International Gossip: Canada according to Germany

America Shocked

The USA was shocked the other day when reminded for the umpteenth time by Canada that Germany views them as a perfectly real and rather powerful first world nation.

Canada snubbed?!

The USA then felt embarrassed about being shocked because all of that is sort of ‘safely assumed’ ‘goes without saying’ about what Canada is like.  The USA was confronted by emotions one has when instead of trying to keep up with the Jones, the Jones can’t quite keep up…I mean, fortunately that’s how it seems from the American perspective about Canada….but Canada doesn’t really see it that way.

Canada smooches Germany?!

Canada felt slightly, but not severely nonplussed when the USA offended them again.  Canada took solace in Germany’s 2nd post-WW2 generation of “Not NaZis, but still speaking the German language” kindness and more respectful manner towards them.

Canada snubs the USA

Canada decided to sit next to Germany at the picnic.  Educated Germany can speak enough English and also provides universal health coverage.  Canada shared with Germany the rumor that the USA had a per capita consumption of more than double the rate of the next nearest nation: the big hog of the globe, they said.

Male & Female USA

Male USA pretended to not notice and didn’t believe the rumor.  Male USA felt superior to both Canada and Germany.  Female USA felt embarrassed by male USA but still needs his money and help raising the children.  She realized that the criticism made by Canada and Germany might have some truth to it.

Last words:

In truth, blog readers, I was told that Canada noticed me today, so I wanted to say something to you.

 

Germany and the USA

Today is going to be mainly links. Spending time anyplace can go well or badly or a bit of both. It often depends on a variety of factors.

Like so many of you, for whatever reasons I had some online activity. Amongst it all, have been videos. Today I will share the links to a few of these. Thanks to all readers, but also to the folks out there who decided to try making the videos and sharing them with the rest of us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhQpb2N8s_o As it turns out, despite other efforts, the most watched video I have made is this one. In some ways the situation has not improved since then but in some respects it has. My life was not a constant flow of happy happy joy joy back in my native country either. Sometimes I get my way on what matters most to me and only some of the time do I get my way without guilt and without being punished for doing so.

Scattered thoughts about real life: cross cultural November 2013

At the moment, I’m in the USA after 3 entire years in Germany, actually a little more.  At this point, I expect to go back to Germany at the beginning of December. 

The time in Germany is the longest that I ever been out of the USA at one go.  I had not actually intended for that to be the case.  I had intended for both my son and I to spend weeks of each of the years that we lived over there, over here – keeping in touch with it.  Sometimes plans don’t work out, but sometimes they do. 

It is nice to have relief from what has been hardest for me over there that first 3years.  I feel like I haven’t figured out ‘how to work Germany’.  By that I mean: it is clear that it is a place that can be wondrous and is loaded with great potential.  Nowadays, it is also a popular nation, internationally.  Nevertheless, in some aspects I had a very hard time there, whereas other aspects were pretty good.

Obviously, I hope to be able to make it work better in all aspects over there when I go back.  I do plan to move me and my kid back here, but not until my son finishes secondary school.  As a heads up, they have Grade 13 over there, like the Canadians, which I had somehow not found out despite having had a German partner in my home for 9 years (in that case, I mean my kid’s father). 

Blah blah blah, stuff that’s different / stuff that’s the same.

General cultural statement about the Germans:  They probably did tell you, in very clear German, which is why you still don’t know even though they told you.

Halloween 3: I did not expect that to be the case 2013

Astoundingly, when I arrived on 1 November in Indianapolis, Indiana it turned out that Halloween was going on.  The city had a weather problem the day before and rescheduled Halloween because of that.  Due to that, in 2013 I saw children in costumes going around asking for treats for the first time…well, there were a few who did so the first year I was in Germany but it is not so popular there. 

You have probably heard the sayings ‘There is no going back’ and also that ‘You can never step into the same river twice’.  Well, the no going back thing is about the second saying in some cases.  Even being here this long has changed the situation. 

I have missed home and my son and have really liked being back in my native nation in a city in which I lived for 10 years, but I am  not in the right part of town in that, I am not in the part of town with which I have the most experience. 

