To be extended

Januar 13th, 2017

This week was different than the other three before: holiday season in Germany was over and also my boss had returned from his vacation.

Being able to fully focus on the current task without being interrupted by emails from headquarter was over and several regular meetings were continued.

 

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Getting used to it

Januar 8th, 2017

With the beginning of the new week, the holiday season in Europe will be over and my colleagues in Germany will be back in the office. This means, business will continue as usual and the more relaxed days in the office are over.

My week will be structured with several regular meetings and telephone conferences and the time to work on other tasks will become less.

 

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Get it started

Januar 1st, 2017

Last week, it was the first time for me to spend Christmas and its holidays in Korea. Frankly speaking, it was nothing special. Besides sales events and some fancy light decoration here and there, Korean people seemed not to pay too much attention to this time of the year.

There is quite a high percentage of Christians among them and therefore I expected that Christmas has quite a high value for them. However, it turned out to be not much more than an opportunity for shops to give discounts or restaurants to offer special menus.

 

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Christmas atmosphere

Dezember 26th, 2016

Celebrating Christmas here in Korea is different from my home country. When asking friends and colleagues, they do not pay that much attention to it.There are no national holidays and few people take some days off to celebrate this period of the year.

Baking special cookies at home is not very common and to sum it up, buying gifts is the only thing people care about.

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Making the same mistake twice

Dezember 18th, 2016

Since living abroad I spent most of the Christmas and New Year holidays at home in Germany surrounded by my family. This was mainly due to the fact that this is one of the most important periods of the year. Also the scenery with snow covered houses and trees – when it had been cold enough – and the candles in the windows of the houses was just beautiful.

On Sundays we used to come together in the afternoon for a tea or coffee and have some home made Christmas cookies.

 

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Going back with mixed feelings

Dezember 10th, 2016

Today I am on the way back to Seoul after spending two weeks two Germany.

The first half was focused on work, meetings and cooperating with colleagues whereas the second week were a few days off that I spent at my parents home.

 

As Christmas was approaching, their home was decorated nicely as usual and also shops and restaurants had candles everywhere, Christmas trees brought some like in the dark evening and on weekends Christmas markets opened their gates.

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Are you in the mood for Christmas?

Dezember 3rd, 2016

A week full of work and a workshop together with my colleagues in Germany is over and I started the second half of my trip back home: vacation.

I will spend a week at my parents home to relax, meet friends and the entire family. Besides I have trips to several places on my mind but this depends on the weather and what others might have on their mind.

 

In Seoul, several departments stores, shops and offices have put up some Christmas decoration during the last weeks and you can see lots of advertisement for Christmas sale activities. However, my feeling is that Christmas is mainly an event from commercial point of view. Other festivals like Spring Festival or Chuseok have a much higher importance and people mostly focus on them.

Here in Germany, Christmas is definitely one of the most important periods during the year. People prepare their homes with lots of lights, animals or snowmen as decoration. Trees with candles or chains of lights can be spotted nearly everywhere.

 

In cafes and restaurants you will find menus with special dishes traditionally eaten during Christmas season and coffee is enriched with the flavors of cinnamon, honey or cardamom. Supermarkets updated their range of products especially by ingredients for baking and there is nothing that you can think of you will not find.

 

At my home, my parents also decorated each room. Especially the living room has the most intense atmosphere. In the evening you can see the enlighten trees through the windows and next to a book shelf you will the Christmas crib right next to it.

When having a coffee on Sunday afternoon, there will be a plate with home made cookies and stollen. When being a child and still going to school, I was waiting for the end of November when she usually started making the cookies. The older I got, there more I enjoyed doing it together and from her I learned a lot. Without her hints and tricks, I would not have been able to prepare some traditional Christmas cookies for my colleagues in Seoul last year.

 

During the next days, I will try to enjoy and absorb as much of the atmosphere as possible and hopefully this will last when being back in South Korea.

Ready for take-off

November 27th, 2016

Today was the last day at the office before going on a combined business trip and vacation for the next two weeks.

As usual, many things needed to be finished and therefore leaving the office early was not an option.

Close to 8 pm in the evening, all reports had been written, manuals and instructions for my colleagues, who back me up during my absence, had been created and all emails answered. My trolley for the laptop had been prepared and I was good to go.

 

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What to do?

November 20th, 2016

On Friday night, I decided to go for a walk around midnight as I was more awake rather than feeling sleepy. It has been a tough week and I had spent most of the Friday in the car on a long distance drive around Seoul.

However, when sitting on the sofa in the evening I felt quite restless.

 

Frankly speaking, I like going outside late at night and walk around. The atmosphere is so much different from day time: with less people and cars outside, you have the chance to see signs or other things that are otherwise covered by traffic or pedestrians. Also the city itself seems to be taking a breath and relax before another busy day will be starting.

Last but not least the sound and noises you can hear differ a lot from motorcycles, buses, cars and horns. Sometimes you can even hear birds singing from the trees, especially in the early morning.

 

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Change in plans

November 12th, 2016

The year is slowly coming to an end and you can feel that Christmas is not far away. Even though it is not a major or very traditional holiday here in Korea, people celebrate it anyway. Many shops put up massive Christmas decoration or are preparing to do so. For them any kind of holiday is more than welcome to have special sales events, discounts or offer specific products for that season.

One of the very well-known department stores is covered by thousands of lights in the evening with changing colors, imitating being wrapped in different colors or having other kind of animation. Indeed it looks very beautiful and is a good place for taking nice pictures when it is dark.

 

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