Sunday, February 27, 2011

Germanisms

I started writing a blog post about all the things I was missing in America, but then I got homesick. So instead of indulging in self-pity, as much I’d like to, I decided to write about Germany instead and all the things I have discovered here so far.

Smiles. The don’t exist here! Whoever said Americans were cold has never been to Germany. I went walking with a baby the other day and didn’t get so much as one smile! I had a baby, people! I don’t expect much, even just a little eye contact or a nod would suffice. Really.

Villages. I ran to the next village yesterday. That sounds much more heroic if you don’t know that the next village is just a mile away. In American terms I guess I should say, “I ran to the next neighborhood”, but village sounds way cooler so I’m sticking with that.

Swan Lake. In the next village there’s a little lake that I run around. It’s by an old manor home and there are swans in it. Real swans! I don’t know the name of the it yet, so I’m calling it Swan Lake because I like that.

Kebab shops. They’re everywhere! I guess it’s just evidence of the Muslim presence in Europe, although I never see them, just their shops.

Cute old German ladies. They seem to be on every street corner in our village with their shopping bags and long black coats, probably discussing their disapproval of your hot pink running jacket.

English. Nobody wants to speak it. This is the first time I’ve been in a foreign country where people just don’t want to speak English. Usually they at least make an effort to use the few words they know. Here I feel like they know it but they’re holding out on me, preferring to watch me flounder. And since “Danke” is about the extent of my German, we don’t get very far. Fortunately pointing and waving is enough to get me a pastry and a coffee at the corner bakery. That’ll do.

German Drivers. They drive fast. Crazy fast. And you had better too! After getting some very angry gestures with my sister-in-law in the car the other day, I have decided to become a permanent backseat-navigator/baby-entertainer. Even walking is risky, especially since I’m still really confused about which way to look when crossing the street. I’m just counting on the fact that all these BMW’s and Volkswagen’s must have good brakes.

Airforce network TV. Cheaply made Airforce commercials are the only form of advertising on the TV. It is refreshing and highly entertaining. For some reason all the programs are about 12 hours behind the states, so I get to watch Good Morning America at 10:00 at night which is very convenient when you are jet lagging.

Military Moms (my sister-in-law excepting). Is there a show about this? They scare me. Don’t get in the way of a military mom trying to sign up her kid for swim lessons. Scary. That’s all I’m gonna say.

More Germanisms to come…

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