20091231

Flashback | 2009.

As the year is almost over, it's time for me to review the last months and to point out some highlights, that occured throughout the year.

January
  • After months of dreaming, I finally bought a SLR and started to take photos with it. Now, almost a year later, I am still a bloody amateur, but trying my best and I guess,some nice shots turned out in the meantime.
  • The application for my ERASMUS in Madrid was handed in to the International Office of my university.
February
  • As I had to start my second internship on 1st of March and still hadn't had a position at that point of time, I got quite nervous. But then the companies came up and I had some interviews at Lufthansa, BBDO, Daimler, BMW, ... And after the approval of BMW I was the luckiest guy on earth, as I saw myself living in Munich for 6 months with my university girls and some more good friends around and the summertime in Munich.
  • The family of my best friend's sister got bigger with the birth of Samuel at the beginning of February. This cute little "something" now is almost a year old and it's so great to see the development that takes place just withing one year, although I wasn't able to be there a lot of times physically.
Samuel
  • Due to the beginning of the internship in Munich, I had to move out of the flat I lived for these 6 months in Neu-Ulm. Although Neu-Ulm surely is not the best place to be, I really enjoyed living there in that little shared flat in the city centre.
"Neue Mitte" in Ulm.

March
  • My internship and therefore my new life in Munich began. Being part a totally new shared flat, I had to experience how life is in 2009 without having connection to the WWW. Let me tell you one thing: it's horrible and impossible. But therefore I got to know all the shops and I lost a lot of money with spending time in the city. :-)
  • Furthermore a really close friendship started from that point of time on.
Guido and me

April
  • Seems as if nothing important happend in April. Besides one thing, that changed a lot: I go accepted for the ERASMUS in Madrid and I started being curious about how life will be in Spain's capital. At that moment of time, I didn't expect it to turn out that great as it finally turned out. Looking back, I can say, that the decision to spend my ERASMUS in Madrid, was one of the best decisions I made so far. Of course, I do not have any comparisons, but as I am totally happy here, I think, there is no comparison needed. Just being happy and enjoying the possibility to spend some great moments here. But coming back to the calender.
May
  • For 2 days I got visited by a friend. Saying that, this would not be anything special. But mentioning that this friend usually lives in Florida, USA and was "just" a myspace-facebook-friend up to that point of time, that makes it kind of special - at least for me. I was pretty happy to welcome him after 2 years of chatting and "spyke-ing" and to show him around in Munich. As a nice memory, I am often wearing his shirt, he gave to me as a present after I fell in love with it immediately when I saw him wearing it.
John with THAT shirt in the boat on the lake in the English Garden in Munich
  • At work there was the big Marketing Conference with all the Marketing Managers from CEEU. It was quite cool to see them finally in person, after having swapped so many Emails and just having talked on the telephone. They turned out to be very nice and young guys and it was fun to spend the two days with them, even that it was business.
  • I think, I do not need to mention, that at this time the Biergarten-season already was opened and that I spent some nice hours with nice people sitting in the various Biergartens of Munich enjoying the sun, the atmosphere and the food/drinks.
June
  • My second trip to Berlin took place. Although we had difficulties at first, everything turned out fine at the end. It was great to spend some days in Berlin, seeing some old and close as well as new friends and enjoying some good moments with all of them.
Marco - a good friend and my host in Berlin

July
  • Just like the years before, also in 2009 I was able to be part of the Schwörmontag. It's kind of difficult to explain this day to people, that haven't been part of it up to now. Try to imagine a mixture of carneval, bank holiday, summer outdoor party and the streets full of people having fun and enjoying the atmosphere. I think, this might be it. It was too cool to finally see all my student friends, my "regular" friends and - in particular - Ele, who turned out to be my personal assisstant for all concerns concerning Madrid.
  • Besides that great moments, there was another moment, which wasn't that great. In contrast, it was very sad. After having lived the last years with me and my family, my grandmother died on the 31st of July at the age of 89 years. Although she was old and kind of sick the last days of here life, it was really hard, as my parents told me on the phone about her death, as I was in Munich at that time. I can remember crystal clearly, how I was walking around in Munich, full of thoughts and at the same time totally empty, not knowing what to think. Thanks again to Sebastian, who was just there for me at that very special moment.
August
  • As my grandmother died in July, the funeral took place just a few days later and turned out as very hard again, but "beautiful" as well. There were so many people on the funeral saying goodbye to my grandmother, which made me "happy" at that moment. Seeing the goodwill of all that people also helped me to say "Tschüss Oma.".
Saying "Goodbye" to my Grandma.
  • As August was my last month in Munich, it was also time to say "Goodbye" to so many people, new friends and things. The last day at work, saying Bye to all the guys that helped my spending an amazing time in Munich, especially to Guido, to Munich itself as a beautiful city, to my flat which I kind of liked, and so on and so forth. Luckily, it wasn't that hard, as I knew that a new chapter will follow very soon: being ERASMUS in Madrid.
  • Looking back on the 6 months in Munich, this was a great time for me. The work, although there were some negative days as well, was quite cool and helped me a lot. I was able to learn a lot and get great insights into the world of BMW. I got to know europeanwide people and - not to forget mentioning it - I was able to drive great cars throughout the months. Besides work, I had a great private life in Munich. I got to know a bunch of great guys with whom I had several great moments I do not want to miss while enjoying several bars or cafes, the nature in Munich, concerts or other things. Good to know, that my hometown is just a 2 hours car drive from Munich and that there are people welcoming me whenever I want to go there.
Marienplatz in Munich

