Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Last night I went to the second school play, this one put on by the older students. Called "Gefährliche Liebschaften" or "Dangerous Liaisons," it follows the plot of a 1782 French novel by the same name, wherein a group of French aristocrats play with one another's hearts, reputations, and bodies out of boredom and jealousy. 

Obviously it was a light and entertaining drama.

Any play called "Dangerous Liaisons" would indeed have said liaisons, and there was a lot of sex going on. I was a little uncomfortable because I knew and had taught so many of the students, but they handled the more risqué aspects very well. The whole play was enjoyable and fun to watch, even when the speed of delivery meant that I couldn't always catch what they were saying - they acted enough that I could follow the plot just fine. Although originally French it seemed an excellent choice for German students because Germans are rather obsessed with stories that don't end well. Watch any German movie and the ending will be depressing. Germans, for their part, find the American obsession with das Happy End in films and stories to be overly optimistic and annoying. Culture clash at its finest.

During the Pause I was reminded how much I still have to learn about German when a colleague's husband asked me where I was from in the United States and my brain couldn't process the question. I'm blaming it on the previous hour spent listening to the play, but who knows. Anyone who insists I must be fluent after ten months in Germany, meet my case-in-point as to why that's not true.

In a completely separate vein, I received a package today from an overly attentive delivery man who announced himself by popping his head into my open window rather than ringing the bell. At the end of the little dance of scanning and signing, asked if he might know my age. I blinked at him and said no. He was delivering alcohol, but didn't press it when I refused to answer, so I presume it wasn't any kind of official question. I'm assuming it was some sort of pick-up scheme, all things considered, but find myself mostly just confused.

My family arrives in two days for a trip around Germany, Austria, and Belgium. I'll be back in the States in less than three weeks. It's all moving rather fast, but I'll keep you updated as the internet permits.

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