giovedì, ottobre 02, 2014


From Padova, we came to Cologne, and we're leaving again tomorrow, heading back to the land down under, and I'm not happy to be leaving. I really like it here. Remind me I wrote that in two or three years when I'm bitching about it. I already know I'll spend a lot of time bitching about Deutsche Bahn, the streetcars, the smoking in public places and the weather. But I really, really like it here. The sun being out for the last week has helped. There aren't too many things nicer than northern Europe during sunny autumn days.

Nonetheless, there has been nothing relaxing about our time here. Mum has been helping with Godzilla, thank God, as the F-word is canvassing galleries with some success and setting up ESL contracts. Meanwhile, I've been working, doing a German intensive, and trying to get Godzilla into a Waldkindergarten, which means lots of super-early starts to get him into some forest area in different, often distant outlying parts of the city. Which was fun, actually, because Godzilla had an awesome time. He is so ready for the format - so ready for other kids. To the degree that I think our search has already been successful. There was one where he had a trial day, in a very, very nice neighbourhood, where the teachers were so charmed by him that they told us they wanted us there next year, and would be able to give us a definitive answer next week. And one of them added that they wanted us to know next week because it takes a long time to find an apartment in that neighbourhood. So that looks really good.

Godzilla is a fricking charming child at the moment, by the way. I think part of that is all the time he's been spending with different loving family lately. He just has this everyone-is-my-friend attitude at the moment that I can see melting cold Teutonic hearts every minute when we're out and about. It sure melts mine.

Anyways, the only fly in my ointment is that the Waldkindergarten that has maybe accepted us, and that I liked best of all the ones we've seen, is in a really nice neighborhood, and finding the right place to live will be tough. Oh well. We'll give ourselves lots of time to look.

Another thing which is not quite a fly in my ointment - more a shaky leg on my ointment table - is that it's only now my manager is taking up my move back to Europe in January or February with higher management. My manager is very happy with the move for reasons of his own workflow, so we'll have to see how it goes over with the higher-ups. They certainly aren't the sort of people who piss on a parade out of principle in my firm, but you just never know what plans are in place that you don't know about. Those fucking known unknowns . . . So I am a tiny bit nervous about that.

And while I'm not happy to be leaving - I've fallen head over heels for this city - there are friends I miss back in Melbourne. Loose ends my fingers are itching to tie up. One more Antipodean summer, or at least the first part of it. I'm a little sad there aren't more things that I miss, but there are enough that I know these past years in Australia have definitely not been a waste of time.

Not to mention Mum is heading back to Canada as we head back to Australialand. I think most adults have slightly fraught relationships with their parents after a few weeks together and we're no exception, but good God, is she a good person. Her age breaks my heart. The thing that makes me angriest about her is her sort of slumping into it. I need many more years with her and it drives me fucking batty when she does things that don't encourage that.