I would go into some long-winded and hifalutin discourse about how these, more than anything else, are the things that most nourish us, that offer us mental and physical sustenance, that provide life its diversity and diversion, that define culture and classes while still exhibiting a tendency to bridge differences in a powerful and beautiful way…
but that would be boring. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, might I direct you here, though.
Instead, I am here to say only this: food and words are the two things I think about most, and not in a heightened musing-on-the-nature-of-the-culture-surrounding-me sort of way, but more in an earthy what-do-I-do-with-leftover-food-when-I-don’t-have-a-garbage-disposal sort of way.
And regarding the last issue, it’s a bigger one than you might thing. The Germans here have quite the trash system: one bin for your regular old trashy trash, one bin for your more plastic-y trash, one bin to rule them all, one bin to find them, one bin for all that leftover biodegradable whatever, including all those things I’d normally chuck down the sink and grind on up. But in my apartment, I’m
still not really sure where I’m supposed to take my trash. This has yet to reach a crisis point, as I only have a sack full of paper products and dust bunnies – but still, the only option I see (save actually figuring out the trash system) is that I simply have to consume every single bit of food. And so it begins: one pantry egg at a time, one scoop of Nutella at a time (wait, what?), everything must go… into my stomach, I guess. In the absence of a garbage disposal, I must become my own.
And with that, it seems as though I’ve exhausted the “food” portion of this post, and maybe, by the looks of it, overstayed my welcome; moving on to the “words” bit:
I love words. Being an English major, it’s sort of a given. I even love German words. There’s nothing more satisfying than when words collide to form longer and longer words, until you’re left with something unpronounceable, but for all its length and unpronounceability, still somehow manages to retain meaning…
Nothing is quite so frustrating as being stuck in-between two languages you, when you’re at your best, love. No amount of German 101 role-plays can prepare you for actual conversation; no amount of English literature classes can prepare you to teach business English (that’s right, the class I sat in on today used phrases like “terms of delivery,” which made me wonder if I’ve ever actually strung those three words together consecutively before in my life).
The teachers at my school have started to make a point to speak to me almost solely in German – no more of that namby-pamby English stuff – which scares me a bit, as this will lead to a boat-load of mistakes and misunderstandings, but I also know that to really learn this language, this is the type of immersion that I need; I have to stop relying on a mother tongue safety net. And already, I’ve learned things – like, generally, German uses the present tense to refer to the future; the future tense is usually restricted to the realm of the newspaper. Confusing? Yes. This, of course, means I’ve been employing the future tense far too much – so I guess I could pay myself the highest compliment and say that I sound like a newspaper, but I’d have to be honest and temper that statement- if I sound like a newspaper, it’s one with a vocabulary not exceeding 100 words, and a penchant for very unusual grammatical constructions. (Gopher Gazette, anyone? I kid, I kid…).
At any rate, I’ll figure things out – that’s what I’m here to do, right? Right. Hope you all have a fantastic Wednesday, and give your garbage disposal a whir for me sometime today.