Saturday, December 10, 2011

I Gotta Make Some Gluehwein

Got up at 11:30 and have since been arguing internally over whether to work on the sales conference presentation, finish the table runner, finish Infinite Jest, or something else entirely.

Have since opted to play stupid puzzlegames all day.

Then I realized that really what's happened is that I've lost the spirit. BUT! I know how to get it back. Normally I'd look to see when the Mr Bean Christmas Special is on, because this bit never fails. In fact, it's working already.

Anyway, I decided not to worry about it. Christmas party tonight, in Toronto, but thought hey, why not try my hand at Gluehwein?! Oh my gosh this whole rule of adding an E instead of having an umlaut really makes some words awful. Crazy Germans. See the thing is, I studied German basically as a minor in University, until I realized that they don't offer German as a minor, only a combined major, and for some reason I didn't want to do that. Who knows why. Thought I'd get one of those proficiency certification things, but never got around to that either. POINT IS, every year they gave us a recipe for Gluehwein (essentially mulled wine, but more German). I've never tried it, I don't think, but it was a huge deal at the German Department Christmas party every year. I never went. But I always wanted to make it!

I can't remember if it was someone famous or just a favourite highschool teacher who said that the best way to get better at something is to make fast friends with someone who's as bad at it as you are. Definitely true. I studied my butt off and did really well in my German courses, but never really picked up the speaking part, mostly because I'm not much of a speaker in any language. But the one time I did go to an all-Nova Scotia German Studies gala, I only had fun once I found the guy I'd been sitting beside all term but had never spoken to. We both haltingly said that it's very awkward making smalltalk in such an unfamiliar language, and once that was out of the way, we were both surprised to find we could converse pretty normally, albeit somewhat slowly. I'd like to say we were fast friends after that and took the German-speaking world by storm, but unfortunately the only other time I saw him was at the exam, and once in the street but I don't know if he recognized me. Haven't really spoken German since. Can't even be a secret language between my Dad and I anymore.

Tragedy. EXCEPT that there's a chance I may be living in Germany relatively soon, so I should get on that practical application stuff. But first, Gluehwein!

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