Busy Saturday Expat Life

1st Holy Communion Cake for Angelo baked by the author.

1st Holy Communion Cake for Angelo baked by the author yesterday, 23.04.2016.

Hello Guys! It´s almost midnight here where I am. I am tired but I want to write one post before I will go to bed. This Saturday was a busy day for me. My hubby and I went to the Asian shop after breakfast and you know what? We have met my fellow countryman who came from the same town where I came from in the Philippines. We even have the same high school alma mater and I know his family there. Wow! The world is really getting small. Of course I know my countryman but we have not seen for ages although he and his family live for around 40 kilometers away where I live here in Germany. We have talked a lot in the Asian shop before we said goodbye. Maybe we will see each other in our hometown next time. LOL!

 

Shopping in an Asian shop on Saturday was  very stressful. There were plenty of Asians shopping for the food that we couldn´t get somewhere else. I was able to buy Filipino food like Pancit and Bihon noodles, coconut milk powder, sweet and sour sauce, Kangkong (water spinach) lemongrass and a pack of spring roll wrappers. I am planning to make spring rolls when I have visitors next month. I wanted to buy bitter melon or bitter gourd and soybeans but those veggies were already gone. Plenty of customers bought those veggies before I came. I just bought frozen bitter gourd so my hubby could try how it tastes.

 

After drinking my mug of creamy tea this afternoon, I started baking and making some fondant decorations for decorating the 1st communion cake. Before I have finished decorating, my friend came with her son and cousin. I closed the door in the living room where I decorated the cake because I didn´t want them to see it yet. My friend’s son might tell his brother, the celebrant, how the communion cake looked like. I want to surprise them. The Schwarzwäldertorte (black forest cake) was done too but I have not put the cherries deco yet. I did not take a photo of the cakes  as it is dark. I will do it tomorrow. So good night Guys. It was a long day for me. Tomorrow will be a long day as well. Thanks for reading.

 

P.S. Updated the post today, 24.04.2016 and added the photos of the cakes.

Copyrights 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts

Schwarzwäldertorte aka Black Forest Cake baked by the author yesterday.

Schwarzwäldertorte aka Black Forest Cake baked by the author yesterday, 23.04.2016.


Posted in Celebration / Feastivity, Expat Life, Food, Shopping and tagged , , , by with 4 comments.

How To Get Rid Of Hair Dye Stain From The Sink

Hairstyle

Hairstyle

Do you still have the original color of your hair? Do you dye your hair? In what color, black, brown or blond?

 

Dyeing hair is already normal to our day to day living. There are many reasons why men and women changed the color of their hair. Women tend to dye their hair more often than men. Some women change the color of their hair when they think something has to change especially if  something is bothering their minds. May it be their relationships with their partners or they just want to try what it would be like to have  blond or brown hair. Some women dye their hair because they don´t like to  see themselves old, having gray hair.

 

I dye my hair black. As black as it was before. I did it twice to three times a year. It depends on how many gray hair I have seen on my head when combing them. Gladfully, most of my gray hair are behind my back that I could not see them. It doesn´t matter anyway as long as I am healthy. The few gray hair that I have in front are taken care of by brushing black mascara when I am in a hurry. Yes, this is the trick I learned through  watching you tube videos. It´s very practical and an easy treatment on the go. It will get off in the next hair washing anyway. Now the problem is, the stain that is left on the sink or in my bath tub.

 

I have dyed my hair an hour ago and I made a lot of black stains on the sink that I had a hard time getting them off. At first I used the normal bathroom cleaner but I was not contented. There were still shadows of the hair dye. I kept on thinking what to do and I thought of my nail color remover that was in my manicure box. If my nail color was removed by this nail remover, why not a hair dye stain? Well, I got the aceton nail remover from the box and I tried getting off the hair dye on the sink and voila! The stains were gone after scrubbing them with aceton on the cotton balls.

 

I know some of you changed the color of your hair every now and then. What did you do to get rid of the stain on the sink?

Copyrights 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts


Posted in Beauty and Skin Care, Expat Life, Health, Tips and How To and tagged , , , by with 14 comments.

What A Beautiful Day!

Hazelnut Cake

Hazelnut Cake

Hello Guys! How is  your day? We have a beautiful day. I am free from work for a few days and I can write more often as I can. I hope I will achieve my limit of 150 points a day. I hope I will be having ideas what to write.