Indianapolis, Indiana – the setting of The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead

Now that I haven’t been living in Indianapolis for a while my perspective of it has changed.  I am looking forward to returning there this year – whether for good or for a few weeks of a visit is not clear at this writing…You may have heard the dictum to writers to write what they know. 

Indianapolis is bigger city than most people live in.  In terms of size it is so big that it is really is a big city.  For those used to the giant cities – I tend to use the comic book term Megalopolis, Indianapolis is not on the same scale.  It is one of the biggest of the way smaller cities in the world. 

Most people know Indy for the Indy 500.  Authors may be challenged here because they often think Indy means ‘independent book store, or publisher or independent publishing’ .  Indy is the short nickname for Indianapolis.  The city has two other main terms of endearment, so to speak: the old one is Nap Town, and it is also called the Circle City “Crossroads of the Midwest”.  For those on the Coasts, that may not mean much, but for those who do live in vast expanses of the Midwest, Indy’s ability to move goods is so important that there is a statue of Mercury – in his role as a the god of trade, rising up in Monument Circle of a well kept, stylish downtown central circle. 

Indianapolis is ‘diverse’.  More than 15% of the population is African-American and the Black History Museum is so cherished that even Presidents have traveled to Indy to visit it.  The majority population is some type of Caucasian with the ethnic Germans with the ethnic Irish, and ethnic Mexican being other fairly common ethnic groups.  There are also people from India, and many other parts of the world.

Given the true nature of the city, the characters in The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead are not all the same class or race or in the exact same line of work.  None of the characters are cheap imitations of living people.  I know that may sound trite, but sometimes authors do use one real person heavily in a fiction character.  I usually don’t.  Most of my characters are like 4 real people and one or two other fictional characters invented by other real people mixed into a new and unique blend.  Every reader probably does know someone who shares at least one or two traits of each character and no one is like any of them – in that respect it is similar to real life. 

The Mayor is young, the Sheriff is a big “black” man who’s first name is Master, the Priest is young and blonde, and the lawyer is the team leader and an occultist.  There are a few important women in the story but I’ll share more about that another time. 

Naming in the USA & in Germany

I didn’t even watch this prior to posting it. What I can tell you is that in Indianapolis hardly anyone other than my son was called Sven. I know that in Minnesota the descendants of other Scandinavians (NW Europeans) are often called Sven. Here in Germany, there are at least 4 Sven’s in the little village we live in.

I have been getting used to many of the other names. At first they sound like a joke someone has told you when a little drunk in a pub or something like that, but after a while you realize they aren’t kidding, and that’s what they are called.

Two of my first cousins are binationals of the USA and Norway. They grew up in California being called Tove and Hans which is strange, but when they go to Norway they have very normal names.

Have fun with this, may as well.

Nonsequiters and Random Comments

Recently, I have learned a little more about Metallurgy, but not nearly as thoroughly as I would from having an entire course with the lab.  I am just reading a college freshman textbook – intro material.

Often I write university rather than college as a compromise and acknowledgement to the English and Canadians at least, especially the English, for whom college is between high school and university.  For Americans it makes no sense, but an American still recognizes that university is just that.  The only confusion there is that for Americans and many Canadians college means a private school that can give out degrees of some or all of the same levels as universities. 

There are times when we might face what is known as ‘the same difference’ and ‘not the same difference’.  Level of education and the private versus public issue: that is not the same difference. 

Today, I was able to spend 40 minutes studying German grammar.  Hoo – wee.  Weird situation to be in.  I feel it was beneficial.  It was about a number of features of the German language, especially when one wants to be literate in the language.  It was reasonably fun.

I realize that I do like to be happy, even if it means accepting that I was not correct about everything.  I think some readers will know what I am getting at right away but others will find that to just be some weird comment.  I know that I like to be right – as in correct.  One of the most challenging aspects of having moved to Germany is dealing with being wrong so much because of the ignorance about the language and such.  It is so humbling it is borderline humiliating at times.  I suppose it is a good review for how we all need the compassion of both self and other to get through life in ‘a better space’ …whether that is ‘head space’ or ‘outer space’.