God morning 2015! That was a new day with new possibilities ;-). After breakfast and shower I saw that it were 5oC, the snow was wet and melting. We had a “big deal” about lunch ;-), we got some anyway.
In the afternoon we played Ludo, but unfortunately only once because my grandchild. The others were watching TV after the game, but such programs I did not like, so I was in the kitchen instead and used my tablet for watching my movies.
After a late morning we went to the city of Stockholm. My daughter in law had to change some clothes and I tried to find a digital photo frame after I bought a case for my tablet and a 64 GB SDD-card for my camera. I was surprised about the high prices for the photo frames – anyway it felt expensive for me, because one was for around 1200 SEK and the other one for around 1500 SEK. That sounds a lot, but it is only 120 respectively 150 EUR. Still a proud price for “just a frame”.
When we had finished the shopping I invited my children and daughter in law for dinner, because it is one of the few possibilities to “pay back” for all things, my youngest son and his wife gave to me before, when I did not have so much money.
We first drove to an area called “Kungens kurva”, where the king of Sweden were driving off the road years ago. There is a shopping center for more than ten years, an IKEA is there, Elgiganten – there I found a digital photo frame (for only 100 EUR), food stores, pharmacies, coffee shops and more. We continued to the shopping center nearby – it is called Skärholmens Center. Here I found a lot of things. At least I bought a special battery for charging tablets and cellular phones. Also a really warm sport jacket for me and a sledge for my grandchild. I am sure that there will be snow again in Sweden and it is better to buy the sledge earlier than when the snow is coming and all people are running for sledges.
We were also eating at the Skärholmens shopping center, because there is a big food court and one can get whatever one like.
My daughter has to go back home to Malmö. My son was driving and we were in good time at the station, but the train was late and we had to wait for it for more than an hour. When she finally was on board and we left the platform, she messaged us that the driver has left the train and the passengers have to wait longer – without electricity, that means no lights, no heating and it was already dark because the train, which should departed at 15:59 was not arriving before 17:20. My daughter came home that night around midnight and had to take a taxi home.
This day it was my turn to leave. My flight was for around 7 o’clock in the morning, because the airport is quite big I had to by almost two hours to departure at the airport. We had to go from my son’s home before 5 o’clock. I was very happy, that my son did drive me even he had to go back home and take the underground after that, because the traffic is horrible at the rush hours. The underground is the better decision.
I had a transfer in Istanbul again. This time I only had one hour and had to go on board the other plane directly. I only have been for the toilet before boarding, I don’t really like the small toilets at the plans and it is enough to use them once during the flight, especially because I have had a window seat again and had to disturb the other two passengers for coming off and on my place. Over the Mediterranean Sea it was very windy and turbulent, the wings of the plane were shaking, but the pilot did bring us safe to Malta.
At the airport in Malta I waited for my luggage without success. There were some suitcases no one was taking, but some more passengers than me who had to claim their luggage. I know it is always difficult by short transfer times, but I do not understand why it is possible to put the wrong luggage on the plain, but not the right one. I made that experience in 2010, too, when I changed the plane in Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
In the evening I paid my rent for January to the son of my landlord, because my landlord will be back in February only.
Back to work! My suitcases are still not with me, because there is only one flight a day and it arrives in the afternoon. I was called from the airport for the luggage just before going to work and had to tell them, they have to bring it the upcoming morning. Therefore I have to go to work in my warm boots and my new sport jacket. That is very warm and looks strange, but it would be to cold with loafers and just a fleece jacket.
This day my team leader Kathi told me, she has got another position at work and will leave at the end of the month, but she will still work for our employer.
During my rest I filled my bed-bottle with hot water for a warm bed, when I will come home from work. It was the first time this winter I did. I also used the AC for heating the first time. It works good and fast. Anyway I was freezing during the night, because I am not used to such “cold” nights yet. I thought “I have to dress more, even for sleeping”.