 

Today is the birthday of my wonderful, handsome and responsible adult son. I made a birthday cake for him last night and have just finished decorating it today. I baked Hazelnut cake and decorated it with chocolate glaze, coconut white and brown “Schoko Küsse” (chocolate kisses) and some white and brown chocolate sprinkles. I have been baking this haselnut cake for more than 2 decades. When this cake is older than 3 days, it smells so good because of the Jamaican rum aroma that I add on it. I have not baked this cake for I think 2 years and now I can´t wait to eat a slice of this cake.

 

This evening I will make some fondant crosses for the communion cake for the son of my Filipina friend. I will make some other fondant decorations too like roses and leaves for other cakes that I have to bake. I know this costs me a lot of time but you know, I get some ideas what to write when I am baking and creating cake decorations. I´ll show you later what I have made. I hope the outcome of my creativity will look good.

 

What about you? What are you up to today? What inspire you in writing?

 

There are many things I want to do these few days besides writing. I have to pack 2 Balikbayan boxes for sending to my home country Philippines. I have to buy some canned goods, dog food for Angus and some cake ingredients as well as I will need them for making German cakes like Schwarzwäldertorte (Black Forest cake) when I live for a few months in my home in the Philippines. I hope I will be able to achieve my goal.

 

So, thank you guys for reading my expat life post. Have a great day to all of you. God bless.

Copyrights 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts


Posted in Celebration / Feastivity, Expat Life, Food and tagged , , by with 12 comments.

Taking A Break From Writing

Carrot Muffins for our bonding.

Carrot Muffins for our bonding.

Do you still have time for your offline friends? Do you bond with them every now and then?

 

I mean as a blogger in many writing sites, I tried to write most of the time (when I have) to earn money from our writing sites but I mostly failed to do so. Either I was tired from my offline part-time job, I had no idea what to write that I thought was interesting enough to my readers or I had no motivation to write at all. Sometimes, I just wanted to read and interact with my online friends. I sometimes felt that my brain was exhausted. Just imagine in how many languages my brain had to deal with.

 

The dark shadow under my eyes should stop. I  remember someone had said “I’m glad I am no longer studying in school. I don’t  have to read a book anymore. “ I could not relate to that. The older I became, the more I read. Every time I  started reading, I couldn’t stop. Well, I only read interesting posts or books. I  think I  am already addicted to reading. Any break could do me good.

 

Yes, a few hours break did me good when I bonded with my Pinay / Filipina friend at home. She collected me in the city after my 2 hours work and instead of having a coffee and cake in a cafeteria, we went home as we did not find a vacant parking place in the city. It was not a planned bonding. It was a spontaneous one as her kids and hubby went to the cinema and so we had time for us. We bought carrot muffins in the bakery and so we had a wonderful time chatting about everything. About the food we would cook for the communion celebration of her son. I will be baking cakes for crowds again and I will be baking my Schwarzwäldertorte (Black Forrest Cake) and other cakes. I am looking forward to that event.

 

Anyway, I have to discipline myself and should take enough breaks  from writing online. For the sake of my eyes. The nature outside is beautiful to explore. Thanks for reading.

Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts


Posted in Expat Life, Food, Writing sites and tagged , , , by with 12 comments.

Relaxing With Filipina Expat Friends

The Autumn view of our city.

The Autumn view of our city.

Hi there! Sorry I was not so often here this last few days. I was busy with my real expat life. I was busy today but not about work or so. I was relaxing with my Filipina friends that we forgot the time until it was dark outside. Imagine we talked and bonded together before lunch in my friends house until 6 this evening.

 

It´s been a long time that I last saw my best friend which is only living a few kilometers away from where I live. Yes, it´s only a few kilometers away that I can even walk to her house but we seldom see each other because we are both busy with our own lives especially that my friend has 2 small kids. Today, I met a new Filipina in my friends house and it was fun talking about everything and  anything besides talking about our Filipino food. I was glad that my friend invited me to be with her when her new Filipina acquaintance came. Our new acquaintance was a nice one and we were talking as if we have been friends for all these years.

Monggo beans soup

Monggo beans soup

Bonding with fellow expats was always good as we talked about our lives and experiences in Germany and what was happening in our home country Philippines. Bonding with fellow countrymen also meant eating delicious Filipino food together which we have not eaten for ages. We did not prepare any fancy food. My friend made Lumpia and monggo beans soup and our new acquainted friend brought Bihon, fried glass noodles, for our lunch. The food was so yummy especially that I was not the one cooking them. LOL!

