DAY 6, JANUARY 7, 2023
It is 1:17 in the afternoon, and I’m satisfied with my morning. Groceries are in the house, water too, wood is in the wood carrier, and I even managed to get by the two pharmacies and pick up my vitamins.
This year I’m on a new level and must reestablish my routine. Some things and people may have to go. Not because I don’t like them but because I’ve taken a turn in the bend, and we are no longer walking on the same path.
Everything must change; nothing remains the same. That’s a song by Nina Simone, and it is one of my favorites.
When I finished my three-year contract with the United States Army, I took a European out and decided to stay in Europe, specifically Germany. I realized I learned only about the PX and the commissaries in the different locations in Germany where the Americans lived. I wanted to know more, so I decided to get a job here. I had a Bachelor’s degree with a major and a double minor and was completing my Master’s degree and thought I could get a job with the Americans. But that was not so. My status had changed; according to NATO (North American Treaty Organization), I was a tourist traveling in the country. After four months of hearing, “Yes, we would love to hire you, but…” I knew I had to decide: either learn German and get a job in the German economy or go back to America. I made the decision and decided to stay, and that is when doors started opening. German is a complex language, but I learned it thoroughly because of a German Professor that hung over my shoulders.
I used to think the man hated me. I had all kinds of excuses for him treating me as he did; the first one was that I was Black. We had to read two weekly newspapers, in German, of course. And each week, he would single me first. He always spoke to the class in German, and we had to answer him in German. He was also an ex-soldier in the German army, and I hated that man. I had five German courses, and he was my instructor in each class. It was him against me and me against him. I tried to drop out of my fifth German course because I saw him sitting at the instructor’s desk when I walked into the class on the first evening.
I told myself, “I’m not going through this a fifth time.” I waited until our evening class ended and told him I would be dropping his course. He said, “No, you’re not. I won’t approve it.” I remember shaking my head as I asked him why. He looked at me as if he were looking through me and told me, “Pat, you are a black American woman living in a country that will be hostile toward you. I have seen this happen to other females from other countries, and they are lost. That’s why they don’t go anywhere alone. They move around in groups. I am hard on you because I want to see you go anywhere you want to go and read everything, whether it’s government policies or whatever, so that you comprehend the system and move forward. I have nothing against you being a black woman. I’m proud to be able to help you. I want you to excel; to excel means comprehending the language of the country where you live.”
This man, whom I hated, I learned to love because of his strictness. He took me under his arms, and I learned to write, speak, and read German fluently, and I am thankful.
The rest of my day:
- Two Zoom meetings – one at three pm and one at six pm
- I will eat something between those two meetings.
- The grocery store I went to had alcohol-free champagne. I love to pour it over frozen fruit and sit back and watch the fire.
- I will visit the blogs from Day 5.
Have a lovely Saturday.