Sonntag, 29. November 2015

Cat got your tongue

Hello, Hallo, Hola.

The nice thing about languages we all have our own expressions. A sentences that isn't mean literally, however if your a beginner this can be confusing. Learning a new language you get to a point where you understand whats being said but then you hear something like:

"Samira comió la lengua de gato" (= se te comió la lengua el gato). In my head the translation is " Samira ate the tongue of a cat". Shocked I look at my Au-pair mother you explains to me that it's an expression, immediately thinking of the English expression.

we use them all the time without thinking much of it. Here I am going to explain to you some spanish expressions:

Estar hasta las narices

I use a similar phase to this one in German all the time (Da kriegt man so ein Hals). So lets start.

Estar: the verb to be. 
hasta: until
las narices: the noses 

Something to be up until the nose
Meaning: A person that is fed up or annoyed would use this phase.
Equivalent: I've had it up to here,.... (with something)

No tener pelos en la lengua

No: no, not
tener: the verb to have 
pelos: hairs 
en: in 
la lengua: the tongue 

Not to have hair on the tongue [seems like a good thing at first, otherwise I would consider it a serious mental condition]
Meaning: A person that speak always says what the think or the cold hard truth
Equivalent: Not to mince one's word [ I never used this in english but in german there is a every popular saying, "kein Blatt vor dem Mund nehemen", which has the same meaning. Gordon Ramsay is famous for having this trait.]

This next one is my favourite:

Creerse el ombligo del mundo

Creerse: to believe to be something
el ombligo: bellybutton
de: of 
el mundo: the world

To believe to be the bellybutton of the world 
Meaning: To believe the most important person in the world 
Equivalent: to want to be the centre of attention all the time. [Sadly we don't really have a expression similar to this one]

Expressions in languages can't really be translated properly but exactly this makes learning a new language interesting. Your going to encounter words or phrase that you can't translate and these things don't just broaden your vocabulary but the way you see and understand the world around. 

What are your favourite expressions in your language ? Share them in the comments below or on twitter or facebook.

See you next week. Bis nächste Woche. Hasta siguiente semana.
Mind Ramble 

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Montag, 23. November 2015

When friends meet, this happens....

Hello, Hallo, Hola.

As you may know my friend came to visited me for a week. I reviewed the hotel we stay in last weeks  post so check that out if you missed it. I showed him around where I have been living for months now and we went on some new adventures together which I want to talk out today.

Before I begin I have noticed that when you have been away from home. A friend from home will make you want you go home that much more. So if your doing an Au-pair or something similar and you get homesick easily this may not be recommended :D

We saw two new places together: Leon and Coverdonga. One a city full of people and universities. The other in the mountains in the middle of nature. So the total contrast. We loved both places because each had something special.

(I forgot my camera on these days so I only have mobil photos ... :/)


Leon is about 2 hours away from Aviles and is situated in the north-west of Spain. The north of Spain is generally the place to be if you want to broaden your image of Spain. We took the bus to Leon and at this time I would like to praise the amazing bus company. For 8,79 we had the most comfortable bus ride ever with WIFI and individual TV with new-ish movies and series. The city was so beautiful and there was even a book fair. There were so many restaurants and cafes ( we tried a lot, had definatiely to many coffees that day :D ). We had Lunch at Racimo de oro it's a bit pricey but It was amazingly yummy, well prepared. My friend even said he wouldn't mind buy another meal just because it was so good.


For all you nature lovers this is a place to see. There is a beautiful view and a lot of culture. We went with my Au-pair family in the car. we didn't do a tour however my Au-pair parents told us some interesting little facts. Asturias was the only place that didn't get conquered because, one they had a very good king and their county is surrounded in mountains. In Coverdonga there is a church and a boarding school for musical boys. Near to the church there is a fountain from which if you drink it is said you will get married in one year.



Both these places are amazing and I am very happy I got the chance to visit them. I suggest where ever you are go on little expeditions. It's a inexpensive way to see little corners of the world you never know you needed to see.

What little places have you seen that had surprised you? Comment below      

See you next week. Bis nächste Woche. Hasta siguiente semana.
Mind Ramble        

Sonntag, 15. November 2015

The hotel from Hell

Hello, Hallo, Hola.
Hoteles en Avilés.Hotel El Balcón

My friend came to visit me in Spain for a week and because the family didn't have space for him in the house we looked for a hotel. Every hotel was full and to our luck we got one last room because my Au-pair mother knew the boss. This little place was our only solution.

