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!

2 comments:

Lynda said...

Now you are on the right path... salt or no salt.

I like your new template.. but after I have been reading it, I see stripes in front of my eyes for about 10 minutes... sort of like looking through venetian blinds! Freaky,.

Anonymous said...

I love this! I feel like I am there with you- partly because your descriptions are amazing and partly because I have a few of my own memories from language school! Fun times :)
Jessie
P.S. I am feeling really inspired to start my own blog soon.