September
  • 4th of September: this was the day, when the journey into my "new" life began. I don't want to repeat every single point, although I would like too. But as I started the mention everything I did on the blog with presenting loads of pictures, I think, there is no need to review every single step. Just some highlights of the big MADRID-highlight.
  • At the beginning it was all about getting yourself organized in the new environment: finding a flat, finding contacts in the university and in private life, getting to know the city and all that stuff. Luckily I already had Ele, my personal assisstant and Klaudia, my tutor, that were big helps at that time.
  • I also went for the first journeys to Toledo and Segovia, that both were worth to be seen.
In Segovia with Wiebke and Ana.

October
  • My first visitor was aroung: Reto, who stayed a couple of days and enjoyed being in Madrid. Thanks again for the music and the lovely book.
  • My third trip to Barcelona took place. This was a great possibility to visit the city, a good friend of mine, seeing a student of my hometown university again and getting to know new people again.
View over Barcelona from Park Güell
  • My fourth trip to Granada took place, which was also just awesome. The first trip with all the ERASMUS guys to the beautiful city of Granada, where we all spent a great time.
Having a good time in Granada.
  • Sasa visited me for a weekend and it was fine to finally see a "face from Munich". Moreover he brought some delicious food with him. Yummy.
November
  • Tatjana, an ancient colleague from BMW spent some days in Madrid and we also met for a couple of hours to have a coffee.
  • Another short trip (the 5th one) to El Escorial took place. Being there with Ele, Wiebke and to friends of Ele was very nice. Thanks again for taking us with you, Ele. ;-)
The gang in El Escorial.
  • Another visitor arrived in Madrid: Daan, who I just got to know here on site. But we connected pretty fast and very well, so it was as if we knew each other for years before. Thanks again for the delicious belgium chocolate.
Daan and me being stupid.
  • Furthermore I had a great spanish-german dinner with Klaudia and her selfmade spanish Tortilla.
  • The next "candidate" on the visitor's list was Sebastian. I was really happy to finally see him, after several weeks of just chatting and stuff. Moreover he brought a big bag with lots of christmas sweeties with him, which was just amazing. Thanks again therefore and of course for the nice hours we spent together as well.
Sebastian and his new madrilenian friend

December
  • Dany and Anja, my best friends from university, were visiting me on the first weekend of December. It was a very short lasting time, but it was fun seeing them again and offering them a good time in Madrid.
Dany, me and Anja in front of the lake in Retiro
  • My 6th trip lead me to Salamanca with Juan. Salamanca turned out to be very nice, small and cold. In every case, it was worth travelling there.
Me and Juan facing the cold of Salamanca.
  • I do not want to call it another trip, but in the end it was a trip... My trip back home for Christmas. It was very nice to see my family and some of my friends during the few days I spent in good old Germany.
XMAS at home.

So now, being almost at the end of 2009, I reviewed the last months, just pointing out some concise points. It felt good thinking again about all these things, knowing that I'll keep that stuff always in my mind.

So much for the moment, but I do not want to end up before wishing you guys a good start into a wonderful new year 2010.

20091226

Christmas cards.

As I wasn't that satisfied with my christmas card of this year, I already found some other nice ones on the internet. Maybe I should let my hair grow a bit, so that I am able to do something like that next year?


We will see, what will come out on Xmas 2010.

20091225

Arrival in Munich. | Holy night.

After being one of the thousands of people queueing on the counters on MAD-Barajas Airport on Wednesday morning at 5.40h, I finally got my boarding pass and was lucky to catch all my flights as it was planned. Dropping down for a short break in BCN, I headed over to Munich to finally spend some moments with Guido walking through Munich and reviewing the last months, in which we couldn't see each other. It was so great to see him, being back in Munich and enjoying the city and its flair. On our walk we - for sure - passed the Apple Shop and found that beautiful Apple XMAS-tree.

