Monday, March 06, 2006

FIRST WE TAKE MANHATTAN, THEN WE TAKE BERLIN

The London whirlwind was just lovely. Managed to see many adorable and hugely missed friends, hear some great gigs, have my whole head fixed and meet my dream tenants (who very generously allowed me to stay).
Apart from all of that it was also just so nice to be back where the trains get cancelled, the bus drivers shout and the chemists sell gas permeable contact lens solutions. In short, where I understand what the fuck is going on.

Apparently a change is as good as a rest, so I am currently changing in Berlin in the hope of catching up on some of the rest seriously depleted by a series of late nights, alcohol, plane journeys and time zones. The lovely sister had failed to mention that she lives in a palace, and from now on I will only be able to grin and bare the rabbit hutch of an apartment I live in when I return to New York. On top of being larger than some small countries, it is also a grown ups apartment. And by that I mean everything is in a frame and mounted properly on the wall, and even their fruit bowl seems to naturally assume the arrangement of a Jakobsen, whereas mine (when I even remember to buy fruit and find and wash a bowl to put it in) seems to resemble something more along the lines of a Picasso.
This is what happens when you're the eldest. You're out there paving the way for the younger one when you should be out skipping, then in middle age you're still trying to learn to skip when what you should be doing is having babies and framing art. Which probably explains why I seem to have so much in common with the 7 yr old Elf.

Incidentally, it's amazing the impression kids can get. The Elf was seriously determined to teach me how to order wine and gin and tonic in German last night, else otherwise I honestly believe she was going to bunk school today incase I couldn't get through a few hours without this vocabulary to hand.......
My German language is spectacularly awful as it happens - German O' Level being the only exam I've ever failed in my life. (I think I might even have failed it twice.) But strangely I've never forgotten how to order drinks. What I can't quite get used to is the total absence of any 'please' or 'thankyou' words, which according to the Elf (who was of course fluent after a mere few weeks here) just sound 'wrong'. This is a little odd when you're used to the 'you're more than welcome' country, where it takes so long to thank people that by the end you've forgotten what it is you're thanking them for.

Oh and don't listen to a word the Mafling says about not being able to speak German yet. I was present last night when she not only totally translated a Thai German menu in a restaurant (which I probably wouldn't even have understood in English), but then fluently ordered for all of us and had a long conversation about the wine choice with the waiter.

Things I have learnt about Berlin so far - it is snowing and does that a lot, you can't buy double duvets, the recycling is ridiculously complicated (there are 5 different receptacles in the kitchen,and even after nearly a year here Mafling was incapable of explaining exactly what they were all for), they are still building absolutely all of the roads here and there was once a Wall (actually that bit I did know already), which I should now make an effort to go and find out more about.

The TH, meanwhile, is apparently having the time of his life back in NY with 'the girls who manage to carry around a change of clothes, a toothbrush and a pet dog in a bag the size of a credit card'. Although he promises that he only took home 11 business cards last night.....

1 Comments:

Blogger est said...

hmmm.. the witty sharkus.i love your bloggies. glad you livin it up there with your sis and your elf.i also did german and i also failed. can speak it but have no clue what i am saying. x est

10:11 PM, March 06, 2006  

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