Another weekend down, another beer fest! I think if I carry on at the rate I have been going during my time so far in Germany then I will end up needing a new liver at some point! On Friday evening Roman and I made our first trip to the Trio pub to watch the FC Bayern / Hoffenheim game. I’m delighted to say that Bayern won (pretty much everyone here hates Hoffenheim as they are a club solely based on finance and have effectively bought promotion from a much lower status). I was a little nervous about taking Roman to the pub to be honest as it is a totally new environment and the pub is normally quite rowdy when the football is on.
To be fair though I could not have been more impressed with him. He tried to run around the pub a couple of times but generally he behaved brilliantly. All of the locals seemed to take to him very quickly and he really enjoyed being the centre of attention. Ringo and Mariana (the owners) took to him very well and gave him several biscuits so he now watches them intently every time they move in the hope that they are going to get him more treats! He was a little excitable when the goals were scored but that has to be expected when a pub full of grown men are jumping around and cheering.
I am glad that it went so well at the pub as it is 3 miles from where I live so means that Roman has plenty of exercise whenever we go there. We went back on Saturday afternoon to watch the Bundesliga matches too - Germany’s equivalent of Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports is to flick between all of the games being played so you get to watch all of the matches in part. The crowds always seem to be packed at the games too so it seems that live screening in this way doesn’t have the negative effect on attendances that we seem to expect in England.
On Thursday evening I decided to put a few bets on but altered my strategy slightly. In the weeks leading up to Christmas I had been putting accumulators and trebles on but I was finding that the majority were losing. I was about €40 up at Christmas but there is something disenchanting about losing the majority of your bets even if you are in profit. I decided to start betting on single matches instead but at a slightly higher stake. Previously I was betting €3 or €5 on each accumulator but I decided to up the stake to €10.
I am pleased to say that all 4 of my bets from Thursday evening came in so my €40 outlay earned me just shy of €70. I used the winnings from Thursday and picked seven matches that were being played over the weekend, again laying €10 per match. I managed to pick 4 winners from the 7 so got back what I had laid out so I am currently about €30 in profit for the year. I am thinking that when the pot rises a little more I will focus on one or two games at a time and bet a higher stake, maybe €20 per match. If the pot diminishes then I will return to lower stakes. As long as I am in profit there is no ‘real’ loss so I can afford to be more liberal with the stakes although I will be careful to keep the betting money totally separate from my everyday finances.
I found a really useful thread on a forum where I post that focuses on betting. Some of the members there are extremely good at it and are already into thousands of pounds of profit for the year. Having said that though some of them lay up to 500 quid at a time so I am definitely small fish compared to that! There have been some pretty good tips flying about on there though and 2 of my original bets on Thursday came from these tips.
I made two trips to Apfelbaum again this week but I am thinking that I might start toning it down a little. I can afford the lifestyle I have quite comfortably – despite liberal spending over the festive period I still have about €500 of last month’s wages left and I get paid in about a week. However, I am not sure that continuing to live like this in the long term will be good and I am sure that there will come a point soon when I stop enjoying the nights out so much – moderation is key! It really doesn’t help when you are trying to adjust your routine so that you are up early every day in the week – I need 2 hours now before work really as I like to walk Roman a couple of miles before I start and by the time I have a shower and some breakfast then walk to work the 2 hours flies by.
On Saturday I headed up to Frankfurt to meet the lads as they had been to watch Frankfurt play. It was an enjoyable evening there and we got the last train back around midnight. The atmosphere around Frankfurt is actually pretty good and there were several decent pubs and bars. We were drinking around Sachsenhausen, an area I had been trying to find with my stepmother and her sister when they came to visit me last year. It seemed that we had been walking down the street that ran parallel to where all the activity was – bloody typical!
There was one bar that wasn’t such a great experience but I didn’t actually know until we had left – it seems that some people in there had been singing Hitler songs but I hadn’t noticed as I didn’t understand what they were singing. It’s a shame that there are still people like that around but this is certainly not reflective of my experiences of Germany as a whole. I have actually been impressed with the attitudes of people here in general. I find that German people tend to be very welcoming, friendly people and this is the first time I have experienced this kind of thing.
Sunday ended up being an extremely lazy day for me – I only ever seem to get about 5 or 6 hours sleep after a night out at Apfelbaum so I am usually pretty tired on Sundays. I didn’t feel ill or hungover but I had a distinct lack of energy all day long. Roman is such a perfect dog at times like this – he immediately knows that I am tired and just sleeps all day long. He didn’t get a walk until just after 5pm so he had been in the apartment for 24 hours without going out. I was pretty knackered last night so he didn’t get his usual pre bedtime walk either but he didn’t seem too bothered by it.
I managed to get up a little earlier today than last week – I got up shortly after 8am – but I want to start getting up at 6am so that I can be in work by 8am every day. If I can get into a good routine then I can work until 5pm Monday to Thursday and then only have to do 5 hours on a Friday so can finish at lunchtime. If I can do things this way then it will mean that I have more time with Roman over the weekend and he can get out and have plenty of exercise – I am sure he would be happy if I could manage to do it!
I should have had my first training session after Christmas with SV Kirschhausen yesterday morning but I didn’t get to sleep until about 7am yesterday so there was never any hope of me making that! There is a training session tomorrow evening at 7pm and another one Thursday so I will definitely be there for them. I think I need to cut out the partying at weekends though so that I am ready for the football each weekend! I am not sure how much fitness I have lost over the festive period but I am confident that I can regain it pretty quickly and I have been thinking about trying to quit smoking again – yes, I failed…….again!