vendredi 9 décembre 2011


Et bien, je n’ecris pas assez souvent je pense. Je vais donc essayer de reprendre un peu de temps perdu.
Je me suis fait quelques groupes d’amis. Il y a d’abord mes amis “toytown”: Leah, Lauren, Cherie, Sonny et mes amis de mon anciens appartement: Franz, Heidi, Steffie. La, je commence a rencontrer des gens de mon travail.

J’ai commence a travailler. Ca fait environ un mois que je travaille. C’est un peu weird de recommencer de travailler, mais c’est bon. A date, je ne suis pas super occupee au travail. Je fais des formations et tout et je m’habitue tranquillement au travail ici.

J’essaie de profiter au maximum de mon temps en Europe. Je suis quand meme occupee. Chaque fois que les gens me proposent des activites, j’accepte. Parfois on va prendre un verre, un souper chez quelqu’un, se promener dans la ville, aller au cinema. Dimanche dernier, je suis allee a la piscine avec Leah et Sabrina. Il y a deux piscines, une exterieure chauffee et une interieure. On a passe presque tout l’apres-midi dans la piscine exterieure au milieu du mois de novembre. C’etait vraiment cool.

Mes gros projets a venir sont – Fin de semaine de party car Ibo revient debut decembre pour la fin de semaine, nouvel an a Istanbul avec Ibo, ma soeur, Fabian et un autre ami des gars. En mars, je vais aller voir Snow Patrol et Simple Plan (haha les deux sont des SP) a Munich et  je vais a Leipzig pour voir Rise against (et visiter pour la fin de semaine) et en mai, je vais voir un concert allemand – die Arzte!


So the season of Christmas markets has begun. They are EVERYWHERE. You walk from Karlsplatz, to Marienplatz, to Sentlinger Tor to Odeonplatz, to the site of Oktoberfest (called Tollwood for Christmas) and pretty much at the exit of any U—bahn station. Christmas markets are plenty of stands selling (usually) hand made products. Most of them are food, hats, scarves, Christmas decorations, and of course, Glühwein. If some snow would come, it would make it just perfect.

It’s so nice to walk around at night when everything is lit up. The Christmas spirit is all around. I’ve been going quite a bit (almost every day). I usually go with Leah, Lauren, Cherie, Sonny, Sabrina. It makes me realize how lucky I am to have met these girls. They are so amazing and we get along so well. They are like my german family. It will be hard not to see them for a few weeks when most of them go back home for the holidays. I don’t think I go one day without talking to them. And soon I will have to survive 2 weeks! 

mardi 29 novembre 2011



So since I’ve been in Germany, I’ve noticed some things that are different than what we are usually used to in Canada. Here are some random observations

-       There are not really any Supermarkets here. You know how you can walk in a Loblaws, or Maxi, or Metro and find EVRYTHING you would ever need. So many choices. Well here, the stores are tiny compared to back home. And there is only one of everything. In Canada, you could find 10 different kinds of cans of corn: small, big, 5 different brands. Here, there is one. If you want corn, you buy the one there is.

-       I’ve never seen so many people with leg problems here. Everyday, you see at least 5 people with crutches, or canes or people that limp or have weird feet. I don’t know why, but there are so many.

-       The bikes are probably more dangerous than the cars. Bikers do whatever they want. Don’t get in their way cause they won’t stop for you. And almost no one wears a helmut. You also have to have a light on your bike, if not, you can get a ticket from the polizei. Most of the lights work when you pedal.

-       People in the buses, s-bahn or u-bahn don’t give up their seat for older people.

-       When I was visiting apartments, I noticed that most german apartments don’t have living rooms. You come into a hall surrounded by closed rooms. Even the kitchen is in a closed area.

-       Most people have washers, but no dryers.

-       This is more of a European thing, but you have to pay to use most public toilets. Usually 50 cents.

-       People almost never bring lunch to work. Everyone goes out for lunch and has a big proper meal. Some companies (including mine), give you pay for lunches. When I am at the office, I get 3 euros a day in the form of coupons that I can then use in restaurants or grocery stores.

-       People usually don’t drink water or something when they eat (unless it’s a beer). So people will go an entire lunch without drinking.

-       When you order water in a Restaurant, unless you specify, they will bring you sparkling water. They drink sparkling everything here. Even if you say without, there is usually a bit of bubbles in it.

-       Most men do not lose their hair. I haven’t seen a lot of people with bold spots.

