Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Am I a German ?

I do not smile at strangers.

I prefer not to have people in adjacent seats in buses or trains.

Even if there were people next to me, I prefer to read a book or use my ipod when I travel than talking to them.

I do not really know my neighbours.

I look at deadlines and/or appointments like they are written in stone.

I get extremely annoyed when people arrive a few minutes late, esp. in official situations.

I replace ‘s’ with ‘shh’ many times in English words.

I can explain driving rules and names of road signs only in German.

I prefer and drive only German cars.

I complain about the cost of getting a driver's license here.

I have a ‘Dirndl’.

I do not like McD, Burger King and anything on that list.

I answer the phone by saying my name and not ‘Hello’.

I talk about the weather at least once every day.

I go to Southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Greece etc.) for vacation many times.

I am not reachable for work-related emergencies when I am on vacation or during the weekend.

I do not have a TV at home.

I organize and file my paperwork regularly.

I eat dinner at 7pm everyday.

I never shop or think about shopping on Sundays.

I think of distances purely in metres - if someone asks how far is the bank, I would say 400m instead of ‘5 min from here’ .

I love maps.

I never go on a tour without an audio guide, if one is available.

I complain about taxes but file them meticulously and on time.

to be continued.....

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to offend Germans, after having lived here for 8.5 years, I have to come to regard Germany as my home away from home.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

An ode to Sowmya....

....was written on a paper that I came across today. Well, let me rewind to 15 minutes ago......

I was turning the house upside down to find an important paper for filing our 2010 taxes. The paper was related to Ashok's work and although he insisted that he gave it to me, I couldn't find it with the rest of the paperwork and I had already spent 2 hours going through everything I had. So as a final resort, I went for the ''document bag''. The so-called document bag belongs to Ashok, where he meticulously saves everything from credit card bills to receipts to tax documents year-wise and I have strict instructions not to mess with it.

I figured (like all women...rolling eyes) that as long as I was careful in placing everything like it was stored, there is no harm in checking if the paper was in it. After a few minutes, I came across a bunch of train tickets (thanks to our long distance relationship) and I was just about to move to the next section when I noticed the word ''ode'' and ''mya'' in Ashok's calligraphic handwriting. I pondered just for a few seconds before curiousity overwhelmed me and I was rapidly drawing it out of the bunch.

A quick detour - I am not a fan of poetry, especially those that compare a girl to a flower or a moon. I am not against romance, its just that I like it with a pinch of reality. I find coming home to a warm meal (surprise dinner) after a long day at work more romantic than getting a bunch of roses while at work. I would consider the former comforting, caring and thoughtful and the latter, a nice thought but an unnecessary public display and a waste of money.

Back to the ode - It was on the back of a used train ticket (which is usually an A4 print-out) and it looked like he started writing it to while away the time during the journey. Although I started reading it with a mischievous grin (while I was mentally planning on how to make fun of him!), I had tears streaming down my cheeks when I finished it, with a rush of affection for him (while I was mentally cursing the project deadline that kept him away this weekend).

The ode was simple, cute, extremely well-written with a reminder of how well he knows me and has noticed all my little quirks - some of them lovable, some of them annoying and yet funny. It wasn't blatant flattery but it was like seeing our whole life together on a piece of paper.....I loved it and will treasure it for as long as I live.

We have known each other for 10 years and have been married for 4.5 years and if after all this time, and amidst his hectic schedule, he still finds to write something like this (and feels shy enough to hide it in his ''document bag'') I should consider myself truly blessed :) !

PS: Now one of 2 things is going to happen - he is going to see my blog or someone who sees it is going to tell him. Either way, I am going to get an earful for touching the ''document bag''...well, I deserve it :D !

PPS: I had second thoughts about writing this blog but I told myself - The ode is personal, I wouldn't dream of sharing it with anyone else but the happiness and fierce pride that comes with it is meant to be shared :) !

PPPS: Oh..my, I still haven't found the paper that started it all....
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