A Guide To Being Hungover

As you might be able to guess from the title, this is going to be a post about being hungover, because frankly, I am just very very hungover on this wonderful morning.

Usually when this happens I just sink into bed and sleep for a day or two. Unfortunately I have a driving lesson today (in about three hours…), so that is not really an option. On the other hand, I have had some very very productive days after nights of very very heavy drinking.

So, today, I will have to create that atmosphere of wellbeing and sunshine and lollipops. Please feel welcomed to accompany me on this journey.

Let’s first recount the events of last night and the events that are meant to be happening today: I have that sometimes quite comforting habit of memory loss. As soon as I have more than two glasses of wine, I can’t count on being able to remember anything that happens afterwards. Bad choices, therefore, are often just forgotten. On the other hand, it can be quite unnerving. Today it proved to be the latter. My memory skips about five hours and continues with me walking in the middle of nowhere, whilst crying “I just want to go home”.

Getting home, then, proved a full-grown odyssey. I had no idea where I was, the battery of my phone was dying and I was so, so cold. I finally fell into bed at 7 am after a series of walking in circles, taking busses that took me even further away and smoking as a way to guard me against the cold (it does not work, believe me).

Now, let’s face today. I’ll have to get through my driving lesson alive. Also, I have no idea where my bike is. Gonna have to do a bit of a search. I just hope it is still somewhere near a place that I can remember being at. Given how far away I found myself when I regained consciousness (that’s probably not the right word), I might have to face the fact that my beloved bicycle is infinitely lost.

Oh, and (last but definitely not least), I have a Skype interview at seven tonight. As a lovely add-on, my internet is once again not working, so I’ll have to go find a quit secluded spot at the library to skype at. Ugh.

Now, here are my seven steps to sobering up and dealing the next few hours:

  1. Drink 3 litres of tea. Drink it hot and drink it fast. As I’m sure you know, symptoms of a hangover are usually related to dehydration. The best choice of tea is German, of course, as all the things connected to what you do before, while and after drinking very very much: Ostfriesen-Tea. It’s a really strong black tea and, handily, you can buy teabags that make a whole litre of tea. After these three litres, other drinks might be considered: Hot chocolate, coffee, you name it. If you’re not much of a tea person, I recommend drinking 3 litres of iced water.
  2. I recommend a traditional Northern German dish: Labskaus. I will not elaborate on what this is (google it if you must), because it is one of those dishes like taramasalata: So yum, but better if you don’t think too much about what it is in particular. Otherwise, of course, any other hearty, easy to make and easy to eat meal is fine (soup is the logical choice).
  3. There is nothing better to distract you from how everything is spinning and the disgusting taste in your mouth than well-beloved comedy. The better you know it, the better a choice it is. Make sure you always have a boxset around.
  4. Check your phone. After a period of charging, it is the time to set your affairs straight. If you have the habit of drunk-texting, now is the time to send those awkward but necessary follow-up messages, any apologies should be made as soon as possible. Also, I usually have friends with better memories that can help me re-establish the previous night.
  5. Search for things. The sooner you find them the better: you won’t have to worry anymore and the longer the wait, the higher the risk you will find your possessions damaged or not at all. This is especially true for contact lenses.
  6. Brush your teeth, have a shower, clean up vomit if necessary.
  7. Go for a walk. Well, right now I can’t really walk because I dragged myself through the landscape last night, but if I could, I’d go for a walk. Fresh air is a miracle when it comes to the consequences of extensive liquor consumption.

I gotta be off then, people, I’ll get started on that third litre of tea.

B x

Dreams, IDs And Shocks

You know when you have a dream that is so realistic that it takes you a moment to grasp where you are when you wake up? That moment of realization can be incredibly relieving when you’ve had a bad dream and a little disappointing when it was a good dream. I find that what makes a dream realistic is not how akin to life the setting and ‘plot’ are, but how familiar and intense the feelings you feel while dreaming it are.

Now, last night is an ideal example of this. What happened in the dream was not super realistic (lots of water everywhere, but I can’t recall a feeling of wetness… you get the image), but I felt a feeling of panic so acute that waking up came as a positive shock.

The source of this panic brings me to my next topic: I lose things. Everything. While in this particular dream I left my backpack (with all my belongings and valuables – my life was pretty much in that backpack) at the site of a festival and only noticed it on the bus home. In real life, however, this applies to practically everything. I have lost phones, money, and everything you could possibly think of.

