A Quickie in Erfurt

The Free State of Thuringia (Thüringen) is a former GDR state in central Germany, known as the "green heart" of Germany since it's covered with dense forest, is definitely not the most popular part of this country. I'd guess that most international visitors to Thuringia visit the former site of the Buchenwald concentration camp or are literature mavens who want to see Goethe and Schiller's Weimar. Sadly, this state is also infamous as a center of Neo-Nazi activity.

A Quickie in Würzburg

It's been a benign three weeks since my last post, and at some point in the last three weeks I realised that I finally felt "settled" in my school as a staff member. The other staff members seem to be "used" to me now, and some have even expressed appreciation for what I do, which means a lot because the culture here is seldom complimentary for the sake of it.

Cham, Regensburg and a visitor from the North

It’s that time again for a short blog entry. January has flown by and things at school are slightly confusing as three teachers in the English faculty are either sick or on parental leave. Therefore, my timetable has changed slightly and I have a few new classes. It has been snowing in snatches and the daylight hours are gradually getting longer (at the peak of winter the sun sets at about 4pm but now it sets at around 5).

Journey to the East II: Berlin, Magdeburg & Sachsenhausen

Last Friday I took a train to the federal capital, Berlin, which is exactly three hours from Erlangen. I first visited Berlin about four years ago and back then I had mixed feelings about it. So this was a chance to reassess the city from a slightly different mindset. During my stay in Berlin, I also took the chance to visit the German states of Sachsen-Anhalt and Brandenburg.

Silvester: sliding into the new year

New Year’s Eve in Germany is called Silvester which is named, for some positively boring religious reason, after Pope Sylvester I and, unfortunately, not after the lisping cat from the Looney Tunes. We had a Sause, a crude colloquial nominalisation denoting a “booze-up”, a word which I had learnt some years prior from a few German undesirables in Lithuania of all places.