On Food and Words

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

My search for "Lord of the Rings trash can" came up empty, but I did find an R2-D2 one.

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…

But.

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.

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13 responses to “On Food and Words

  1. How do you come up with this stuff??? LOL

  2. Haha, great post! I can remember the same trash predicament in Italy. I think they recycled just about everything which of course had to be separated and hauled down the street to the receptacle. But how to you haul anything down the street when the grocery stores don’t provide you with those handy plastic bags for free? Ah, it’s the little things we American’s take for granted.

  3. I love the idea of becoming your own garbage disposal!!! Although, I hope you find another source of garbage disposal…

    It is a little depressing here without you, when I go over to Joe’s apartment I expect you to pop out from somewhere at anytime…but you don’t. I hope you are enjoying Germany! It looks beautiful!

    • Sometimes I wish I could pop out… no one plays dorky board games with me over here. I do like Germany, but I’m definitely missing you guys – all the cookouts and cheese and wine amounted to a much better standard of living than I’ve got here 🙂 Keep in touch, y’hear?

  4. Hmm.. I hadn’t thought of the Gopher Gazette in forever.

    I too share a fondness for German words. It seems that there’s much more room to make up words if you can just slam a couple together to make a longer one. We did this once in the English language. It seems odd that “eyeball” and “lackluster” didn’t exist until Shakespeare invented them. Why don’t we do this anymore!! (except if it’s commercially convenient. Staycation is a word I loathe.) We don’t have names for the little nobs on car hoods that squirt windshield wiper fluid. But the Germans do: Windschutzscheibewaschanlage. Love!!

    Again, Good luck!

  5. Double the pleasure..I put used lemons down the disposal so when I grind up that leftover food, and also get the pleasure of smelling a wonderful clean scent. I would not be a happy camper if I had no disposal. Eating all the food in sight would cause me to weigh more than my sons, which I am not too far away from anyway. I feel your pain. Yes, I will flip the switch today in your honor.

    I am a Good Counsel horder. If you ever feel the need to read some old Gopher Gazettes, let me know. You mom shakes her head in pity for my disease.

  6. I like waking up to a new denglish post; loling is a great pre-getting-out-of-bed activity.

  7. Awesome post Loribadenneumeierfrauline.

    I know you’ll get the trash system figured out. If not, save it for your visitors and have them haul it out of the country bit-by-bit when they depart.

    You will pick up the language. Keep track of some of those mis-understandings and share them with me. I’m always in search of new ways to get myself into a bind.

  8. Pingback: A Request… | Lori Speaks Denglish

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