Home time

Well, it’s here. At 7:45 I will be at Dortmund Hauptbahnhof for the last time, on a train which will take me to my flight at Cologne/Bonn airport. After some waiting about I will fly over to Edinburgh; after some more waiting about there my friends will pick me up and we’ll all drive together back to Glasgow.

How do I feel about this? I’m not sure. On one hand I’m happy that all my stress with packing is over (honestly, I’m never sending a bike anywhere in my life again) and that I will soon be reunited with my friends and family. On the other, I really haven’t reconciled myself with the fact that I’m leaving. Not at all (although this post is beginning to make it hit home for me, just a little). I’m still expecting to go to sleep in this bed, then wake up tomorrow, laze about a bit, maybe grab some breakfast and chat with whichever one of my flatmates is getting ready for uni, find out what we’re making for dinner this evening…

This (well, from February onwards anyway) has definitely been the best experience of my life so far and, if I can use the term, ‘the making of me’. I think I’m definitely a lot more confident than I used to be, although how long that will last is another question. I’ve made friends I know I will have for life (although I haven’t come to terms with that separation yet either – talk to me in a couple of days and I’ll probably be a wreck). People did so many nice and unexpected things for me – Selena and Dimitra made me a personalised apron with lots of photos of us, and my flatmates gifted me with a BvB flag to hang up on my wall at home with pride! Wer ist deutscher Meister?!

Alright, I still haven’t finished my preparations (typical me) so I should finish up. The next time I post here, it will be from the comfort of my home in Scotland. Bis dann…

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Meh

I really should be packing things away for going to Barcelona tomorrow morning but instead I’m sitting here contemplating.

 

8 days to go and I’m surrounded by empty cardboard boxes (including one for my bike – this will surely be interesting) which I have no desire to fill. Part of me’s looking forward to being back home and seeing my friends again but the other is dreading the thought of going back to regular, everyday life at home in my tiny cramped room. I’m not back from Spain until Sunday either, so my last couple of days are going to be ridiculously stressed through packing, sending things home, tidying and somehow fitting in time to say goodbye to my friends here.

 

Hmm. Not sure why I wrote this.

Goals

I found a little note on my Facebook page that I wrote in April of last year. It was a list of things I wanted to accomplish on my year abroad. Let’s see how well I got on with it!

~

I want to come up with a list of things to do while I’m away, then put it here to remind myself! :p

-Go to the German Masters – okay, I wrote this before I discovered I was to be working in NRW. The German Masters are in Berlin so that was never really plausible…hey, at least I visited Berlin at some point though!

-Get some of my friends to come and visit me! :p – Alex managed it back in December!

-Show my parents around if they decide to come over for a weekend – I knew my dad, having never been on a plane in his life, would never make it here but at least I got to meet up with my mum! Okay, maybe we were in Berlin rather than Dortmund but that was probably for the best.

-Join a club – Orchestra!

-Find the love of my life – This was always slightly unrealistic, but I’m pretty sure I at least flirted with someone…

-Don’t turn down any new opportunities! This could be the start of a long fascination with line dancing or something! – I’ve been to some crazy things like German poetry slams. I also accepted all the chances to go on trips and visited new countries!

-Smile – I gained a reputation of always being happy and cheerful so I’ll tick this one off…

-Write a diary/blog of my experiences so I can always look back on them – This one is pretty self-evident.

-Take lots and lots of photos – I must have at least 800 photos of my time here and that’s not including the photos other people took! I definitely accomplished this one.

All in all, I’m pretty satisfied that I met (almost) all of these targets. Interestingly, ‘becoming fluent in German’ was never a goal…

Mein letzter Tag

This is most certainly a little bit late, but I’ve finally done enough work (posting paperwork back to the university, tidying my room, eating cake and drinking Irn Bru) to allow myself to write for a while.

So, my contract at the school ended on the 31st of May. I’d been dropping hints to the classes that I was about to leave, partly so they’d behave and partly so I’d receive cards with their names. The music teacher (the one who I’ve mentioned numerous times as someone I strongly dislike) also told me several times that I’d get flowers during the break on my last day, so I assumed all the teachers knew about it.