I was called at 6:40 from Air Malta for the luggage and told, that they are not able to come between 7 and 8 o’clock. I thought, they are stupid to call so early. When I did not have got the suitcases at 8:30, I called them back and they explained that the school holidays has ended and there is very much traffic on the roads, so it takes time for the car to come with my luggage. Finally I have got my suitcases at 10:40! They were delivered by Malta Post, by a car – not a van – and of a woman. She carried my big suitcase up for all the stairs but she was nearly breathless while arriving at my floor. I was happy, of course, that I did not have to carry the heavy suitcase by myself even it was not so heavy now like when I took it to Sweden. I unpacked all items quickly after I hang my laundry on the roof.
I was late for leaving my bed that day because I was looking for cheap flights for my vacations later this year and booked already the flight to Hungary! I also wrote an open couch request for Milan for October this year, because in Milan there will be an Expo – called “Feeding the Planet” and there will be more tourists as usual. I will be sure, that I have a bed during my stay in Milan, when I will celebrate my birthday and visit the famous opera Scala.
At work the Internet break down several times, I think it was something wrong with the connection by the provider. I also were talking with a new colleague, who nearly is in my age. We were talking about to take a walk sometime.
I have a day off again. I worked a day more in a row and also will only have two days off this time, but by this I will not have so many hours vacation leave to take. There also is a public holiday I can take, so I nearly will have all my vacation leave left for my trips to Mediterranean Countries and I am happy about that, of course. I am planning for my trips again, therefore I send a Portuguese woman a couch request for May, because I would like to see and explore the Algarve. I also sent an email to a former CS in Portugal, asking when it will fit him. I think I will be in Portugal from 21st until 30th May. A cheap flight from and to Lisbon is very difficult to find and there are no direct flights, either. Therefore at last I changed my planes. I will not go to Spain in March and Portugal in May, but make it all in May – the most of the Iberian Peninsula – actually it will not be time for the north, so I have to go there one more time another year. I like to have something left and to have the goal to go somewhere one more time, even I will not go often to the same place.
I booked a flight to Barcelona for 13th May and I really hope I will get the allowance to take my vacation leaves as planned by me, because I was very early to ask for them. I also detected, that it is quite cheap to go by bus on the Iberian Peninsula. This way I will see a lot and enjoy my days. Finally I also found cheaper and better flights from Lisbon home, but I have to wait for my next salary for booking them. There are cheap flights between Lisbon and Madrid and also it is possible to take a flight the same day from Madrid to Malta – which are not expensive either. By this I save a lot of money and can make another trip instead like to go to Pisa for a weekend or some similar destination, because I still have a lot to see in Italy.
I also was making my shopping at the supermarket. I need a lot of food and other household items and therefore I finally asked for home delivery – about the costs and if they will bring the items up to my floor. It is for no costs and it depends on the guy if he will bring it up for all the stairs, was the answer. Though I ordered the home delivery and hope for the best.
My shopping from the day before was delivered around 10am. It worked very well – Joseph (the delivery guy) carried it up all the stairs and brought it into my flat. I like that! Especially for the water bottles – and they are also the reason why I tried with home delivery. I was lucky, because he was just coming when I wanted to put my laundry on the roof. If I have been on the roof, it would have been bad, because I would not have heard the bell. By the way I have my own bell since a couple of month. Since my last CS visited me I know, which one is mine and also put a sign on it.
I bought minced beef and minced pork the day before and made meat sauce this day – the first time since I moved to Malta! I also saved of the minced meat for a pie.
I have to go to work this day, even it is Saturday.
I was planning again and wrote emails until 1:30pm. I ate a tomato soup – an own receipt – using the rest of the canned tomato from the day before – and was going to work. There happened nothing special at work.