It was a great day. I have talked and laughed a lot and so did my friends. I´m sure that like me, they have sore throat too for too much talking and laughing. Anyway, laughing is healthy and bonding with friends, too.

 

Do you bond with your friends? How many times a month? Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below. Enjoy your life!

 

Copyright 2015, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts

 


Posted in Expat Life and tagged , , , , by with 4 comments.

Culture Shock As A New Expat

Chiemsee, Bavaria, Germany

Chiemsee, Bavaria, Germany ©Thelma Alberts

 

Every country has its own culture and tradition. What is allowed in another country is not allowed in your country or vice versa. People have their own mentality in different countries and learning about these people first before going to that foreign country is a must. It would have been easier for me if I came to Germany when internet  and Google were already existing but no, it was not the case.

 

As a new expat in the 80´s, I had  absolutely no idea how the Germans were. I had to find that myself with all those “ahhs and ohhs.” Below are some of my culture shocks and the reasons why.

 

1. Children are allowed to talk to their  parents in the middle of the conversation with the visitors.

Way back home in the Philippines, I and my siblings (Filipino children in general) were not allowed to take  part in the conversation between my parents and their visitors. We had to be in our room and be quiet. Sometimes, we hid ourselves behind the door curtain to listen to the adults conversation.

 

2. Teenagers and adults were kissing in the public. Even Senior citizen.

Yes, I was ashamed of myself seeing those lovers kissing openly at the park or on the streets. I even looked away, became red  and was embarrassed.

 

3. Blowing and cleaning the nose while with others at the table eating lunch or dinner.

This was for me the most disgusting  and shocking part as a new expat. The first time I saw this “habit”, I pretended not to see it but went to the toilet as I felt sick. Yuck! That was even worse than farting at the table. Gladfully, farting  at the dinner table is not a German habit.  Then as months went by, I noticed that this was normal by the Germans. I got used to seeing it.

 

4. Husbands helping their wives with the household chores.

Yes, it was a culture shock for me as I have only known that wives duty is to take care of the house, the children and to serve their husbands.  Seeing my late parents-in-law helping each other was good. Nowadays, it´s no longer new for me that partners or husbands are helping their wives with cleaning the house, cooking, shopping food and bringing up their children. A woman who has that kind of husband is a lucky one.

 

I think I have more culture shock experiences but at the moment these are what came to my mind. Maybe I have more. I will write something again if some things come up. Thanks for reading!

 

Copyright 2015, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts

 

 


Posted in Expat Life and tagged , , by with 6 comments.

5 Challenges To Overcome As An Expat in Germany

Spree river in Berlin, Germany.
Spree river in Berlin, Germany.

 

There are many challenges to overcome being a newbie in a foreign country especially if you are not prepared like me. I knew nothing about the world although I read a lot of books I could read from the library in college, but most I have read were poetry and literature. Books which brought me somewhere in England in the middle ages. Books of Bronte sisters and Barbara Cartland. Mostly romantic love stories about  women who were not allowed to voice out what they felt. Books about women who were helpless and men were powerful. I did not read war books. It was just natural as a young teenage girl to read love story books.

 

I knew a bit about Germany because of our Social Studies and History subjects. I have seen a documentary movie about the Holocaust in our college movie room and that was it. That was all I knew about Germany. Who would be thinking that a few years from that on, I would be living in Germany? Certainly not me. Not even in my dream. Well, not until I met my future hubby.

 

Here are the challenges to overcome as a wife of a German:

 

1. The German language

Learning German language was the number one challenge in my early life as a Filipina expat. Everybody were talking in German wheather I wanted to hear it or not. The Germans expected me to speak their language in just a few weeks of staying with them. My hubby was blamed why he kept on talking English to me. “How could she learn when you don´t speak to her in German?” That was what I used to hear and understood, though they did not know.

2.The cold winter weather

The weather was terribly cold that I wore winter stockings while the other were already wearing bikini in the garden during my first summer in Germany and that was over 25°C.

3. The German food

There was only 1 warm meal a day and that was lunch time. I  used to eat 3 warm meals a day with rice. Breakfast and evening meal was bread. Dark bread with some slices of ham, salami or cheese.

4. The German mentality

Looking back, I thought that the Germans were rude people because they mean what they said and they were honest to tell the truth (they still are). They said what they thought was right without thinking that what they said was hurting the person.

