alle ist klar


Kronach is a small, cute, medieval town. I was planning on spending the weekend in another small, cute, medieval town. But I decided that I have hit my small, cute, medieval limit. I'm still too chicken to drive to Berlin (it's not so much the driving to Berlin but the driving in Berlin that scares me). So I am going to Dresden.

Being in a small town on your own feels lonelier than being in a city alone. I don't think I could take it to be in a small town for the next week and a half. I will be staying at a crazy modern art themed hotel. Their website says that they "provides an attractive symbiosis of designer accommodations". That was exactly what I was looking for.

Germans say "ah so!" a lot. It reminds me of some bad Chinese stereotype. They also say "alle ist klar" a lot. I still haven't stopped silently adding "kommisar" to the end of that.

I am being paid to review a lot of German documents. I don't understand any German. I really don't know what I'm doing here. There is a very thick document (dokument) on my desk right now that has the word "Telekommunikationsinfrastrukur" on it. The way it is printed, it takes up more than half of the width of the page. Germans are really fond of gigantic words. Not only do they look cool, but they make it really hard for foreigners to look them up in a dictionary. Obviously I know what the above word means, but there are plenty of others that I can't break down into their bare components.

I hate to say it, but I am really digging the Mercedes. Who knew they made such nice cars?

We have had lunch in the cafeteria (kafeteria?) every day since I've been here. Newsflash: cafeteria food is not tasty. I guess it is very "German" to finish everything on your plate. I can't do that. Especially when the food is on the nasty side. I had a boiled chicken breast (my German colleague grabbed herself to demonstrate that it was a breast, amazingly I had already figured that out on my own) but the French auditor had a fried one. I saw his leftovers and the inside was completely raw.

Which reminds me to mention my toilet. For some reason, this really cracks me up. The toilet itself is pretty normal looking (I think Europe finally came around on the whole bizarre toilet thing). It's the flushing mechanism that gets me. There is a large plastic rectangle on the wall with one large and one small intersecting oval. Need just a normal flush? Press the small oval. If, for whatever reason, you are looking for some more flushing power, push the big button. I've just never seen a "variable flush size" toilet before.

I am the only native English speaker in the building. After only a few days, I have caught myself picking up the phrasing and speech patterns of people who do not speak English fluently. I hope no one notices.

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