If I see any other interesting differences, I might have to make a part 2 to this post.

mardi 1 novembre 2011

Munich vs Berlin

I just got back form a long weekend in Berlin with Lauren and Leah. While we were there, we made a list of pros and cons of each city to see which one wins in the end. Here we go, in no specific order:

  • The men: there are more beautiful men in Munich than Berlin. Don’t know why. You just see them everywhere in Munich. I think it’s a requirement to live in this city. Munich wins.
  • The smell: Berlin has this weird smell in certain parts of the city. Some, not to say a lot of places smell like crap and pee. Munich wins.
  • Little ample man: Berlin has this cool green man to tell you when you can cross the street. It’s probably the best I’ve seen in any city in the world. Berlin wins, although I should count as half a point as this man is only in half f the city. The other half has just a regular little man.
  • Cell phone coverage: When we arrived, we noticed that the data was pretty fast in Berlin. But after a few hours, mine seemed to be the one working the best. So we’ll give the point to Berlin since we had initially given it to it, but it may be a tie. Berlin wins.
  • S-bahn stations: The s-bahn stations in Berlin are messy (garbage all over the ground), dodgy (some I would not want to be alone at night) and are not really that pretty to look at. Munich is clean, safe and fairly nice for train stations. Munich wins.
  • Escalators in the s-bahn / u-bahn: We were so tired from walking everywhere, we just wanted to take a nice escalator up from the platforms in the stations, but most stations we were not able to find any escalators to take us up. Munich has them everywhere and elevators as well. Munich wins.
  • Reversing escalators: On the occasions that we found escalators in Berlin, some of them would only go in one direction. So if you wanted the other, too bad for you. Munich has a lot of reversing escalators. So when no one is on it, you can change the direction and go the way you want. Munich wins.
  • Frequency of s-bahns: We never waited more than 2 minutes for an s-bahn or u-bahn in Berlin. Wherever we went, there seemed to always be a train waiting for us. Berlin wins.
  • Seeing outside the windows of the u-bahn: The windows of the u-bahns in Berlin are covered with pictures of the Brandenburg tor, which makes it really hard to see out the window the name of the stop you are at. Munich has nice clear windows. Munich wins.
  • City symbols: Although lions are cool, the Berlin bear is really cool and there are statues of it everywhere in the city, all decorated in different ways. Berlin wins.
  • Sewer system: For those who don’t know, part of Berlins sewer system is in pipes out of the ground around the city. When you walk around and see pink tubes around, just know they are carrying, no other way to put this, s**t. Munich wins.
  • Dogs: Germany is a very dog friendly country. You can bring your dogs everywhere. So you get to see a lot of dogs. Both cities have beautiful dogs. tie.
  • Finding doners: The doner kebab is probably one of the best fast food meals you can get in Germany. We had heard that Berlin made good kebabs, so we decided to have some for lunch. Well, contrary to Munich, you can not just go anywhere and find kebabs. It took us a day and a half to find our first kebab shop. I think you can find one every few blocks in Munich. Munich wins.
  • Taste of doners: Once we actually found one, we had a nice lunch It was delicious, but they are delicious in Munich as well. tie.
  • Crazies: There aren’t many homeless people in Munich that bother you. When we were waiting for the s-bahn in Berlin, this man came up to us and started coughing on us and when he left, he burped. A little bit weird. Munich wins.
  • Catholic holidays: We went up to Berlin cause we had Tuesday off. We thought it was a national holiday (none of us actually checked what the holiday was, we just accepted the day off). Well, turns out it’s all saints day, which is a catholic holiday and in Berlin, people are mostly protestant, so they did not get the day off. Munich wins.
  • Bike safety: In Munich, there is a special way of locking your bike, you just tie the front wheel to the centre part of your bike. You don’t really have to attach it to a post or a bike stand. And your bike is usually there when you come back. I’d say 50% of the bikes are just anywhere in the city attached to itself. All the bikes I saw in Berlin were locked to a post. Munich wins.
  • Lederhosen: Berlin has none, Munich has a lot. What else is there to say. Munich wins.
  • Speaking german: In Berlin, when you speak german to people, they will, 90% of the time, answer in english. This does not help you improve. In Munich, you ask something in german, they answer in german. Munich wins.

Well I think it’s safe to say that Munich wins hands down. This does not take anything away form Berlin. I love the city, but my city is Munich. 

samedi 8 octobre 2011

German Life

So this is a more serious entry. Here is the story of my integration into German life.  When I arrived here, there were 2 main things that I had to do. 1) Find a place to live and 2) Find a job. After being in Germany for about 2 months, I can tell you all that this has been accomplished.

