Showing posts from January, 2015
When you live in a country in which you don't speak the language a wonderful wonderful thing happens. You don't understand advertising blurbs at all. They become parodies of themselves. There is no need to prick up your ears. A pricked ear in an indecipherable language is like a periscope on the Dead Sea. There's nothing there. You don't understand newspapers, magazines, street signs, police directions, shop keepers, cashiers, spruikers, beggars, children, the elderly, telemarketers, gypsies, casual conversations, round-table discussions, phone messages. Here in Germany all is not lost on the new comer. In Germany, moreso than other places, English is the go-to language for pithy, sexy slogans. Except that they get it wrong much of the time. I'll never forget the first miss.  It was a bicycle shop in Berlin. The sign, so proudly shouting the name of the shop from the rooftop was "Little Johns' Bike!" As if there were only a single bike insi

Mum Drove Getaway

I went to a family reunion once in 1982. You might wonder about what sort of lack of cohesion there existed in my family that we needed to have a reunion. Most families, after all, are never so disjointed that they need a reunion. Like the cast of Gilligans Island or the Brady Bunch. Now they needed reunions, but us? We had the reunion because somebody realised how many of us there were and most of us had no clue about the extent of exactly who we were related to. The winters in my home town were legendary and there were few distractions from the task of populating the planet. At this reunion in 1982 the organisers, who I assume I was related to, hired or took by force the show grounds at a town called Crows Nest. It was an outdoor event and no non-family members were invited. In excess of 2000 people turned up, all related by blood in one way or other to me and my mother and my brothers and sisters. They weren't blood relatives of my father - that was for another reuni