Thoughts about Bravery


Me, as a 20 year old girl ready to take on Japan without fear. 

I’ve been having problems with my confidence recently. People who know me will see me as outgoing and someone who is everywhere at once, doing all the meetups and friends with everyone. But I used to be so much more. I think there’s a better word for it, but I used to be brave when I was younger. I used to do a lot of drama, I loved to be on stage and when I went to Japan to study I didn’t care if my Japanese was good or not, I just used it.

But I have found that I’m not that person anymore, I seem to have lost that side of me. My German friends constantly ask me to speak in German with them… I guess I could and it would be ok but there’s an element of “losing face” involved that’s just too risky… or scary for me. Every German I know speaks amazing English. It would just be embarrassing to let them see just how little German I speak. And also when we speak in English we can have amazing conversations but if we spoke in German we’d be reduced to boring, simple stuff. But I can’t ever remember feeling this way with Japanese. Maybe it’s because I was a cocky little shit, but this time round I just can’t get the German out, even though I know my friends won’t judge me and I know it’ll only make my German better.

I finished the advanced improv course a few weeks ago and I noticed in that area too I’d become a lot more withdrawn. I love improv – I love being on stage. When I was younger I used to do SO much theatre; regular stuff, improv contests, I was a dame in the village panto (meaning I was 16 year old girl pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman…) and I even entered a solo theatre contest in a division 2 years older than my age (and still won). I was this girl, but now I am not, and I think it’s holding me back.

When you’re an expat or just a regular language learner, I think you need to be super outgoing to be able to get the most out of your life in your adoptive country. Langauge-wise it’s pretty straight forward – you need to be brave enough to just go for it and you’ll get the hang of the language. As an expat it’s best if you just throw yourself into various situations and go to random meetups because you never know what will happen. Of course, it’s also ok to not be outgoing and an expat, but you won’t have as many crazy stories to tell your grandchildren 😉

I guess this lack of bravery has been bugging me for a while. I guess various things happened and I lost the drive I used to have to be like this, but I’m taking steps to get it back. Improv helps me a lot, but I’m thinking of maybe dabbling in stand-up comedy. A comedian friend of mine who I admire very much came over the other week so I could road test my routine on him but I just clammed up. I’d like to work myself to the stage where I’m able to do this – even if I’m not funny I think the experience will be good for me.

During the first week of April I’m going to do a German homestay. It’ll be in Frankfurt so I’m not going far at all, but I’m actually really nervous about it. I have no idea where the 16 year old who went off to Japan to do homestays is, but she’s not here right now. I feel nervous about speaking German to someone other than the few people I share my terrible skills with and I feel nervous that it’ll be a whole week of me and the teacher – her teaching me in intensive lessons during the day and cooking and hanging out together in the evenings. This all seems very daunting to me.

But I think once I’ve taken these steps I’ll feel a lot better about myself, so I need to take them. Do you take steps to put yourself in different and daunting situations?

My New Home


Last week I moved into a gorgeous apartment, and now have 4 German flatmates and 2 cat flatcats. I’ve only been here a week but I absolutely love living here – the location is great, the people are so awesome and also, cats.






When you spot it…

My room resembles a thrift store right now but I kind of like it.




My flatmates have an awesome sense of humour…


And maybe these magnets can help me with my German a bit?!


Paulaner am Dom


Ahh… one of my favourite restaurants. Paulaner am Dom is a lovely Bavarian restaurant right next to the cathedral here in Frankfurt. If this is what Bavarian food is like, I am living in the wrong part of Germany.


The best part of this restaurant is that on top of a good solid menu of the meats and potatoes you’d expect from a traditional menu, they have an awesome seasonal menu which always makes choosing a meal difficult.


The meal above is a firm favourite – the sausage symphony.SONY DSC

Vegetarian? Well you’re also catered for! It’s very rare for a German menu to have good vegetarian options, but Paulaner am Dom pulls through!


And lastly, the mighty schweinshaxe! It’s not the BEST I’ve had here, but it is up there in my top 5 I’d say. I went for the one with the beer gravy which wasn’t as good as the classic one so my advice is that if you are a haxe fan as I am, still to the basic ones. The gravy just ruined it all.

The food here is amazing and it’s known as the place where we take our parents and visitors when they come to town. However, depending on who you get, your service could range from helpful (the young non-German girl… I think she’s Polish?) to downright rude (the old German woman).

You can find Paulaner am Dom at Domplatz 6  60311 Frankfurt and I see there is an online reservation form if you need to book!

Where I Go in Frankfurt when…


This is a post that has been living in my brain for a few weeks – a list of places I like to go to in Frankfurt when I am needing certain things. Call it my basic guide to Frankfurt. If anyone has any additions to the list, please leave me a comment!

So, these are the places in Frankfurt that I go to when…

I want to feel glad to be in Frankfurt – the river Main.

I love walking or biking by the river. In the evening it’s gorgeous and I often walk back from my friend’s house over the river and stand gazing down the river for a little longer than is needed. Even during the day, a walk from the apfelwein glass tower into town via the river is enough to clear the brain and make you glad to be in Frankfurt. Sharing the riverside space will be dog walkers, runners, bikers, teens practising their skating skills… and everyone in between.

…I want to study – Coffee Fellows.

I’ve already blogged about Coffee Fellows, but I’d like to mention again how much I love this coffee shop. I don’t know why it’s my place of choice for studying… it’s pretty noisy and there are lots of good opportunities for people-watching, but somehow it’s just nice to sit there and drink one of their great drinks and study a little bit of German.

…I want a good breakfast – Maingold Cafe.

Another place I have blogged about… but seriously, this place has the best breakfast in town. Their muesli is the best thing ever. No, I mean it. Since going to Maingold Cafe, I’ve been to a fair few places for different brunches. Nothing compares to this place. Not only is it good for breakfast, but on a balmy summer evening it is the perfect place for a drink. Pretty outside lights and a chilled out atmosphere makes it my go-to summer spot.

…I have people to show around town – the indoor market.

There’s not that much to do in Frankfurt. I always describe it as a place for living, not a place for visiting. But one great place is the indoor market – also known as “Kleinmarkthalle”. If you like food, you will love it here. You can sample some of the best foods in Frankfurt, find that obscure vegetable Rewe isn’t stocking, or maybe even queue up for an hour for the “best wurst in town”. It is a feast for the eyes as well as the belly and should be on your to-do list if you need to entertain people here.

…I am taking visitors for dinner – Paulaner Am Dom.

When people come to Frankfurt, they want to eat German food. But people are rarely ready for a whole menu of different slabs of pork and pickled cabbage. Paulander Am Dom is a Bavarian restaurant which not only serves enough slabs of pork to keep me happy for years, but also has a wide range of other kinds of food and also massive plates of different meats which is always a dad-pleaser. This restaurant is known within the Nintendo circle as the place where you take your parents when they come to visit. Always a crowd pleaser.

…I want a nice view of Frankfurt – Top of Galeria Kaufhof.

If you go all the way up to the top of Galeria, there is a lovely canteen that serves very good coffee and tea and has a great view of Frankfurt. If you are after the view and not the tea then you can walk through to the balcony and start snapping some awesome photos.

So there you have it, some of my favourite places in Frankfurt! Do you have a favourite place in Frankfurt? Let me know in the comments if you do!

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