Friday, September 4, 2015

Just kid-ding around in German

I recently attended a dinner out with a group. One lady brought her grandkid.  No one was speaking with him at one point so I thought I'd be polite and have a chat in German. It worked out great; he was easy to understand, spoke at a slower speed, and didn't use big words. Basically, it's what I really need from my adult friends who speak German with me!

I asked the kid about school and that was interesting too. He's only 9 but the next year or two in school are important ones. Basically, it's at that point when he'll get put onto the next educational track. He wants to go to Gymnasium (college prep high school) but isn't sure if his grades are good enough. It's such an interesting difference here; I don't really remember caring about my grades until I was in high school but here kids care much younger because their grades and aptitude determine if they'll go to a college prep high school or attend vocational training. One's life trajectory is somewhat mapped out before one's even a teenager here.


I also got some teasing in. The group was a mix of Americans and Germans. One American asked about Hexennacht, 30 April, when some kids play pranks and commit (usually) small acts of vandalism. She said that her neighbor's tree was toilet papered.

I leaned over to the German guy I had been conversing and laughing with earlier. Winking, I told him, "the Americans get upset when their trees get toilet papered. The Germans take the paper down, dry it out, and reuse it."

He laughed and said that they also would iron it and be happy because they just saved some money.

For the record: I don't tease people like this unless it seems that they're open to it :)


  1. I've nominated you again for the Sisterhood Award. Here's the post if you want to participate. These are interesting to read when others write them (but often hard to answer!).

  2. Aw, thanks! It's a really cool project. I'm way behind on things here but hope to get to it.