Thursday, September 09, 2010

The next step

Having suddenly found myself in the middle of a town I'd only learnt the name of six months previously, I took time out to ponder my next step. I wandered around the town centre, pretending to look like I knew exactly what I was doing and where I was going which of course led to several people asking me directions to incomprehensible places. Walking around a foreign city without knowing either the street layout or the language is a strangely satisfying feeling, on the exterior you may look like any other local but the second you speak or look the wrong way when crossing the road your cover is blown and people treat you a little differently.

My first few days were spent simply doing that, walking around without saying anything and forcing my head to look to the right when crossing a road, rather than left as us Brits are accustomed to. After about a week of doing this I decided it was time to take the next step and actually attempt to learn the German language. This is less of a step and more of a vertical cliff face rising over 1000 metres covered in thorns and vegetable oil. German is HARD. I can now see why German isn't spoken anywhere other than this area because nobody has the time to learn. I won't bore you with the details, I don't want to cause facial trauma as a result of you falling asleep suddenly on the keyboard. I'll just say this, I purchased a teach-yourself German book called "Berliner Platz" in September last yearm only the front five pages have been opened and they're punctured with repeated pencil-stab wounds from a frustrated German learner.

I turned round to my GF and said "Okay, I need two things. A job and a rugby team. And a beer" Yes, it was three things but the last one just popped into my head at the last moment. We went along to a local Irish bar and to my absolute delight I saw rugby being shown on television, I ordered a beer and enquired about jobs. They had a space free and asked when I'd like to join, excellent! Not more than fifteen minutes of mumbling comments at the rugby later and a short Frenchman approached me:

"Uhhh... you know about rugby?"
"Yes, a little."
"And you live here in ze town?"
"I guess I do "
"Zen zis is good for us, you want to play for our team?"
"Yes I do want!"

I was introduced quickly to the rest of the team and was instructed to turn up at training the following Tuesday. After everything settled down I turned to my GF and said "Well, I think that's the most productive visit to a pub I've ever had" and ordered another beer in celebration.

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