What a busy lovely week this was! Highlights include a move to a bigger apartment on another floor of our building, a “Ladies’ Night” dinner party at a charming restaurant,  a fancy dinner party on Friday night, visits from friends, and lots of chances to hear and speak German.

Sadly, it’s becoming clearer to me that I am constantly in situations where I hear German for hours and hours on end but I am rarely forced to actually speak German. So this has left me with a rather large and uncomfortable gap between my listening comprehension and speaking ability. Nevetheless, despite my whining about German, I still find the time to study Japanese for an hour or two a day. I still adore studying Japanese, and I look forward to making even more progress once we are back in Japan.

Ladies’ Night out

Seminar room

We are happily preparing to move to Japan this summer and I often find myself anticipating that I am really going to miss Germany. There are so many reasons to praise Germany (above all, the fantastic people) and I wonder how hard it will be adjust to the Japanese mentality after having lived in Germany.  I am determined to enjoy our last four months in Germany as much as possible.

One small thing, we watched a really sweet and romantic indie movie on Valentine’s Day called Once. Description from IMDB: “A modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story.” It’s interesting how I first learned of this movie. One of the stars of the movie, Marketa Irglova, had a free album of her music on NoiseTrade.com. If you haven’t heard of it, you can download thousands of albums for free (and it’s legal).  I totally fell in love with her Oscar-award wining music (so haunting, beautiful, and layered) and then found out this amazing, young girl from the Czech Republic starred in a movie – a singer, songwriter, and actress! I am now a big fan of hers and would love to see her in concert one day.

The most famous song from the movie

Playing an Iranian folk song