Wednesday, May 9, 2007

8 April: Happy Östern!

Oda walked with me and John again this morning; her parents are out of town for a hunting weekend and she’s having her knee surgery on Tuesday, so I think she is trying to squeeze in every last chance to be out and about. When we got back she invited us up for coffee; I made an excuse for John so he could take Cody home and veg, which I knew he really wanted to do, while I went up and spent the next two hours with Oda. I told her I liked her house and especially all the Springerle molds in the kitchen; she rolled her eyes and said, “Oh, that’s my parents’ stuff. I hate it!”

Oda served me instant cappuccino and a big slice of lemon cake she had made, and we sat out on the balcony enjoying the sunshine. We talked about her role-playing game, Das Schwarze Auge (“The Black Eye”), which sounds similar to “Dungeons and Dragons.” Her character is a black-eyed, brown-haired elf. She promised me last week to show me her aquarium once she cleaned up her room, so she took me upstairs. Her bedroom is up in the eaves of the house, painted a sunny yellow, and decorated with Star Wars and Tomb Raider posters. She made Birk come out of hiding for about ten seconds to say hello. We checked out her fish, although we couldn’t find her two new aquatic frogs.

She told me more about school, and we had an interesting discussion about why people call Germans “Nazis” without knowing what they are talking about. One day a Turkish boy from a lower school called her a Nazi and she asked him point-blank what a Nazi was; he mumbled something about “all Germans are Nazis” and basically couldn’t give her a straight answer. She said that kids in Gymnasium spend several years studying World War II, but the kids in the lower schools don’t spend nearly as much time on it. On the other hand, she expressed some frustration that she didn’t know much about more recent wars, particularly Vietnam. She said there was an American boy in her class who claimed to know all about what started the Vietnam War, but she was pretty sure he was incorrect. I wanted to tell her that most American kids don’t know that much about the Vietnam War either.

Around noon I finally said that I’d better get home – I find it quite funny that it took me so long to make friends in my neighborhood, and now I can barely drag myself away!

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