update - I feel good, nananana ...

Goooooooooooooood eeeeeeeeeeeveniiiiiiiiing everyone!!!!! This is Sandal FM with the hottest news all the way from Montréal. So get your speakers & stay tuned while being rocked!!!

man @ work

There was (and there still is) a lot of renovation going on @ the Waldorf School of Montréal - paint jobs en masse, moving stuff heavy as hell, filling estimated millions of fu**ing holes in just too many walls and, as coronation, building up IKEA-shelves. No I'm not angry ;-) - actually I'm just more than happy that my team, consisting of teachers, parents, children and me, made it!!! The school became really beautiful... here some pics of me @ work^^

So for those who are curious what my work environment looks like, here some more impressions...

As you see Waldorf Schools aren't that bad - at least not there outer appearance :-). Concerning the quality of teaching I'm not able yet to give a clear statement, still have to observe. Anyway, school finally started on September 9th with an assembly in the morning where the children of all grades, their parents and the newcomers were present. Welcome speeches were given, teachers introduced and prospects given about the coming school year.

All in all I have to say that it was much nicer than the beginning at my school used to be after every single summer holiday.

Meanwhile a kind of routine found its way into the daily life. So let me show you what my typical day looks like at the moment...


06:15 getting up & dressed, having breakfast
07:10 heading towards school via metro & bus / by car
08:30 starting to work: atm still little renovations
10:25 overseeing the kids during the first break (actually I play basketball with them^^)
10:45 back to work
12:00 lunch time
13:00 overseeing the kids during their big break right after lunch
13:30 back to work
15:25 leaving school with Etienne
16:30 preparing the lunch for the next school day, playing with Clara, washing the dishes, helping to prepare dinner, doing homework with Etienne, ...
18:30 taking the metro to "Centre Sportif Claude-Robillard" to do some workout / going to the "Bibliothèque Nationale de Québec" in order ro read the latest "ZEIT" or the "SPIEGEL", a German magazine
23:00 sleeping like a baby :-)


So what the hell is he doing on weekends and on evenings he doesn't use to do workout or to read? Believe it or not, but he's going clubbing, following invitations, doing some lil' trips or just sightseeing...

Two weeks ago I went to the town of Québec - but not by bus or train, no, I did car-sharing via "AmigoExpress", the Canadian "Mitfahrzentrale". Furthermore I didn't sleep @ some hostel, couchsurfing is just so much better!!! And I can only tell you that much: it was really great!!! I got to know lots of nice & interesting people. Besides, I saved a lot of money.

C the pics of my trip below...

Yesterday I went to the swimming pool with Etienne - we, that is to say the host family and I, decided, that Wednesday's kid's day...which means that I undertake something with Etienne or we have a games night. Besides I help Nathalie with the household & else: washing dishes, preparing dinner as well as the lunch box for the next day, playing with Clara, helping Etienne with his homework and accompanying him to diverse activities such as tennis lessons. So, as you c, after school the work continues at my host family till about 6 or 7 pm. On weekends I just have to vacuum the house and help preparing dinner on Sunday - besides I can more or less do what I want. All in all my host family's really great. However, there were and there still are some severe difficulties, though, about those shouldn't be written in a blog - just wanted to let you guys know that not every day the sun is shining here, it's definitely no holiday!!! Nonetheless I'm happy do be with them; I try to help the family as good as possible.

Here some pictures of my life with them...

Last weekend my parents visited me in Montréal - so now it was me showing them what life's like (in Canada) ;-). One evening we went to an exposition in the Botanical Garden. It was just awesome, as exposition in this case meant the annual lampion festival!!! C what it was like..

Besides, I also took them (for example) to the already mentioned "Centre Sportif Claude-Robillard" where I'm doing some workout during about 3 sessions a week à 2,5h.

There was a lot going on on that day, take a look (in a few weeks the World Championship in Fencing for the youngsters will take place there):

So what now? Let's talk about life in Montréal as well as in North America in general &  Canada in detail...



