I'm starting to feel as if I were on vacation. Not because I wouldn't be working, because I haven't worked this productively since last February, but because the stress levels are going down. That's the best thing about vacations - no expectations, no demands.
Here it is basically the same. No one knows me - except for J - so if I don't feel like socialising, I can stay in my room and it bothers absolutely no one. If I need to see people, I can go down to the library, head out to town or go see J and tell him I'd like to join him for lunch.
A stress-free state of mind is a very good thing. It releases so much energy that you can use for other things than just wasting the hours away. I find myself sitting by the river and scribbling down thoughts about my dissertation - big bonus, since usually that thing does not enter my mind during off-office hours except as a big looming monster. Now I am starting to think of it more and more fondly.
I am starting to like the city, which is a very strange thing indeed. That I like cities in general, that is, not Frankfurt in particular. Thus far I'm quite fond of Frankfurt, but I've never liked Helsinki very much and I wasn't quite sure if I could ever see myself as a city person.
Now I am wondering whether it is perhaps possible to live a stress-free life without escaping to the country and giving up all thoughts of some kind of a career? That is something to think about.
Yep, but anyway, today I went to have lunch with J again. Some of the German doctorands turned up as well and I had a chance to get to know some of them. I had a very nice chat with one of them on the way back in the U-Bahn. All in German, which made me realise that even though my spoken German isn't anywhere near perfect or even particularly good, it still doesn't suck totally.
The guy I was having the chat with complimented me on my accent - or the lack of it. Which was nice, because even though my grammar sucks and my vocabulary badly needs improving, my accent is actually quite decent. Not that anyone would mistake me for a native, but my German still sounds much better than that of many people who grammatically and otherwise speak the language much better. I notice it even here in most of the stores. Frankfurt, you see, is very much a city of immigrants and a great majority of the shop clerks I've met so far have been non-natives.
Later I went to the Alsatian fair again. It's on until the end of the week, so I decided to go and redo yesterday. I sat there, had a glass of wine and scribbled some more. I knew it wasn't going to be as good as yesterday, so I wasn't disappointed that it wasn't. I was really happy there yesterday, you see, and you just can't purposely create those little moments of happiness.
Yep, but then I went to walk by the river for a moment, bought eight really tempting looking books for just nine euros on the way back and took the U-Bahn back home. Now I think I'll try translating an interview from German to English - to practise the language and to make a few people happy.
Oh, and J may just rent my apartment for the rest of the year. How perfect would that be. Money. No worries about someone ripping the place apart or making away with all my stuff. I could go travelling with a good conscience.