Not only am I constantly looking for something, this habit can get really really inconvenient (hence the panicking). When I visited friends in English over new year’s we went out clubbing into the closest town – quite a shabby southern seaside town, the kind of town where clubbing is only fun if you are completely and utterly smashed. A girl like me is now faced with a lot of choices before even leaving the house: What do I wear, what about make-up, do I bring a coat (in December, the answer to this one should always be ‘yes’), do I bring a bag. The last one is particularly challenging for someone who has trouble keeping track of one’s possessions while sober and fully awake. To minimize the risks, I tend to take as little as possible. Annoyingly though, you need your most valuable items on a night out: phone, money, ID.

So, on this particular night out, I did get completely and utterly smashed and had a super fun time out. Trouble started when I woke up in the morning, a bit more sobered up but still ridiculously drunk and completely delirious. That is usually the moment when I turn over, check whether my valuables are on my bedside table and go back to sleep. This time, however, there was no bedside table, there were six people in one tiny room and I could not quite remember how I got into bed in the first place. Usually, this kind of amnesia is quite pleasant, it stops me from remembering actions that I would want to forget anyways, but in this particular situation it was hindering for once.

My panic was increased by the fact that the things I was hoping to find on the non-existent bedside table were vital to the next few days: My phone for communication as I was travelling across to London, and my ID, most importantly, because this was my (only) travelling document and I was due to leave the country the day after. It was, however, not my house and my delirious state of mind did not help my emotional output. There are not enough words to describe the height of the panic that I felt that morning. I pictured myself stranded at some embassy, with no way of contacting anyone anywhere, being interrogated by scary officers and walking alone through the streets at night. With these upsetting images in mind, I fell into some sort of half-sleep/half-wake.

Luckily, I did find all of my valuables in the morning and was able to travel to London and leave the country according to plan. Last night’s dream, however, (more than a week after the actual panic occurred) shows that this issue is deep-rooted in my subconscious.

Now, as I am still deeply immersed in my happiness project, I will not simply accept that this habit of losing things and the panic that follows will be a constant part of my life. So, I shall do some research into the topic, but, please, if you have any experiences or tips, do share them.

B x

Crisp Eyebrows Are The Best Kind Of Eyebrows

As you might remember, one of my resolutions as part of my happiness project was to get down with all that make-up business, that, until now, has largely remained a misery for me.

So, though I can still not say that I have mastered the art form and make-up tutorials bore me to death, I think I might have made some initial progress, and I’d like to share that with you. So, the beginning to solving a problem is often admitting that you have it and then working with that. Now, the whole make-up thing is not really a pressing problem, but it is one of life’s annoyances. Acceptance done. I also know that I will never enthusiastically spend hours in front of the mirror painting shadows on my face. So, that is already heaps to work with: My make-up should be quick and uncomplicated and preferably not require a lot of skills. Still, if I do make the effort I’d like to know that it is worth it.

As a consequence, I spent my last few days keeping an eye out for make-up and tools that seems like it is made for people like me, people who don’t necessarily know the ways of the trade but want a piece of the cake (aka the benefits). This is what I came up with:

Eyebrow Gel – My friend, who is one of those make-up people, is manic about her eyebrows. And it pays off, they are bloody impressive and make a huge impact on how the whole face looks. However, she uses a multitude of powders and pens and brushes and combs and things that I could never handle. I already know that I’m hopeless with an eyebrow pen (I’ve tried, believe me). So, the other day, I stumbled upon this thing in a magazine – eyebrow gel. It was part of a feature about how to look like a model (whatever that my mean) in five minutes and they mentioned this gel by some kooky very expensive brand. But, when I went to my local drugstore, they did have a cheap version of it. Luckily, it was “one colour suits all”, meaning I couldn’t even make any wrong choices in terms of eyebrow tone.  And, I’m telling you, this stuff is magic. You just kind of put it on your eyebrows (it has a little mascara-like brush thingy), nothing much you can do wrong, and it shapes and colours you eyebrows. YAY! Such success. The only thing that is a bit odd is that the gel dries up and leaves your eyebrows a bit crisp, which, let me tell you is a very very strange sensation.

Lip Stain – Now, same article, same feature, also mentioned lip stain. Now I was instantly intrigued: I never managed to handle lipstick (it just looks odd) and lip gloss is so sticky and annoying. Enter: Lip Stain, which is like a felt-tip pen for your lips, which means it also eliminates any problems that might occur due to the handling of lip liner. Again, I found a cheap version at the drugstore and I now use it all the time. Usually I apply the stain in the morning and then I moisturize my lips throughout the day (they’re extremely chapped and I cultivate a habit of practically chewing on my lower lip…) and it’s all just mighty fine.

