27 July 2010, 10:50 (10:50 amish)
My laptop has once again lost its operating system. so I begin to despair of getting any work done today. I am pretty thirsty but not at all confident in my ability to get to the bathroom and back with both myself and a glass of water intact. If I were really dedicated to the cause, I would put the bottle that used to hold sparkling water in my backpack, hop to the bathroom, refill it, put the bottle back in my backpack, and hop back again, but meh. Effort. I am also curious about the noises coming from downstairs (possibly slicing noises) but not curious enough to face the stairs (particularly not alone). I figure that eventually I will either get hungry or thirsty enough to deal with it myself, or someone will remember me and save me the trouble of hopping to do it myself. I begin to worry that boredom will be a problem today.
It has been an eventful few days. On Friday, I took a long walk through Hasen-Heide, and then went east for the barbecue. Kevin picked me up from the station carrying an umbrella that was composed of brightly colored radial sections. I commented on this, as we walked, in English because I can never remember the world for umbrella (regenshirm) when I need it. The colorful umbrella did not look like it belonged to him. He said that it didn’t. In 2006, he refused to walk under my lime green umbrella because of its color.
We walked back to his house, with him trying to speak clear enough German for me to understand him, and me answering in my cobbled-together pidgeon of broken German and English. This was a sign of things to come.
We went through a somewhat awkward settling-in-process–we had been long away from each other’s languages and company. We slid off our shoes, and I put down my bag and handed over the watermelon–but what was he supposed to do with it? Was it supposed to go with us? I answered, and between Kevin and his father I was finally shown upstairs to my room. I held on to the flowers I had bought for the household (a bouquet of voluptuous, luscious pink peonies), because I can never remember the exact protocol for handing them over. In my Americanness, I always feel the flowers should be given to the woman of the house–but Kevin’s mother was no where to be found so I eventually just gave them to Kevin. He and his father put them in a large vase, asking me if both of the bundles of peonies were for them. Yes, yes, they were.
After the vase was settled, we resigned to the living room to wait.
And then Kevin’s father began to ask me questions.
Lots of questions.
In German, naturally.
I answered, as best I could, explaining how I ended up in Scotland, what I was studying, and a host of other things, occasionally shooting an exasperated look towards Kevin for help with a word. For his part, he seemed to find the exchange hilarious, smiling his secretive smile.
After what seemed like ages of fumbling around in German, Steven and his girlfriend Julia appeared, a vision of mercy, at the front door. We began packing things into the car to go to the garden for the barbecue, and I breathed a sigh of relief to be able to joke and chatter in English again. In German, I am not nearly as funny as I am in English–at least not intentionally.