1)    The flat. I wanted to find furnished accommodation that was not too expensive. There is a website here that lists available rooms in Germany in a shared apartment. I spent almost 4-5 hours a day on this website for about 5 days looking and sending messages and calling people to visit the different places. Most of the time, you get no answer back, some e-mails saying that the room is already taken or they have offers…. I was nervous of not finding a place to stay in September because of the Oktoberfest. If I didn’t find a place in time, I would have nowhere to stay as all hotels and hostels are booked months in advance for Oktoberfest. One morning I called a girl who had put up an ad a few minutes before. I went to visit the room and she told me I could have it J.   Relief! It was only available one month, but at least I would not be homeless. Afterwards, I visited another flat that was available in September, but the girl said it was ok if I moved in in October. So I now have my place for the rest of my time in Germany. I only need to move on Friday, but I think I found people to help me out.

2)    The job. I was told it could take about a month or 2 to find a job in my field in Germany. I started sending out CVs to different companies from the ads online and on the websites of the companies. I was trying to think of places where I could work to start making money as soon as possible (restaurants, language schools, etc). Then one day I was on toytown website and I saw a discussion group for babysitting job offers. I wrote an ad saying that I was new here and looking for work. It’s crazy how many responses I got. I am still getting some now, after about a month. I was able to get 3 part time jobs from that. I had to start refusing some people cause if not, I could probably be babysitting about 50 hours a week, If not more. Also, one day, I went to a friend or a friends house for brunch and they had another couple over that have kids and were looking for a babysitter for 3 days a week. It was for their daughter and, if I wanted, the son of one of her friends). That’s not a problem for me, so I therefore got that job as well, watching two 2 and a half year olds. My week is therefore filled with 4 babysitting jobs now. Plus the occasional evening with other families.

But I don’t want to be babysitting the whole time I am here. On the day I had found my flat for September, I was so happy to have found something that I decided to have a drink at the hostel bar. The guy sitting next to me started talking to me and I was telling him that I recently moved to Munich and was looking for a job and all. He told me that he had friends that worked for accounting firms here and to send him my CV and he would forward it along. Any help is welcome so the next day I sent it to him. His girlfriend works at KPMG and gave my CV to her boss. I then got an interview with them.

I have to say thanks to everyone who helped me out in my process of finding work and how the people I met helped me settle in Munich so well.
To Alex, who introduced me to Tilman and helped me find my first job babysitting.
To Bianca who rented me her room, which made me go to the bar.
To Gavin, who I met at the bar, and gave my CV to his girlfriend that got me a job.

lundi 12 septembre 2011

Mise en contexte

Bon, pour ceux qui ne le savaient pas, j’ai emmenage dans un appartement pour le mois de septembre. C’est un logement pour etudiants, mais vu que c’est pour un mois, ca ne derange pas que je ne suis pas etudiante.

Pour facilite les prochains texts, je vais vous presenter les gens avec qui je reste.

Dans la chamber #1 (et celui que je vois le plus souvent), il y a Ibo. Il est turc et est en echange ERASMUS ici pour 6 mois. Il retourne en Turquie a la fin du mois. Il est super drole et bon cuisinier. Il nous fait souvent des repas et s’occupe bien de nous (il est le seul gars dans l’appart pour ce mois-ci).

Dans la chamber #2, il y a Steffi. Elle etudie en medecine et est assez occupee car elle doit aller au labo souvent. Malgre ceci, elle essaie toujours de m’aider a etre confortable et bien dans l’appart. Elle m’a montre ou etait les machines a laver (et comment les utiliser) et elle m’invite a des 5 a 7 de medecine.

Dans la chamber # 3, il y a Katharina. Elle est allemande egalement et etudie en administration / business. Elle est a Munich pour 2 mois pour un praktikum. Elle est vraiment sympathique et je pratique beaucoup mon allemand avec elle.On se parle Presque juste en allemand et elle prend son temps pour parler lentement. Elle a aussi eu la bonne idée pour notre party (que vous pourrez lire bientot).

Dans la chamber #4, c’est Heidi. Elle travaille dans une boite d’edition de livres. Elle est allemande aussi, mais a venu a Londres, donc elle a un accent british en anglais. Elle est super cool et elle rit beaucoup. On est alle la visiter a Regensburg une journee car elle vient de la. On a donc eu un tour guide par une personne local.

