Au Pairing, Germany, Musings
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Warning, Illegal Worker Operating Bicycle

If I told you that I had intended on an hour long Wog (Jog with intermittent walking) I would be lying. I had ordered a new iPod cable from for the impressive cost of 4.00 Euro. (It’s not really that impressive, I compared to Amazon.ce and they under cut my price by a good $3.00CAD but my satisfaction derived from successfully ordering an item from German Amazon. Yayeh, didn’t fuck it up!) iPod’s are so much more entertaining when they have battery life! Hands down, I am part of the generation that insists on exercising with music. I just can’t bring myself to increase my heart rate if I can’t pump some tunes. This is the primary reason that the extent of my physical exertion here in Germany has been lifting a fork to my face. And repeat. (That’s a lie, I’ve been cycling everywhere!) So, I laced up my runners and headed out for a jog. I had a ‘rough’ idea of where I was heading, but since I am not the beacon of ‘fit’ I thought I would take it easy…30 minutes-ish. When I got ‘there,’ I hadn’t quite met my quota. Aaaaand then I began to wander. It’s quite easy for time to slip by when you don’t know where you’re going. I veered off onto an over grown dirt road and even though I was starting to tire, kept running sheerly because if I ended up at a dead end or out of town and eons from home, then surely I would discover it more promptly and be able to turn around and make my way back before nightfall. After 60 minutes I rolled back into Fischerstrasse 3 feeling a bit better about the chocolate I had consumed in the last 3 weeks.

Bowling was a bit of  a flop.  I wasn’t the worst bowler but I was the only one of the people who wasn’t driving, to order a beer. Lame sauce guys…

So, three weeks into my stint here, I am yet to be granted a work permit.  It’s the classic scenario of a bureaucratic system. Complex layers of policy which leads to inefficiency that erodes the integrity of the ‘glorified’ system. Germans looove their ‘Ordnung.’ (Order) I can only imagine the hoops the women are jumping through down at the ‘Rathaus’ (city hall). Must be reminiscent of Cirque de Soleil given the impending approval of my application. I can’t imagine that there are that many au pairs jamming up the system? I’m only here for 4 months (but Shhh! Don’t tell the government) as you’re supposed to stay a minimum of 6 months. By the time I get the goddam permit ironed into my passport I’ll be 22. For now I’ll take solace in the fact that I’ve ‘signed in’ to Celle as a resident, I must only be half illegal if they are at least recognizing my existence. I hope whoever had to deal with approving my work permit also has the pleasure of ‘signing me out’ of Celle and realizes that I only ‘officially’ worked for a total of 2 weeks (on paper). Take that!

I love my bicycle. Here, the bicycle is König (King!) There are bicycle stoplights at intersections. Most sidewalks are divided into two sections: pedestrians and cyclists. Sometimes it’s a painted white line, (reminiscent of a road) or other times it’s a strip of black bricks. There are red-painted cross’walks’ that give cyclists the right of way. That’s right, just sail through that intersection at mach speed with the confidence that German drivers know how it is. YIELD TO ME mothafuckaaaah! Pedestrians be warned, you too must yield to the holy bicycle. God forbid I am humming along so fast that you get in my way and I’m unable to stop! So. Whatis the logic behind the Rein of the Bicycle?  [(Vulnerability of bikes to cars) + (Vulnerability of pedestrians to everything on the street and thus requires due diligence on their own part) = geeeyt outtta my way, I’M ON A BIKE.

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