For the most part, the kids just saw me off with a wave and a ‘thank you Caitlin!’. Two girls from my year 9 class bought me a chocolate frog and one of my year 5 classes gave me chocolate and a card. The special prize goes to Finn-Jonas, a year 5 pupil who confidently said in my second-last week that he would make me ‘a very nice cake’. I nodded and continued on my way. In our last lesson, however, as I handed out mini Haribo packets to everyone, he ducked under his desk…and emerged triumphantly with an entire coffee cake! I was rendered utterly speechless. It was absolutely delicious as well!

The day didn’t exactly go the way I’d planned it, though. My first two lessons should’ve been spent with my year 5 class in the assembly hall rehearsing their upcoming play. We were just about to begin when the music teacher barged in, said something to the teacher and then waved me over. Figuring it had something to do with me receiving these promised flowers, I went over. What followed was incredibly irritating: I spent the entire first lesson walking round and correcting the pupils’ song lyrics – they were being forced to write in English for some reason, even though it was clearly a music lesson. Usually I wouldn’t have minded but I was just pissed off that I was dragged out of my normal class for 45 minutes without any warning or choice. He asked me to spend the second lesson with them while they put their lyrics to music, but I put my foot down.

The English teachers gave me a lovely card with a thank-you note, but they were the only people who knew I was leaving. Turns out that the music teacher had, of course, arranged nothing for my leaving day. I felt really awkward – on the one hand, I didn’t want to disappear without any notice, but I wasn’t exactly keen on making a point of saying goodbye to teachers I’d never spoken to. In the end, I stuck a letter on the noticeboard and left it like that. A shame, really. (On a side note, the headteacher never said a word to me throughout my year abroad and actually openly avoided me when I smiled or nodded at her – apparently she can’t speak English but never bothered to try and speak German with me. Fantastic.)

I was expecting to feel incredibly sad when I left the school for the last time, but it really wasn’t the case. I’m going to miss it, of course, but I am looking forward to doing other things now.

Prague

I apologise for not posting this sooner! I’ve been simultaneously really busy and too bored to write. However, if I don’t do it soon I probably won’t remember anything, so here goes!

Thanks to German religious holidays, my friends and I had another chance to travel outside of Germany. This time we decided to go to Prague, where Dimitra had an old friend from her Erasmus year in Spain. It started off with an hour and a half on the train followed by ten hours on the bus – certainly not pleasant (especially not the part where the driver was forced to run over a rabbit and I had the best [worst?] seat in the house), but at least it was cheap! (We had to pay in Hungarian forints, though, so it was something like 18,000…)

At about half six in the morning Lucie, Selena, Dimitra and I arrived in Prague. Out of sheer kindness, Dimitra’s friend Vitek met us and helped us get back to his house, whereupon we promptly slept until midday. Then, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we set out exploring the city.

I’ll be honest – I wasn’t expecting great things from Prague. I’d heard the name thrown about a lot, but I’d never taken the time to look into it myself, (ignorantly) assuming that it wasn’t really a place worth seeing. How wrong I was! It is perhaps the most beautiful city I’ve seen in my life. The streets were wide, the buildings were gorgeous and the streets were cobbled. (Admittedly, this sometimes proved more of a hindrance than a good point when trying to walk up hills.)

The great weather definitely added to the overall greatness of the trip. 24 degrees! Ever the Italian, Selena was walking about with her hoodie on while I sweltered under the combined stifling effects of the blazing heat and lashings of suntan lotion. If I ever do make it to Lecce to visit her after this year abroad is over, I’ll have to encase myself in an ice cube.

After our visit to the (relatively) expensive country of Sweden, Prague was a welcome relief. I don’t think I ever paid more than 8€ for a full meal and a drink. Speaking of drink, beer was INCREDIBLY cheap and INCREDIBLY good. I managed to buy half a litre of Staropramen for a little over 1€! I miss it already. (On a side note, I’m pretty sure I’m going to stop drinking beer when I go back to Glasgow as it’s just not nearly as good.)

I did attempt to try the local cuisine – I ate a cut of beef with dumplings and a cream and cranberry sauce, washed down with a nice cold beer, for the grand total of 4€. The crowning glory, however, was definitely the restaurant we went to on our last day, where I enjoyed a potato pancake (every bit as good as it sounds) stuffed with every glorious vegetable under the sun. The best bit? The tomato was served as a wedge rather than diced and scattered through the whole dish, so I could remove it with ease 😀

As usual, I was overwhelmed and humbled by the hospitality of the people we stayed with. Vitek and his girlfriend Domenica (I apologise if these spellings are completely wrong) were so nice to us! If we’d been alone I don’t think we’d have had nearly as much fun. It’s also a sad truth that tourists  are often scammed in Prague simply because the language and currency are so different – for example, places may have different prices for tourists as opposed to Czech natives. Annoying, but if it had happened to us we probably wouldn’t even have realised it.

