Here we are in the last week of Winter on St. Patrick’s Day. As an American I am really noticing that the Germans do not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, for 2 or 3 reasons. They are not as much of a Catholic country; there are not very many (known) Irish immigrants in Germany – although I might look that up on the Internet to see how many Irish did immigrate to Germany back during that 19th century potato famine. Germany does not absorb immigrants with the same attitude as the Americans, but they do take in immigrants and have for a long time. Germany was not flooded with Irish. I love St. Patty’s Day, green beer and all, but that is why.
We have snow here in this German village. I have spent only about an hour with German today, which is far less than most of the local Germans and tons more than I ever even considered doing until I realized that there might be a few years of my life when I am inundated by it because I am in Germany. “Swamped”, so to speak. All the foreigners in the USA feel the same way about being “swamped” with so much English it is totally overwhelming. I have hung out at home speaking English with my American & German son and have written a little bit in German and a lot more in English. I will probably do more with German today.
I do not blame the Germans for being German – I did travel to their country knowing it is Germany. Even so, I still do react naturally and unnaturally just because I am an American woman in Germany, not a German and unlike my son, who is a junior German but also an American, I am not a German who only arrived recently. I am trying to find some reasonable way of dealing with it. I don’t know if I will but this is what it is like on the first snowy day here in a German village that there has been in weeks.
PS: recently, I counted and found that I know at least one word or more of 23 languages. As a child I thought being polylingual would be great. I am still not even bilingual or trilingual but know at least a little of many languages from Japanese to the usual French, Spanish, Latin, and German and Dutch and so on.