Brain Fry? Cross-cultural Re-entry

Heimat Land

“High mott land” is what that sounds like.  That’s German for native country.  Most of you could guess correctly about what one of the two words meant, which is why I describe the languages as ‘siblings’ at least ‘compared to Chinese’.   Like so much in life, it depends on what we are comparing.

It is now just a few weeks since I have re-entered my native country.  Not surprisingly, I have something along the lines of two way cultural shock, mainly because of how long I was over in Germany.  I am already missing my health insurance and looking for more.  I already miss the trams.  There are some people over there I have also been missing, but to preserve their privacy I am not naming names.

While that true, I am generally reeling from the switch back from “brick everything” to “wood and vinyl house siding”.

What I have been most rejoicing about:  the English language (also delightfully available over in England), the presence of relatives other than my son and – some Germans; I have seen the American flag a lot without it being ‘German fans of the USA’.   I am no longer suffering from the TV Land syndrome that many Europeans have wherein the USA is essentially something seen on TV and in the movies but not anyplace real where one lives.

I was able to get some work quite quickly and I kept noticing the past few days that my work colleagues were speaking English rather than German.  That still made it easier for me, even though I learned tons of German in Germany.  In fact, German is the language I now know best after English.  Sometimes that still freaks me out but it is true.

Other causes of joy: I was able to speak clearly rather than dealing with my persona of being some foreign lady from an English language culture who ‘talks funny’ in German, but they are glad how much I can.  The same rule applies for errors whether by Germans or foreigners:  Deutsche Sprache schwere Sprache.

Meanwhile, I want to acknowledge Kraft Klub as the ‘born in the 1980s’ Germans who made music good enough to get me to practice German….Following after those ‘my age’ and a little older: Nina Hagen and Einstuerzende Neubaten.  If you want to try good music with German, I recommend Kraft Klub.

 

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