The room

We were promised a double bed room, which we received. There wasn't much to it all. A bed, two night stands, a chair, a wardrobe, a TV and a bathroom with a shower. For us it was all we need and for the price we payed we didn't expect luxury. However there were a few thing which were not up to scratch. 

The bathroom

The bathroom was a little room with a sink, a toilette and shower. Not much to it really. However there was a massive hole in the wall so you could see into the wall. The shower door were broken and you could hardly close them and sadly the water was super limestoney and the toilette was far to close to the shower that it was quite a squeeze.

The bedroom

This really had everything you needed in a bedroom. the only thing I didn't like was that the cushion was one of those double cushions ( the long sausage thing that is as wide as the bed.) but that may be personal preference. The TV didn't work for one day but the hotel was having trouble with signal and that was hardly their fault. In our room which was on the second floor the internet was very bad.

The restaurant

On the website they show a beautiful room under the category restaurant however it turns out these rooms are always for special events only and that the bar area is actually the restaurant area. They do offer breakfast lunch and dinner but the opening times are quite unclear and do not always agree with the ones on the website. The food isn't too expensive and the potions are medium sized I would say but it is every well cooked!


For 4 euros you can choose between toast, tortilla or a croissant and you get tea or coffee and water or orange juice with it. for 4 euros you can't complain however the potion  was defiantly too little for me.


There is more then enough to choose for. everything for fish to meat and small and big potions. The menu isn't in great detail so you don't really know what your getting but the prices are ok and there are cheap and more expensive options.

The bar

The bar has everything you need from beer, wine to vodka and whisky. with your drink you can get various little tapas ranging for olives until mini paellas. The prices are very good, so if your looking for a place to get drunk you don't have to go far. Here the internet connection is good and there is even an outside area for smokers or those who prefer the outdoors.

The Staff

The staff are super friendly and are maybe the best thing in this hotel. They are always smiling and have a friendly tone. When it comes to paying the are very trusting as there were times it seemed like the totally forgot to charge us. The cleaning lady did wake us every morning because the hotel doesn't have any "do not disturb signs" however this was properly more embarrassing for her then for us. The reception isn't always occupied so if your shy you can wait a long time until some one notices that your wait. We even got a free breakfast on our last day.

There wasn't much to expect for this little hotel and all in all it did the job for the week. It is situated quite a bit outside of town but if your looking for a small cheap solution in Aviles, Spain, The "El Balcon" is very welcoming. 

Do you have any Hotel stories? Then share them in the comments below.

See you next week. Bis nächste Woche. Hasta siguiente semana.
Mind Ramble

Sonntag, 8. November 2015

The 6 best ways to de-stress!

Hello, Hallo, Hola.

We all have those days/weeks where we are just swimming stress. Sometimes it not even stress because we have so many things to do. Sometimes your just stressed because your stressed. When this time comes we just need to relax, which is easier said then done.

In Spain I have had some self-discovery moments that haven't been to easy and stress me out definitely more then it should of. Here are my best tips do de-stress yourself.

In through the nose, out through the mouth

This one is very simple, however we often forget the act of breathing. Taking a couple of deep breaths in and out really helps. This one is perfect for those of you who are super busy. It's quick, you can do it anyway and it's natural. ;) Don't underestimate a good deep breath. It works wonders.

Your feet are make for walking.

Take a step outside and just walk it out. Concentrate on your surroundings and let it sink in. I prefer doing this without music because then I can hear, smell and see my surroundings. Music normally involves your phone. But if you really can't go without music make yourself a playlist of relaxing music or your favourite tunes. On Spotify/Youtube you can find playlists if you need some inspiration. However try to avoid looking at your phone as much as possible. Walking is also great way to burn some stubby fat so it relaxes you and is healthy. A win/win!

Slow paced walking isn't something for you. Put your trainers on and jog/run it out. This lets yourself power out all that stress, anger or other pesty emotions you might have.

Am I a King/Queen?