5. The homesickness

The most horrible to cope up was the homesickness. Missing the family who were left behind. Any song or photo from the album had caused a rain of tears. Letters arrived only after 1 or 2 months. No communication like what we have today.

 

Those were the most challenges I have overcome. Gladfully, I was not allowed (by law) to work for a living. Expats nowadays are better informed than before.  There are plenty of gadgets to connect with the family from the home country and of course through Skype.

 

Copyright 2015, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts

Palawan, Philippines ©Thelma Alberts
Palawan, Philippines ©Thelma Alberts

Posted in Expat Life and tagged , , by with 8 comments.

Expat Guide: Learn The Language

The Rhine river in Germany.

The Rhine river in Germany.

Being a Filipino expat here in Germany for 3 decades, I think I can share some important things to do to be able to have at least an idea what awaits you in another country which language is not English. Not all Germans can speak English although the generations after the second world war and the younger generations have learned this at school. Nowadays, due to modern technology and the internet, young Germans can speak English well.

 

German is the spoken language in Germany although we have a lot of dialects here like Kölsch / Koelsch (Cologne dialect) or Bayrisch (Bavarian dialect). These are just the few of the dialects. German language is the language for teaching at schools and universities in all subjects unless the subjects are Italian, English, Greek, French or Spanish.

 

When I came here in Germany in 1981, it was only my husband who could talk to me in English. I only knew a few words in German. It was a hard time for me. My late parents-in-law were pure Germans and were not amazed that their son married me. “What would have happened if Hitler was still alive! What would have happened to their son.” They were Hitlers followers. They had to accept that life has changed for the better.

 

Anyway, I had a hard time communicating with them. We communicated with our hands and with the use of dictionary. German-English dictionary was our connection. They talked to me in German and I talked to them in English. Sometimes it was very frustrating but we have made it with “Ach und Krach”. Meaning, with great difficulty.

 

The difficulty that I had, had given me the challenge to conquer the language barrier by studying German language in the VHS (Volkhochschule) in the city. I practiced my German with my baby boy besides my hubby and his relatives. I watched children TV shows, I read the German magazines and newspapers and then  I was able to read a German book fluently. I was proud of myself. I was able to depend on myself and fight back to those rude Germans I encountered.

 

German language is easy to learn now via internet. If you ever plan to come to Germany and marry a German, learn the language now. It´s your ticket to have an easy communication with the people in Germany besides the one you love. To avoid misunderstanding.

 

My You Tube video of the Rhine River in Cologne, Germany

 

Copyright 2015, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts


Posted in Expat Life, Language and tagged , , by with 10 comments.

Introducing Myself

Rose from our city park in Germany. ©Thelma Alberts

Rose from our city park in Germany. ©Thelma Alberts

Hello fellow writers! I am new to this site. I was surfing online and have read some articles from my Fb friends who are writing here. Checking this site, I have found out so many familiar faces from the other writing sites I was or still am writing. Writers whom I have not seen for a long time. I have missed some of my fellow online writers that I thought I have to join in. So here I am now wanting to create another writing site. I don´t know how many I have this time. I´m sure I will be making a schedule for my everyday writing.

 

Some of you might know me. I am a Hubpages writer for more than 4 years, a Bubblews writer for 2 years (I think) and a blogger at Blogger for a few months. Oh, I am also a member in Daily Two Cent writing site. I know, they are plenty.

 

As I am new to Blogjob, I am still learning my rope here and I hope I can count on your help whenever I need one. I still have to find out how things are going on here. I still have to put my profile page and check what things I have to do and not do in this site. If you have any advice for me, please feel free to tell me. It will be much appreciated.

 

I am planning to write a guide about my expat life here in Germany. I live here for more than 3 decades with interruptions. Actually I have 2 homes, Philippines and Germany. My childhood and teenage life was spent in my home country before I got married to a German more than 30 years ago. I should say, I am a lucky person to have a life like I have with my wonderful husband.

 

UPDATE: Ah, this one I forgot. Thanks to my friend Ces, I am one of the writers of our PILYA BLOG  at Blogger, a Filipino-German Lifestyle Magazine in Germany. We will be launching our first Filipino-German Lifestyle Magazine next month as a hard copy. Our publisher Ces, co-writers as well as myself are very excited about our “new baby” magazine. Wish us good luck Guys.

 

Anyway, it is nice to be here and to be able to communicate with you. Thanks for reading.

 

Copyright 2015, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts


Posted in Expat Life and tagged , , , by with 14 comments.
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