an uneventful day in the neighborhood

It looks like it is going to be another hot, sunny day. I have a whole lot to do and I am not eager to do any of it. However, I do not really have a choice because of the wonderful German bureaucratic system. I certainly never thought that after earning 3 degrees I would be applying for jobs that pay by the word, but the government plays such a large role in the everyday life of citizens that there is little need for non-profit work which I am most interested in. Coupled with the fact that I have already had several employers tell me that I need to have Arbeitserlaubnis (permission to work) before they will give me a contract and the Ausländerbehörde (immigration office) tells me that I need a contract before I can have work permission, life is feeling pretty complicated.

In an effort to make this process not so mind-numbing and in hopes that my future will be a bit more positive than it seems, I am trying to find a tandem speaking partner who is also interested in more formal interactions. I am pretty good at speaking in informal settings. However, when it comes to writing letters, talking on the phone and all the other good stuff that is essential to getting a job that does not involve a toilet brush, I need a bit more practice. I would like to be able to go back to sprachschule (language school), but it is sooo expensive and I need to get my furry four legged friends to Germany! Some other things that I am going to try and accomplish include:

  • Making a website in an effort to become an English tutor;
  • Applying to online tutoring jobs – after all, I am qualified;
  • Seeking out work as a transcriptionist or in data entry (this includes writing a profile and writing about myself in a persuasive manner tends to be difficult);
  • Visiting the Argentür für Arbeit (job center) for some extra help;
  • Opening a bank account. Unfortunately, they do not want me because I do not have a steady source of income;
  • Listing all of the places that I would like to apply to and sending out exploratory letters of interest.

Hopefully, something positive will come from this.

As for the garden…

Developing Cherokee Purple tomatoes

Yesterday I gave my tomato plants “haircuts”. I had been letting them grow however they “felt” like, but decided to change my methods. This is in part due to the fact that my Black Krim plant is not producing any fruits and because of a line in a book that I am reading – Garden of Marvels by Ruth Kassinger. Throughout the book, the author shares her many horticultural learning experiences with readers, so that they may share in her insight. One of her informational gems is in regard to growing tomatoes – a mentor of hers notes that when cultivating tomatoes, the goal is to grow tomatoes, not an attractive plant (although the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive). I had been allowing my tomatoes to become leafy jungles on my balcony because I thought they looked nice. However, what I really want is fresh tomatoes, not a balcony jungle – hence, the “haircut”.

As it turns out, the plants also look healthier following the trim.

The cuttings are still alive (besides the mint) and I am hoping that the new fertilizer will start to kick in and my plants will be better able to produce fruits.  The current tomato count is 15 and it looks like the Cherokee Purple plant will soon be covered in tomatoes.  This is a bit surprising because I have read that they are not particularly good producers.  It just goes to show that soil and weather conditions can really play a huge role in how plants will turn out.

Leafy tomato-less jungle

Hopefully, I can head out to the garden tomorrow to weed some more and take some measurements.  I found the wallpaper and paint color that I want – grey/purple for the living room with one wall with tree wall paper and dusty green for the kitchen and the bedroom.  The ceiling will remain white.  I also want to buy new flooring, but am not sure how soon that will happen because it is rather expensive.  Still, it is nice to dream.

Until next time…

Yours Truly,

the transplated gardener(in)

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