Busy, Then Nothing
Was fairly busy the past few days, but it all passed already.
The Weihnachtsmarkt started up on Friday, which I’m very happy about. I can’t spend too much time there as the main highlights of it are, of course, food. None of it healthy, but that’s the point of holiday food anyhow. We went Saturday night and had some Schmalzkuchen. While it literally means “lard cake,” it’s just little fried dough bits with powdered sugar. They used to be fried in lard, but not anymore. But oh, are they delicious. Especially fresh out of the fryer.
My biggest weakness is the candied almonds. Good God are they amazing, and smell so good when fresh. They’re always still warm and sticky when you buy them, and clump together. Nothing like high-fat nuts covered in sugar!
I’d like to try more things this year then I did last year. There are plenty of crepes stands, but I’ve never had one. I’ve never tried eggnog or anything like that. Many things to try besides bratwurst, schmalzkuchen, and gluhwein.
On Monday we were in Hannover and checked out their very large Weihnachtsmarkt. They had yet even more amazing smelling/looking food that we didn’t try (didn’t want to spoil Chris’ Pizza Hut dinner). We did buy some little pastry things, not sure what they were, but they were incredibly sweet and tasty. Chris was actually interested in the Spanish Potatoes, and there were some other things I wanted to try. Maybe we’ll go back, maybe not. Hard to say. Cost is an issue of course.
The Weihnachtsmarkts aren’t as magical without snow, and we’re still in the middle of a drought with no rain/snow in the forecast for another 2 weeks at least. As much as I dread getting around in the snow, it’ll be nice to have again. If only for a while. It’ll wear out its welcome by March for sure.
We were actually in Hannover because I was invited to yet another interview with Berlitz. I’ve interviewed twice at the Kassel location, with two different people, and supposedly came close to a job offer both times. It went well, and the guy I interviewed with was really nice. Like the last two interviews, he sounded very positive about me coming on board, and it sounds lovely. But it’s complicated and stressing me out a bit.
The pros would be, naturally, more money, more experience, and something to do with my time. The cons are that it may not actually be that much more money, I could lose money sometimes, it wouldn’t be until February at the earliest, a lot of travel to get to/from work, and I’m still not entirely sure I enjoy teaching English that much. Not enough to do it full time.
It pays fine, and they always say they can conceivably give me enough hours to be full-time. But there’s a large window of income where it’s not wise to take a job. If I earn less than 400 a month, which I do now, then I don’t need separate health insurance or to pay taxes. And, this location doesn’t reimburse for travel. Considering I would be teaching out of Hannover and/or Hildesheim and the train tickets are between 250 and 300 euro a month depending on which kind of train I’d take. And if I have to do it nearly every day, the fast train would probably be sorely needed (30 minutes vs. 70+ minutes each way). So you minus the train tickets, the health insurance (something between 150 and 300 a month), and the taxes (hard to figure out for sure, but between 35% and 55%) and I’m ending up with a few hundred more per month over what I get now. Which doesn’t seem like a fair trade off considering the difference in time involved. And that’s only based on full time. Anything less doesn’t change the health insurance or train tickets. So my gut tells me no, but Chris is signaling that I should just shut up and do it for sake of saving some money before we leave. And who knows when we leave, I could teach there for a year, or five months or so. Who knows? Ugh.
Yesterday I joined Shinyee for a pottery class at a community center type place she found. Though it could be fun. It’s only a buck-fifty for the class, and the price of the clay you want to use. I’ve never done pottery or ceramics or anything, and it’s a fun diversion once a week. We’ll see what happens. Don’t need to end up with a bunch of ceramic things to have to ship home.
Andrew is making a last-minute trip over to Germany to visit his friend in Berlin who was gone when he was here last. He’ll swing by here before he leaves next week for an afternoon/evening. Should be fun.