I never awake early because I do not fall asleep before 2am. Now I also switched off the alarm clock, but Fridays and Saturdays for the rubbish. Because I am not working on Thursdays and Fridays either, there are perfect days for me to go up earlier in the mornings. This day I awoke around 10am, but did do my laundry anyway. The weather is nice, it is around 15o C at the middle of the day. It did not rain. When I am on the roof I really feel warm and I think about to spend more time on the roof, because in the flat I am feeling chilly this time of the year. Anyway I do not heat a lot, just when I am home for my rest and do not put on the AC-heating often, but I use the halogen heater in the bathroom, when I am dressing or when I take a shower. I am happy that the winter is not so horrible yet like my colleagues described it for me.
I have got one more answer from people living in the Algarve for my vacation in May. A maybe again, because there are months before I will go there. I think, exploring Portugal will be exhausting.
After a late breakfast and receiving an answer from my former CS in Barcelona I started to use my digital photo frame, that means that I filled a USB stick with a lot of photographs from my travels and put it into the frame. Voilà, it is working! Anyway I have to make it better another time, because I do not really remember which building I have seen in which city and also some photographs do not really fit the frame. I do not care about if there are some black strips around, often at the upper and the lower side, but when I have to turn the frame around to see the photographs the right way, it is too difficult, because the frame is not done that way either. Actually I first tried with my SDD-cards and the adapters I have, but no one is working. Therefore I use my USB stick and it is for 16 GB! It works very well.
[I started to put on pics from Austria and I found, that I only can use rectangular pics. I have to fix that another day and also will put on lots of pics. I love that frame!]
By the way I was cooking a meal again. Now I have meals for at least the rest of the week :-). This day all my laundry did not dry but it was for around four hours on the roof. I think it was because it was not windy this day.
I awoke too late! I just have to take a shower and fetch my laundry from the roof after I have had my breakfast. Anyway there is some more spare-time, so I add some more photographs on the USB stick for the frame.
I answered a lot of emails and finally I am up-to-date with my emails. I also wrote down the Swedish receipts for my colleagues (Ris a la Malta, Smörgåstårta and Kärleksmuns [Mockarutor]) and translated them. Afterwards I sent them to my team leader Kathi for distribution.
We had a team meeting at work and even I am off work, I was participating. It is the best way to know about changes and new decisions. If I am not traveling I prefer to attend.
An Italian girl is a new CS at my home. We have had contacts for a while because she was asking about Internship and such things on Malta. When she announced her arrival I offered her to stay with me for three nights and I am very happy, that I did that. She is wonderful! We have a lot to talk about.
In the evening she took me to a new opened Italian restaurant, but it was not really finished. Anyway there were only Italian speaking people, so I learned to understand some more Italian words. We took a walk trough Paceville and were looking for people from Couchsurfing, who uses to meet at the “Old Keg”, but did not see any. Maybe we were to early even other pubs had no guests yet. Paola is not a party girl, so we went home to me, had a cup of tea and a sandwich as well as a nice chat.
After a good breakfast – it is really great to have breakfast together! – My Italian couchsurfer had to work with her CV and I told her about EURES. I hanged my bed-clothes on the roof because they felt humid, when I was going to bed the evening before. By the way we forgot to close the windows the night before, but were not freezing.
My CS and me went to the “Three Cities” and the “Palace of the Inquisitors”. We paid 4.50 EUR each because I am 60+ and a resident of Malta and she still is a student. The palace was interesting but also terrible to see because the history about all the unfortunate people who were tortured in the centuries left behind. We asked us, how people can be like the inquisitors and also the well-known question: Why make people war?
My CS invited me for a lunch and we found a nice restaurant close to that palace. When we came out of it, the weather had changed and we had to go home to take my laundry in, especially my bed-clothes. All went well and we took a cappuccino each at the Busy Bee. Afterwards we had some nice hours with our laptops and the heater on. It felt like we have known each other for a very long time. Finally I remembered that it was the 17th and congratulated my son Daniel to his birthday. I was ashamed that I did not remember the date for this day before late.
My CS and me have had a nice morning together and shared lunch at my home. Around 3pm she left and I was going to work. It is a really good idea to take CS only on my days off!
