Saturday, February 27, 2010

Quick update

I am having writers block, even though in this past week my wallet has been stolen at school, I saw a man who looks like Coronal Mustard walking down the street, I exploded a whole bottle of Kombucha in the grocery store, and saw a women get hit by a car. It's been crazy to say the least.

We move back south in a couple weeks, and I am both sad and happy to leave. I have made some pretty great friends here, and now I have to leave once again. On the other hand, I can't wait to look at something other than storage boxes and Svens shirts before I go to bed.
Hamburg is lovely, don't get me wrong. I am just ready to start our new life, in our own place.

It is so amazing looking back, and seeing all that we have been through. God has brought us through once again, and from different trials we are growing both individually and together. I am so absolutely grateful for my wonderful husband and all that he has done for me.

School is great, everyone there is great. I love it and I couldn't ask for anything more. Although, I would like Andreas to lower his voice at times, because it is starting to give me migraines.

My other teacher resembles Gendalf the grey from Lord of the Rings. He has a voice that could shake a mountain, but he never smiles.

The third teacher is a freak of nature. I am not even sure how to describe him. He is very nice and patient, and in between his sentences he has about 20 variations of faces that he makes. Hi should be on Broadway or something.

I have to go but I will try to write more frequently. I have been busy, and that is not a problem for me. I love being busy right now:)

I would also like to describe the first sentence of my blog in detail, because all of those things that happened are definitely a story to tell.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ice skating anyone?

If you have read my blog "Nineteen cents", then what I am about to say will entertain you. If you have not, then read it before you read this one.

So, the other day my new friend from school Timbit (I love that name) and I were heading back to class after our much needed cappuchino break when it happened again. The nineteen cents man came out of nowhere, and said ever so directly to my face, "Haben Sie neunzehn cent?" Except the way he said it was exactly as before...in English now "Do you have niiiiiinnnnneeettteen cents?" Now, this time he was just as aggressive, his breath still smelled of liquor, and he still had very long grey coarse curly eyebrows framing his bloodshot eyes.
Usually my first impression of these things happening are in most cases sympathetic. When he asked me the first time, about 2 months ago, I thought perhaps he was asking for 19 cents because he was just short 19 cents, or maybe was not aware that there is no 19 cent coin. Maybe he has been asking for 19 cents from people all of his life, so from when he was a kid which would have to have been 50 years ago, 19 cents was quite a bit of money. It could be he is smarter than all of us and has figures out in his head that asking 2 million people for 19 cents will give him a pretty good monthly salary. Anyhow, I am baffled that he still to this day is asking for 19 cents. I am also baffled that when he asked me the first time I was in a completely different part of town. How did he find me again!

Unfortunatley this time I was not as sympathetic. He was drunk again, so I did not give in to giving him more money so he could go buy some liquor and further ruin his life. I just could not. But I will tell you this much. If I ever see him again, which in my case the stakes are high, I will hopefully know enough German to tell him that I think he is pretty great, and that I don't think he should be drinking his life away.

In other news, the hospitals are at an all time high in occupants mostly consisting of clueless young Hamburgers who have had a keen time breaking their limbs from the sleek frozen sidewalks. Yes you think it would be old people, that's what I said, but it seems that older people are smarter than younger people and know that they shouldn't walk, run or bike on an ice skating rink. What happened here? You see, Hamburg is not famous for getting snow and being so cold, so I think the store and building owners had no idea that layer upon layer of snowfall would scientifically create the most deadly sheet of ice for all of us city dwellers to break our limbs on. I could literally ice skate to school now. I should actually. I could show off my 7 years of practice from when I was younger. "Oh hey excuse me real quick I need to use the whole sidewalk to get a good speed for my triple axle....Danke!"....Then I am skating away in my little ice skating outfit. I think Hamburg would love that.

Well, I would love to write more but I have to go solve a problem.

By the way, school is going great!

Aufwiedersehen!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tweedle dee and Tweedle Andreas


Here are somethings in life that make me feel very uncomfortable. Some of them include:

1. Modern day people wearing long Renaissance capes.

2. Going to school and seeing crazy hair lady doing yoga in the hall way.

3. The fact that I am spelling English words with German spelling now.

4. When my cat starts to make barfing noises.

5. When someone start talking to me in German on the street. But I must say I am now starting to understand them.

6. When I watch Lost.

7. When I smell someones fart in the Metro. I don't know why but this is very weird for me.

Now I would like to tell you what makes my classmates feel uncomfortable

1. Andreas

Let me give you an example piece of Andreas.
Andreas is one of three of our teachers at school. He is probably the most German man I have ever met. Physically speaking the best I way can describe him would be comparing him to Alice in Wonderland's "Through the Looking Glass" characters Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum. Take Tweedle dee or Tweedle dum, doesn't matter because they look the same, strip him down, put some Wrangler jeans on him, a Bill Cosby sweater, a mullet, and there you have Andreas. The reason I said he was the most German man I have ever met is not because of his physique, but rather his voice, communication, and I dunno he's just so German.
In class, our teachers are not aloud to speak English at any point...period. What I have observed is that Andreas thinks the louder he speaks, the better we will understand. Don't get me wrong, he is actually one of my favorite teachers but I am probably the only one who think so. No matter. This kind of communication creates a lot of frustration for anyone who wants to ask a question in English about grammar, vocab, etc etc. Take Heidy for example. Heidy is from Egypt. She is hilarious and probably one of the most kind people I have ever met. She speaks very little English and even littler German. So, when she asks a question, five minutes later she has just created the first word of her question. This is the overall frustration of the class that makes everyone a bit uncomfortable. Unlike the other teachers, Andreas like to talk...a lot. For me this is good because I like to figure out new words, and hearing it so loud and pronounced helps me in understanding where words end and begin. Even if I don't understand the meaning. But overall the feeling I am getting after Andreas leaves the room is that my class either wants to a) construct a plan to get rid of him, or b) murder him.

