Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Job-hunting and Horses

Traditional hand-painted eggs - a Sorbian custom

Almost a month since my last post and life has been speeding up and not slowing down as I come towards the end of my time here. With only 6 weeks until my final day I am already having to start thinking about the things I have to do before I go - closing my bank account, de-registering as a resident of Bautzen, and even worrying about not buying too much food so I don't have any left when I leave (and yes it's true - food wastage distresses me to an extreme degree).

I have also had to be thinking about what I am going to do when I get back - and have spent the last 4 months looking for, applying, and being interviewed for various jobs and internships. After weeks and weeks of feeling gloomy and depressed at the prospect of returning home and being yet another unemployed graduate living at home with my parents and not being able to get a foot in the job market, I was absolutely overjoyed to find out that I have been offered a 6-month Copywriting internship in Lima, Peru, with Spanish lessons included (I speak not a word of Spanish and after my disastrous attempt at learning Italian I am not sure I'll come back speaking like a native, but I might be able to order a coffee - or a hot chocolate, seeing as I hate coffee). Having never been to South America before, or indeed anywhere on the American continent, the idea of living and working in the capital city of such an interesting country is so exciting. It is also, hopefully, the first step to actually getting a proper career started. I am really looking forward to experiencing and writing about my next big adventure!

And, speaking about jobs, I have also become much busier in the last couple of weeks as I have started work in a cafe-restaurant in Bautzen. I have to say, cafe waitressing is 100000000 times better and more enjoyable than retail work, which I did the whole time I was studying. So my advice to all students looking for work - look for cafes over shops every time! Not only is the work much less boring and more varied, the atmosphere is relaxed and laid back, you get food and drink when you're working, AND the tips are a wonderful highlight! I always resented my sister coming home laden with the golden coin for working in a pub when I busted my ass being a shop assistant and came home with sweet FA. I also think it is a good thing to do on a year abroad as it does really help the language skills, which working at a school as a language assistant doesn't help with unfortunately as speaking English is a must :(

Sorbian women in traditional costume with their hand-painted eggs

And whilst these developments have been unfolding Easter has also passed and, as mentioned in my last blog post, so have the Easter riders (a local Slavic minority, Sorbians, have a tradition that involves all the men dressing up in top hats and riding through the town on horseback singing traditional Sorbian songs). Easter day was absolutely gloriously sunny, and joining the excited crowd in the town centre was a great way to spend the Easter morning. The roads were closed off and the many horses were adorned in their finery. They were trotted around for about half an hour in front of the many enthusiastic onlookers before lining up outside the church building for a short Easter service, around which the men rode a few times singing before heading off through the town. My camera was in constant action and I couldn't have looked more like an over-excited, eager tourist if I had tried - but I just thought, I'm never likely to see this again, and it is such a big deal in this area; think the royal wedding but maybe on a slightly smaller scale (Bautzen is no London!) - I was packed in like a sardine with the amount of people lining the streets. And as they say:

Take too many pictures,
Laugh too much,
Forgive freely,
And love like you've never been hurt.

Til next time.

Ciao x