Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Practically German...Right....

Hi Everyone,

I’m currently composing this on Microsoft Word, as for some fickle reason, my internet is not cooperating thus far today. So who knows when this will debut, although I’m hoping the connection will be fixed later today.

Authentic German Bus Experience
As I was sitting on the bus today on my way home from my morning class, an older woman struck up a conversation with me. And by “struck up” I mean that she started talking at me, without giving sufficient time for me to formulate an answer. About 5 minutes into our “conversation” on cell phones, she whips hers out and starts asking me a question. When I started to answer, her eyes widened a bit – as she suddenly realized I wasn’t German but patiently heard me out. Of course, I have no idea how her phone worked, so I wasn’t able to help. But I did commiserate with her on the difficulty of attempting to gleam useful information out of the poorly written instructional manual.

This is becoming a pattern. I am more and more frequently being stopped and asked for directions by Germans. Since I’m not exactly “exotic” by German standards, I take this to mean that the blind panic look that used to inhabit my eyes when strangers approached speaking German has dimmed and I look confident. Which is a good thing I guess. I actually gave the last woman the correct directions to somewhere (it’s been hard on the university – as I don’t know where some of the buildings are…let alone how to now get to buildings with approximately ½ of the campus randomly being shut down for repairs and up-keeping = nightmare!), and I truly apologize to any misled Germans. At least I tried, right?

In Which Steph Acquires a "Crazy"
At any rate, not all of the interruptions are so welcomed. As I stood for the bus last Wednesday (I think it was…), I was approached by a man who was talking to himself and making random people listen to his radio. He struck up a conversation with me (completely ignoring Eric) which I didn’t understand a word of. However, I decided to maintain eye-contact and nod, as everyone needs a little eye contact in their life. However, he proceeded to follow us onto the bus and kept up his conversation. By this point he’d slightly changed to speaking English (with French and other languages mixed in) and was talking about the Russian broadcasts he was picking up with his radio and how he wanted to go to California and the US. He was starting to make me uncomfortable and he started repeating “not crazy…Not Crazy…NOT CRAZY…” over and over, as I’m sure my discomfort was showing. He seemed like he was rather unstable, and I was glad when he finally got off the bus. The next day I avoided the bus stop when I saw him there, only to have him board it later in the afternoon on my way to play performance. Luckily I didn’t make eye contact. I’ve decided that “having my own crazy” is completely overrated, and a little scary.

Sad News, Indeed
Charlotte became the first casualty to our apartment today. She went back home as she was done with her classes – she runs on an odd Law schedule. It’s hard to imagine that more than 2/3 of our floor will continue to trickle away as the month passes. I’m glad I won’t be the last to go. Apparently we’re supposed to dry-clean our pillow and duvet, or it costs us 19 euros. However, with the cost of the dry-cleaning, the hassle of finding the shop, dropping off and picking up the stuff might be just as expensive and annoying. They also want us to wash our curtains – understandable, except that I think mine would disintegrate and I very much doubt that they’ve been washed within the last 15 years. Plus they have an odd hanging system that I’m not sure I could even replicate!

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
It’s nice that it really is the simple things in life that can make your day. Today, I got a letter. It wasn’t the usual bank statement or insurance notification (which are still kind of fun to get…right?)…no, it was an honest-to-goodness someone-likes-me enough-to-send-a-letter letter. (Sorry for all the hyphens). It’s true that I also really like getting e-mails, but in this age of technology, there’s just something really magical about letters. So thanks Kris. : )

Oh Yeah…That
And finally, a d’oh moment by yours truly. On Monday morning I woke up, sat up, and was very confused. It felt as though someone had literally taken a hammer to my back…I was very sore to say the least. I spent a good portion of the day wondering what on earth I’d done in my sleep to merit such pain, when I suddenly realized:

“Oh yeah, I totally fell down the stairs on Sunday”. How’s that for short-term memory? It’s about 80% better right now, so I think I just pulled/bruised some muscles but should be back to normalcy in a few more days.

Hope all is well,


P.S. The cows are just because I Can.

No comments: