31 October 2007

Coming and going.....

Train stations are such funny places! Teaching English Conversation in three different towns; Wolfenbuettel, Wolfsburg, Braunschweig; I find myself spending most of my free time waiting for the train, running to a train, and more infamously missing trains. But for a girl who misses more trains than I actually caught, I often find myself just watching people.

As a seasoned people watcher, I have always thought what is the other person's story. Why are they taking the same train I am. To go to work, heading on holiday, to meet a lover, to go to someone who is ill, to meet a friend, heading home; there are a thousand possiblitities. But no matter what the reason is we are all on that platform for same reason, to get to somewhere, whether you want to go there or not. We all have that in common. For me that is a refreshing feeling.

So I have been gone a few weeks, it's that time of year when it seems like everything needs to be done a once but nevertheless I have had time to have some fun as always. It is common knowledge that I have alot of Chinese friends. So a few weeks ago, Ling (the Chinese Language and Culture teacher I share an office with) asked me to teach her how to make cookies! Now we all know how famous or infamous of a baker I am. But we tried! We made sugar cookies with frosting (yes we made it). Seriously, turned out to be rockstar. Ling was so thrilled, I have never seen someone so excited when eating my cookies! She was my main mixer except she was so crap with a spoon, so I gave here chopsticks and she whipped that batter like it was going out of style. But in return, Ling and a few of her fellow Chinese students, invited me over for a night of cooking Chinese dishes and amazing eating. The Chinese just memerize me! They can cook wonderful in minutes! We made around 7 dishes, then they set them all in the middle of the table and we eat. No plates, no knives, no forks. Just you the food and my chopsticks. Yes I was proud I ate almost the whole meal with my sticks! But they are so welcoming, so generous and I am completely enjoying my Chinese friendships!

When I am not eating Chinese food or missing trains, I am trying to the best English Teacher I can as well as progressing as much as possible with my German skills. Both not easy tasks. I have a very interesting German class. It is composed of Ling (Chinese), Duccio and Antonio( Italians), Pedro and Ricardo (Spanish), Hamza (French Moroccan), Joao (Brazilian) and Me (American). We are all in the same place. Don't know any German whatsoever and are itching to learn as much as possible to make everyday life easier hahaha. But our teacher is so great, she is so incredibly patient with us and so supportive! I am making progress...I can understand what the Germans are saying to each other so I am excited! As for my classes, they are doing very well...the other day I had a class with 2 Spanish, 3 Germans, 1 French, and 1 Romanian. We played this game you had to created and design a Cafe. So I paired the Spanish with the Germans etc.... it was so amazing how they communicated with each other using English! As a native-speaker, its so fun to witness that English is really a Global Language, more often used between two non-native speakers as a common communciation ground.

"Speaking does not of itself constitute communcaition unless what is said is comprehended by another person."

I often feel another kind of emotion when I am usually waiting for my second train because I missed the first one! I love to watch people's emotions while on the platform. I see those standing by themselves, nervously pacing back and forth, just itching to get started with their journey. Those who want to be anywhere but where they are at that moment. Then you see the couples, the best friends, the parents, and the children. Embracing; hugging, kissing, laughing....they just make me smile but also so sad, because they are people being torn apart, leaving the people they care about just to jump on that train to somewhere else...Then there is me! I am more confused...with rapid, mumbled German blarring over the loud speaker. I can't never understand this and the dazed/fruststrated look that "I can't believe I missed my train!"

So when in Germany....make sure you are on time for the trains..because unlike Welsh trains, German trains are usually on time and they don't wait for the late people.

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