That's all I have for today.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Flavors of life

Time for an update, and that is an understatement.
Ok lets start with the subject of my life lately....Language school. Oh boy do I have a lot to say on this.
Monday was my first day and after the third day, today, I can say that going to Language school everyday is the salt of what used to be passing time, and now is flavoring my senses. Let me explain myself. What was I doing during the day when I wasn't at school? I was sitting and reading. Using the bathroom. Drinking a lot of water. Petting the cat. Sitting back down. Reading again. Writing emails and talking to people on skype. Texting Christoph, Learning a little German. Forgetting what I learned. Going to the bathroom again. Eating lunch, then maybe eat some more, and then some more. Going to the grocery store. Petting the cat. Getting bitten by the cat. Smacking the cat. Swearing at the cat. Then apologizing to the cat and telling her about my day and what I am going through. Ok, just kidding about that last part. But seriously people, I was good and ready to add a little flavor to my days. That's not the best part...I am learning German! Relief of drifting off into the distance while people are speaking German is coming to an end, and hopefully sooner than later. I am getting tired of giving Christoph's dad blanks looks when he says something to me in German.

Not only am I learning German, but every one of my senses are fulfilled daily. Let me explain again.

First sense I experienced:
Smell

WHen I was about 4 years old my family and I were neighbors to some very wonderful people. They were from the United Arab Emirates. Now, if you have ever eaten Arabic food, you immediately upon smelling it know exactly what spice they use. Being little I wasn't quite sure of that smell. But boy does that smell bring me back to that time when I would always eat at our neighbors house way back when. Saffron. What a delicious smell. And interestingly enough there are a lot of people from the middle east in my class. WHat did I smell upon opening the classroom door besides BO from a room packed full of people? Saffron. My mind took me straight back to my childhood when I used to play with Myriam in the mud after her parents bought us new matching outfits. It was delightful, and for some reason I felt at home. Every now and again I smell a fart but that doesn't really matter here.

Sight
How would I describe the sight when I walk in? The best I can describe it would be one of those trippy tiny photographic posters that combine many photo's into one big photo. There are so many different colors, and personalities all there for the same reason, to learn German. I look to my left, and there sits Amir and his wife Miryam who fled from Iran because of the corrupt government. I look to my right and there is Israel who comes from Spain, but he has German and Portuguese blood so he is here to learn German and get acquainted with the culture He only speaks Spanish. Across from me is Evelyn who comes from Kenya and I don't know her story yet. Further to my right is Tunjay, a wonderful 50 year Turkish man who is absolutely hilarious but doesn't really know it. He has lived here for ten years but doesn't know the German grammar, so he communicates with Germans by melding words together and trusting that they will understand him. His accent is fantastic. More to my left and across is TImbit. She is a woman from Ethiopia who just moved here with he new husband and wants to open a Jamaican/Ethiopian food restaurant. Everyone is so kind, welcoming and splendidly different.

Hearing
Now, this has to be the most entertaining. Upon walking in the room everyday, Amir the extremely smart, highly educated guy from Iran is already there drawing on the board making sure someone who doesn't understand is getting it. Sounds something like this. "Moment, moment....ok you do it like dees, and den dat, and den....no no no... not like dat, like dees!" Eagerly pointing at the board with the marker.
Extraordinary. Him and his wife are so considerate to everyone to make sure they understand, even if that means answering the question for you. I am not scared to get an answer wrong because I know Amir will be whispering in my ear the correct answer. And you had better not prove him wrong.

Steven is the only other American there. He is about 40 and has been here for 6 years to be around his son and is having trouble with the language still. Hearing him speak is like home. "Hey everybody what's up! What do you do? Oh that's neat, I do this and this. Make sure when you do that you look out for...." He loves to talk...to everyone. He is interested in other people, and makes an effort to reach out. It's great.

Now, walking through the school to get to the class you see people from everywhere, and I mean everywhere....from Egypt to Afghanistan to Japan, to Australia, to Macedonia, everywhere! This makes it difficult when you are in the bathroom which language to use if asking if someone is in line, or to excuse yourself. Not everyone speaks English, so it may be that I am better off using German. Who knows!

Touching...I don't really touch anyone. But I do like how Habibnabib, I think that's his name, shakes hands with everyone when he comes to class.

Taste
I don't really taste that much there either, but Aharan bought me a Cappuchino today. He is about 16 or 17 and has been here with his family for about 5 months now. I think he has the longest eyelashes I have ever seen on any human being. I am not even exaggerating. I think I feel wind from them when he blinks.

More on this subject later, but also speaking of the flavors of life. Hamburg ran out of road salt, along with all of Germany and I almost fell down about 15 times with groceries in my hands today. Left and right people were slipping everywhere! Get some salt Germany and flavor this town!