Thursday, November 17, 2011

Being Kenny McCormick

One advantage of being in the US is I can speak to other people in their language. In general that works fine, but from time to time I have difficulties to understand some people and they have problems to understand me. People, who are not used to my heavy German accent, have the biggest problems. There are the weirdest misunderstandings. For example when I ordered a club sandwich in a restaurant and  I got a cup of soup, or when I asked for a glass of water and the waitress asked: "What? Vodka?", or when I said: "I am from north Germany" and Rezal said: "You are not from Germany? I though you are. I'm confused". The funny thing is that there are always other people who understand me. That makes me feel like characters in TV shows, who speak in a language which is understood by people in the TV show while the audience does not understand anything. For example all adults in "The Peanuts", Kenny in "South Park", Yen in "Oceans Eleven", or short police man in "Cool McCool". Being that person is not healthy: Yen breaks his hands, short police man is always beaten up by his colleges, and Kenny dies in each episode.

Some people told me I have a British accent. I guess, I speak some words with a British and some with an American accent. People here only notice the British accent of course. In school I learned British English. For example, they taught me flat instead apartment. People here look a bit confused when I talk about my flatmate. Instead period I learned full stop. A typical sentence Americans say is: "Because I said so, period!" (usually, followed by a "yeehaw" shout and wild firing in the air) while I say: "Because I said so, full stop!" (usually, followed by a sip from my 3 o'clock tea).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Very Odd Couple

This story happened to me last year. I was on my way home and I entered with a neighbor the elevator. The neighbor was really curious and started to ask me all sort of questions. Interesting enough the only question he did not ask was what my name is. Anyhow, he asked me when I moved in. After I answered, he asked me if I live with my wife in the apartment or if I live alone. I answered: "I'm not married and I share the apartment with a roommate". He made a wondering face, than he asked: "Roommate? Male or female roommate?" I said: "Male". He rolled his eyes and said: "You need a girlfriend." I rolled my eyes and said: "I know!"
We live in a time where people are not anymore interested in philosophical questions like: Who are we? Why are we here? Instead people are busy with really silly questions like: Are Sesame Street's Ernie and Bert only roommates or are they "roommates"?