Friday, February 8, 2008

2 October: I am a German Entrepreneur!

While I was at Kaufland doing my grocery shopping, a guy stopped me to ask a question. Now, whenever someone stops to ask me a question in Germany, my heart always leaps into my throat as I desperately hope that I will be able to understand them and respond in a halfway intelligent manner. (This happens all the time in Botnang – people are always stopping me while I’m walking the dog to ask for directions. Naturally they assume that someone walking their dog knows the neighborhood. Little do they know that they are talking to a silly American who can barely pronounce the name of her own street!) Anyway, this nice young man didn’t want to know the difference between leeks and green onions; no, he was holding up his cell phone and wanted to know whether he should use Ihr or dich (formal or informal “you”) if he wanted to buy something over the phone. Yes, that’s right, someone stopped me in the grocery store to ask a German grammar question! After a moment’s pause to digest his question, I responded, “Ihr.” Then, to explain my hesitation, I said, “Ich bin Amerikanerin!” He chuckled and said, “Ich bin Mexicanisch!” I said (still in German), “Your German is very good!” and he said, “So is yours!”

When I came home from Kaufland there was a black Smart forfour parked in front of our house. At first I thought it was a real Brabus like mine but I after a quick once-over I decided it only had a Brabus “appearance” package (wheels and exhaust). I immediately felt a melancholy pang as I thought fondly of my long-gone Smart, and then the entrepreneur in me kicked in and I said to myself, “Maybe they need winter tires!” The winter tires from my Smart have been sitting in our garage for the past year and a half and we really need to get our act together and sell them now that winter is right around the corner. So I went upstairs, put my groceries away, and quickly jotted down a note with my offer (a very reasonable 350 Euro) and stuck it on the car’s windshield. Lo and behold, about half an hour later, I got a phone call from the woman who owns the car! She said she didn’t have winter tires yet and was interested, but that she would need to talk to her husband and would call me back this evening. I will cross my fingers, because it would be great to check those tires off the long list of items we need to offload before we leave.

Since tomorrow is a holiday, I went to Marilena’s 7:15 jazz class this evening. I quickly discovered that a less experienced group comes to this class and Marilena teaches accordingly – everything was just a touch slower and easier. After class I asked her about it and she explained that the Wednesday class is mostly made up of students from the professional training program (I had noticed that they all go up after class to have some sort of timesheet signed) so she has to be tougher on them. I filed away this bit of information…it sounds like I might have it a bit easier if I come to the Tuesday class!

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