The last big feature I want to mention is the huge river running through Prague. It’s called Vltava and is truly lovely to look at. It holds special significance for me as one of my favourite pieces of classical music is actually a tone poem inspired by the river! We played it in my very first year in the Glasgow Schools’ Symphony Orchestra many, many years ago and it’s been a firm favourite ever since. It didn’t even occur to me that I would see that river when we were here but it was in fact even better  – we got a pedal boat and travelled along it!

On Monday night, Selena and I reluctantly boarded the bus once more (Lucie had already left and Dimitra stayed a couple of days longer) and arrived back in Dortmund at about 11 the next morning. I’m still holding on to 100 Czech crowns (about 4€) for my next trip there 😉

Stockholm syndrome

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I made friends with a Swedish assistant called Chris. Sadly, living in Germany wasn’t for him and he left early. However, Selena and I managed to visit him for a couple of days in Sweden and, I have to say, it was probably the best holiday I’ve taken during this entire year abroad.

Thanks to cheap Ryanair flights, we flew to Stockholm on Wednesday and were greeted by Chris and his sister (who had brought a cake for us despite never having met us before! I was amazed). From there we drove to see Tobias, Chris’ cousin who was kind enough to let us stay with him despite having only met us once before (and he couldn’t even remember that since it was at Karneval when we were all a bit drunk…).

On our first full day we visited Stockholm. It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting (although I’m not sure what I WAS expecting) – rather than being a built-up, densely populated city, the centre was instead a mishmash of an old town buildings, newer structures and harbours. We stumbled across the Royal Guard giving an orchestrated  performance of Sweden’s Eurovision entry, Euphoria. Patriotism at its finest. After that we just sat by the harbour for a while, watching and occasionally jumping in fright at the boats went by.

While I’m talking about Stockholm, let me just mention the weather. It wasn’t warm as such, but it definitely wasn’t freezing cold as both I and the weather forecasters had expected. As a consequence, I managed to get sunburnt. Oh, the shame…

The next day was spent visiting some smaller places, including the town Tobias lives in and also Chris’ house. It was here where Selena met and fell in love with her Italian soulmate – Ella!

On the last night we went to Chris’ uncle’s 60th birthday party. It was actually really touching to see such a huge family get-together, even if I couldn’t understand a word of the speeches and songs. There was a free bar which culminated in lots of dancing and general frivolity.

The last morning was a lot more downbeat (mainly  because we were all still half-asleep) as we drove back to the airport. Selena and I were pretty emotional about this, which is funny because I held it together a lot better when I left my parents in September, but this time I had to go and sit in the bathroom for a while before I could go back out again. That’s a good sign, right?

To sum it up, it was a really great couple of days – far better than I had ever imagined – and I was gutted to leave. I’ve got trips to Prague and Barcelona lined up before I leave but I think this particular trip will stick in my mind for a long while 🙂

Wer ist deutscher Meister? Ask anyone here…

Since arriving in Germany, I’ve changed a great deal. Now I can drink beer (albeit very badly), ask for directions in German and talk to people a lot more openly then I could before. Hell, I can even give a hug or two. But the change I want to focus on here is my gradually increasing interest in….football! Namely, of course, Borussia Dortmund.

You’d have to be living under a rock in this city to not know about them. I like to think that because Dortmund isn’t so aesthetically pleasing (sorry Dortmund residents), the only thing the citizens can rally behind is their football team. This year they achieved the impressive feat of winning both the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal tournaments.

In Glasgow, the main component of our football is the huge rivalry between Rangers and Celtic. (Incidentally, almost everyone who knows I’m from Glasgow has triumphantly listed one of these teams, but never both.) Here, however, it’s the total opposite – EVERYONE here supports BvB. I was in a pub watching the game which won them the Bundesliga and the atmosphere was absolutely immense. It was just so nice to have everyone on the same side! Afterwards the entire city came to a standstill with everyone celebrating in the streets. No drivers minded; it gave them a chance to beep their horns and play BvB songs (you can buy a whole album if you’re so inclined) as loud as their speakers will allow.

