"I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded…"

09.27.08 5:03 pm

Posted in personal by stuart sia on September 28, 2008

‘Ich lieb dich auch,” said Becci.

“Stuart, du bist ein toller jünger Mann geworden,” said Siegfried

Cornelius, Becci, Judith, Miryam, Gertraud, und Siegfried: meine Familie.

09.24.08 11:26 pm

Posted in personal by stuart sia on September 25, 2008

Once again, I find myself in Bergstraße 28, Weingarten and I couldn’t be happier. Cornelius has grown to over 6 Füß tall. Becci ist mit Gymnasium fertig and will be studying Medizin in Homburg (nicht Hamburg, sondern Homburg; in Saarland). Judith is in Ulm, getting some well-needed rest before her Prüfung morgen, which will test her on Biochemie, Physiologie, und Anatomie. She has been studying Medizin für schon 2 Jahre. Miryam is working in der Schweitz als physical therapist. After a twenty year hiatus, Gertraud, meine Gastmuter, arbeitet wieder als Krankenschwester, just like mama and papa. Sie arbeitet mit meinem Gastvater, Siegfried, als seine Assistentin. Und Siegried ist still as funny as ever and can make me laugh like no other, wie immer.

Here are some of the memories we relived over dinner:

  • I asked ob man “das außerhalb von dieser Käse” essen kann…Directly translated, I asked if you can eat “the outside of this cheese,” because, for those of you unfamiliar with cheese, there are some cheese whose outside should be eaten and others whose outside should not be eaten. A good question, gäh? Well, apparently, “außerhalb” cannot be used as liberally as we use it in English, and is only used to abstracly refer to the outside of a location…I should have asked ob man “die Schale dieser Käse” essen kann. “Schale” heißt “shell.” I guess that makes sense.
  • Siegried took me to a beautiful city called Heideberg. It sounded familiar at the time, but all of these German cities sound similar, if not actually familiar, so I thought nothing of it. On the drive up, he told me a little bit about about the history of Heidelberg, once again stirring to mind a feeling of familiarity, which I readily attributed to Mrs. Russell, my 10th grade AP Euro history teacher. However, my sense of déjà vu only strengthened upon our arrival, and walking about the town, I was sure I knew the place. With anticipation and mild apprehenison, I asked Siegrfried if we would see a enormous keg, the size of a small house. Surprised, he responded, yes, to which I apologised, I think I’ve been here before. Edit that, I know I’ve been here before, because, let’s be real, an enormous keg the size of a small house is something impossible to attribute to rewritten memory. He seemed a little disappointed.
  • On Christmas day, 2003, we went sledding on a hillside. I guess I looked sad, despite the laughing and playing in the snow, because Cornelius asked me in eine süße stimme, “Stuart, hast du Heimweh?” He was asking if I was homesick. I think it annoyed me at the time, because I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like his depressions pointed out to him, let alone diagnosed, especially when I’m trying to enjoy myself, laughing and playing in the snow. But, in retrospect, it was the sweetest thing ever.

09.24.08 5:46 pm

Posted in personal by stuart sia on September 25, 2008

Today marks our third day here in Deutschland. My ears are popping through every tunnel we pass through, and my mouth is dry, but we are auf dem Weg nach Ravensburg and I am excited to see Familie Leyrer again . Scott ist neben mir, and I remind him often how lucky he is to have me. He’d be lost without me. We almost missed our train in Darmstadt, because Scott insisted that we eat a little something before our Fahrt. Fortunately, the train was also a little late. Maybe the conductor’s brother held him up too.

We were playing the card game I invented for the past half hour or so. Scott didn’t win a single round. I’d normally be proud, but then again, I invented the game. It’s a good game. It’s like Mah Jong, played with cards. But cooler. And auch travel-friendly. To be fair, Scott helped with some of the rules. So, I guess I can be a lIttle proud of my wins.

We just passed Stuttgart. It makes me think of Andrew. I’m sad that we’ve lost touch over the years. He was my right-hand man here in Germany. I visited him and his host family in Gomaringen the last time I was here. Familie Schreiner haben sie geheißt. They needed a tuba for an upcoming concert and asked if I would be willing to come. I said, of course. Traveling by train, my borrowed E-flat tuba strapped to my back, I felt so profi. During the concert, the emcee presented me with a beautiful umbrella with a view of Gomaringen printed darauf. I felt like they were giving me the keys to the city. Unfortunately, I lost the umbrella, but that’s another great story for another time. And of all places to have lost it, I lost it in Ulm, our next destination.

We’re twenty minutes away, and that story was taking me a lot longer than expected to tell. It probably has something to do with Scott talking about parallel universes and sharing his uninteresting insights with me, but I’ve made fun of him enough already, so I won’t say that. But now, he’s much quieter, soaking in the scene as we pass by. It’s beautiful here, and I’m glad he’s enjoying it.

Scott just asked me if we were going to pass this way again auf unserem Weg nach Berlin. I said, nein. He said, damn, I wanted to sleep…