Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thanksgiving Lessons

I guess I never reported the outcome of our Thanksgiving dinner.

It was a very nice evening. We managed to speak German for 1.5 hours and to smile and nod at German for an additional hour.

We learned the Swiss German word for cookie and various other words in Swiss German that we caught our neighbor saying inbetween her high German.

For the second time, I was able to pick out mistakes that our neighbor made in her high German speaking. (Mainly word order issues) Alas, I was the polite American and did not point them out.

During Thanksgiving we also learned a few things from our neighbor:

1. Too many English words are invading German and it is not good. (French was not a culprit even though the Swiss Germans say "Merci" after every transaction.)
-we pointed out that English has German words like "Kindergarden" and got a very surprised response.

2. Americans are to blame for stores in Switzerland having opening hours on Sundays in December.
-I decide not to say that my mother and sister were excited to do a 5am shopping spree on Black Friday.
-But then a half hour later we are told how our neighbor got a lovely orchid at a store in the next town over on a Sunday. Hmm.

3. All she knew about Thanksgiving before this was from the movies. She was a bit let down that Brian did not bring a giant cooked bird to the table. However, Swiss ovens cannot fit giant birds in them. (See entry about cooking one pie at a time).

4. She really liked the stuffing and the cranberries despite the fact she had no clue what they were before the dinner.

5. We were told to use both locks on our door. One is not good enough and we should also follow her example and install an alarm system because there are creepy teenagers in our buildling. I figured it was useless to ask if she had ever lived in New York. Heaven forbid if Baden is dangerous I don't know what she would think of our old place in Richmond). I held back my urge to tell her my DC Sniper stories. Not enough vocab for that anyhow.

6. Brian and I sleep until 11am the day after. Cooking with strange ingredients and appliances along with German really has a way of doing us in.

Happy Holidays!


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