Monday, Monday ;-). I thought, I will clean my apartment this day, but my bed was to nice and warm. Anyway I did the laundry and it dried before I was going to work, because it was windy.
This day I was only working until 11pm, because I took the hour off from the team meeting last week. It was on my day off and therefore I could take the whole hour off it lasted.
Alfred from Servas called me for an appointment on Thursday at the Marina, because he has a boat there.
I have got Christine’s email-address for making appointments, when we are off work.
Planning for my travels, checking a lot of things on the Internet, even about Canada.
I met Alfred from Servas – it was raining and even a lightning. He invited me for a coffee on his boat, but did not have some milk. Therefore I had to take it plain. I have got the form “Letter of Introduction” and the stamp. Servas is a little old fashion. The organization was already founded in 1949 and the homepage they have is not the nicest one, but there are members working on it. The most surprising for me is, that I have to ask for a list of members if I will visit some somewhere. I think it is anyway worth to try that.
I went to the supermarket again because I was afraid I will run out of water and also had a list with a lot of items and food to buy. I shopped for 115 EUR! Though I had to pay with my Swedish debit-card. I had only 88 EUR left on my Maltese account. The home delivery was on the same day within two hours. They put things in the fridge and the freeze, therefore it was no need for me to carry some items home by my own. It is luxury because it is for free – I told the guys, who were coming this time, that they can keep the coin from the shopping cart.
After the delivery I checked all the items with the receipt and put them into the cupboard respectively the fridge and the freeze shelf. I had a delicious dinner with wedges, pork medallions and green bean salad. I also made humus this day. This time I also had fresh garlic in it, because David left a lot of garlic. Afterwards I cooked a soup of tried legumes for the following day. I made it the vegan way because Christine will come to me and I do not know if she is vegan, vegetarian or beef eater. It will be easy to put some sausages in it, if she is not vegan or vegetarian.
I was washing a machine, but could not hang it on the roof because it was raining all the day.
Christine came around noon. I had to meet her on the street because she did not find my house – she were coming with a bus from another direction as I gave her. It has been raining in the morning and the streets in Sliema close to her studio-flat were flooded. In Msida – almost in my area – there were no problems.
We took a cup of tea before we decided to take a walk. It is warmer outside than inside and also by moving one will get warmer. We were walking all the way to Valletta and enjoyed the Marina, the green hills and the garden in Floriana. It was a little windy, though my umbrella broke – the one the seller told me, should be strong enough to resist the wind! From Valletta we took the bus back and I was leaving first, of course. Unfortunately Christine was not coming with me for lunch even I invited her, but she had something more to do that day.
In the afternoon I was going by bus to Birkirkara to the health shop. I only bought nuts and vitamin pills for 30 EUR all together. On my way home I took a walk to the “Euroland”. I have never been there before and was interested in, what they sell, especially I am looking for some items I cannot find at the supermarket. The “Euroland” is not really similar to the “Euroshops” in Germany even the price is the same, that means any item is for 1 EUR. The assortment is different. I was happy because I found nail brushes and a toilet brush without a holder. I also bought some sweets here as well as some chocolate at the health shop.
In the evening I was writing the November text for my blog. I just have to add pictures, than it will be finished and go online.
I put the rubbish outside in the morning, but was to bed again for more than an hour. I took my breakfast in my bed as I usually do because I am feeling could at this time of the year. I also put on the AC-heater for a while. Afterwards I borrowed the drying rack from my neighbor and put my laundry on it – tried to dry it in my flat (it took three days by the way). I put on the dehumidifier of my AC during the night. I also had the heater on during the first day. I think, that will become expensive, but I have to dry the clothes. The weather report tells about a lot of rain during the upcoming week.
For the rest of the day I am staying in my bed managing my blog. I finished 2014 including December.