Sometimes Yes. Tuning into your inner Ego sometime is a good thing. All day our thoughts are focused on How to please the boss/ Being nice to that person you despise etc. Take 5 minutes just to think about yourself. Treat yourself to that lovely chocolate cake or to that beautiful pair of shoes. Taking 5 minutes to praise yourself for your achievements works just as well. Give yourself some "YOU-time" 

Let it out

Call your best friend/ mum whoever is right for you and just complain. Have a little vent about your boss or the morning traffic. Doing this in moderation will help you let go. Be careful not to hurt anyone feeling with this or you might have more stress then you began with. However a little vent is absolutely fine and everyone does it once in a while. I usually call my friend or my mum explain I need to vent a little and let it all out. My friend and I sometimes take it in turns to curse it out and at the end we both feel much better. 

Tick Tock Tick Tock

Time a blessing and a curse. It lets us organise ourselves and plan effectively. It also makes us look at the time every 10 seconds and stresses us out! If you can leave any time reading form at home and go through life without time in mind. This might be a little hard. Try it a little at the time. Waiting for the bus, just wait the bus will come like every other day as well. look at your watch every 30 seconds achieves nothing but stress. Why not take a book with you as a distraction form looking at your watch all the time. This will help to make chill yourself out a bit. 

On the count of 3...

This one is my favourite and really helps me. Meditation/ Hypnoses. Ok, ok before you get sceptical. I am not talking about hypnoses like in the movies where your mind controlled. What I mean is 30 minutes of relaxation. 30 minutes is all it takes and time all of us have. On Youtube there are a wide range of meditations you can listen to. For example, just before bed I look through Youtube for a relaxing video. I lie down, listen and chill. This not only help me sleep but it relaxes me for the next day. usually someone will guide you through deep breathing accompanied with some relaxing music. There are even different hypnoses for your every need. For sleep, for self esteem for whatever you may need  at that moment.

Try it out and write in the comments which one works best for you. Or share it with a friend who really need to chill out!

See you next week. Bis nächste Woche. Hasta siguiente semana.
Mind Ramble

Sonntag, 1. November 2015

The struggles of a bilingual teenager

Hello, Hallo, Hola.

Since a young age I have been emerged into two languages. Living in England for most of my life since the age of 3 I went to primary and secondary school there. Parallel to that I have heard the Germany language, my spoken Germany wasn't perfect but I could get my way around alone.

For a long time I have always wanted to learn Spanish, so here I am in Spain learning Spanish. however not without some difficulties which was evident.

Foreigner Alert

A lot of people here are scared of me. Not of my person but of my lack of knowledge of their language. When they find out I don't speak Spanish they go from super nice to shocked to not interacting with me at all.

No hablo español 

Linked to the above point I find myself apologising for my lack of the language which on the contrary to above, makes people super understanding. When I go to a shop I explain, first that my Spanish isn't too good and they listen to me. It prepares them to listen. I thought maybe because they work there but I found that some react differently must just be a personality thing.

Forgetting [.......] is the best thing you can do

This I know this can happen to anyone but speaking another language accentuates this ... a lot! I start my sentence super confident and then in the middle of the sentence I forget the word I was going to use. The worst case scenario is I forget the work in every language and then I am stuck there, a sentence cliff hanger totally unintentional.

Which inner dictionary do I use?

 A tip for every language learner is the app "Leo" (German app but there are lots similar). It is basically a dictionary, with a spoken translation and all the verb conjugations, Being bilingual I sometimes have the problem I know the word in English. This means I need to translate the word to German so I can translate it into Spanish (ridiculously confusing). but another inner dictionary problem is that  sometimes the rules of sentence structure in Spanish follow the same way as in English and sometimes German. Great ! Fantastic!


the worst thing is, and this maybe not everyone will understand, but I do not enjoy not being able the think in the language I am speaking. It confuses me even more. I can think in German and in English no problems but when speaking Spanish I am thinking German and English at once. ARGH. My mum told me once that "When you can think in Spanish you have made it". When you start thinking in a language your no longer translating your communicating. It still a long way to go but it is possible.

What has help me, which I must admit is the phase: Fake it until you make it. I don't understand everything around me but I can often guess with the help of the words and phrases I know.

Tell me your language experiences in the comments. Can you relate ?

See you next week. Bis nächste Woche. Hasta siguiente semana.
Mind Ramble