Good morning again!
Yes, I'll hope to post more frequent in the future, which is why you're seeing a daily influx of stuff for the time being (until I grow tired of it ;-)) Today, I'd like to tell you a bit about the city I work in now:
Jena is, essentially, the figurehead of the economic success a few parts of former socialist germany achieved in the past two decades. It's got two world class corporations in the optical sector, Zeiss and Jenoptik, an advanced ceramics company, Schott, two universities, all the cultural, research and supplier facilities associated with that... it's amazing, it's got only 100,000 inhabitants, half of them students, a quarter highly qualified workforce, and the remainder normal people.
Problem is, it's in a valley. Mountains to the left, mountains to the right, with the city itself shaped like some kind of bean, with a long north-south axis. Rents are ridiculous, being in the same league as Berlin or Munich in some areas. A thousand euros per month would get you a 3-room apartment with maybe 90 or 100 m² in an average location, or a 60 m² two-room apartment in a somewhat upmarket district (still nothing fancy).
This has resulted, naturally, in considerable suburban sprawl and, further, to the outlying villages and towns. Owing to the valley location, there's a total of two roads entering the main city, also providing the main road traffic capacity within city limits. This is very few for a place of that size.
I drive to work every day. Out of being used to it, I guess - the previous two years, also in a rural setting, were dominated by cars, and the road network was good. Diesel was paid for by the company, and I used my private car only for the long-distance trips home. Driving was fun, the transportation aspect of life was good. And now, as I said, I have moved to this small town. The license plate abbreviation for the area is "SHK". If you ever happen to come across a vehicle which license plate is bearing this three letters, be weary. Not only have they been taught to drive by drunk cavemen, if at all, but in addition they are not aware of their extremely developed incompetence.
Be sure to catch on in a later post where I continue my whining about them!