I put the water boiler on and my fuse fell down! After a while I could put the fuse up again, but I had to find out, what made the fuse falling down. I was happy, that it was only the fuse for my apartment and not the one for all the three of our apartments, because I do not know where it is and if it also is easily to put up again. First I thought I have to many electrical items on, but I found out, that it is my heater, which is the baddie. I found a button under the heater, pushed it and all was working again. Though I was happy about it, of course.
26th – 28th January
Working days without any special memories.
This was not a good day for me. In the morning, when I came into the kitchen, there were brown water on the floor in front of the sink. I thought the pipe will be broken and sent an email to Ryan, the son of my landlord, because my landlord still is abroad.
I have got my payslip(s) today. First I have got one and usually there is only one. It was only about 270 EUR including the C.O.L.A. – a benefit from the government.
When I was writing to the HR, who is liable for the payments, another payslip was coming by mail. It was for around 800 EUR net. Therefore I never sent the mail to the HR, I hope, both amounts will be on my account tomorrow.
When I tried to put on my heater, the fuse was falling down again. I put it up once, but the next time not only the fuse for my flat was down, but for all the three apartments of my landlord. When I checked if the light for the stairs is still working – because one can see that way if it is only in our apartments or local – that means the ENE Malta has to put it on again, the door from the staircase to our apartments is slamming. For the first time I did not have my keys with me, though I hope that my neighbor Carol is at home and I knocked on the door. Fortunately she was and she also has the phone numbers to the landlord and his son. I called Ryan and he promised that his grandfather will come soon and help us. He did and also showed us in the basement, where we can manage the fuse for the three apartments.
He tried even to clean my drain in the kitchen, but he has no tools to fix it. He has to come back. Later that day I tried to make it by my own, but I cannot and also I cannot put together the pipes that way again, that they are leakproof. I have to wait for the grandfather the other day. I am happy, because we got his phone number of him, though we can call him directly next time. By the way he mentioned this day that he is 77 years old!
I was to bed already around 8pm, because I am freezing in my living room. I warm my feet with the warm water bottle and put on the AC-heating for a short while. Fortunately it is getting warm very quickly by it, but only in my bedroom. When I leave the door to the living room open, it will not become warm at all. I was writing the month of January for my blog. I have to fill with the last two days afterwards. Soon it is a new month, one more with this ugly conditions. I am waiting for the summer, but I am neither really longing for Sweden nor for Germany, even there are heating. Outside I think the weather is worth than here and at my job it is warm, too. When I retire I will only be at the warm places. So I have to make my travel plans according to the weather conditions.
I put my rubbish out before 8am. Checked my accounts. There are to payments from my employer like the payslips on my Maltese account. My German account gets more and more healthy because I sent an amount from my Swedish account. This summer I will be quit my debts and I will be happy about it. I will never ever take a loan or something similar. I know that I can promise that because I do not have to care about my children any more.
I have to take out money for my rent even my landlord will not be back before 2nd February, but first I was at Atrium with the heater and made a claim. I had to leave the heater of course, but they will send it to the factory, so it can take time before it will be back, even my heater is only six weeks old – I think I should have got another one when I claimed. Furthermore I was to the health shop in Birkirkara for the vitamin pills (the best kind of), they ordered. They also ordered a bigger package and I did take that, because it was much cheaper per pill than the small one. When I was coming home my neighbor Carol knocked at my door because there is a letter for me – higher than usual and she cannot put it under the door as she uses to do. The letter is from my former CS and friend Ayaka from Japan. She sent me a cloth – I do not really know what it is for, but I think to dry my skin during summertime. Next time I write to her, I will ask her. I am happy about, that she is so kind to me, because it tells me one more time, that she was so happy with me and my couch.
I was still off work and will start again the day after, the 1st February. It is still a strange feeling not to work for three days in a row, but I love it. It feels like vacation leave every week. I did not do any special things, but booked the flights home from Lisbon in May and also bought an online-ticket for Expo 2015 in Milan, because it is cheaper now. I booked that one for my birthday – I have a lower fare from that day onward.