Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Way too busy!

Life has been crazy in true Berlin fashion, and I barely find enough time to sleep, let alone write about my experiences here. It is slowly becoming clear to me that this kind of life is how I operate - a hundred pots on the stove at any given time, a ton of projects and to-do lists, and a schedule that would make any normal person's head spin. Hectic is my M. O., and I thrive on it most of the time. Here are some highlights and recaps to try and shed some light on what I've been up to in recent months and what is to come:

Band: Back in August, I joined a band called The Charcoal Sunset. They are a Berlin band that's been around for about 4 years now. The story of how I came to be their violin player/keyboard player/backup vocalist is a long one which will someday make a fantastic blog post. But for now, I'll just mention that we have been having a fabulous time creating new music and playing shows around Germany (so far mostly in Berlin, with a few shows in the Hamburg area). Last week, we played a few live radio sets. Check our webpage out for more info and song recordings. We are recording this month and scheduled to soon release an EP on our label, Radio Transmission Records.

Work: I am helping launch a new call center in Belgrade, Serbia. It is nuts trying to transfer your customer support to an entirely new call center and train people how to talk on the phone with customers in English, their foreign language. And you also have to train them on product knowledge and how to troubleshoot technical issues. It's a crazy experience that requires tons of work! But it's a lot of fun as well and I'm meeting lots of friendly Serbs. We launch on December 15th so we as I write this, we are nearing the final push. I am working during 90% of my waking hours. Once all is said and done, I will have spent 15 of the 31 days of December here. It's my home away from my home away from home! Belgrade itself is a beautiful city - definitely would recommend a visit if you're ever in the area. Things are pretty cheap here as long as you're not going clothes shopping. Going out for dinner can be especially cheap and delicious here.

Home: On October 1st, I moved back to my old flat, the same one where I'd been living for the months of may and june. The girl whose room I subletted ended up moving out, and now I am on the lease alongside my wonderful, creative, resourceful roommate. She built me a bed last weekend and it is fabulous! Sad that most of this month will be spent in Serbia so I can't sleep in the new bed and hang out in the apartment with her. We drink lots of coffee and talk about life and relationships and make food for each other and we even have a homemade advent calendar for December that we are sharing. She opens the odd days, and I the even.

Other travels and visitors: I have had the good fortune of hosting many friends at my flat. Some of them were strangers I met through Couch Surfing, others are old friends from home. At any rate, an astounding number of people I know have had reason to pass through Berlin, some of them even coming specifically to see ME! And that makes me feel very special indeed. Once work calms down, I am going to make an effort to start visiting people back. At the end of January, I'll be flying to Madrid for a weekend to meet up with my friend Andrea's brother Ernesto!  I also hope to visit Ronda in France and some of my friends who are scattered around Germany, including my cousin Jessica in Schw√§bisch Hall in SW Germany. And I want to make it to the States of course to see Seattle family and friends and visit my relatives in the Midwest. All in 2012! All of this business travel is building me up a pretty piece of vacation time.

Christmas: Since I am flying back to Berlin on the 18th and back to Serbia again on the 25th, I will not be coming to Seattle for the holidays. Sure am missing my Seattle Christmas and all the things that go with it - singing with the Beaconettes at the annual Figgy Pudding caroling competition, for example (they sang it last weekend and all their photos and videos on their FB page make me so homesick!) BUT I am hosting Orphan Christmas at my flat for anyone who is in the Berlin area and wants to join! Let me know and I'll send you the invite on FB.

I think that's all for now! If anyone had updates on their life, or anything about my stuff that they would like to hear more about, I am open to comments and suggestions! Sending lots of hugs and love from Serbia!