I'm all about that Deutsch, about that Deutsch, no Français - and other songs

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November 29th 2014
Published: December 5th 2014
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I have officially converted into a Germanophile. Since I started learning French and German, my love for France and its culture has always dominated my liking for German and Germany. What a fool. I still love France (and I must say that the language is nicer and easier), but I feel like I have missed out on Germany in the years I have been studying it. I think the main reason I like it here so much is because of the people I have contact with. My family here of which I am now an honorary member, are incredible, and I have such a close relationship with them, that I actually feel like they are related to me. I think we are now, on what my dad calls 'farting terms', because my landlord 'passed wind' whilst I was with him, and it wasn't a big deal. The school is amazing as well, filled with such nice people (my great supervisor, warm-hearted colleagues and the friendliest of pupils). I am now in a quandary about what to do for the rest of my year abroad, because I like it here so much, and when I get back after Christmas, I only have eight weeks before my contract ends and I am meant to move to France. In all honesty, at the moment, I want to stay here... I need to sort this out ASAP. I love France, and I want to go there, but at the moment, staying here in Reutlingen sounds a lot more tempting.

Let's have a quick overview of what I have been up to these past few weeks anyway. Well now we are into the "Weihnachtszeit", so there are Christmas Markets everywhere; and it is great. Everywhere smells so delicious; like roasting chestnuts and sugar. This Friday I was with my mate (another language assistant) at the Stuttgart Weihnachtsmarkt, and it really was cool. When it gets dark and all the stalls are lit up, it looks so cute, you just want to hug one of the heavily wrapped-up Germans selling their Glühwein and sing a hearty rendition of "Stille Nacht". I did the usual James Reed thing of annoying a German person whilst at the market. My friend took a photo of me with the market as the background, but as I was walking backwards to get into the shot I walked backwards into an elderly woman making her way along the street. I then reached behind me to steady myself, and I touched what I am pretty sure was her right breast. The look I received was what I would have expected.

Work is still going really well. I have my little band of girls who come and sit with me at my lunchtime club and giggle and whisper to each other. Besides these girls, I also have a few of the boys who like to rap at me when they see me. One of them has even gone to the length of writing me an extensive poem which he gave to me as a gift (which I feel needs to be shared with you all). I will include all the original spelling and grammar:

Mr Read give me the Beat,
and i smoke the weed,
and i smoke the Bong,
and i have a big coooook.

And he slep the chiks,
and he have 1 million kliks *
Yeah i rap like a star,
Mr Read alles klar.
And he wear the chuks,
The chiks are suck.
When the chucks comes to the party,
And the Bitch drinks bacardi.

the ganja wait for us,
The chiks shakes his ass.
Mr Read girlfriend is pregnant,
he has a big appartment

he is not a crime,
er zockt skyrim,
Mr weed comes from Britain,
eine nuss ist gaßer als... Brain.
We have english lesson in the class,
and you smoke with your son the grass.
When you net caks,
come to me and i give you a box.
You show me xnxx,
and she plays with your sippe** the chiks.
You took with your Bro a selfie,
my life is GTA endless healthy.

(*kliks- I think he means "cliques") (**Sippe is a German word for penis- I think)

I would like to point out that I haven't done any of these things; from smoking grass with my son, to getting my girlfriend pregnant in my big apartment. It really does make me laugh though, and now the song has begun to spread around the school, so when I am walking through I will occasionally hear "Hey, Mr. Reed, give me the beat". I think it's a pretty good song, to be honest with you. A little explicit for my liking, but shows quite a lot of expression, and I was touched that he spent the time to write it for me.

I also went to this lantern walking thing which is big for kids here in Germany. My landlord (feel like I am not very close with him if I call him landlord, so I will call him 'm8') and his kids went along to this church a few Fridays back and we all sang songs about Saint Martin who gave some clothes to a homeless man on a cold day. It's quite a catchy little number, and whenever I hear the name Martin now, I get "Sankt Martin, Sankt Martin" in my head. A real Ohrwurm. It was quite a nice tale, and then we followed a man, who dressed up as Roman Saint Martin, on a horse through the streets of Betzingen with our lanterns. I think that the Germans are a little mixed up here, cos I don't think it is best for parents to encourage their kids to follow round disguised men on horses. Did Germany never get those adverts or posters in primary school? "DON'T ACCEPT SWEETS FROM STRANGERS", "DON'T GET IN A CAR WITH SOMEONE YOU DON'T KNOW" and the most memorable of all "DON'T FOLLOW MEN DRESSED AS ROMANS THROUGH THE STREETS". They're asking for trouble really. It was quite cool anyway, and a tradition we don't have in England, so I was intrigued. A photo of the back of my head even made the local newsletter as well, so it can't all be bad.

Carrying on along the religious route, I also got the chance to go up the church spire in Bad Urach. My m8's m8 (haha) is the priest/vicar (don't ask what kind of church it is) in Bad Urach, so we had a little trip up there one Sunday evening. It was pretty smart really, walking round the top of the tower. I don't really know what else to say about that, and I can't really remember anything funny happening. I feel this blog entry is lacking in humour. Sorry about that. The following week I went to watch a basketball game (Walter Tigers from Tübingen) with my language assistant friend, and that was pretty entertaining. I have noticed how much influence the USA has over here, from the fashion styles, which are about 10 years behind (sorry Germany), to the way they speak. A lot of Germans don't use British English, and speak using American words (and even American accents). The kids at school all greet me with "what's up?" like they are from Saved By The Bell or something. I like it, and it makes it more interesting; but they must think I sound like Prince Charles or something when I talk. Anyway, back to this basketball match, it was proper American, but again with that German misunderstanding to it. For example, when we first got there, the music that was playing before the game was hip-hop/rap, like Jay Z. and I felt like I was in American waiting for an American basketball game to start. After a few of these songs of this genre, the theme changed. Kesha, Lady GaGa and Taylor Swift may have some good songs, but it was pretty funny how they were mixed between these Harlem ghetto beats. Something else funny was the half-time break. Whilst in the US this would mean an appearance from the sexy cheerleaders dancing around, in Tübingen this meant the appearance of the team mascot... a giant tiger with a massive pimp moustache. Whilst it was entertaining seeing him running around and mopping up the sweat from the floor with a mop that lost the end halfway through, it again lacked the US spirit. Ah, Germany.

So, this month has been another musical one; from songs written about me, to me singing German children's songs whilst following a man round the dark streets of Reutlingen. I seriously can't believe how quick everything is going by, and who knows what I will be doing or which country I will be in, in a few months. As long as there is a song in my heart (and the pupils are still writing songs about me), I will be happy.

Your muse,



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