Sonntag, 7. November 2010

Reunion + ze German tribal nation

This past weekend I was visited by favorite pair of Bavarians, Regina and Martin. Regina and I were paired for our high school exchange back in 2003 and we haven't seen each other since. Martin is her boyfriend, a friendly guy who rolls his r's and plays for a semi-pro volleyball team. His smart phone was a better tour guide of the city than I ever could have been. Ha!

The festivities began with some Breakfast Burritos and a good dosage of uncertainty, since being a hostess tends to be a worrisome endeavor for me. I think of Stav and how she felt before hosting her birthday party last month-- here she recreates the humor of it really well.

It was a rainy, gray weekend, what Germans call "museum weather". We did just that and spent the entire afternoon in the German Hygiene Museum (freaky name, brilliant museum). We had dinner in a "Potato Cellar" (another brilliant place with a freaky name). Perhaps it sounds creepy to eat a meal in basement? Here in Germany there's a whole market for cellars (that already sounds better) where you wine and dine and they tend to be very warm and cozy.

Regina, who lives in Munich, told me that the city recently decided to change the voice on public transportation to a Bavarian accent. This might rub most non-Bavarian Germans the wrong way, but I think it's amusing. I mean, what if the buses in Austin had a Texas accent?

This leads me to a fun fact about Germany: dear Ami friends, Germany is but a nation of tribes. There are so many dialects and regional clans. Germans are overwhelmingly, well, German, but the real diversity lies in all the little bubbles within Germany. For example, I live in the Dresden and Saxony bubbles. The Dresden bubble is quite distinct from the Leipzig bubble way on the other side of Saxony, or from the Görlitz bubble, which is only about 60 miles away.

Don't even get me started with bubbles outside Saxony.

Germany is half the size of Texas (and Saxony is the pinky fingernail) but I don't perceive this at all. This relatively small chunk of land is densely packed with different histories, identities, dialects, and landscapes. For an American, let alone a Texan, it's a tad surreal.

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