Where the hell do I begin? The last four days have been like some sort of arty road trip movie that begun with my birthday and will end with a very badly taught class this afternoon, but with no resolution of anything. In the middle some things happened, it rained constantly and I had (am still having) a crisis about my national identity.
My birthday was actually quite lovely- I got three packages and a big present of choccis from my lovely housemates to open and spent most of the day on the phone to home. Then I had an evening class, who are really lovely and it went really well, and I even got a bunch of freshly picked sunflowers from a student. I got home to an even bigger, more bizarre bunch of flowers from work which are still sitting rather incongrously inn a bucket n my floor, since we don't have a vase big enough for them. I have never received a bunch of flowers with scaffolding before- and berries to boot. Crazy.
Then I went out with a few people to drinks and we smoked a hookah with apple tabacco. But we couldn't have too late a night because the next day was the fun fun fun ten hour drive to Munich in the rental BMW with its own navagational system. I was terrified of driving but cooly suggested it as if all I had even wanted was to drive at 170 kms an hour the wrong way down a highway for two hours. I won't say I was the world's best driver, but I did it and I now feel much better about driving at high speeds- it seeems so normal here that going slower would almost be more dangerous.
Finally we got there and went straight to the ground which were kind of like the Easter Show but with huge beer tents instead of produce. We waited in line for two hours and then gave up becuase the tent was full and sat in the beer garden getting hit on by Italians with bleached goatees (I say we, it was mostly Manuela who has the kind of flirting ability that could inspire wars) and drank enormous glasses of beer which only cost about forteen Australian dollars each. Oh and we ate giant pretzels.
The best bit of the whole weekend for me was then going on the flying chairs, my favorite ride in the whole world, and spinning around high above the showground, watching the upturned faces and the flashing lights, all a little drunk of course, and just tasting the merriment in the air.
The camping however, was not so fabulous and this is where my crisis came into play- the camping ground was full of Australians , drunk, young, loud, obnoxious and also drunk, mostly from London I gathered and although at first I was thrilled to hear the accent and chat with people I very quickly began to cringe and start to speak German. It was awful. I mean, it's one thing to bag out on Australia when you live there, when you are surrounded by clever, amazing people, but to be in Munich and to realise that when I tell people here where I'm from, this is what they see, was hideous. And by the end of the weekend I had decided that there wasn't an uglier accent in the world, and that the way we speak was in itself so childish and simple: show us your tits love, what a wanker, as funny as fuck.
However, I am feeling now a little like a child who has had too much red cordial so perhaps the feeling will dissipate. I don't want to be embarrassed about being from Australia.
On Sunday I walked around a bit and looked at Munich, and because the weather was so bad I went to see the new Bill Murray film called Broken Flowers. Very appropriately, it was about a crisis of identity. Very thoughtful and beautiful but also very slow.
I've also been reading Dead Europe which is resonating with how I'm feeling so much it's scary. Just now I read:
-You've got a child's hand, Isaac. Even the most hardened Aussie has these hands. You know that's what they call Australians here? Children.
And I wonder if it's just a New World thing, as Matthew said today. What is it about us that makes us so childlike compared to here?