Friday, June 17, 2016

Falling in love with my new town

I had a couple of things to take care of today and ended up wandering around my new town a little bit as well. Although having to travel 50 minutes to work is a bit of a timesuck, I'm glad now that I'm not living right in the middle of Heidelberg. Although I'm more or less in Heidelberg, the small town I'm in has everything you'd need and still retains that small town vibe. That's what it seems like so far anyway.

One example is the library. I went to join the library in Heidelberg last week. It's on my tram route home and I thought I could start stopping there on the way home to work on my laptop when I have translations. The facilities for study and work in Dusseldorf library were fantastic and the staff were always very helpful and friendly. So far, I have to say, I'm not quite so enthusiastic about Heidelberg. The staff were helpful enough but not especially friendly. Not unfriendly either but not really very warm and welcoming either. You have to pay 18 euro for the year but that's just for books, you have to pay extra for DVDs. It's only 1.50 per DVD but that's the kind of cost I'm going to have to be very careful about from now on. I did stay and work for a while but the table and chair I was at were quite small and I was very uncomfortable. I'm 5'9" so do need a certain amount of space to sit properly. I realised when walking out that there were some tables an inch or so higher than the one I'd been sitting at so obviously if I go again, I'll have to make sure to get one of those instead. However, there weren't any outlets to plug your laptop into (something that was on offer in Dusseldorf) so there definitely wouldn't be any long days spent working there. Not to mention the fact that one of the librarians did regular rounds to make sure nodoby was eating or drinking. While I understand that they don't want books messed up, other libraries even offer tea and coffee or snacks for free or via vending machines.

Compare that to my reception at the much smaller library in my little town today. I was signed up in a little bit more than no time because the woman taking my details was reminiscing about the holiday she took in Ireland years ago. It costs 10 euro a year at this library but they don't take that until the first time that you borrow something. DVDs don't cost anything extra and they have a fantastic selection of board games to borrow as well. That might be something all libraries have that I don't normally see because the children's section is separate and this place is smaller so you can see everything. But once I had my card I then got a full tour of the place, showing me exactly where everything is, how the books are organised, how the magazines and newspaper storage works, the small seating area and coffee/tea facilities, the children's area, the children's storytelling space and I was given a free copy of a book on the history of our town. She took the time to point out some of the funny things in it to me, too, such as a copy of an official letter from 1896 stating that children had to be off the streets by seven o'clock in the evenings. And then I mentioned I wanted to go along to a local choir soon and it turns out she sings in it, as does one of her colleagues that was also working at the time. So now they're expecting me next Wednesday at rehearsal. Small town life. I think I really am more suited to it.

1 comment:

Lady Demelza said...

It really is so important, what your local library is like, isn't it! Now that I live in a small village, my local library comes on a truck every Thursday. It's adorable.
I'm so happy for you with your move. Heidelberg was my first experience of the continent, my first experience of living among people who used a language other than English, my first experience of walking down the street and being snowed on, the first time I saw a castle in real life, and my one and only experience of a Weihnachtmarkt. Everyone was so friendly and wonderful, it was such a good time. Enjoy!