Strange isn’t it, how at the beginning of a language course you write all your notes in the language you are learning fired up by optimism and enthusiasm. Come the end you’re convinced you’ll never master the desired language and have lapsed into the mother tongue.
Of course I’m blaming exhaustion but I must admit that the excursion to Dusseldorf last week that I spent speaking Italian didn’t help.
Dusseldorf is a lovely city, by the way. It feels more spacious than Cologne though, to be fair, it was pouring with rain while we were there enough, I think, to drive all but the most determined shoppers homeward.
Anyway, my time at the Goethe Institut has been fantastic. I have met some terrific people and been put in touch with the nicest language exchange partner I could have wished for. The first time I saw him, he was laughing. Perhaps because the café I had suggested as our meeting place had closed earlier than expected and I was sitting in the doorway, reading a book while sheltering from the rain. Anyway, despite hearing my awful German he was keen to meet again which was encouraging to say the least so I must try to ensure that my German has improved somewhat by next week to make the journey worth his while.
Yesterday I had an interview for an English teaching post at Aachen University. It quickly became evident, however, that I did not have enough experience to teach at that level. When I studied Italian at university, it seemed to me that the Italian oral teacher was just one of the Italian speaking students. Apparently teaching English in a German university is a lot more involved. So that was a very steep learning curve – but a useful experience as my interviewers were kind enough to suggest more appropriate avenues for me to take.
To be honest I was relived, I didn’t really want to move to Aachen and I had been somewhat alarmed at the prospect university teaching. However, as I wended my longer-than-strictly-necessary way to the Hauptbahnhof (I definitely had to retrace my steps at one point) I got an e-mail from the writing job in Munich offering me a second interview. Now I am beginning to think I might take it. I am tired of living with the uncertainty of possible jobs – endless interviews that lead only to other interviews with no prospect of a contract. And, yes, it has occurred to me what a contract in Munich might mean in financial terms. I will at least be able to buy a bike. I have missed mine, long gone are the days I stepped off the London train and felt a stab of disappointment that it hadn’t been stolen. Now I am fit enough to ride the thing I am keen to get back into the saddle.
And the Rhineland? I would be sorry to leave it but perhaps that’s another reason to go; I do tend to get too fond too quickly so best perhaps to move on.
Of course, I write this in full realisation of the fact that next week I may well writing “Well, I didn’t get the Munich job but there’s this one in Cologne…”
Well, we’ll just have to see what turns up.