Apple XMAS-Tree in the Apple Shop in Munich.

Today, on the 24th I then went to my parents place and I was also very happy to see them after my 3,5 months in Madrid again. Entering the house, it was just like as if I never was away. My mother decorated the house like crazy, but I wasn't surprised, as I was expecting this referring to the last years' experience. The day passed by very quickly with kind of arriving at home, having relatives around and finally the holy night. It was a very quiet and as the song is called - silent night. Except the moment, when our parents forced us to sing with them in front of the christmas tree. This was something new. At first quite embarrassing, but it was fun when we ended after 2 songs.

The thing, that kind of hold me down, was the fact, that this was the first holy night without my grandmother for years, as she died in July this year. She never was a actively person, better said, she was so contained and calm all the time, but nevertheless she was there. This time, she wasn't. Physically...

Later that evening, my mother felt kind of sick and after a short shocking circulation problem, she went to bed and I spend a men's evening with my brother and father. Now, I am where I am. As mi best friend also is sick, I decided not to visit her, as I don't feel like getting sick as well. Hopefully she will get better soon, as I really need to see her.


For all the ones, I couldn't reach via facebook, SMS, telephone or mail: at least MERRY CHRISTMAS also for you guys.

20091219

Temperature check.

I just quickly checked the weather forecast on my dashboard and being faced with -12°C I was kind of shocked at first. But luckily, when I will arrive in Germany next week, there will be a few degrees over 0°C. But nevertheless, the weather will be much colder there. But on the other hand I have warmer clothes, a good heating and if nothing helps, there is still my "best friend" the heater blower. It feels good to know him around. ;)

Weather forecast of my dashboard for Madrid and Ulm.

20091218

Strange mood days.

The last days were kind of strange. I don't know if it is the days or me. I am kind of in a strange mood.

Totally fed up with the university. I think, this is reason number one, why I am kind of in a strange mood lately. It's not that we have too much things to do, but it's the whole thing how it happens and stuff. And the biggest joke was this: the students know discovered, that the exams are already starting at the beginning of January and that they will not have enough time to study. Just to provide some background information: the schedule for the exam period was already given before I arrived in Madrid. So, as they think, they don't have enough time, the asked the university to postpone the whole perios for at least one week. This is just unbelievable and I deeply hope, that this is not going to be happen, as I already have other plans. But, facing the worst case, I would not have as big problems as other Erasmus students, that already booked their flights home or somewhere else.

Also in connection with this whole university-exams-stuff, it becomes very obvious, that the end is in sight right now. After the exams, there will not happen much. Most of the Erasmus students will leave Madrid immediately and also for me the times will be over soon. As I will start working for my thesis on the 1st of March, I will come back to Germany at the end of February. But before I want to travel again and I will be welcoming friends. Another very important tast will be saying "Hasta luego" to all the spanish friends I made here in the last months.

Maybe also the whole christmas atmosphere kind of lowers my euphoria. Everything is quite and silent and kind of melancholic. So this makes you thinking about so many things and in these times, my thoughts are also very melancholic.

So I am really happy to come back to Germany for Christmas, even if it is just for a few days. But at least I will see my family, some of my friends and another good thing: I will enjoy my mother's great food after a long time of fried spanish food, fast food or pasta and other bullshit I have eaten. :-)

Carrousel on the christmas market on Plaza Mayor.

And to give you a short overview over the last days, which were pretty quiet, I just can tell:
  • I met some new interesting people and got to know to worship the ones I already got to know. Cheers to everybody of you guys. :-)
  • I was trying to get some stuff done for university with more or less success. At least I wrote the spanish exam, which turned out as okay, I guess. On Tuesday I have to go for the final oral exam. But this won't be a big problem.
  • On Tuesday I went for Dinner to "La mucca", which was recommend by an austrian friend of mine. It was just great there I will recommend to everybody, just to go there and having a good time. They are offering a great menu card with different types of food, but everything is kind of special and very delicious. Once you are hungry and wanna have Dinner in good atmosphere - go there and you will be happy.
  • I went to the city to get some christmas presents which are kind of typical for Madrid. I was kind of shocked about the prices of these typical spanish Jamón-stuff. If you want to, you can spend a lot of money just for such a thing. I saw some beginning from 100,00 € up to 550,00 €. Sorry guys, but I could not afford that to bring it to you.
  • Yesterday there was the Night of fire, a kind of a firework-christmas-event on Plaza de Oriente in front of Palacio Real. It was quite cool to be there, seeing the event, which was organized by various artist, architects and fashion and graphic designers. On the following pictures you will see the mixture between "fashion", fireworks and just imagine great atmospheric music in the background, that fitted perfectly to the firework and the atmosphere they wanted to create.
Impresssions of the Night on Fire.

