It is said that all roads lead to Rome, but people tend to stray. I for one certainly do, and have done just that with my little blog. I got a little sidetracked by the deadlines on my translation project back in July, then I was learning the ropes in my new job as a teacher in August and September, and I also took some time off for vacationing and visiting family and friends back home. And last but not least, I fell off the exercising wagon about two months ago.
But now I’m back. The last couple months have been truly eventful. My boyfriend and I spent a week in Gothenburg, Sweden in early August at the invitation of a few friends who live there and procured cheap accommodation for us. Both of us were so exhausted from work that we ended up not doing many touristy things, just relaxed and slept a bunch, and spent a lot of time with friends who treated us to home-cooked dinners, BBQs, pub quizzes, and afternoons in parks. The weather was rather dismal, too, so we didn’t find it enticing to spend much time outdoors.
Once back from our all-too-brief holiday, I started teaching at a private English language school here in Dortmund. I was lucky to find a school paying relatively decent money (I work half-time) with a friendly, supportive team. I enjoy teaching, my work is appreciated, and I don’t go to work with a knot in my stomach, which is really all I ask for these days.
Towards the end of August we were again invited to stay with friends in Antwerp, Belgium for the weekend, and I fell in love with the city. It has just the right mix of history, architecture, culture and urban flair that I always look for in cities; it also seems like a good place to live. I loved our time there.
At the beginning of September, my best friend came to stay with us for a week in Dortmund, and we used the time well to visit two wonderful cities in the area – Köln (a/k/a Cologne) and Münster. Köln is the biggest city in the Nordrhein-Westfalien region, and well worth a visit. Its architecture is a weird mix of old and new, it’s buzzing with life, and offers quite a few interesting sights, first and foremost being its famous cathedral:
Another stunner from Cologne are the ruins of Old St. Alban’s Church in the old town, best seen at night when they’re fantastically lit:
Münster is a small gem of a university city whose historical center can be comfortably “done” in 2 hours of leisurely strolling. Thousands of bikes, college students, beautiful architecture, numerous churches, slow pace of small town life. Warmly recommended as a day trip from one of the bigger cities in the region.
To cap it all off, I visited my home town Zagreb at the start of October, which I found quite a bit changed since I left in April: the city center is much improved with dozens of quirky little eateries, cafès and shops, and some – ahem – interesting new architecture:
As you can see, it’s been a whirlwind. I’m still trying to settle into this new rhythm of life and establish a new routine of regular exercise and good eating. As for my forays into gluten-free territory, things have changed somewhat since I last wrote about this topic, inasmuch as I was able to establish that I appear *not* to have an allergy to gluten, but I still try to stay gluten-free as often as possible simply because it seems to help me digest carbs better. I’ve discovered that gluten-free pasta is really not a taste I can acquire, but gluten-free pizza dough, bread, and cereals I find to be super tasty, so that’s what I stick with. And as my boyfriend embarked on a low-carb diet about six weeks ago, I kinda joined him insofar as I try to avoid carbs in the evening (we treat ourselves to gluten-free pizza once a week or so). In general, we’ve been very careful about what we eat and drink. The only thing that’s missing from the equation at the moment is exercise, but let’s hope I can push myself back into the workout-state-of-mind I was in up until a couple months ago.
What have the rest of you been up to? I look forward to catching up with y’all.