My apologies that I havent managed to pop anything up for a while, its been a slightly crazy week (and that sentence looked very strange for a while because I’m typing on a German keyboard which not only has ä where the apostrophe should be but it also has y and z reversed which means that manz manz words come out a little crayz. Zup.) I’m getting better at using this mad set up but it’s made me realise how much I actually do touch type.
So, some sundries for you kind souls:
Bei S und bei U, Berlin notched up another point in the great Berlin v. London derby on Sunday, after I took my first Bahn journeys. Now, I consider myself to be a fully London accredited country mouse: I don’t carry a tube map any more and I have been known to give tourists directions without needing to consult their A-Zs. I am outraged when people don’t stand on the right on escalators and unless I’m on designated mooch-time I move at a brisk trot. I’ve been known to experience tube rage and I’m baffled when I move outside the purview of TFL.gov. But guess what? Here I’ve got BVG.de to help out. Not only will they plan my journey, they’ll also help me hook up with that boy who caught my eye (not really, LTN!)…..
The Bahn stations are amazing, with 20 million useful shops open at all kinds of hours, they’re clean and well lit and have nice wide thoroughfares so I’m not tripping anyoneup with my tourist antics as I would be if I were in LondonTown. Plus, the S –Bahn and U-Bahn run all night at the weekend which quite clearly should be the rule worldwide. The carriages are big and with more window than wall and in 2 of 2 journeys I saw very cute puppies on board. Furthermore the buttons for opening the door actually open the door and have fetching red and green lights, instead of being yellow traps for the unwary which give Londoners yet another reason to feel superior. And last but not least, one of my students is a DeutscheBahn train driver and assures us that the trains are never late. The timetables may be wrong, but the trains are always on time. So that’s good.
Wongling, curgling and Jabberwocky. As part of our indoctrination into the secrets of the TESOL guild we’ve been looking at how to teach vocabularly and how to check understanding. To aid this we’ve been taught all kinds of nonsense words which have now entered the lexicon of our flat and may in fact become permanent fixtures in my idialect. The most favoured nonce word is wongle (verb or noun), it’s been assigned any number of meanings so far from the mildly rude to strangely pornographic (he wongled a horse, anyone?). Jake is the main perpertrator of this crime against language, but I’m afraid that it’s catching. Plus today we had a beauty: she deapled him quistly. Any guesses?
p.s. think you can’t translate Lewis Carrol? Jabberwocky in other words…
Marielle kindly pointed me toward the exciting looking Badeschiff an Spree but it’s closed! Dammit, I want to go and play with the beautiful people.
But there is other fun to be had. We’re staying just down the road from Museuminsel, an island covered in beautiful buildings full of interesting things. So far I haven’t visited, sorry Dunc, but luckily there’s a Lange Nacht der Museen planned to sort that out by giving us from 6pm to 2am to get round them all.
Amazingly, I’ve managed 2 whole weeks without once reverting to sitting cross legged when I should be sitting like a grown up. I’m so proud of myself!
And finally some comparisons of the Berliner (not the donut) v the Londoner – in my perception and theirs:
Everyone makes eye contact here, but it’s rare to win a smile, even when I bust out my best effort. In London it’s a bit different, catching someone’s eye is tough but once you do you can usually tease out a smile. It’s the smile game. Also I’m told that when using a lift the etiquette is to say good morning and goodbye as you get in and out. Can you imagine that being the rule in England? Gosh no. It’s because German’s are friendlier on the whole – so they say, and have lovely conventions like always taking flowers or wine as a visiting gift, saying güten Appetit before meals and always taking your shoes off when you enter someone’s home. And do you know why we don’t have an equivalent for güten Appetit in English? Well, I’m reliably informed it’s because the food is awful. Speaking as someone who had cereal for tea, I’m not sure I’m in a position to disagree.
That’s all folks, I’ve written a ream and it’s nearly time for bed. I’ve leave you with one last picture of the Schulwohnug and Studente hard at work. Good night and sweet dreams.