Thursday, April 27, 2017

Homesickness: Do I miss my home country?

I remember these words my brousin (= brother + cousin) told me before I went to the USA: "I bet you will cry your eyes out after a week being in the States due to homesickness." Oh boy, we should've bet for money, for real. It's been 8 months already since I left my homeland Germany to reside in New York, USA.

My moments of nostalgia
  • One day, I was walking around in NYC. Among all the people speaking in English, I suddenly heard two men speaking in a language which sounded familiar to German. I listened closely and felt... nostalgic. The pedestrians' traffic lights turned red. I stood behind the two German men and wanted to speak to them. Then, the older of them turned his head to me and smiled at me, as if he heard in his mind that someone behind them wanted to approach them. His friendly smile encouraged me to do so. "Which part of Germany are you from?", I asked the men in English. "Hamburg", they said. They were quite surprised that I knew that they were Germans. I told them that I was born in Germany. That was all. I did not say that I was able to speak German, so they did not focus on that. We were speaking in English. They asked me where to get Broadway tickets cheaply as though I had been spending my whole life in New York. I felt kinda joyful to be regarded as an American.
  • Another day, I went to an Anglistic Church in my town for the first time out of curiosity. I went to that church's office and met Carol, a secretary of that church. Carol offered me to take a seat on a nice armchair. We had a nice conversation. I told her that I came to Germany in September. She looked all astonished and said: "The secretary in the other room is also from Germany!!!" Do you mean her ethnicity or that she is really from Germany?, I thought. Carol called the German secretary's name. Then, a woman entered the room and stood at the door, greeting us. "This is Loanica", Carol introduced me, "she is from the West of Germany and came here a few months ago." The German secretary looked at me with big eyes. "Sie können Deutsch sprechen? (You can speak German?)" She asked me excitedly and almost in tears. I felt her being nostalgic at that moment. I also felt the same. She explained that she had not spoken German for a long time because she did not know anyone in the little town who could speak German. She was glad to meet someone who finally spoke German.

Am I homesick or nah?
What I want to say with the two stories above is that I only have my little nostalgic moments when I hear someone speaking German somewhere. But fact is: you cannot really consider that as homesickness. 
I miss my family & friends in Germany. I miss the celebrations and events there that I cannot attend. However, these don't stop me from being here. I don't think about turning back home only to miss a great time of my life here in the States. There is so much more to learn & to explore. Even though there are downs (not because of homesickness), I know they're temporary because I have 5 months left until I get back home to Germany. I have much positive energy for the present and the exciting things coming up for me!

My hostkid took these pictures. She's got the skills!

Monday, April 24, 2017

I am: AN AU PAIR! What do you mean, "perfect life"?

I am an au pair. I am staying with a host family and take care of two adorable kids. An au pair is a young adult from a foreign country who works in another country to work for a host family and becomes a part of the family's routine. You usually do childcare related tasks. As an au pair, you have to take a lot of responsibility. You are trusted with the most precious gift of a parental couple & you better not mess up. :D Au pairs have childcare experiences, mostly through babysitting, working in a childcare, etc.

Perfect life?
Recently, I was told by a blog reader I seemed to have a perfect life as an au pair. I looked at my blog & you could really assume everything is a picnic for me. I'm sorry for breaking the illusion, but it ain't. The articles that I uploaded so far are about experiencing new places and my travels. These, however, happen on the weekends or on my vacation, not everyday. I only posted about these big things because they are new to you and more exciting. Well, behind all these big things, there is work. In general, work can be pleasant and unpleasant. Au pairing is not easy peasy lemon squeezy (au pairs, are you with me? :P). When you read blogs, you might think that everyday consists of no worries, but only good vibes. You compare yourself to the bloggers and might want to be them or want a life like them. Nah, bruh, life ain't easy for everyone. I want to make you aware of the fact that bloggers are also humans. There are ups and downs for everybody, even celebrities, even though it doesn't seem that way. This is reality. We bloggers tend to publish the pleasant part of our lives. We leave the bad parts out 'cause they might be too private to publish. There is also the case that bloggers want to escape from the reality, which is understandable. At the end of the day, my dear blog readers, you need to realize that also you have things in your life you can cherish, although you don't feel that way. You only need to focus on them, rather than the unpleasant ones. Then you have the peaceful life that you read in the "life seems to be perfect" blogs. xD I try not to let my blog appear as my life is so perfect like that. I am also a human being with flaws & I am totally honest with that and proud of that. It makes me me.

As a matter of fact, I am doing excellent. Not excellent in the manner of "My life is absolutely perfect because I do travels everyday", but "I'm excellent because my gratitude is so grand for the things in my life that make me happy. Even though I have my downs, too, I am grateful for each moment I can learn from. At the end, I will be a much more stronger person. I know that I am a persistent and purposeful human being." ➳

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Montréal, Canada: How the romantic trip was almost cancelled...!

The drama...
The trip to Montréal, Canada was planned two weeks before it. It would be my first time in Canada. My love and I decided to take the train there. On the day of our trip, we went into the train to buy our tickets. It hadn't been possible for us to book our train ride online, but we knew that you could buy your ticket onboard. Suddenly, we were told that there were no seats available anymore and that you should actually reserve seats by the phone beforehand............ Oh crap. My love called the train service right away to book our seats to try our luck, while the train was keep riding.

