Wednesday, January 30, 2008

4 September: My Final Deutschkurs

It is hard to believe that after a year and a half of weekly tea parties with Stefanie, my valiant efforts to broaden my grasp of the German language are finally coming to an end. I baked chocolate chip cookies as a special treat, but Stefanie will have to wait a bit longer for her farewell surprise: a pink-and-gray ribbed scarf that I have been knitting for the past six months. Unfortunately I am only about half-way done with it, so I’d better pick up the pace. I don’t think I will ever make a very good knitter because I’m just too darn slow. Knitting is pretty boring, so I like to watch TV while I’m working. Unfortunately that doesn’t work here because I can’t listen to German TV and knit at the same time. Watching TV requires my complete concentration, so that I can try to decipher what is being said from visual cues. The same thing goes for ironing – if I tried to watch TV and iron at the same time, I’d probably end up with a lot of burnt fingers. Unfortunately this means I haven’t been watching as much German TV as I should. Instead, I usually watch a movie on our laptop while I iron, then afterwards I knit my way through the end of the movie. That means I only get in about an hour or so of knitting every week, which doesn’t get you very far when you’re making a scarf on #7 needles.

Stefanie brought treats for Scotty, a doggie chocolate bar for Cody, and a 2008 German cooking calendar for me. I had never gotten around to showing her my photos from our final day in Africa, so I did that, since she was interested in hearing about our visit to the slum. Then we talked a bit about the future and what I might do when we move back to Michigan. Before she left I took some pictures of her and Cody. It was a tearful parting – I felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend, therapist and mom all rolled into one. Of course it wasn’t really goodbye, because we’ve agreed to go to the Mercedes museum sometime and I told Stefanie that we wanted to invite her over for dinner before we leave. Still, it was very strange to think that my remaining weeks in Germany will be devoid of my usual two-hour dose of German conversation. On the bright side, it means I don’t have to clean up the house every Tuesday morning and I’ll have that much more time to write!

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