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Want to find me.. I will be at the bar with a glass in my hand, but not eating the nuts... bar nuts are sort of scary.









Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kneading Help

“Love doesn't sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread: remade all the time, made new.” Og Mandino

Just in case it looks like this blog is going to become all whinging or whining. Or perhaps something like the local newspaper for the North Pole, I thought it might be time to toss in a few other thoughts.

I lived in Germany over 20 years ago, just for 18 months, with a small baby girl on my hip, in a tiny town outside Munich. It was tough. My German was limited, and I was pretty much alone. In this small town, everybody was about 15th generation, and outsiders were looked at with suspicion.

My first trip to the bakery ended in tears as I tried desperately to explain that I wanted 6 Brötchen. A shrug of the shoulders from across the counter. I could feel my face starting to colour up and my heart thumping in my chest.

“Ich möchte sechs Brötchen bitte”, I tried again, using my most winning smile. Nothing, nada, nix. So I tried pointing. Doing that weird thing that we do when trying to convey a message, all exaggerated and campy. It never occurred to me EVER to use English, that just felt like it would aggravate the situation even further. Finally, she took pity on me, gave a little snort, stuffed the bread rolls into a bag and handed them to me. I threw some coins in her direction and fled.

By the time I got home, I was rapidly heading into hysteria (as I am wont to do under stress). The words tumbled out of my mouth as fast as those bread rolls were chucked on the table. Mr Dear Husband was staring at me with that expression we normally reserve for the insane.

“Oh, I should have told you that down here in the South of Germany, they don’t call them Brötchen, they call them Semmel.”

He is lucky to be alive today.

In the end, as soon as we got the marching papers to move to Istanbul, I had our bags packed and waiting in the car before he had time to change his mind.

Today, it is different. I am different. The language is no longer a struggle (although it continues to have its moments). And I have lived in enough countries to recognise just how great it is here. I spend a lot of time noticing the little things that make life easier.

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Like, window sills. Yep, love’em. Big wide window sills that make excellent spaces to put pots of flowers. Or pots of fresh herbs, or a few pretty things to look at…

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9 comments:

Mumma Lisa said...

Mum has one of those beautiful orchids in her home at the moment - they last for ages. Sometimes it is hard to see the positives - but they are usually there in one form or another! Chin up.

ML x

oreneta said...

The lady in the bakery was still a cow.

Glad you're liking it better this time though.

verena said...

what is it about bakeries? there's a lady in our local who is always sour to me, my english friends and husband and who will always mishear what you say, I was delighted to discover that it's not foreigners she hates but the whole world, she's nasty to everyone!

Beth said...

Life has been such an adventure for you. And I realize that at times it’s been a challenging one. I so admire your ability to adapt – to find the good and positive aspects of life wherever you are.
Stay-in-one-place-for-20-plus-years-Beth loves deep window sills, too.

Christine Gram said...

Oh I definitely relate to how tough it is to be in a place that isn't used to outsiders. Ugh... even for the most collected and determined of us.

sherry ♥ lee said...

Why must some people feel the need to be "superior"? To know that someone else is struggling for the words...couldn't that baker have pointed to different things until you nodded "yes"?!? It takes a moment but this person obviously was more comfortable making you sweat it out. Lesson to be learned from this!

Peter H said...

you are cheating with that orchid,methinks. yada yada yada....I have real ones!!!

Veronica said...

Shall I tell you the story of a certain someone who was giving a "professional" presentation in a foreign country (and yes, his knowledge for their language is quite good) and announced that the dog was coming in the window, when it was actually the breeze ... just a slightly different intonation can mean a lot!

Lynda said...

Mama Lisa: Yes.. its a cracker of an orchid..must post a pic of it today, all the blooms are open. And it is quite undemanding really.

Oreneta: Yes, she was a cow. LOL

Verena: Seems to come with the territory, some people are just painful. One of my fave pastimes is to give them an especially cheerful greeting..LOL


Beth: An adventure indeed. Part of me aches to put down some roots.. and then when they start to take... I want to move on again.

Christine: At least nobody can see through my dastardly disguise here... until I open my mouth. India and Egypt were much harder.

Sherry: Yes, never a mistake always a lesson (or is that a tattoo from Rihanna??LOL) Too much perez hilton I think.

Peter H: Shame on you! No fakes here... all real. Plastic flowers are way up there with bad hair extensions and lipliner in my book.

Roni: LOL that's my girl... give him heaps!

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