10 September, 2009

Germany & Other Places

Things here in Deutschland are still good; i don't regret making the decision to move here at all.
I like European summer, being closer to my family, loads of vegetables in the supermarket, big green parks, beer gardens, German food and finally living with The German again.

BUT, it's not all hearts & bows.
I do have 'down days', actually it's more like 'dark moments'. The thing i am finding most challenging at the moment is my complete lack of German. While i have noticed that i am understanding more of what's going on around me, I am completely unable to communicate for any period of time. For me, it is frustrating, infuriating & really lonely at times. I know i am perhaps over-worrying (or imagining) things, but I sometimes feel judged ("Oh, yeah, another English person who can't speak German") and if i were given a Euro every time someone has said "You really need to learn German, Helen"...
I KNOW i need to learn German - i don't need to be reminded of that fact. It was something i realised pretty soon after moving here - to be able to function & live in Germany without having to have someone babysit you all the time, you need German here. I know that may sound pretty obvious, but in Tokyo, for example, it's possible to live a reasonable life without speaking/reading any Japanese. Here, I couldn't even fill out the forms to register as a citizen of Stuttgart.
I do realise that most people don't mean it in a horrible way at all, but for me it's something i have had so many times in the last 2 and a half months & it gets to a point (on some days) that i just want to stamp my feet & shout, " I speak Japanese & French; I'm NOT an ignorant Brit!! I DO speak other languages!!"
So, yeah, that has been hard for me. It's been especially hard in that my life is completely surrounded by Germans (well, um, yeah, this is Germany...) What i mean is that i have no friends who are also foreigners in Germany. While The German is understanding & does listen to me when i am over-tired & frustrated, i think there is a part of him that doesn't completely understand. For him, German is easy - which means our stress levels, at times, are at completely opposite ends of the scale. He's relaxed & enjoying the conversation. Meanwhile, i have a headache & frustration from trying to listen to a language i barely understand.
However, the one thing that keeps me sane is knowing that this situation, with time, will change. I am determined to master this bloody language even with all it's changing word endings, genders & difficult pronunciation.

And in totally different news, tomorrow The German and I fly out to Bangkok.
And from there, we are going to spend just over two months travelling (coming back to Germany on 23rd November). We haven't got any concrete plans - we're going to book cheap flights out of Bangkok once we get there. Top favourite places at the moment are Cambodia, Indonesia & The Phillippines (but we can't go there because i can't spell it...)
I'm excited because this will be my first backpacking experience (believe it or not) & first time to Thailand (and all the other countries mentioned; have only been to Singapore & Malaysia in S.E. Asia) Am also looking forward to the fruit. I LOVE the fruit available there & i'm going to eat fruit every single day. So there...
I'm also looking forward to extending my summer till november.
I'm also excited about seeing new places, people & cultures.
And I am looking forward to spending time with K, trying out all this new stuff (assuming we don't kill each other...2 months is a long time to spend travelling with someone...)
And, i have to confess, a little part of me is looking forward to escaping from German (not Germany, just German)...

I will try and update regularly as we are on our travels, but i may be too busy stuffing my face with fruit or enjoying the sunshine...

1 comment:

j-ster said...

Woohoooo, go enjoy the sunshine! Sunshine is coming here soon too!