back to the direction in which in started, i.e. my return from the homeland!
And now for social niceties: how was everyone else’s Easter? Do anything much? Eat as many eggs as I did? Tell me all!
I might get to post later today and if not then it’ll be au revoir until Monday (I’m not going away again, I just use the weekends to sleep… a lot! *See the above pandas*). Hope y’all have a nice weekend!
As they say in German- Viel Spaß!

hugs x

Aloha indeed!

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A reason to smile

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Today, March 20th 2013, is the first International Day of Happiness as declared by the United Nations (UN). A day of happiness sounds like a great idea, so let’s find out where this notion came from and what it means exactly.
Where it all began: in Bhutan. Haven’t heard of it? It’s a tiny state located in South Asia. In 2005, Bhutan began building the world’s first Gross National Happiness Index- a means of measuring well-being through aspects such as life satisfaction, emotions, spirituality, health, education and ecological diversity. By 2010, 41% of people surveyed in Bhutan ranked as “happy”, based on factors like work, literacy and housing. A year later the nation sponsored “Happiness: Towards a Holistic Approach to Development”, which stated that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and economic growth should promote sustainable development, but that worldwide happiness is reliant on social and environmental well-being as well.
Aim: what the UN hopes to achieve with its International Day of Happiness is to illustrate that happiness is essential for global progression. A society which adopts a more holistic outlook, and which realizes that its development is not solely based on material wealth, is likely to be “happier”. The UN also hopes to encourage countries to approach public policies in a more comprehensive manner, e.g. Italy is using online consultations with citizens to help judge the country’s well-being, which includes specific indicators such as “quality of urban air”.
So take a moment to smile today, because the world is literally becoming a better and happier place! 🙂

Ireland (sham) rocks

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As the Irish representative in Germany I wanted to write briefly about St Patrick’s Day, which is celebrated this Sunday, March 17th. Although currently residing in Nuremberg, I will be sporting green this weekend in honour of my country’s patron Saint. Some of the festivities associated with St Patrick’s Day include:
– Wearing green, white and orange clothing and hats
– Painting shamrocks on your face
– St Patrick’s Day parades, including colourful floats, music and dancing from all over the world
– Dying the rivers green (Chicago is famous for doing this every year)
– And of course, having a pint of Guinness!
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated not just in Ireland, but also in countries such as America, Argentina, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Russia, New Zealand and Australia. It has become a worldwide event, with people who have never even been to Ireland dressing head to toe in green. It is a day to celebrate all things Irish and I’m looking forward to seeing what Germany has to offer come this Sunday. As they say in Ireland, “Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit!” (Happy St Patrick’s Day!)

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Als die irische Vertreterin in Deutschland wollte ich kurz über dem St. Patricks Tag, der diesen Sonntag am 17. März gefeiert wird, berichten. Obwohl ich im Moment in Nürnberg wohne, trage ich dieses Wochenende wohl grün, um den Namenspatron Irlands zu ehren. Einige der Feierlichkeiten, die mit dem St. Patricks Tag verbunden werden, sind:
-grüne, weiße und orange Kleidung und Hüte tragen
-sich Kleeblätter auf das Gesicht malen
-St. Patricks Tag Umzüge, bunte Festwägen mit Musik und Tänzen aus aller Welt
-Flüsse grün einfärben (Chicago macht das jedes Jahr und ist dafür bekannt)
-und selbstverständlich, ein Bier (z.B. Guinness) trinken!
Der St. Patricks Tag wird nicht nur in Irland gefeiert, sondern auch in Ländern wie Amerika, Argentinien, Kanada, Großbritannien, Japan, Russland, Neuseeland und Australien. Er ist mittlerweile zu einem weltweiten Ereignis geworden, an dem sogar Leute, die noch nie in Irland waren, von Kopf bis Fuß grün tragen. Es ist einen Tag um alles Irische zu feiern und ich freue mich schon zu sehen, was Deutschland in dieser Hinsicht zu bieten hat.
Wie man in Irland so schön sagt, “Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit!“ (Einen schönen St. Patricks Tag!)

We’re keeping Kleenex in business!

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Just a quick update:

Sent mum the poem for Mother’s Day (which was yesterday in Ireland).

She loved it!

She cried tears of sadness because I wasn’t there to hug her and cried tears of pride that I’m her daughter.

Then I cried- because when she cries, I cry.

All in all, it was a rather wet-faced day 😛

Love, xx

On a happier (and shorter) note

Cuteness overload ^^

Cuteness overload ^^

I realise my last post may have ended on a bit of a panicked note, so I’d like to finish with something a bit cheerier before I take a few days break from here. That’s right, sadly I won’t be posting anything when I’m at home, but I’ll be back next Wednesday to fill you in on all of my adventures. In the meantime, if there’s any topic you’d like me to write about when I get back, then feel free to drop me a suggestion- I’d love to get your opinions! Oh, and if the suggestions could be in some way related to my blog that’d be even better! Thanks you guys! 🙂

So, for now dear friends, I bid you adieu. Hope everyone has a great weekend, no matter what your plans are!

Tchüss!

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