The Universe Taunts Me…

Or at least the Black Devil does, the universe may take that as an opportunity to really taunt me. Sigh.

Quick review, which if your a regular reader at Gypsy as well you already know. I spent this weekend at a motorcycle travelers meeting just north of Heidelberg. Watching some of the presentations created a physical pain in my stomach and my chest as I literally ACHED at the memories of our previous trips, and the knowledge that 6 weeks and German paperwork stands between me and the next one. (and if you wonder how we afford it, we live life on the cheap the rest of the year, no new cars or Bertolucci watches for us. Mine is free!!!)

I did spend a chunk on my bike, and the license itself. But then that is why we cut our trip from one year to 3 months. 😉


Anyway, this is all how life is good. And I admit my life is good. I make mistakes that I need to pay for, but all in all I am very happy with how my life has turned out, and the direction it is going. So my partner is a Swabian with no intention of living outside of Germany. He is however an avid motorcycle traveler and a freelancer who is only too happy to take months up to a year off for motorcycle adventures. And he is still here despite some pretty impressive tantrums that I have thrown since moving to Germany. (I never expected to go back to teaching English, and I admit that though it offers the life I want, there are some major drawbacks).

Enter bad day Monday.

First off I am a freelancer. Most jobs on the ESL market in Germany are. Thats fine. It means that no contract binds me, and I can take all those holidays that I do so love without losing my job.

It also means spending half your day on trains as you run from class to class, and so 6 times to be late. There is also a lot of split shifts, so I work most days 8 – 12, and then again 4 – 9 30. Suck. And though I can take holidays when I want, I dont get paid for those holidays. Whats more if I take too many Im regarded as unreliable, and though work wont promise you hours, they do like for you to promise them it back.

But not so unusual and a small price to pay for the holidays I do take.

So today after missing my bus the last train I can take wihtout being late proceed to shut its doors in my face. Literally. I should have stuck a body part in there, but I didnt. That is why German trains are always on time. Door shuts, it doesn’t reopen. I need to call work to tell them I am going to be 10 minutes late. I am in fact 15 by the time I tear up the stairs.

Fast forward to this afternoon. I go down to check the Black Devil and make sure she starts. In fairness I never do this. I also ASSUME she will start. But today I just wanted to make sure. Bad day in all. She does, lovely. I go back, and play on the internet to the last second, and then I leave. I need 20 minutes to get there, I always leave 30 minutes early just in case she wont start.

She starts, I go, Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Halfway there, on the back road of nowhere, where no buses ever come, she dies. Just dies.

I scream, and cry, and scream some more.


I think about kicking over the hill, jumping on her, and tearing her exhaust pipe off, just because I can. Instead I call Patrick to come get me.

Enter strange German man on his BMW, who fixes her, (her spark plug had come out, now I know for next time at least), gets her working, and merely demands a kiss on his cheek for his efforts.

I make it to work, you guessed it, 15 minutes late.

Sigh, and this moments after writing on my cousins wall to buy a Vespa and not a pedal bike.

On the upside, turns out Patrick had his pedal bike at work, and literally tore from work to the house to get his car to come get me and drive me to work. (I was late the very first class with this group as they are literally out in the middle of nowhere, this was a theme work was not going to like, despite my best efforts otherwise.) Which also makes me think that instead of taunting me maybe the universe is in fact telling me to switch careers, as I have an awesome country, the best biking, a partner who rushes out of work to pedal his ass off to get to his car that is parked in our driveway 15 kms away to rescue me (and he did it in about 15 mins, I dont know how), and the only time I am really unhappy is when I am running around spending half my time chasing the work, and the other half actually doing it.

Anyway, the best part is that in roughly 6 weeks we are off for our 3 months adventure. Thats lots of times to think about work, and to come back and set my own terms a little better, rather than work work work to have the cash for the travel lifestyle I do so like.

And so considering what my life could be like, I shouldn’t complain.


  1. admin

    With kids I imagine those days are even worse, because so much more rides on you as mom.

    With me my passive aggressive boss makes me cringe this stuff. You get a nasty email, (NASTY) then she just tells you dont let it happen again and acts like nothing happened. but then she has all these nasty emails on record should it.


    bring on the weekend!

  2. Crikes – what a day! Funny, I’ve been thinking about doing some freelance teaching in the interim until I find “a proper job”. One of my worries is just what you describe – how to get from university a to university b in any kind of time.

  3. freelancing looks awful – well the idea of freelancing where you have to travel everywhere. i looked into it over here in poland but have decided – for better for worse – to go for an employed position. not so much flexibility, granted but the school seemed nice when i visited it.

    a three month trip? you lucky lucky lucky beep. i’m heading back to england but the rather odd thing is that i may not be able to get a job in my mother’s town as there are thousands of polish people there. at least i can practice my polish on them, i suppose.

  4. admin

    Truthfully Tom if it wasnt for the 3 months off plan I would take a contract position. Freelancing is only good when your in a position where you set the hours you want to work in your head and if the work falls out of it you can say no. I want 3 months off, Im not in that position. But then in 6 weeks I will be Turkey bound the slow way down. 😉

    And yeah Chris, the hours really really suck. Your not paid for the time running between places, and so since it does not happen just once a day you need to factor that into your overall hourly wage, and then your rate becomes smaller and smaller. :-(

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