Please, I would love to know: What is your make-up secret, your favourite tool, your most-used item?

B x

University Life, Embarrassments and the Joys of Risotto

So here we are again. It seems like ages since my last post but, to my surprise, it hasn’t even been that long – which means I’m not as bad at blogging as I thought I would be.

Once again my internet is not working (this time it is both the router which tends to forget all the things it should remember and the network (technically I have an allowance of 10GB, but well… I easily used more than twice that during the few days that I’ve had internet this month – which, in itself, i impressive, as internet has been down for at least 2 weeks and I have been away during the weekends and the month isn’t even over yet…)). Sorry for the extensive bracketing. There is a remote possibility that the previous sentence makes little sense, but OH WELL. Deal with it.

Anyway, lack of internet at home is tragic but not deathly, as I am at uni everyday and I can use the computers here. Wich brings me to the next point: finally, finally university has begun! YAY! I have had three seminars already and I’m kinda loving it (but there is also some regret present – I’ll be spending my gap year studying Spanish irregular verbs, researching the Scandinavian Middle Ages and learning how to pronounce all these weird Danish sounds (Hvad hedder du? Hvor kommer du fra? Hvor bor du? Hvad læser du?) and yet again I am very soz for the brackets thingy). Part of the downside is that I will actually have to do things now, presentations, essays, protocols and the like.

What else is there? My social life is going ok, I guess. Still haven’t made lifelong friends, but I now have people I chat with between seminars and I even say ‘hi’ to some in the corridors. Great progress. My coat is still in some girl’s car though. Should probably reclaim that at some point. More exciting: After three weeks of pesto pasta I have now begun to cook properly and to buy ingredients and all that shit! Today’s meal: Tomato Aubergine Risotto (fancy huh? It did take me ages). Oh, more proof of my secret identity as a domestic goddess: I cleaned the bathroom this morning (after having a lie-in, I must admit). Seems like despite some of this weekend’s ferocious choices my dignity has not taken a fall.

Probably filling in the gaps would be a good idea. This weekend (as in, a few days ago – I never now how it works: is that ‘this weekend’ or ‘last weekend’?) I went on a trip to this island called Fehmarn (unless you’re a German surfer or have taken the ferry/train from Germany to Denmark, you probably won’t know it) with a bunch of strangers who also happen to study a romance language or English (which i don’t study, but it’s a joined student council). Basically I got really drunk, vommed everywhere (a game of Jenga was also involved) and took my clothes off (I wish I could say that was the first time that has happened, but it has sort of become the standard procedure…). But then in the morning I surprised everyone by not only cleaning up my own mess, but also helping to tidy the house. It could have been so much worse.

Ok, enough for now, I think. I promise to work on my writing style (brackets and stuff).

B x

P.S. What I do love about Kiel: the skies. Once the sun begins to set the whole horizon is drenched in all these funky and slightly  cheesy colours and it stays like that for at least an hour – after that it’s pitch black.

The Social Anxiety of Freshers Week without Freshers Week

14th October 2014

So, I’ve decided to skip the introductionary blahblah for now to get onto current events. I’ll be going out tonight. Sounds regular, right. Well, it isn’t all that regular. Regular would mean getting ready for a night out with one to eight of my friends, then hitting the town. And by that I mean familiar clubs, familiar bars. And even if we try something new, we’re always with familiar people. People I love, people I trust.

Now, today’s situation is a bit different. I am on my own. My familiar gang is hundreds of miles away in another country, and I have just arrived here, am barely settling in and don’t know anyone. I should also inform you that I don’t like making new friends and meeting new people unless I am already with friends and I’m meeting MORE people. You get my drift? Plus, I haven’t been out in Germany in over a year and even then, it was, guess: with my friends. But no, I’ve been invited to a night out with lots of people that I hardly know (although from what I know they are both mildly racist and mildly homophobic), but I should take this chance, right? I’d regret it if I didn’t. Maybe these people are amazing. At least I’ll be in a group. And I can always leave, right? Oh god, I really shouldn’t be so nervous. It’s just drinks, and then I can see how it goes. Do I want to leave? Then I’ll leave. Do I want to stay? Maybe I’ll stay. And if everything goes super-awkward, I can always escape for a smoke. Fingers crossed that smoking areas are similarly social hubs as in Brighton and hopefully people will dress more appropriately for the weather here. Wish me luck! (haha, jokes.)