Renovations are stressful, costly and life-sucking. We (or should I say Thomas) packed a lot of improvements into the two very short months before we moved in. While the outside of the house was basically ready to go, the inside needed a bit of work – new kitchen, new bathroom… and then of course it seemed that every time we looked under something there was something more to do underneath!
As autumn winds down and the first frosts hit, it is a sure sign that winter is coming. Yet not everything about winter has to be cold and horrible. With the air cool and crisp and the first flakes of snow threatening, December is one of the most beautiful months to be in Europe – with Christmas markets aplenty!
Welcome to the weird world of Austrian apartments. In Austria it’s common for an apartment to be rented out completely empty, as was the case with the one we recently moved out of. Now, I know what you’re thinking… you’re thinking: “of course you expect to move into an empty apartment.”
But I bet your concept of an empty apartment is not the same as here. In Australia, it means the place comes with a bathroom, toilet, kitchen, hell, maybe even a laundry sink if you’re really lucky!
The apartment that Thomas originally moved into was brand new and had only the following – toilet, shower/bath and very basic washbasin.
And. That. Is. All.
When I first started learning German, naturally I did all kinds of Google searches on hints, tips and tricks to learning a language faster. There must be some kind of magic formula, I assumed, and if I could just unveil it, fluency would be mine!
Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there just isn’t. Sure, there’s plenty of ideas, but none of them take away from the fact that learning a language comes with hard work and practice.
One thing I came across a lot was so-called ‘fun’ and ‘easy’ ways to learn another language. I clung onto those with everything I had. Options like watching movies in a foreign language, reading local newspapers and listening to the local radio… sure these may sound like fun, but actually, they’re not.
Here’s why these methods are actually no fun at all, and up until now, have barely helped me.
I recently had a good friend come to stay for a week and half in our tiny little town. A word for the wise – that is too long for most in our tiny little town. Being autumn and getting colder, although the weather wasn’t terrible, there is still a limit to what we could do. On days where the sun takes until lunchtime to pierce the fog, it still feels dismal and cold and motivation is low.