Sunday, October 9, 2011

A home away from home

I'm back! Well, you probably didn't even notice my being away, but I've been to Germany to visit my friend Piddi and her boyfriend. Though I admit, I love my friend to bits, I think she got the impression I only came for the food I can't get in the UK. No, I'm sure she knows. I'm serious, she laughed when I told her what I wanted to do -- almost everything involved food. To be fair, I promised to cook my Teriyake-style fish and I did. The plates were empty and the satisfied grunting was enough confirmation for me that they really enjoyed it.

Now there was another 'urgent' item on my list: an original, traditional 'cult' raincoat which has the name Ostfriesennerz (East Frisian Mink). The East Frisians have been the target for bad jokes for many years, the stupid peasants (which they are not), who can't afford a proper mink, so they wear the rubber jackets. Since I'm sort of half Frisian, I'm very proud to now own one of those rare rain jackets. They have become a rather huge cult, though many wrinkle their nose just thinking about the yellow jackets (you can wear them inside out, by the way). Perfect for rainy days in the garden; all I need are some yellow/blue wellies and I'm prepared. It certainly was most suitable for the weather in Bremen, because it rained every day. 

What strikes me the most is how much I've adapted to 'being' English. Two people told me I've got a slight English accent when speaking German, which I can't imagine. I also dreamt in English, although speaking German all the time. In fact, I mixed both languages, having difficulties to translate back and forth. On the other hand, when we went to an Irish pub my friend had never been in, I immediately felt at home. English sounds much more familiar to my ears than German, even though the latter is my mother tongue. I think my brain was thoroughly confused. When I woke up this morning, I spoke German to my friend John, who stayed the night after doing house- and iguana sitting. I should mention he's really smitten by Zorro, who's behaved well, according to him.
Funnily enough, I met a guy, also called John, on the plane and when we got talking, he was surprised I'm German. He thought I'm from the north, which made me smile. John if you're reading this, thank you again for the lovely chat and for successfully diverting my thoughts from my panic attacks. Every person with fear of flying should have a John sitting next to them. :-)

The days with my friend were wonderful and now that I'm back, it means knuckling down on the writing, catching up with the backlog and, unfortunately, put up with the unbearable neighbours upstairs, who have saved the best for me.

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