1.) Montreal has Canada's biggest metro system; there are 4 lines.
At every station you'll find musicians playing there very best like elsewhere. People spend there time travelling mostly reading or listening to music. Concerning the reading people: they don't only read in the metro but also on there way out on the escalators or just while they are walking. A few weeks ago, I even saw a woman doing some workout while reading the Canadian equivalent to the German "Brigitte"... I wonder how much time it took her to read one page. To come back to the people listening to music... it's crazy; you'll c nothing but iPods and iPhones. Those people are really maniacs!!! Is there any antidote for Apple-addicts?
Next... there are big screens at the metro stations showing the latest news. Little versions of those screens can also be found in each waggon, informing about events coming up, about which buses are leaving from the next metro station or simply showing advertisement.
By the way, a few days ago they had a prob with the orange metro line... you'll c a picture of the result below.

2.) Big, bigger, North America... The streets are nearly twice as big as in Germany - well, the cars are twice as big as in Europe^^ Lots of people do have even two of them. One of the most popular brands here is Toyota, well, let's say Japanese cars in general. However, the upper class tends to buy European cars such as BMW or Mercedes.

But c here some stereotype-pictures...

3.) In some towns buses have ramps for wheelchairs - there's even enough space inside so that disabled persons can just roll in and don't have to get out of there wheelchair. Great!!!

4.) People are much more open and seem to be friendlier than in Europe. It's pretty easy to get in touch with locals. Some would even let you drive their car though knowing you just for a few days. And there's still this "tradition" to leave the doors unlocked, however, meanwhile, people tend to lock them.

5.) Mangos, papayas and pineapples are just too cheap to be true... well, Mexico's not far away. To be honest... I'm an mango addict. Till today I think I bought about 50 - just to eat them like that, to prepare mango ice or the Indian drink Mango Lassi. And even for breakfast mango mush goes great with yogurt and cereals as well as with crepes.

6.) There's a great network of people trying to eat just bio-dynamic food. Especially the people at the Waldorf School swear on those products. That's also the reason why there's a market at the school every two weeks with products from a bio-dynamic farm & a bio-bakery. The farm has also so called "points de chutte" in Montréal. That's like a fixed meeting point at some street corner where they sell their products. However, most people order, as a part of a contract, for each week a green box where all the vegetables for the coming 2 weeks are inside. Like that, the farmer knows that he'll have a stable income for the coming months and can produce according to the demand.

C below what our trip to the farm was like...

7.) There are crossing guards at every big street in order to guarantee pupils to be able to cross the street safely. Those people are mostly retired people, that it is to say volunteers, however, with a moderate income. Might be an idea for Germany, huh? Besides there are still those funny yellow school buses, yeeeeeeeeha ;-)

8.) Because of the big temperature differences, the streets are in a very bad condition. There are more holes than in a Swiss cheese... And also the bridges look as if they would brake down every second.

9.) Waiters are very strict concerning the 15% tip - I guarantee that you won't leave the restaurant without having payed it (at least here in Montréal).

10.) Here some Québec vocabulary:
       le chum = boyfriend
       la blonde = girlfriend, regardless what colour her hair has

       Malika:  Sry, but there was a Moroccan coiffure who just cut my curls off -
                      however, everybody here likes the new look better ;-)

                      ... et je ne parle plus comme une vache espagnol^^
       Damian:  My six-pack's growing^^
       Lena:      Your "Linzertorte" was awesome!!!
       Jingfan:  Get your ass here so that we can have a cup of coffee or else at Cafe Pi ;-)
       Jens:       ... du va****!!! When are you coming to Montréal?
       Der Hof: ... macht was er will!!! Hope you guys have a good time, too, where ever
                      you are!!!



Last but not least, I want to thank my parents for their extraordinary support, Mister Sommerlatt for his kind gift, Euro Sprachreisen, the Badische Beamtenbank & the Deggendorfer Werft for their financial support, as well as the BNN for their great article about my social community service abroad - and, last but not least, all the people from "Der Hof".

That's it for now, take care guys!!! I'll leave you with some more impressions...

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