Sunday, October 15, 2006

New Friends and Bad Trends

So, we have a lot of catching up to do here. I’ll try to be brief. This week the church had an Erdankenfest/Oktoberfest celebration. I didn’t really do much during that because I was working the Hort, but I helped with dishes and hung out with the youth a bit. Gary and I are starting to get to know them (and German) a bit better, so it is fun to hang out with them. Another exciting thing this week was the presence of guests from Espelkamp, a city about four hours west of here. There was a pastor and two guys about the same age as us. At first I didn’t spend much time with them, I was working during the day, and not confident in my German skills. As the week wore on I started seeing them more. But it wasn’t until Friday that I really started talking to them. It happened thusly:

(You love me cause I used that word, I can tell.) Friday we had an adventure with the youth group to the Kristalbad, which was way the hay out near Poland (or so it seemed). Originally we weren’t really up for the trip, it was Friday and I was feeling more like bumming around. Gary and I were hanging out in his room pondering dinner when Johann, our neighbour and the youth group leader knocked on the door needing a van driver. I haven’t completed the van driving training session; I blame my fear of driving big vehicles and manual transmissions, so Gary was the only person who could fill the role. I decided to come with, but neglected to bring swimwear. The drive took a good while, and was punctuated often by the teenage girls in the back of the van giggling like teenage girls so often do. This habit of theirs is an annoyance to Gary, and I can see why, but it doesn’t bother me mostly because I never listen to what girls say anyway (That one’s for the LUC, and is an inside joke, so imagine us all in The Convent laughing our heads off and alienating you, bet you wish you lived with us now ; ) …[that was a wink]) We finally reached the pool, and let me tell you, German pools are where it’s at: no annoying lifeguards, wave pools, waterslides, hot tubs, Jacuzzis, the works, and this one even had a salt water pool (not sure what the point of it was, but I used it anyway.) Much better than the square and sometimes L shaped pools of the States. Johann bought us swim passes before he found out we had no swimwear, so we had to at least go to the pool. It was then that one of the youth offered me his extra swimwear: A Speedo, and a rather small one at that. I took the proffered wares but wasn’t sure I would sink that low. I held out for as long as possible and finally figured, when in Germany, well, don’t worry about it, after a year the people that judged me will be laughing their heads off, but not loud enough that I could hear them from the States. Long story short I did what every USAnian has solemnly sworn never to do unless swimming professionally, I entered the pool in a Speedo. They are not comfortable. But I got to enjoy an awesome water slide, so it’s a trade off.
At the pool I was able to talk to one of the guys from Espelkamp. It started off with me just asking the simple questions I’ve been forced to repeat 100 thousand times during my German lessons: ‘Was ist deine beruf?’, ‘Wo wohnst du?’ (What’s your job, Where do you live) Simple stuff, but then as it got more complex I was eventually forced into the ‘Deutsch ist eine schwer sprache’ conversation (German is hard). It’s a true enough point, but it makes me sad to go there, because I had hoped to know German well enough by now. Then he informed me of the presence of the water slides. I think in English the friendship may have been forged of sterner stuff, like his training to being a youth pastor, and my thoughts of doing that as a vocation as well, but this was in German, so it would have to be the water slides, they were something I could talk about.
Later, on Saturday, we all hung out with the youth group. It was fun and I even randomly made it into one of the skits the youth group did. We collectively poked fun at the language barrier between us and tried to play UNO, but it didn’t work very well. Then there was a little program, with skits from the youth group. One was about gambling and how it’s not good to do. That’s the one I was in; I played Nervous Gambler Number 2. Though I auditioned for Nervous Gambler Number 1, it was still an honour to be included. I had one line it was: ‘Zwanstig Euro.’ (Twenty Euro). I was flawless. After that we drank coffee and ate cake. Then the youth left and we had a jam session/Hymn Sing. It was fun, but we stayed up too late.
The next morning Gary and I had our every second Saturday religious style English lesson, and the guys from Espelkamp came along. Christian, the guy who showed me the water slides, came with me to Niedergörsdorf. While we waited on the kids to come we talked about things and translated some German kid’s songs into English. Then we decided to keep in touch via Email and that Gary and I should visit Espelkamp some weekend. Thus I made my first German friend in the same age bracket as me! (awesome sound effect of something good happening) And that, my friends, is that.


At 3:18 PM GMT+2, Blogger Maria said...

You probably don't read my comments since I'm a girl and you don't listen to them when they talk....but amusing water park story. Next time bring a bathing suit!!


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