Wednesday, February 21

I am an Auslaender (Ausländer)!

This word literally means foreigner in german. Vlado and I are both foreigners here but unlike V. wherever I go I cannot deny it that I am a foreigner in Germany. My hair, skin, eyes distinguishes me from the sea of faces in a crowded street, plus of course my accent. Despite my attempts to pronounce the words correctly - I have spilled tears of frustration just learning to pronounce those german words- I cannot just remove that accent. Living as a foreigner in Germany is not easy, I guess living anywhere not home is not so easy, especially if you don't understand the language they speak. I have been here for almost 6 years now, ok 5 years and 9 months to be exact but I tell you what, it just dawned on me today - that I am finally "un-auslaenderized". I just coined this word myself. Usually some arrogant wannabees (salesladies, passersby, commuters, grandma, teenagers etc. etc.) can make my day really so bad by shouting, remarking and commenting nonsense to me for whatever reason there may be ( I chose not to discuss it anymore to avoid conflict of whatever sort). I would then react so confuse, frustrated, hurt and not being able to say anything but just so act like I really am stupid, ignorant and so timid - which is actually the opposite of what I should do. Well that was the old me ( I do hope so!). Today while doing some shopping I encountered an over acting saleslady ( I have like dozens of negative encounters with this folk, I don't know why, is it because I shop so much??!!). Instead of reacting like the old me, I blunted back what's your problem, I told you already I'm sorry! I was so surprise myself of my own reaction. The lady was also surprised and just said, "ach ja" (oh yes). Then there's another one at the cash register in another store (yes I shop too much) who told me, no told is such a light word, who commanded me so unfriendly and bossy to leave the counter, go back to the fruit section and weigh my 3 pieces of bananas (after lining up patiently and waiting for my turn). What??? The old me would have so dilligently followed this order from this contemptful cashier. But the new me told her she could keep her bananas, I don't have the time to go wandering in a grocery ( I don't understand it, I didn't see any weighing scale there at all, there were no signs at that corner as well or on the price shield of the bananas).The lady was so mad, I could almost see fumes coming out of her nostrils. Moral of the story, I am so craving for a banana now.
Seriously, I know I am still a foreigner but today I saw that I have move beyond that thin line.

5 comments:

Doris said...

Hi Toni

There are instances when our "katarayan" has to shine forth...and when it does, we have this good feeling di ba? Ang iba kasi nag-aakala na por que maputi sila, lagi silang angat ...
ako rin "lumalaban" na....

say Hi to Vlado from us...

Toni said...

Hi Doris,
Thanks for dropping by, I was just thinking about you last weekend.
Naku, you've said it - that's just how it is. Go girl, we are in this together!

eyna said...

hi ate toni!

how to deal kaya with children na nang-iinsulto? I have no problems (I think) with narrow minded grown ups. laban kung laban hahaha. but with kids?? puwede ko ba sila upakan at ingudngud ang mga nguso sa pader?? unforgettable pa rin ang nangyari sa kin sa mcdo nang batuhin nila ako ng papel. unforgetable kasi naiyak lang ako sa pagiging helpless and to think mga kids iyon. tsk tsk.

btw te, like ko ung pics nung 2 seniors sa park! how romantic!

vlado&toni said...

Hi Eyna,well that's hard,just ignore them probably because they are just kids. Or next time go to them and tell them in english "WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM" in a loud voice. I think that would be enough to surprise them instead of blurting out something in german where you have to think if your der, die, das!

Gattina said...

I am walking through your blog and read this. You know stupid people are everywhere and these are mostly the once who never went abroad. I am living since more than 40 (!!) years in Belgium and actually never lived as an adult in Germany. I still have a little accent in french, not a german one but an international one which gets on the nerves of curious people because they cannot find out where I am coming from ! lol ! Of course I feel more belgian than german, as I lived all my life here, but mostly as an European. My friends in Germany are open minded people and for them you could look like a zebra it's the human who counts. BTW the behaviour of cashiers or sales women are everywhere the same, you don't need to be an "Ausländer" they are all very unfriendly (with a few exceptions) and it should be an honor to you if they deign to serve you ! Unfortunately even after 40 years Germany has not changed very much social wise. Social levels are still very important and if you are "only" a salesgirl, they have to proof that they are also somebody, that's why they are mostly so agressive and with your exotic look they think you are a rich wife of a diplomate and are anxious that you would look down to them. People are like animals, when they feel fear, they become agressive (or run away).
With children that's another story, they are victims of narrow minded parents and don't even know what they say. A friend of my son (from Senegal and therefore as black as the night, lol) he uses to laugh about their remarks and just say "hey, it's not my fault, I was born like that" that usually cuts them off ! Sometimes he also sticks out his tongue and rolls his eyes, which looks terrible of course and laughs when the kids run away !
When I was in my teens they always came up with Hitler ! I had nothing to do with that I was born in 1943, that also got on my nerves in the very beginning ! All Germans were killers, me included !
That was hard to support at that time, now I can only laugh and say : You too were in the war as a two year old ?