After the Pokalfinale, however, the sheen of this faded a little. On the following day Dortmund celebrated with a Meisterfeier throughout the entire city. The BvB football team travelled through the city The entire demographic turned out for this: women with children, groups of youngsters, old married couples. Maybe it was because I wasn’t drunk, but I just found it chaotic and rowdy. After waiting for more than an hour in the street, a police van came by and informed us that we were blocking the lorry’s route and that we would all have to move to different locations. Somehow I ended up getting separated from the people I was with and, fed up with standing about being confused, I just went home.

However, this little experience aside, I like the unity of the Dortmunders about this. I’ve also learned a good number of football songs! Here is one such gem:

Wer ist deutscher Meister? BvB Borussia! Wer ist deutscher Meister? Borussia BvB!

The pupils at school were also elated when they saw my BvB keyring. My best moment came on Tuesday when we had or orchestra concert – for our encore we all put on BvB t-shirts! I’ve never heard such raucous applause at a classical event.
Sorry for the badly-written post here; I’m just a bit all over the place at the moment. Here, enjoy some BvB photos to make up for it.

 

Going home

So the time has come for me to decide on a date to return home. If you’d asked me a month earlier, I’d have said I wanted to stay until the last possible moment. Now, however, I’m not so sure.

The question is mainly one of money. I received my last payment from the British Council on Monday, so if I stayed until the end of my lease I’d go two months without being paid. Considering I have rent to pay, flights to book, a trip to Sweden (where everything is nice and expensive) already booked and possible journeys to Amsterdam and Prague, this does not seem feasible. There is still a good deal of money available to me from other sources but I’m loathe to use them, simply because I need to start thinking about next year (and the very real possibility of me moving out of the family home).

Secondly, I worry that I’ll get bored. Sometimes I have days where I just sit about in front of the computer after my schoolday is finished – my flatmates are all studying and I don’t have a great deal to do once my work is done. I’ve registered at the library in the hope that reading will help me get out of this rut a little. But what will I do once I don’t even have school to fall back on? Okay, so it’s only 12 hours a week but at least it gives me a little bit of purpose. My main worry is that, without school, my last month here will be spent being bored and a bit lonely. I still have NRW-wide travel though, but I can envisage myself being really bored.

Finally, there are things at home that I’d like to do. For one, there is a salsa course (though I don’t know when!). I will also (hopefully!) have a physiotherapy appointment about my feet. The dates of both of these are unconfirmed, sadly. It’s not that I’m particularly homesick (I’m actually pretty surprised, seeing as I haven’t been home for over two months and my family barely uses Skype), but I’m beginning to warm to the idea of having lots of things to do (and people to see!) again.

Everyone’s telling me ‘stay till the end! Stay as long as you possibly can!’ but circumstances just seem to be working against it. We’ll see.

I have always relied on the kindness of strangers a.k.a. Osterferien – Bayern (and more)!

So, after a few days of rest and relaxation at my flat, I ventured out and (for the first time in ages) actually left Nordrhein-Westfalen! My first stop was Koblenz, where I was supposed to meet Lucie, a French assistant who I recently befriended. Together we had planned to make a whistle-stop tour of the south and east of Germany.

 

After my first experience with the trains, I was nearly put off travelling altogether – thanks to cancelled trains (including being thrown off the train mid-journey and having to travel back) my 3-hour journey turned into 5 boring hours. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Koblenz! It was small but a classical ‘German’ town with lots of old buildings. I especially liked this little gem (sadly it was too dark to photograph so I’ll have to use an image from the internet):The Spitting Boy This little guy is known as Das Schängelchen (The Spitting Boy) and, as its name implies, you should probably keep your distance! This fountain is a monument to the vitality and trickery of the youth of Koblenz (the word Schängel was previously a word meaning ‘boy’; however, today it can refer to both boys and girls). See that strange-looking puddle of water at his feet? That’s because every couple of minutes the boy spits out a jet of water, usually at unsuspecting tourists trying to figure out why the ground is all wet. To Lucie’s credit, she warned me about it – I don’t know if I’d have done the same…

Early next morning we headed all the way down to a little town called Heidelberg. Again (and like every town we visited on this journey), this was a quaint old town with only one main street in the entire area. (I jokingly said that I hoped our hostel wasn’t too far down the street…we started off at 1 and had to go all the way to 223 with our huge heavy rucksacks. Never joking like that again.) There was a lovely bridge and view of the Rhein as well:

Our hostel was a bit minimalistic, but we met two other people – a Canadian girl, Nicola, and an American guy, Raj – and ended up chatting till the early hours of the morning. Not what we’d planned, but definitely a fun way of spending an evening!

