I can’t begin to explain how much fun I’ve had here in Germany. There are no words.
It’s a home away from home that I’ve known intimately, not in any small part to my hosts Betty and Christoph. It it without hesitation that I can confess this has been the best possible experience I could have hoped for. Germany, a home I am familiar with in ways I could not have touched until this very moment in my life.
Today as Betty and I sat at the Hotel Schloss Berg, we practiced my German. I said, over and over and over, “I would like Mint Tea with Rum, Please.” “Ich Hata Gerne Ienen Tee Mit Rum.” I noticed a very handsome man two tables away laughing. “I think he’s laughing at me!” I confide. Indeed, a second later, he says, “Your German is quite good.” I laugh. “Oh?” “Well, the Age makes it difficult.”
“DID YOU JUST CALL ME OLD?” I quip.
He and Betty both laugh heartily. “THE ‘AITCH’ THE ‘H” makes it difficult!” Betty laughs. I blush. OH! I say. “Donka?”
We have a good laugh and are both corrected with our German. He smiled kindly as another group sits between us and an old couple talks a casual German between friends. Betty and I speak English most of the time but turn to analyze the German conversation at random intervals.
I learn German. I fucking learn German. In two days, I am learning German.
I am complete.
Betty tells me it is the space of my brain programmed from childhood. I know pieces of Germany from in the womb or unconsciously, as a young child. I recognize the Glockenspiel, I climb St. Paul’s Tower, I see the same German ornaments I have hanging on my tree since I was a baby. It’s not unfamiliar, this world. It is a cross between Seattle and a life-time ago, a childhood of German stories and tales.
I am not unhappy to be returning home in the morning, but I am not unsure I will return. In fact, I can say with a level of certainty, I will be back. And I will speak in German. A tongue nearly as native as my own.
If I can find it.