Sunday, December 04, 2005

Monday, monday

Let's try and keep things in perspective. I have a great job and even could continue to be my career for quite a few years to come. That is kind of a shock to me but it is one of the things I'm best at, and I have the patience for it. I'm not too embittered after almost three years of it and that's a good sign. I think the money helps and though it's not a lot in the end, I'm still able to maintain a lifestyle that is plenty good for me. I could be making more money at home but wit that comes a lot more expenses and there is a feeling of trying to keep up which is impossible but here in Germany, the middle class is so large that believe it or not, I'm there somewhere. I am quite grateful for all I have though I may sometimes sound differently on the subject and those are just the brief moments where you forget that you are living in the top 15% of human beings (I figure I must be in the first billion or so, right?) and that I will not go hungry, there is almost (fingers crossed) hot water and toilet paper, I have a grocery store, two bars, a post office, a bakery and butcher and a tattoo shop within 50 meters of my house, that the Black Forest, where Hansel and Gretel came from, is a five minute walk from my front door, and that I am proud of living here in Germany, probably even moreso than the Germans because I am not from here. I'm sure the same thing must happen in America as well but we're talking about me here, right?

I don't have a car, or a dishwasher or even a dryer. I can't go grocery shopping at 10pm on a Tuesday because the Dodger game is rained out and I wanna get out of the house a bit. The beach is at least 6 hours by fast train (I'm talking 100mph friends!) and I don't even get Dodger games to watch. I do get the Rams now and then but they stink this year so that isn't much of a reprise. I guess the point is I have a lot less here but I feel like I have so much more. I give what I consider a small amount of output for all of the input I get and that is perhaps one of my favorite things of living here, along with the fact that I am constantly challenged in mind-bending ways, i.e., trying to understand the drunk soccer fans talking in the local dialect on the tram yesterday as they were going home and I was going to the Irish bar to watch football, like trying to figure out how to pay my taxes correctly so that I can continue to live here unimpeded until next year, or riding my bike places when the weather is good. Okay, riding your bike may not sound mind-bending but when was the last time you rode a bike on a Saturday night out? Huh?

All right, I'm going to walk across the street and meet 3 other teachers. We're going to drive 45 minutes up into the deep Black Forest where I will teach Information Technology for 3 hours and then drive 45 minutes home. This is the only time of the week that I am in a car. I will earn approximately 1/3 of my rent today and that's probably something that has allowed me to do what I want, that I can earn my rent from less than one week's work, the rest of my bills in another and have two week's money to play with. Next year I hope to save one week's worth when possible but that's hard because well, it's hard! But I'm trying! Ciao!

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