Our next destination was even further south: Lindau im Bodensee. I was amazed by the presence of snow here! The roofs were all fitted so as to minimise snow, though, so I guess it happens often enough. It was here we met Gökhan, a Turkish assistant who kindly let us stay with him in Miesbach for four nights! Here I also discovered the magic of heated flooring. When I’m rich and famous, I’m going to buy a bathroom with completely heated flooring.

Pretty colours!

Our next few days were spent exploring München, doing everything from visiting car museums to just chilling by a stream and watching some ducks harass people for their food. Lucie and I fell in love with the bayerische accent (Ausstieg EntfAAARHT Rrrichtung RRRECHTS!), but at some points I couldn’t understand a word people were saying! On the last night, by sheer Zufall, I ended up meeting Iona again – she was waiting until 3am for the first of many trains to Dijon – and we sat in the train station drinking beer. Rebels without a cause.

Oh the whole, however, we were slightly disappointed by the whole city. I’m not sure why; maybe I’d just heard too much about it and had my standards set slightly too high. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely nice, but for some reason I was expecting more. This is probably my favourite photo from München – perhaps not cultural but it just shows the lengths people go to for a nice Facebook photo nowadays!

Tourist level: Asian

While we were travelling as a trio we also visited Regensburg and Nürnberg (in one day!). Perhaps it was due to the bad weather, but Regensburg wasn’t the most interesting of all the places we came across. It did, however, have an absolutely stunning cathedral which really reminded me of the Kölner Dom.

Regensburg

Our evening was spent in Nürnberg, which was incredibly pretty. It was just the little details like little statues and reliefs on the corners of houses and shops which really stood out. We hiked up to the top of the castle and managed to get a really nice view of the town (along with the 10 other tourists who were there with their professional cameras and tripods). It was just a bit of a shame we were only there for a few hours and we missed most of the light!Pretty snazzy if you ask me

Eventually we parted ways with Gökhan – he travelled all the way to Amsterdam(!) while we continued our journey to the east. Our next stop was Bamberg. Initially I didn’t have much of an opinion about whether we should even stop here or not (I’m not going to lie, my cultural knowledge is terrible), so I wasn’t fussed that we could only spend an hour and  three  quarters there.  Once we arrived, though, I realised that it was a really nice town! As we were wandering around I began to notice a familiar name cropping up. ‘E.T.A. Hoffman Haus’… ‘E.T.A.-Hoffman-Straße’… Then it came flooding back – Bamberg was the place where E.T.A. Hoffman, a Romanticist writer whose works we studied in German last year, used to live! All of a sudden I was desperate to find something our lecturer had mentioned in an offhand comment at the end of one lecture – a doorknocker in the shape of an old woman which is mentioned in one of Hoffman’s works, Der Goldene Topf. Unfortunately fate was conspiring against me and we missed it by one street, but I do have this doorknocker as a substitute.

Is it a lion? Is it a snake? Nah, it's probably a salamander

We spent the night in a place called Weiden with another Turkish assistant, Buket, and her boyfriend Tobias. They were so incredibly hospitable! I honestly can’t express how lovely they were to us. While I’m on this subject, I’d just like to say thanks to all the people who hosted us (not sure that they’ll ever read this though!) because I am really, really grateful to them all.

With our journey beginning to come to a close, Lucie and I headed up to Dresden and met with yet another assistant, Daniel. Interestingly, he and Lucie were friends from the previous year when they both studied at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh! Small world, eh? It’s funny to think that we were all living an hour away from each other and had no idea. I guess we had no reason to.

Dresden is a city which was very badly damaged in WWII, so a lot of the architecture is a mixture of old and new. Some things have also been rebuilt from the ground up, the most notable example being the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady). It’s definitely not like any of the other churches I’ve come across on my travels.Frauenkirche

We also visited another car museum! Okay, so we only got to see a tiny portion and weren’t allowed to bring our cameras with us, but you’ll just have to take my word for it when I tell you I was in a Volkswagen Phaeton worth 150.000€.