How I felt? Normally, you would feel nervous and anxious that the trip would be cancelled, but for some reason, my mind refused to think negatively in that moment. I was full of hope. Strangely, I was even certain the trip will happen... I seriously didn't even think about what would happen if it didn't work. All I knew was that the trip is gonna go on. I am so thankful that my love was doing all that booking on the phone. He sounded very calm and didn't panic. At least he didn't sound like that. Really admirable! Hats off! And hands down - if I had done it, I would've stuttered around and asked the person at the other end of the phone the whole time to repeat because of the noise of the moving train. ^^'

The booking was successful. We got to know that there were only 2 seats left and we were the ones that received those seats. How crazy is that???!!! Thank God. Definitely not something to take for granted. It was a miracle.
Poutine - a popular specialty in Canada.

It was a 10-hours- train ride to get from New York to Montreal. During the ride, you could see a lot of nature. The last time I saw livestock (horses, cows, etc.) was in Germany six months ago. It was nice to see the countryside again. For my love, the countryside was something very phenomenal. Imagine you live in New York (City) where it is urban. To get to the next countryside would probably take hours. In Germany, I lived in the city and had the luck that the countryside was twenty minutes away by bus.
I enjoyed watching my love looking out the window and describing the details of the countryside.  So poetic and lovely! Actually, the countryside was something usual for me when I was in Germany, but seeing him being so fascinated by the countryside made me appreciate what I have in Germany.
The next day, we left our hostel and I didn't know where we were heading. My love had been to Montreal before, so he wanted to surprise me. It turned out to be the famous Notre-Dame de Montréal (a basilica). We wanted to go in to see the architecture. Then a woman standing before the church said to us that it was church service time. I thought to myself it was Church Sunday anyway and it would be interesting to attend a mass in French, so why not?
Architecture on point, bruh!
At a Café-Boutique named "Eva B". Definitely one of my favorites in Montréal. We played chess there. :D 

Facts for Newbies & my discoveries
  • The Canadian currency is the Canadian Dollar. You can also pay with USD (= United States Dollar) in most places.
  • I perceived the Canadians as polite.
  • In Québec, you speak French.
  • The cars don't have a license plate number in the front! o.o
  • The siren isn't noisy and annoying (unlike in the States or in Germany -.-), even calm. :D
We headed to Mont-Royal, the famous small mountain in Montréal! It was exhausting to walk all the way up to have a splendid view of the city of Montréal, especially because it was a hot day.

Reached the top, I'm all the way up!
We kept walking to the top of the mountain and reached the Mont-Royal-cross monument made of steel.

At the campus of the McGill university. There was a natural history museum there ("Redpath Museum"). 

We stayed in Canada for three days. On the day we left, it was rainy. Phew, countless blessings we had during our Easter vacation. Now back to my au pair duties. I have interesting posts coming. Are you excited for them? The warm seasons are just around the corner, so I will have more things to do & I can't wait to share them to you. :) Cheerio~

Friday, April 14, 2017

Washington DC: Cherry Blossom Season!

I am over with the hard winter season the last couple months. Now - for the next 6 months I'm staying here in the United States -, I can enjoy the warm seasons. :) I decided to make a weekend trip in Washington D.C. (the capital of the US). The travel bus, that I took from New York to get there, made a sightseeing tour out of the whole day...

Thank God, that weekend was sunny! Not only in DC, but also in New York. It was surprising because it rained for the last couple weeks. Lucky me! In Spring, the cherry blossoms start to bloom. I am glad that I had the chance to experience the cherry blossom season (at the Tidal Basin) that is famous in DC. *-* You need to know, I LOVE cherry blossoms! 

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. I had the choice of two pictures at this memorial. On the other picture, there was no person in the background. However, I like that shot of me better, but there is a person standing behind me. T_T

Lincoln Memorial
I needed to walk up a long stairway to get to the Lincoln Memorial. It was crazy, crazy! A real workout, buddies! I started to pant like a dog. It was noticeable that I found walking upstairs was very unpleasant. Yep, I'm a very expressive person. :P

Washington Monument
Opposite the Lincoln Memorial, you could see the Washington Monument. If I've had a lot of time, I would've spent my time right there! Eating food, watching people & smile at them. These are things of various things I live for. :)

The White House
a.k.a. Donald Trump's home. Is this side of the White House familiar to you? It's seen in the 20-dollar-banknote.

The U.S. Capitol
...where the laws are made.

I had a blast in DC. I stayed in the Hilton hotel (Arlington, Virginia) which is 20 minutes away from DC. I met a German girl and we spoke German for a bit. It was... strange to speak German again. German is my dominant language. I speak German fluently, with a slight Vietnamese accent - although I only speak Vietnamese with Vietnamese people from the older generation (like my parents) or people from Vietnam. Well, now that I spoke German in person after a long time again, I noticed that I've got a stronger accent when speaking German. I don't know what accent it is, but I barely speak Vietnamese and barely improve my French skills currently. I don't believe that I have an American accent at all, even if I speak English consistently. Maybe it's all mixed up, that's why I have my own Loanica-accent. *grin*

The next post is gonna be about my trip to Montreal, Canada.