20091215

Weekend Flashback | Salamanca.

Last weekend I went on another trip within Spain: together with Juan I went to Salamanca, which was often described as a beautiful little city full of students. And as it is just 2,5 hours by bus from Madrid, this was a good chance, to escape once again from the stress in university. :-)

As we arrived by autobus in Salamanca on Friday, it was already dark and very cold. We just quickly searched our room for the upcoming to nights and went for dinner. Well, finally we ended up in McDonalds. Back in the pension, we unfortunately had to find out that the heating wasn't that effective, so it kept on being cold.

On Saturday we experienced the city and it really turned out as very small, but beautiful. And tremendously cold. I was so freezing all the time, so that I bought gloves and a cap in order to not die because of the cold. I was - more or less - successful in the end. As christmas is coming, the put everywhere some (ugly colourful) lights, as you can see on some of the pictures. But one thing was very cool: On the Plaza Mayor they played some christmas music, so that everybody around the Plaza could here it. This was kind of cool as it created a good atmosphere.

On Sunday we decided to leave Salamanca earlier than expected, as it was so cold again and we didn't have a place to store our suitcases. So we headed back to Madrid: freezing, but happy.

One more thing: the food we ate in Salamanca - besides McDonalds - was just great. Right on the Plaza Mayor there is the Meson Cervantes, which is a mixture between Tapas-Drinks-Bar and Restaurant. Close to the Plaza there was a great Pizzeria called A`Tarantella. They were offering not just the ordinary italien food but some special creations, which seemed to be very delicious. So if you ever go to Salamanca, you should definitely check out that places and enjoy the food over there.

Me and Juan in Salamanca.

20091210

MAC-frustration.

After 1,5 years of total happiness with my MAC, I am kind of pissed now. Seems as if something is wrong with the graphic card. I don't have f*cking glue what is going on and I hope, it doesn't get worse, as I still can use it more or less "properly". Being located in Spain and just coming home for the christmas days, there is no chance for me to get it repaired or something, as it is totally neccessary for me to have my Macbook with me here in Spain.

So please cross your fingers, that it keeps running at least in this status as it works right now and won't get worse. :-/

20091206

Week 49 | Flashback.

The last week was very busy, as we had to prepare a presentation about the Spanish labor market for the university. Unfortunately I didn't understand the spanish sources that much, but in the end it turned out quite well.

On Friday again it was time to receive another visit from Germany. So I catched Dany and Anja on the airport. After having checked-in in the hotel, we startet the guided tour through Madrid, because the weather was just beautiful. Hours later, after having seen most of the hotspots, we seperated our ways back home. As the girls were to tired to leave hotel again, I went out for Dinner to a vegetarian microbiological restaurant. I was not that delicious as it was when I ate there for the first time, but at least I can be sure, I have eaten something healthy. Afterwards I saw Slumdog Millionaire. I really liked the movie, as I like the way how it was made. But on the other hand, it is also kind of shocking if you think, that there are some kids on earth living such a life. but... well. Everybody knows...

Saturday was pretty lazy for me, as I just showed the girls, where they can go shopping. Honestly I was quite happy, that I didn't have to join them, as it was so crowded in the streets. It's crazy. But nevertheless, I've also bought some clothes. :-) For Dinner we went out to an All-you-can-eat-salad-buffet to compensate the Spanish food and the McFlurry from the day before. Afterwards we spend some nice hours in a bar in Malasaña with drinking great Teas and Chocolate and stuff.

Sunday was again very chilled, just having another Café in the city and saying goodbye to the girls. Again it was very cool to see some "homeland" here in Madrid. For pictures, just click here.

And although tomorrow is free, I won't go out I guess. Kind of not in the right mood for partying all night long. I think, I will prefer watching some nice series of "How I met your mother" and that's it for tonight. Maybe I can then start learning tomorrow. We will see. ;)

Great memories.

Today I was looking through some archives on my MAC and found that MP3-file, that was recorded in 2007 on a competition. So I decided to spend some more time on that and I searched some nice pictures of competitions from the past. Doing that, I found so many pictures, that I was quite challenging to point out the best ones, but I think I found a good mixture.

Up to now, there were just the videos from the competition itself, but here you will get a closer insight on what happens behind the scenes. Looking forward to join you guys again in a few months.

I hope you have as much fun as I had while preparing the little clip.

TSV Weissenhorn having fun.