Et dans la chamber # 5, il y a habituellement Franz (que j’ai rencontre lors de notre excursion a Regensburg), mais ce mois-ci, c’est Noga et Mayaan, deux filles de l’Israel qui sont ici pour un praktikum en medecine. Elles travaillent donc a l’hopital tous les jours et la fin de semaine elles visitent Munich autant que possible. Elles ne parlent pas vraiment allemand. Elles sont toujours souriantes et super gentiles.

Bon, ceci fait le tour des gens ici. Je vais maintenant pouvoir vous raconter des histories en vous parlant d’eux…

Alors revenez voir la suite bientot…. 

jeudi 1 septembre 2011

Beer gardens

So Munich is famous for many things, one of them being beer gardens and beer halls.

I have to say, I think this is one of my favorite places. Not because you drink beer, but for the atmosphere you find in such a place.

Most beer gardens have long tables, kind of like giant picnic tables. You get a beer and just sit anywhere. Most of the time, you have to ask people to sit at the same table as them, as there are very few empty ones. During this time, you get to talk to them.

Some people go there on their own (mostly older german men). It’s so nice to get to talk to them and learn about them. It’s not like back home when an older creepy guy comes up to you, you feel awkward and want to leave.

The other day, we went to Augustiner Halle (to have the best beer ever) and 2 of our friends were sitting with a german guy. One of the people I knew was talking to this guy for like an hour, with him not speaking german and the german guy not speaking English. It was wonderful.

I got to speak to him in german a bit as well. Well Bavarian german, which is a bit different. I think he enjoyed talking to me in german.

A few days ago, I went near Ostbahnhof station and they had a little festival with traditional german music and people were dancing. My friend Matt (24), was asked to dance by a 50-something year old woman. It was really nice to see. And we got to talk to germans as well. Everyone is so nice!

lundi 22 août 2011

First few weeks

First few weeks

Et bien, en arrivant a Berlin, je voulais commencer des recherches d’emplois et d’appartement. La journee que je suis arrivee, j’etais tellement fatiguee que je n’ai pas fait grand chose. Je suis quand meme reste reveillee jusqu’a 10h et je me suis reveillee a 10h le lendemain. Mon decalage horaire c’est donc termine la.

J’ai eu un rendez-vous avec la personne responsible en Allemagne de SWAP afin de m’expliquer ou chercher des apparts et des employs. Apres cette journee, je n’ai rien fait d’autre pour avancer la-dedans avant d’arriver a Munich.

Vu que j’etais quand meme a Berlin pour la premiere fois, je voulais visiter un peu. Quelqu’un m’avait parle des tours organize de la ville. J’ai donc fait ca ma premiere journee de libre. Il y avait un couple d’americain (Meaghan et John) et des amis anglais (Nick et Matt) et d’autres personnes. (Je les mentionne car ils vont revenir plus tard). On a passé la journee dans l’ancien territoire anglais après la separation de Berlin et de l’Allemagne après la guerre. Le guide est un ancien militaire anglais en poste a Berlin dans les annees suivants la guerre. Il a donc pleins d’histoires a raconter. C’etait assez interessant.

A la fin de la journee, il nous demande si on veut aller prendre un verre avec lui dans son pub cheap. On a tous decide d’y aller. C’est vrai que c’est pas cher. Une biere = 1,50 euros!

Le lendemain, Meaghan, John et moi avons decide de faire le tour des palais de Potsdam.  Nick est venu egalement. Nous etions docn le meme groupe que la veille et on avait le meme guide! Assez cool comme journee.

Les palais de Potsdam sont des anciens palais des rois de la Prussie. Assez impressionnant comme lieu. Il y a une dizaines de palais differents dans la meme ville. On aurait jamais ete capable de voir autant de chose sans un guide. Il faut vraiment savoir ou sont chaucn des palais pour se deplacer rapidement a pied pour en voir le plus possible. J’ai meme trouver ma nouvelle maison! On a fait un jeu ou chacun pouvait choisir son palais comme nouvelle maison. Vous pouvez voir la photo de la mienne sur facebook.

Le plus memorable moment de la journee etait certainement le dernier palais qu’on a visiter. Ce palais est celui ou restaient et discutaient les homes politiques des USA, Angleterre et URSS pour negocier ce qui allait arriver a l’Allemagne après la 2e guerre mondiale. On a pu voir la table ronde ou chaucn etait assis et les chambers ou ils restaient.

J’ai aussi vu le musee juif, le Reichtag, la barriere a l’entrée de la ville, checkpoint Charlie (un peu decevant comme lieu, c’est juste le kiosque) et les autres monuments connus de la ville.

