“Love doesn’t sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread: remade all the time, made new.” Og Mandino
Just in case it looks like this blog is going to become all whinging or whining. Or perhaps something like the local newspaper for the North Pole, I thought it might be time to toss in a few other thoughts.
I lived in Germany over 20 years ago, just for 18 months, with a small baby girl on my hip, in a tiny town outside Munich. It was tough. My German was limited, and I was pretty much alone. In this small town, everybody was about 15th generation, and outsiders were looked at with suspicion.
My first trip to the bakery ended in tears as I tried desperately to explain that I wanted 6 Brötchen. A shrug of the shoulders from across the counter. I could feel my face starting to colour up and my heart thumping in my chest.
“Ich möchte sechs Brötchen bitte”, I tried again, using my most winning smile. Nothing, nada, nix. So I tried pointing. Doing that weird thing that we do when trying to convey a message, all exaggerated and campy. It never occurred to me EVER to use English, that just felt like it would aggravate the situation even further. Finally, she took pity on me, gave a little snort, stuffed the bread rolls into a bag and handed them to me. I threw some coins in her direction and fled.
By the time I got home, I was rapidly heading into hysteria (as I am wont to do under stress). The words tumbled out of my mouth as fast as those bread rolls were chucked on the table. Mr Dear Husband was staring at me with that expression we normally reserve for the insane.
“Oh, I should have told you that down here in the South of Germany, they don’t call them Brötchen, they call them Semmel.”
He is lucky to be alive today.
In the end, as soon as we got the marching papers to move to Istanbul, I had our bags packed and waiting in the car before he had time to change his mind.
Today, it is different. I am different. The language is no longer a struggle (although it continues to have its moments). And I have lived in enough countries to recognise just how great it is here. I spend a lot of time noticing the little things that make life easier.
Like, window sills. Yep, love’em. Big wide window sills that make excellent spaces to put pots of flowers. Or pots of fresh herbs, or a few pretty things to look at…