The family is lovely, Arabic and German. The 8 year old, Juliet, speaks excellent English. I will have to try to get her to help me with my German. I ate dinner with them tonight, pasta with a creamy salmon sauce and vegetables. I really like the parenting style. Everyone is quite friendly and I feel more comfortable by the second.
While part of me is dreading the early mornings, another part of me looks forward to getting back to my old schedule where I actually get to enjoy daylight!
Last night was Sam's last night in town, and he wanted to go to a kneipe just down the straße from my new digs called Madame Claude's. The place was crowded but cool, with low light and furniture glued upside-down to the ceiling. Everyone in this place seemed to be American, even the Russian music promoter we met! Robert had gone somewhere with his sister Ricarda after hanging out at my place a bit, but he came and met us around 10:30. Sam snapped photos, growing already nostalgic, and Robert and I did a little John Waters-style posing. That is, I was hoping for a John Waters-esque, "Ick!" factor, but actually, we're just cute, and that makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. I thought about posting the picture, but well, we're just to damn cute and it's disgusting.
So I live in trendy Kreuzberg, and I am concerned because everyone speaks English to me because they want me to feel comfortable. It is hard to get the chutzpah to practice. But it is necessary. I have freelance work offers if can get a bit fluent. I am considering taking another German course. I heard that the Volkshochschule in Kreuzberg is better than the one in Neukölln. We will see! Meanwhile, I went to a gym for an introductory session today and spoke no English. My German is bad. Bad! But if I need to, I can get by. While not an end result, this is still progress. The gym, McFit, costs only 17.99€ a month, but you have to sign up for a year contract. I can't afford that and language school, so I will have to utilize the flat screen TV and DVD collection in the living room during the day when no one is home to instigate my own workout program, because the guy at the gym let me be on the elliptical machine for 45 minutes even after I told him I couldn't buy a membership, and damn, did I feel lifted when I was done! I asked him, "Deutschkurs oder Fitnesstudio."
He said, "Deutschkurs."
I wrote a very short email, all in German, this evening. It took me FOREVER and I don't know if it made any sense. The words were all correct (I think) but the grammar? No idea.
It's almost 11 now and I have to be upstairs drinking coffee and waiting for Younis to wake up at 7 am, so I'm going to go to bed. This is the earliest I've turned in in months, and I am looking forward to it!