Archive for December, 2010

November 2010

December 1 2010
not my house

this was just another house in the neighborhood, that I passed everyday walking to the tram station

the outside of my house

the house I lived in November 2010

Well, this is my neighborhood (well, was for November 2010).  The first picture was of a mansion that I passed every day.  The yellow house was the house that I lived in; it was on Umlauftgasse.  I found the accommodation through DeutschAkademie, where I take my German courses.  I signed up for a host family.  I suppose my definition of a host family differs from their definition.  I was living in a house, and there was a couple who lived there as well.  They made me breakfast, but I often skipped that in order to get something more nutritious and filling (I can’t eat bread with jam every morning).  My room was in the basement next to the “student kitchen” (see the photo below).  When I arrived there, they showed me the kitchen.  I said “where is the stove and oven?”  She says “what do you mean?”   I say “The stove for cooking dinner”, “Why do you need that?”, “For cooking”, “But we have a microwave here.”, *puzzled look from me*, “Students buy frozen food and cook it in here.”  Somehow I got her to agree to let me into her kitchen to make pasta.  When I was cooking that night, she asks “do you make pasta every night for dinner?”  The next day an electric burner appeared in the student kitchen.

There were 3 other students living in the house that month.  One I saw at breakfast occasionally, another I saw in the student kitchen from time to time, and the third I never saw.  Here is a conversation with one of the other students: I ask “So, you are a student?”, “yes.”, “where at?”, “I am a student at DeutschAkademie, just like you”.

"you can cook dinner here" -- "where?"

kitchen in my host family home

And then there was the day that I made a stir fry in the student kitchen.  The other student was making dinner that day.  He put his food in the microwave, and waited 5 minutes, then it was done.  I cut lots of veggies, fresh chicken from the butcher, ginger, and garlic.  I was quite happy to do this, and made enough to last me three days.  But, while I was chopping my veggies, the man who owns the house came down to put some wood in the stove.  He observed me cooking, then he started asking me why I would cook like that.  He said it takes me so long to cut the vegetables, when I could be finished in less than five minutes if I bought something frozen at the store.  I told him that I like to cook, and that frozen meals are not filling and are expensive.  Then, he continues to talk about how crazy it is that I would want to cook this much food.  The preparation time was unfathomable to him.  He was wondering in and out of the room talking to me in German about why I was crazy to cut so many vegetables and take so much time to make my dinner.  Then, I finally said to him that I was a chef and that I did not know how to use a microwave.  I thought maybe that would make him understand better, even if it was a stretch of the truth.  Well, no such luck.  He showed me how to use the microwave.

The family was very nice, and I don’t really have complaints about them.  I just feel that this living situation was not a host family.  If it is advertised as a hostel, it is a very nice hostel.  But, it was not advertised to me as a hostel.  So, I was a little frustrated with my living situation last month. I did not want to live in a hostel.