dameboudicca: (Bleach - Uryuu trär nål)
At the moment I am in Detmold (Germany), sitting in a hotel-bed. Last night I was in Belgium, deep in the foresty parts of the country - where the Bulge took place in the winter of 1944-45 (actually the hotel, the old rail-way hotel of Stoumont) was as far west as the Germans and their pansar got that time. We were staying on historical grounds - and the hotel had been somewhat renovated since that incident.

It's nice to be back in Germany, since Germany means I actually can talk to waiters, read signs, and pronounce names without it sounding terribly off. And get annoyed at very loud Americans (well, actually just one, his companion was extremely silent) who made fun of how terrible English the Germans and French and Dutch were speaking. If you then order your food in your own mother tongue, you have no right to complaint about the accent and wordings of those who actually take the trouble to speak in a foreign language. (It probably would not have bothered me if he hadn't been going on, and on, and on, about it. He actually spoke about it for close to 30 minutes - and then my dad and I left the restaurant. But he would admit to Swedes being rather good at English, since they talk such a tiny language that they have to - if he only knew he was sitting next to two of them, and that would mean we understood him perfectly.)

Changing languages has actually been quite challenging this time around. My German is okay, and my French is not - but I know my way around at least. And I discovered it was easier for me to read signs in Dutch than French. Tomorrow it's back to home, and the confusion of languages will hopefully stop. Or I will start saying 'merci' when someone holds the door for me.

October 2011

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