22 November 2012

Mist and Mauren

If you understand German, but "I mog di" makes no sense to you, well then: welcome to my world. I've been reading books and having longer conversations for a while now, but I still find myself smiling and nodding at our neighbour without actually getting to grips with what she's saying.

The local dialect is as unclear as the weather, but at least when the fog comes in closer, the world looks mysterious and interesting as opposed to just depressing. Monday was such a day, and we made the most of the mystery turned sunshine by taking a walk. I took the last few pictures of buildings and animals in Mauren, a lonely outpost of our village.

21 November 2012


A little bit about a walk, coming tomorrow or the day after.

P.S. A show on design sins just taught me that the German for "tramp stamp" is "Arschgeweih"—that's arse antlers in case you don't have your dictionary handy.

15 November 2012


We're only two weeks into November, but October seems very far away already. Everything about its luscious goldenness was perhaps but a dream. Maybe I never cycled through the forest. Maybe we didn't make fruit salad as the sun shone through our friends' balcony doors. Maybe no one in Karlsruhe was wearing a T-shirt. It's just not clear anymore. My most recent visit to Karlsruhe was a girl party where we spent most of our time in pajamas on the couch, falling in and out of sleep between reruns of Friends. There was no point in doing anything else, because it rained the whole time. Good times nonetheless.

Maybe as a way to hang onto autumn I developed an obsession with orange. Naturally the chord of the overhead projector in our German class had to pose with my clementines. I've also got the randomest collection of orange things accumulating on my desk. Cue this conversation as the husband-man sorts out recycling...

Him: What's the deal with this take-away coffee cup on your desk? Can I throw it out?
Me: No. Just leave it.
Him: What is it?
Me: Nothing, just leave it.
Him: But what is it?
Me: It's ORANGE.
Logical, right? Next time you need a good reason, I'm going to recommend you go for "it's orange."

There's not much else going on. Today the lunch-time news finally taught me the most precise word for this weather that I hate so much: Hochnebel. It's not cloudy, it's just a high fog that produces a shade of deathly awful high up in the sky that also somehow presses down onto your very soul. They keep saying you could see the sunshine if you were up in the mountains. Reason to live in the Alps #47. (Reason #12 is funny German accents, and reason #27 is cheese. And yes, I'm making this up as I go along.) The other weird thing is how afternoons seem colder than early mornings. I know it can't be true, because of—you know—orange, but I have to take off my coat before getting on the train in the morning, but then can't wait to get from class back to the station at lunch time.

At least the train then arrives, and is nice and cosy. This is in contrast to the bit of snow we had at the end of October that caused difficulties on the lines. Apparently snow is messy if there are still leaves on the trees—too much weight, things fall down, you get the idea. Of course the transport affiliate doesn't seem to watch the weather report that tells us about this snow a week before and then just stops your train out of the city before you are where you're going and gives you no further information as to what they are or are not going to do about the problem. My complaint only elicited an apology and the excuse that refunds are not issued in the case of weather problems. Well, either it has never ever snowed in October, or the VVS just can't be bothered to serve it's "honorable customers". More of a 10% weather, 90% laziness problem, don't you think?

Anyway! It feels like bedtime but it's not even 7 p.m. yet. Go figure. Each night that Hochnebel gets home from work and drops its heavy coat on the floor, enveloping us in darkness earlier and earlier.