Tuesday, January 13, 2004

life of buddy don, chaptur 92:
blind hillbilly in a land of germs


lots of the folks i wood meet in whut they lacks to call the ex-pat communty over thar in frankfurt west germany wood refer to the germans as 'germs.' twuz speshly true whenever ye went on a lil 'blitzreisen' or quick trip to sum other cuntry lack italy or france n thar them germ wood be in packs with thar money belts roun thar wastes n sum kinda guide a'givin em a lil educayshun bout whut they wuz a'seein. tiz a ugly wurd, i know, n duz eggzackly whut my daddy sed such ugly wurds duz, witch they change a persun to a thang, but we wuz trine to survive n whenever ye run into sumbidy who could unnerstan yer frustrayshuns, ye wernt lackly to cut to conversayshun on a counta them callin germans 'germs.'


i spent everday frum early till late trine to git set up so emily woodnt face no terrbull hardships whenever she arrived, but twuznt to be. fer one thang, twuz august n mos everbidy wuz out sumwhar on vacayshun. fer a nuther, i wuz mitey sprized to find that the folk in frankfurt, at lease, the ones with money that is, wuz as close to the awful stereotype of jews as inny deepickshun ye ever seen cum out of vienna roun the turn of the centry: ever whar ye turnt, they wuz graspin fer money. ifn ye dint have nun or dint have a nuff, ye were treated verr bad. twuz a shock n mayhap twuz only sumthin to do with the diffculty of gittin started, but i couldnt hep but find myself thankin i had never met nor herd tell of inny real jew acktin the stereotype out as well as them germans wuz a'doin.


sum eggzamples: when i gut up the furst day, i larnt ye had to pay fer use of the shower only ye gut this lil token with yer room that wuz good fer six mints of water. i had fergot to brang soap n shampoo, n ye had to buy that, witch ye mite speck em to have them lil thangs of soap n shampoo lack they do in amurka, but thay jes wuznt nuthin free atall. ye had to pay to pee. ye had to pay to git eine tute, witch thats whut we call a shopping bag, whenever ye went to buy yer shampoo n soap. thang wuz, ever inch of ground wuz cumpletely under cuntrol n ifn ye wonted inny thang atall, ye had to pay fer it.


but that wernt thonly sprize i run into. one night i shard my room with three polish students. they could all speak good english n german n since i wuz amurkin, they woodnt thank of testin my german, try as i mite to git em to. they wuz fascinated with my cuntry n they wonted to know three main thangs: (1) wuz it true that folks in amurka made jokes about polish folk bein stupid? (2) wuz it true that folks wood by gigantic gas-guzzlin cars? (3) wuz it true that gas only cost 1/4 as much in amurka as in europe.


i wuz a lil ashamed to admit all three of em wuz true, but thar reackshun sprized me. corse they wuz miffed that amurkins wood make jokes bout em, but they figgerd twuz better to be noticed than not. lease we wuznt makin jokes about 'the negro,' rite? i splained that ye could git the punch line to mos inny joke that used 'polack' by usin 'nigger.' i speckted they wood find that a lil insultin, but they seemed happy bout it. they lacked the idea of black folk jes fine n felt lack they wuz bein complimented by bein put into the same group. as fer thar other two questchuns, when i sed twuz true, i figgerd twood upset em. fack is, they started talkin thar own lingo with each other lack crazy soon as i sed i figgerd twuz about rite, only i had a lil truble figgern it fer shore on a counta how we used gallons n they use leeters, but i figgerd twuz close a nuff. seemed lack they wuz gittin wurked up, so i finely ast whut wuz they a'sayin, n one of em sed, 'we wonta go to amurka! what a cuntry!'


i also had sum more german roommates, witch they wuz the kind that make ye wonta use the wurd 'germs' to deescribe em. all they could talk bout wuz three mile island n our 20% inflayshun rate n our forn policy n how evil they bleeved amurka wuz. they dint speak no english n twuz impossibull to defend our cuntry with my german, so i couldnt do much of nuthin bout it cept git riled, n then they wuz makin jokes bout how easy twuz to rile yer averidge amurkin. twuz mitey frustraytin.


i spent my days trine to git into whut they call immobilien or real estate offuses sos i could check on gittin us a place to live. twuz awful humiliayshun fer me. furst thang they wonted to know wuz how much money did i have in my bank account, witch thay wuznt much on a counta how i dint have much to put in even ifn i put all of it in. so i couldnt never git past that questchun fer all the days of trine, witch meant thay wuznt no place fer us to live when emily finely gut thar.


but furst, thay wuz other trubles. after i had slep at that house of youngns fer three nites, they announced how ye wood half to move ifn ye dint blong to the club of the haus des jugend or ifn ye had slep thar fer three nites, witch i wuz disqualified fer a nuther nite on bof counts. i dint even know ye could join n i wished i hadda dun it, but twuz too late.  ye couldnt join in time to stay the forth nite, so i had to move.


i ast whar wuz the cheepest place ye could sleep fer a nite n larnt bout a pace name of hubertum, a 'pension,' witch thats the german wurd fer a cheep place to sleep fer a nite. twuznt so cheep neethur: i had to pay 40 of them doytch marks fer the one nite, witch that wuz four times as much as the house of youngns wuz chargin.


i still had all my stuff with me, so i gut to draggin it tords that pension. i hadnt gut a block when these two guys from afghanistan that i had jes met cum up to me. one of em ast did i need inny hep n tuthern gut into a fite with him bout it. by then the furst one had dun tuck my trunk n put it up on his back n picked up one of my two sootcases. they wuz arguin, half in thar lingo, half in english. seem lack the one heppin me wuz happy that we wuz agin the soviets, witch ye mite member how the ussr had dun invaded em roun then. tuthern sed the us n the ussr wuz jes alack n ifn the us had the chants to invade afghanistan, they wooda dun the same thang thar ownself. lucky fer me, the furst guy dint bleeve it n whenever we gut to that pension hubertum, i tride to give im a five doytch mark piece only he woodnt take it. they went off, still arguin, n i never saw neethur of em agin.


that day i went n sined up fer the fambly plan of the house of youngns, witch that meant i could move back in. i kep trine to find a place with no luck n i couldnt even do much on a counta the hole place wuz near shut down. stores in thar vershun of the mall wuz clozed. mos all of them immobilien places wuz clozed. i had dun spent near 200 doytch marks n only had a nuther 1474 lef till we gut our pay frum the d-a-a-d on september furst.


after near a week, i wuz bone tired n near broke n moren a lil scared bout whut wuz a'gonna happen. wurse, emily wuz cumin the nex day. but thay wuz no turning back. that nite, i barely slep. sumbidy tuck my glasses frum rite nex to my bed, but i musta been dozin then. i never gut em back n frum then till i gut a new pair, everthang in frankfurt wuz kindly a blur.


i felt kinda lowdown, lack a blind hillbilly in a land of germs.

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