Sunday, June 10, 2007

Injuries talk

I torn my damn tendon again, this time by playing frisbee in the park after doing aerobics. Thanks to the wonder that is the German health system I didn't have to pay a dime for the x-ray and the specialist, but I did spend two hours of my life in an emergency waitng room watching daytime television. So, the upshot of it all is that while the sun shines and Kielers bake themslves doing all manner of boistrous outdoor activites I'll be limping around, pasty and plump, reading my way through my friend's libraries and watching many TV series'. Actually now that I put it in writing it doesn't sound that bad.

But the real unforseen bonus is that I have discovered the secret of making small talk up here - limp! People who have never bothered to talk to me before, the post office man, the security guard, the baker, are suddenly friendly, sympthetic and personable. I feel like an explorer who, after almost two years of fruitlessly searching for the lost gold of the tribe of something or other, and who had begun to doubt it's very existence, waking up one morning to be told by a friendly native in perfect English that, actually, the gold is over there and they were wondering when he was going to ask.

When I mention my find to Germans they say, "Oh yes, we love to talk about illness, especially the old people." I think I should put this in a guide book as to how to put people at ease:
Some people find the German manner a little stiff and formal but a sniffle, cough, some bruising or a limp will soon reduce them to the amiable, intelligent and interested people they are.

3 comments:

TimT said...

Capital. Well, I'll just nip off to the third world, contract a mild strain of leprosy, and I'll be all set to make friends in good old Deutschland.

With luck, I'll be able to make puns like "I've got to hand it to you" while my arm drops off in front of their face. That should work well.

torshy said...

Actually they'd probably look at you blankly and then start talking about the skyrocketing cost of health insurance.

Although... there's a German idiom etwas in die Hand haben which means to have something in hand (duh). That'd probably work.

TimT said...

My family often call me an 'idiom', or something very much like it...