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).
This was the penultimate week of school before the Xmas holidays and it’s clear that the festive season is here. Even though I’ve seen more Xmas markets in the last couple of weeks to last a lifetime and it’s begun snowing, it definitely does not feel like Xmas to me since in Australia unbearably hot weather and sweatiness tend to signify that the festive season is coming.
My first impression of Hamburg wasn't exactly positive. It is a really big city and the sheer number of people, homeless people in particular, was unbelievable. Hamburg is also definitely one of the dirtiest German cities I’ve encountered thus far, the streets were littered with broken glass and of course it was windy and raining the whole time I was there.
Dresden has an absolutely beautiful old town, perhaps the most beautiful in all of Germany. The old town was heavily bombed during the war and has been immaculately restored; it has even earned the nickname “Disneyland” because everything is a copy of the original. Russian tourists flood the old town since there are direct flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg.
My housemate, Annette, invited a fellow English assistant, David, and I to her family home in Freudenberg in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region, which is about one hour east of Erlangen.
My third week of teaching English in Germany is over and I’ve almost completely settled into my school; I now know the locations of all of my 12 classes and have spoken to all 11 teachers I’ll be assisting, and all of them are more or less approachable and amicable (though I can’t say the same about most of the teachers in the other departments).
After a long transit from Australia, I’ve finally arrived in Germany and in this blog post I will reflect on my last few days in Australia, my trip and my first couple of days in Germany.