La plus belle visite de Berlin etait un tour guide d’un vieux bunker utilize pour garder les civils durant les attaques de l’air pendant la guerre. Il y a une piece qui est peinturer avec une peinture qui brille dans le noir! Donc quand il perdait l’electricite, on pouvait encore voir dans cette piece. Et ca se “recharge” avec un contact avec de la lumiere. C’est fou entendre des histories sur l’utilisation des bunkers et voir des artifacts de ce temps en etant a l’interieur.

Puis est venue le temps de partir pour Paris! (Ah la vie est triste des fois). J’ai fait les trucs classique de Paris, marche le long de la Seine et voir Notre-Dame, le Louvre (sans y entrer), la tour Eiffel, l’arc de triomphe. C’est assez impressionannt comme ville. Je marcahis dans les rue et je ne pouvais m’empecher de sourire. Je suis aussi allee au jardin (et non le parc) Luxenbourg. C’est tellement beau. J’avais un livre et je me suis assise pour lire et ecouter de la musique. Je suis allee aux invalids voir l’exposition sur les 2 guerres mondiales. Il y a tellemnt de chose a voir dans ce musee, c’est fou. Je n’ai pas eu le temps de faire le tour des autres expositions.

On a aussi eu nos retrouvailles a Paris, avec des anciens collegues et une fille que j’ai rencontre dans un autre voyage. On est allee sur la terrase du Holiday Inn. Il y a une super belle vue de toute la ville. C’est drole, mais cool de croiser des gens qu’on connait dans une autre ville.

Apres Paris, je suis allee a Munich pour quelques jour savant d’aller a mon festival. J’ai envoye des CV et chercher des appartements. On verra ce que ca donne.. croisez les doigts.

Et le grand moment tant attendu (pour moi) = Highfield festival. Un mot : ECOEURANT. 3 jours de musique. Je suis arrivee le jeudi vers 6h. Une chance, j’ai attendu une heure pour passer la securite avant de pouvoir installer ma tente (plus tard, il y avait 10 fois plus de monde, je n’ose pas imaginer le temps que ca a pris).

C’est super bien installe. Il y a un endroit avec des toilettes qui flush, des douches, une station de nettoyage pour les mains ou les dents. Le festival commencait officiellement le vendredi. Le matin, il pleuvait tellement, je ne voulais pas sortir de ma tente. Mais au moment des shows, il avait cesse de pleuvoir. Je ne connaissais pas trop les groupes du vendredi, donc je me suis promener d’une scene a l’autre pour voir tous les spectacles. Assez impressionnant, meme les groupes que je ne connaissais pas etaient super bon. A minuit, il y avait le headliner de ce soir, mais c’etait un groupe allemand que je ne connassais pas, donc je n’ai pas tout ecoute.

Le samedi, je me suis promener un peu le matin entre chacune des scenes, mais vers 3h, je suis restee a une des scenes pour voir 30 seconds to mars a minuit. J’ai donc attendu la tout ce temps pour avoir une bonne place. Ca a valu la peine, j’etais dans la 3e rangee. Mais les gens etaient fous et on se faisait toujours frapper.

Le dimanche, Meilleure journee!!!!! J’ai vu, jimmy eat world, rise against, foo fighters et d’autres. Je suis restee tout l’apres-midi a une scene pour etre dans la premiere rangee de jimmy eat world. J’aurais pu rester la pour foo fighters, mais rise against jouait a l’autre scenen et c’est pas mal pour eux que je suis allee au festival. En attendant que ca commentce, j’ai parle avec un gars allemand et il m’a dit que si je voulais trasher, il allait me checker et si je voulais aller sur ses epaules pour bien voir, je pouvais. J’ai donc ou trasher et il poussait tous les gens autour de moi. C’etait quand meme fou. Ils ont tellement bien joue, toutes les bonnes chansons.

Quand ils ont termine, on est alle a la scene de foo fighters, mais on etait loin  vu que la majorite des gens sont arrives plus tot.  C’etait cool quand meme. L’ambiance etait bonne.

Demain, je retournes a Munich et la vraie vie commence, recherché intensive d’emploi et d’appartement. Fini les vacances…. Pour le moment.

mardi 12 juillet 2011


Welcome to my Euro blog. I will post messages and updates about my travels to Europe.

Parfois les messages seront en français, parfois en anglais. On verra comment je me sens au moment venu. Qui sait, peut-être même en allemand après quelques temps....