Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Hi all,
Now, I'm beginning to think you're spoiled...2 posts in as many days. Ridiculous. However, I got a little help from my apt mates on this one - and I hope it makes you smile!

In bigger towns, it seems like there are "crazies" everywhere. Yes, some of them are unfortunately homeless and probably have mental problems, but there are also quite a few eccentric people out there. I would like to say that I don't think that these people are to be laughed at, but I hope you can laugh with the people who experienced these stories.

I think Jake started out telling his story tonight. At first it sounded like one of his crazy dreams - we often swap crazy-dream stories the next morning/day when we see each other. Anyways, it wasn't!
Jake was waiting at a crowded bus stop at the university, wearing a green t-shirt and jeans. He was approached by a man dressed in a nice outfit, including a vest, and was carrying a briefcase. He started talking to Jake, who could tell immediately that the guy was more than a little off. He was talking in Bavarian, and when it became very clear to Jake that the guy wasn't going to go away Jake very politely said in German that he didn't understand the guy. The guy had become very excited, and in the process of talking to Jake had ripped off his vest and thrown in down onto the ground. Even more excited he exclaimed "Englander! Englander!", until Jake corrected him and told him he was American. While this was going on, Jake was too embarrassed to look around to see if anyone was watching.

Next, the guy starts relating the story (Jake assumes it was the same one as in Bavarian) and it had to do with people wearing shirts in the Czech Republic. Jake heard him out, and was baffled by the fact that the guy seemed to speak perfect English...with an Irish accent. This is very odd for Germany, as most schools teach in British or American English and no one had ever heard of someone learning Irish English. Next the guy started telling Jake a riddle, although Jake was completely confused and didn't know how to respond. Finally, Jake was able to escape to his bus, but not without a few hearty claps on the back and a goodbye of "Good man! Good man!"
Jake still is not quite sure to make of all this, but was glad to hear of other's experiences...

Charlotte has a running-joke (horrible pun...sorry) about when she goes jogging that she ALWAYS sees the same homeless man wherever she runs. Like on an almost day-to-day basis and she doesn't seem to keep her route or necessarily even time of her run consistent. Moreover, he always is on the bench she was looking forward to taking a rest at. Tonight was a whole new experience, as he happened to show up to buy a doener at the same place she did! Her tandem partner was with and says he has a habit of coming to her bakery and checking to see who's working every day, so Charlotte was relieved to find out he had other pursuits to merely hogging benches.

However, Charlotte is far too special of an individual to have just one special crazy in her life. She said that one day as she was running (again, with the running?) she was approached very politely by a clearly-homeless man and asked if she'd like to go drink coffee (in German of course). She equally politely turned him down, and after she told this story, the following conversation took place at the table tonight:

Charlotte: "He was really a polite crazy...but still crazy"
Sara: "Crazy people need love too...but not from us"

It doesn't look as funny in type, but give Charlotte a lovely British accent (with a twinge of Welsh) and a deadpanned reaction from Sara, and you can't help but to smile!

To Be Fair...
To be utterly fair, I'm sure everyone has made their fair share of word/grammar/usage language mistakes that leaves others rubbing their heads or stifling (sometimes completely unsuccessfully) giggles. Sara and Vaso both recently had such incidences.

Sara was spending a long weekend in Berlin with some family this past weekend. As their sole German-connection, she was questioning a friendly waitress one night to find out where the nearest grocery store was. Unfortunately, she had a bit of a brainfreeze and asked where the closest "Lebensmittel einladen" was. The word she was looking for was "Supermarkt" - German cognates can be deceptively tricky... While Lebensmittel (literally food) was an all right choice, her unfortunate choice of sticking the separable prefix of "ein" in front of "laden" turned laden from "shop" into "invitation". (I know, I know....I don't know either!). Apparently the waitress got a rather confused look on her face for a moment, but quelled any reaction and very helpfully pointed Sara on her way. So Sara just did a mental-slap a few minutes later when she inwardly ran through the conversation. It happens...all the time to all of us!

Now, it's been a few weeks since I've heard this story, so I might be summarizing - but it's just as hilarious as when I heard it!
Vaso is from Greece and is a good friend of mine who often comes to our Sunday dinner (and when she cooks...it's divine!) and since it's with mainly native English-speakers, converses in English with us. The other night she was nudged into sharing a story by one of the other girls.
Apparently a few weeks ago, a few girls went to Munich to buy dirndls, because they'd heard there was a shop where you could get a good-looking one for under 100 euros. They found the shop and were soon trying on dresses and getting opinions. Apparently Siobhain (Ireland) came out of the dressing room and was asking for opinions. Vaso said "I really like the turkey one!"

Vaso, unfortunately, had made the mistake of substituting the word turkey for a color not far from sounding the same - turquoise. To make matters worse, she got flustered and forgot the word for "apron" and "apricot" came out. She endured the laughter good-naturedly, and was laughing the loudest as she bashfully retold the tale. This beat the "inky-fish" tale by miles...another situation where she adamantly denied that "inky-fish" were octopi and was absolutely correct - the fish she was referring to is related too the octopus but is actually a "cuttle-fish".
However, considering that Vaso is very near fluent in English (not to mention quite good at German) I would be proud to know enough of a third language to be able to make such mix-ups!

Anyhow, I also went to castles today, but this post is quite long enough as it is. I want to thank everyone who allowed me to steal a little bit of their experiences

Also, I was just looking for a random picture to post for this (as the topic conversation is limited, I just chose Siobhain in her "turkey" dirndl) and found a blog of someone else who came to Regensburg on about exactly the same day. Weird no?
Anyhow, I hope all is well,

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