Friday, November 04, 2005

Like dude, totally dude

I have discovered two terrible things in the last week. One is that I am allegedly getting an American accent, for which I blame my colleagues who say they can't understand me. The other is that Schleswig-Holstein has the least public holidays in Germany.

Again I ask: why am I here.

Last week was Halloween and I went to two Halloween parties, one at Matt's and one at my house which was much more fun because these were less cool and scary Germans and more daggy young students, and also we dressed up. I bought an excellent Brunhilda wig for myself and Matt had a punk mullet- it was like, totally awesome. Manuela went as the lady of the lake and Art went as King Arthur complete with a Monty Python coconut. Hilarious.

I love riding my bike here- I think I have mentioned this already. But it still gives me a thrill when I wobble my way around a corner and three cars wait patiently for me before they turn- I think German car drivers have just had it drummed into them that they must give way to bikeriders. There's even bike lanes on most roads, down towards the uni there's only one lane for cars and one for bikes and I have never seen a car in the bike lane. Amazing.

Another amazing German fact is that you have to pay to give back late videos and DVDS. I only found this out when I was returning some DVDs for my boss and I was running really late. I was halfway out the shop before the guy said excuse me, these are late. I looked at him like he was mad and said, I'm sorry I don't care they're not mine. Then it was his turn to look at me like I was crazy and he said, yes but you can't give them back. By this time I was utterly impatient and just snapped, was? Turns out I had to either pay the two Euros fifty or take them away again. I was so annoyed I just flung the money at him and left- my first real experience of being ruder than a German shopkeeper.

If they introduced a system like that in Australia there would be no videos in the shop. I mean what exactly is the incentive to give them back at all? Probably you have to sign your first born over to join a video shop here or something, but really, it's ridiculous. The concept of everybody playing by the rules has been so internalised here.

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