Life goes on busy, busy in Deutschland. It gets dark earlier in the evening and I wake up in the dark each morning. Last week we celebrated Lichtfest Leipzig, 25 years since reunification. It was a great event with a light festival, public buildings open including the archives of the records the Stasi had kept of the people of Leipzig (these are open anytime, you just make an appointment), public theatre and a ballet performance.

It’s funny how it’s the little things that really make a place feel like home. We’ve found an amazing Vietnamese restaurant and supermarket, and two bars which we call our locals. One of which used to be a butchery and is absolutely gorgeous, will definitely take some photos next time I am there! I have my residency permit for 5 years at last, although I have to go to the Auslander (Foreigners) Office next month to get a residency card. It was quite stressful last time we were there, luckily Chris came with me as he has many more years experience speaking Deutsch to me, as everything was in Deutsch. I know this sounds terribly obvious, but I can’t help comparing it to multicultural Australia where everything is available interpreted in Government bureaucracy and interpreters are plentiful. Of course, this part of Eastern Germany is still far less developed with less migrants than places like Berlin.

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I have Deutsch class Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 11:45am. It’s a good group with people from Russia, Turkey, Greece, Vietnam, England, Syria, India, Spain, Brazil. There’s about 15 of us, although not everyone turns up all the time. We have two teachers. They do half a week each. One speaks completely in Deutsch, the other in Deutsch with a little English. It is definitely an advantage having English as those without can’t ask questions as the teachers don’t speak Arabic or Greek. It’s a difficult language to learn in that grammatical rules are not so much about logic but ‘just because’. But it is definitely easier going to class every day as you pick things up faster and remember things better. I’ve been learning to tell the time in Deutsch which is rather confounding. For example 10:30am is half 11, not half 10.

I’ll be keen to feel more confident with speaking Deutsch. I really need to get my hair cut but haven’t had an English speaking hairdresser recommended to me yet. Little things that you do all the time like ringing and making an appointment are very difficult when you don’t speak the language well. It’s even worse when you try and speak but they still don’t understand because of your accent!  I’ll be writing down what I want to say and bringing a picture of my hair when it was shorter so fingers crossed!

I’ve another Apartment Supper Club the weekend after next for Oktoberfest which is booked out. After that I’ll be doing a Herbst (Autumn) extravanganza using Autumn seasonal produce. I haven’t decided on the menu for this one yet, but there’ll be no pumpkin soup, surely it’s a seasonal dish that’s done to death?

Things I have been reading:

What if you just hate making dinner, Virginia Heffernan, New York Times Magazine

Why personal blogs can never really survive monetization, Jennine Jacob, Independent Fashion Bloggers

The Germanic stare down: Watcha lookin at Granny?, Die Spiegel

My homemade Cronut hell: three days for three greasy lumps, Rhik Samadder,  The Guardian

43 Mexican CollegeStudents disappeared weeks ago. What happened to them? , AJ Vicens, Mother Jones