Emma in Euroland

Tea, Cake and Travel: a year abroad in Germany

Hello stranger.

When I first started my year abroad, I loved blogging. Everything was exciting and new and I seemed to have endless things to write about. There were many things that never made it to my blog because there just weren’t enough hours in the day. As the snow and cold seemed to bore into my bones, I lost my mojo. I wasn’t enjoying myself so much and I wanted to go home. I wanted my blog to be positive but true and I did write about the difficulties sometimes. It was just hard to motivate myself to find something interesting to write about when I hadn’t wanted to leave the flat for days because it was so cold.

My last post talked about the spontaneous trip home. I just couldn’t bare being away anymore and an unexpected two week break from school turned up. I booked a flight and came home the next day. It was what I needed. After I had spent two weeks at home, there were still a lot of good times. Budapest was certainly a highlight and a truly fantastic trip. The truth was though that whilst I enjoyed lots of things between March and June, my year abroad was over in my mind and I wanted to go home.

As the final days approached, I was able to look back at the good times. Erfurt is a really beautiful city and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I met some fantastic people and made some great friends both at school and outside. The snow had finally lifted and I wandered around aimlessly, just enjoying my surroundings. Just before I left, Mum arrived to help me pack and take me home. We finally visited the Wartburg and I was able to show her what a wonderful area of Germany I had ended up in.

I was homesick but that didn’t mean I didn’t love where I was. I just wanted to be at home more.

I arrived home at the start of June, many suitcases and boxes in hand. It is amazing the amount of stuff you can acquire in a year! A couple of days later, Ramsey arrived home too and we were finally reunited. The months seemed to melt away that day and it was as if we had never been apart. It took us both a while to adjust to being at home and to living in such close proximity to others, having spent so much time alone, but we got there. We had a wonderful week away in Devon in a beautiful converted barn, a weekend in Poole visiting Monkey World and two weeks in Cyprus with the Bensons. In between, we just enjoyed being at home and being together.

Now it’s September and I’m back in Cardiff. I’m living in the most luxurious accommodation I have ever seen a student living in and I’m living here with my best friend. It couldn’t be much better. I have got my job back at the union too and I love working there. Things have changed a little since I left and this year they have completely changed what we are selling. It was certainly a baptism of fire yesterday when it was decided that we wouldn’t open up. Instead, all the staff in the building were invited to a free lunch at 12.30. The idea was that it would give us a trial run of a busy period and any mistakes would be on staff, not on customers. It gave us a chance to work out the best way to deal with the lunchtime rush and make sure that we were working efficiently and ensuring that the best quality product left the kitchen. Well, as you would expect, it was total carnage. It didn’t help that we weren’t entirely sure how long things would take to cook and that we didn’t have all the ingredients we needed to sell all the products on offer, but we got there. Afterwards we had a briefing with all the staff and management to work out the best process going forward. I was quite vocal but honest and I offered solutions to problems where I could see them. After all, it’s in my interest as much as the union’s that the business works. If it doesn’t, there will be less shifts available and we could lose our jobs. I was so tired after my four hour shift that I did nothing for the rest of the day and just went to bed. It was worth it though and I’m glad I was there to see how things were going to work and be part of making things better.

We’ve got two weeks of freshers to get through and they are likely to be busy. Well, hopefully they will be. After that things will settle down and get into a rhythm which should be less manic. I’ll be starting uni again on 30th September. It’s early this year but it means that we will break early for Christmas which is nice. It’s going to be a very hard year academically but I’m looking forward to getting back to things. One step closer to the real world eh?

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1 Comment

  1. Hello! I loved reading your blog about freshers, brought back so many memories! I’m now going into my last year and am trying to find the right way to prepare myself for 7 nights non stop again. I’ve followed your blog so I can keep an eye on your next posts :) I’d love it if you could check out my blog http://mylifemybubble.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/fresh-once-more/ xxx

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