Our last stop was Leipzig, only an hour and a half’s journey from Dresden. (In terms of travelling time it was fantastic!) We only had the afternoon and evening to wander about, but it was really nice. As always, the architecture was outstanding. Highlights included the most expensive-looking Commerzbank I’ve ever seen (I was disappointed that the ATMs weren’t made of gold), the amazingly cool stairs in our hostel and a street devoted to Johann Sebastian Bach. We also had a really yummy Italian meal for dinner, although we did discover that we were somehow both sunburnt.

Wonder what it's for?

Our last day was spent entirely on the train – Gott sei Dank für das Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket! It was sad to come back to my regular school life in grey, bland Dortmund (sorry, Dortmund – I love your football team but why can’t the whole city be as bright?) but it was also great just to shower and sleep in my regular abode. I also cannot adequately describe my happiness when I dropped my rucksack, turned it upside down and threw everything in the wash!

Although it was only a few days, I definitely enjoyed the whole experience. I’m happy that I can finally say I’ve explored more than NRW! However, I think my most lasting memory will be the kindness of all the people. It’s always nice to know there are people you can rely on.

How I met my mother (a.k.a. Osterferien – Berlin!)

Schon vorbei. After what feels like only a few days, I’m back at school again. After two years of university and its associated abundance of free time, two weeks feels like nothing! How did we manage this when we were kids? Even worse, how am I going to survive as a fully-fledged adult?!

I guess I could base my tiredness on the fact that I spent 2 of my 16 days off in my flat in Dortmund; the rest of the time was spent travelling. I’ll split this post into two parts in an attempt to ramble less, but we’ll see…

After my last class on Friday morning I raced to the train station, burdened by all my luggage, and hopped on the ICE over to Berlin to meet my mother. Although nice, it wasn’t exactly the paradigm of luxury I was expecting (especially not based on the hefty price tag my tickets carried). But hey, it got me there in 3 and a half hours so I can’t complain…

It was great seeing my mum again! I managed to impress her with really difficult German phrases such as ‘thank you’ and, of course, ‘can we have the bill please?’. Actually, I probably spoke far less German than I should’ve – for some reason speaking with my mother in earshot was intimidating, even though she understood exactly 0% of what I was actually talking about.

It was nice to just chill and be a tourist for a couple of days. My favourite place, although perhaps not the most instantly recognisable, was the Ritter Sport shop! 3 floors of 2kg sweet bags, cafes and chocolate-making! It took us 30 minutes of aimless wandering before we found it, but as soon as I took the first sip of my Vollmilch Trinkschokolade I knew it was worth it. We ended up going there three times – sadly, the chocolate cheesecake was a total disappointment, but I have been slowly erasing that from my memory.

We also took in the regular sights such as the Brandenburger Tor, Checkpoint Charlie etc. etc., and we also saw a really nice museum – the Jewish Museum. I’m using the word ‘nice’ rather loosely here – it was actually pretty harrowing (I don’t usually get emotional when I see things like art but one particular installation in this place almost moved me to tears) but definitely something worth seeing. At the risk of sounding ignorant, I never realised just how much Jews were persecuted even before National Socialism.

Our hotel was pretty nice, but the room was slightly cramped. This became clear when my mum got a little bit drunk, took offense to a throwaway comment I made and then refused to speak to me. Later she asked me to get her some makeup remover so she could sleep. Seeing a chance to redeem myself, I hurried through to the bathroom and was confronted by a seemingly endless array of war paint. After the unhelpful advice of ‘It’s pink”, I picked up what I thought was the right stuff, applied it to a few cotton pads and handed it to my mother. She placed  the pads on her face. First one eye, then the other.

“…Caitlin?”

“Yes?”

“…This is mouthwash.”

Now, I know it looks bad but this was a genuine mistake! Unfortunately I didn’t help myself by rolling on the floor in laughter as my mum screeched in pain. Whoops. That seemed to wrap up our little argument, however. Perhaps she learned what I am truly capable of, even by accident!

Surprisingly, it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought to say goodbye to her (sorry mum!). I guess I’m finally used to living away from my family! Less than 2 months to go now, though. How  time flies…Comparing the mood of my recent posts to the entries I wrote when I first arrived here, the difference is clear to see. 🙂