Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism



So it’s been really really really hot for the past… 6 weeks or so. Like desert heat I’m-not-a-cake-so-please-turn-off-the-oven hot. You rarely find ACs around here so… yeah… everything, literally everything is hot.

Obviously people love to go for (iced) coffees and ice cream and whatnot in this heat, so being a waitress is a pain. The cafe I work at is right at a very central square, and on top of it there are five more cafes right next to us. The entire square is full of chairs and tables (it’s a really old square, no driving allowed!). Obviously each cafe has slightly different decorations on their tables but that doesn’t change that it’s almost impossible for guests to tell which cafe their table belongs to. I will frequently have guests who ask me for Pizza: “I’m sorry, we don’t serve Pizza, that’s two tables to your left!”. Or roast beef: “I’m sorry, we don’t serve roast beef. That’s three tables to your right!”. Or people standing confused, stopping me: “I’m sorry, what do you serve?” “Ice cream and coffee, sir! Pizza is over there, on the right you’ll find traditional German menus, and over there is cake!” It’s a funny, summery mess. And the heat? Unbearable!

There are tons of tourists around and an incredible number of festivals, fairs and concerts is coming up. I constantly find myself pointing people to the tourist information (which is IMPOSSIBLE to find if you don’t know where to find it – oh the irony!). “I’m sorry, do you speak English?” – “Yes ma’am, I do, how can I help you?” “Oh, your English is so good! Where did you learn English so well?!” “Ah, I’m from *my home state*!” “NO WAY! I have a friend who has family there, is BEAUTIFUL!”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to meet people from all parts of the world, but sometimes I really don’t want to discuss whether I really have to visit Alaska or how beautiful New York is when literally all of my tables are full! Also I’m surprised that people react to my English in the first place. Germans typically speak English fairly well. I guess it’s because Germans are weird people: They are so afraid of saying something wrong or misunderstanding that they will say no if you ask them whether they speak English, no matter how good their English really is.

School hasn’t been much better, either. While my school has ACs all over the place, I think they don’t know how they’re supposed to work. The seminar rooms are freezing cold. Spending two hours in one of the seminar rooms is the equivalent of spending two hours in your fridge. Everybody brings a jacket because it really is too cold, and it feels awfully strange walking around with your jacket over your arm. Especially if you want to go shopping after class and your bag is too small to hold your jacket… ah well hehe

Now, I have some nice ideas for the blog that I want to do in the next few weeks but right now, I’ll excuse myself. I have one hour left before I have to work, and I will go sit outside with my book and a big glass of iced tea. I hope you’ll get to do the same some time!

3 thoughts on “THE HEAT!

  1. I’m of German ancestry (PA Dutch), but my family has been in the US longer than the US has existed lol. Yet, I find many interesting similarities between my family’s nature and that of the German’s you describe. I traveled extensively and can communicate basic needs (Ich vonna dat druben *or something like that*) in a couple of languages, yet I’m often terrified to even try. Once in France, I repeated the French phrase for “May I have the check please?” to my friend about 100 times during the meal because I didn’t want to get it wrong. lol Anyway, I spent some time in Germany, too, and I love it there. I hope to return for another visit someday. Thanks for sharing your experiences there.

    • I actually felt similar when I came to German. Despite being bilingual, hence a native of German, I felt embaressed to speak it because you can simply hear that my accent is not a regional one but due to my bilingual background. I also had serious issues understanding people – dialects here are something to be proud of and people know no mercy for others who can’t understand their dialects. Also, despite learning French at school, I would NEVER say yes if a french person were to ask me if I speak french. If I were to go to France, I don’t know if I had the guts to speak French…. Worth a try, though, France isn’t that far away hehe

      • I hear ya lol. I made it a point to learn a few functional phrases (Hello, I’d like a coffee please, where’s the bathroom? etc) for the places I’ve traveled, but it’s been my experience that as soon as they hear my American accent, most of the people I encountered wanted to practice their English with me. I certainly appreciated it. Picking up languages hasn’t been my strong suit. My first husband was born in Eastern Europe, and I once tried to tell him, after eating a salad, that he smelled of green peppers. He laughed hysterically because in reality, I’d told him he smells like a bitch. lmao

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