Monday, January 22, 2007

Life in Germany is marked by strange bits of chaos and order. Recycling is the law, so of course everyone does it! Little monthly calendars are distributed in German, and of course between the differences between German and American calendars (German weeks start on Monday, American weeks on Sunday) and the language, most people can't parse it. Besides, how the heck does "ungerade" mean "every other"??? Oh weyh!

Anyway, for recent expats, in this, as in other things, the best thing to do is simply observe your neighborhood. Whatever they have out on the curb in the evening, be it paper, cardboard, or yellow bags of wrapping bits and plastic meat trays (rinsed), leave some of that out too. It will make your house fit in better, and it will make the recycling fairies happy. If the recycling fairies are not happy, you will get a BIG bill, as much as (or as little as) 200 Euro. Best keep the recycling fairies happy. They can be grumpy and expensive.

I've just read a bit of a blog of a German friend of ours who writes in very nearly perfect UK-ish English. I find it quite funny that I'm blogging at the same time, but in my "muttersprache" as my written German is an absolute catastrophe.
Should we stay here much longer, perhaps I can write very basic things, but German is not a friendly language except to real artists and technicians of its vagaries. I am struggling through 4th grade grammar workbooks in Deutsch. I would be fortunate merely to be competent. I can use very basic forms, but the language is a reflection of a very old, intricate and intellectual culture, not entirely amenable to foreign use.

English, on the other hand, if current news and literature is any reflection, is headed to a level that signing gorillas would be eloquent in. I should be glad, but writers who can actually write tend to be more of a threat to this sloppy establishment than a boon, and are treated accordingly. Making my living by writing would have made me suicidal (or homicidal, which is actually more interesting). Same way with other artistic endeavours. I'll make my living another way, and do things as I please, when I please, how I please. Otherwise, what's the point of any art? I can write a bloody sonnet as an exercise, but it's more squeezing myself into something that doesn't fit, than me expressing myself. So what's the bloody point of that?

So far, I've been more writing for my American friends and family around here and back home. I haven't, honestly, though much about my German friends here and what they might find interesting about my experiences as a Texican-American in Deutschland.

It's something to contemplate.