Fremde Kultur: das erste Mal Schnee

We slept 5 hours since we came back from the German Fasching. My dad is already on the way to the skiing area with his mom. My mom is fetching her mom. And Dawie and me start packing. Let’s say I start packing. Dawie starts waking up. He is not a morning person. And yes, while my parents packed everything already the day before, I pack an hour before we leave. As soon as Oma is at the house, we leave. I am driving. With Dawie and Oma in the car. Mom is coming later with a friend of ours. The three of us drive through the Schwäbische Alb towards the Allgäu. I should know the road by heart as often as I drove it before, but with all these villages it’s easy to get lost. And no, I do not drive with an GPS. That’s how my parents raised me. You have to be able to read a map. Dawie can you please take out the map? He takes it out, but doesn’t allow me to look at it since I am driving. I look to the right and read Pforzheim. Turn the map around. He turns it. I look again and see Freiburg. Look all the way to the right, you should find now Biberach on it. Tell me which is the next city south of it. Yeah and now it gets entertaining. Even Oma in the back has to laugh when Dawie is trying to pronounce the german cities. Which are really not easy to pronounce. But he is doing quiet good. I know at least about which town he is talking. And there we make it to Austria. That was the boarder? Yes that is how a boarder looks like in the european union. And now something else you need to learn. You put fuel in your car in Austria, even when you’re not going on holiday to Austria. Fuel is just so much cheaper here. His highlight is the fact that I have to go out of the car and put fuel in by myself. There is no one doing it for you.
Dawie finds his first snow. A bit of old snow in the shadow of the the fuel station. I didn’t know that snow is so hard. Yes it can. It depends how old the snow is, how cold it is and many more factors. Well I get to feel it. First snowball in my face. And I know already, it won’t be last one.


Half an hour later we are there. In Balderschwang. As I am rearranging our baggage, Dawie asks me something. He is confused. I was standing on the balcony as a woman was walking past and I waved at her and said hallo. She pointed at herself, looked behind her and looked at me like what do I want. So I said again hallo. Thought that is how the germans greet each other. But she pointed again at herself, looked angry at me and walked away. Without saying hallo to me! Yes Dawie, she doesn’t know you that is why she didn’t understand why you greeted her. But I was just being polite and greeted her. Don’t they do that here? No they don’t. Different mentality, different culture. Grumpy germans. But I won’t change. I will keep on greeting them. Go for it. Don’t change yourself.


Dawie is in our room calling me because the window is broken. He is moving the handle up so that he can tip the window. But he has never seen a window getting tipped. So he closes it immediately again. I laugh. It is not broken. And take the handle to tip the window. He wants to stop me until he realises that the window stays in that position. Achso. Now he understands it. Later in the evening before we go to bed he asks me if we gonna sleep with an open window or if we gonna put it in the broken mode. I like that saying. Broken mode, otherwise it will be too cold!


The next day Dawie learns that snow can be very painful. If you fall. On your butt. Again and again. Snowboarding is fun, but painful.


And taking the T-bar up is not that easy. While I am cruising a bit on the big slopes, he is practising on the small slope and since he is failing on taking the T-bar up, he decides to walk up. 7 times until I come back and help him. I am impressed. He would never walk up a sand dune with me. But a skiing slope? Apparently something different. But let’s take the lift now. I don’t feel like walking 😛


At lunch time we go into the restaurant and take a drink. This self service system would never work in Africa. Everybody would just stand there and keep on drinking. I am impressed how that works here. Yes, trust is in Germany on a different level. Or how mom would say I hope it will stay like that. That we can trust people.


And btw – our boards stand out there. Won’t someone steal our boards? No, everybody puts them down there, they will be fine!
Two days later we are going shopping in the three only shops in Balderschwang and Dawie leaves his board, his helmet with goggles and our shopping bag with groceries outside in front of the store. That is how quickly he adapts. But let’s take the bag inside. I wouldn’t go that far with the trust.


Back in our flat it is getting loud. Loud in many languages. My family is talking in our transylvanian Saxon language. A dialect spoken in Romania, where my family comes from. All those of us who can speak English, speak English with Dawie. And my grandma maternal speaks german. Dawie understands most of it. And answers her with Achso Ja! And whenever we are discussing a meaning of a word, we say it in German, Englisch, afrikaans, romanian and in our dialect. The grandmas add sometimes even a word in Russian or Hungarian to the conversation. Multilingual conversations at dinner time. Some of us forget what they want to eat while all these cultural differences and similarities gets exchanged. We find actually more similarities between these languages than you can imagine. It is very interesting. But as well tiring. So many new impressions in one day take a lot of energy out of you. And yes, it is cold. So let’s get under the blanket and good night 😉


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