Tuesday, 13 January 2004

How the past comes back to haunt you

Isn't funny how, no matter how much you try to get away from something, it can just chase you around, refusing to give up its hold on your otherwise peaceful life?

A somewhat dramatic introduction, I'm aware, but this news will make many of you laugh. We're sitting in class on Friday, and the Professor says (more on her later) we have to have an election. We have to elect a Klassensprecher (a rep) who will attend fortnightly meetings to discuss any issues with the course, suggestions, etc. At this point I began to feel a bit edgy. So we all got our little slips of paper, wrote down the first name of the person we wanted to represent us, etc, etc. I don't think there is any need for me to tell you the outcome. I can assure that I did not vote for myself (unlike in previous elections) and would actually prefer not to have to spend hours discussing trivialities such as why the coffee machine gives you hot chocolate when you order a cappuccino, or why there are never any hand towels in the girls toilets. Nevertheless, this is the duty with which I have been charged, and I will approach it wit> suitable diligence and fervour.

Back to Frau Professorin. She has a new nemesis; a newcomer by the name of Viktor. He's from Minsk (I tell you, there are some students here from really interesting places), has the coolest accent and the largest ears I have ever seen. Viktor, to the professor's annoyance, is in the habit of interrupting the class with entertaining anecdotes and red herring questions. Today he informed us that he was going to do his (compulsory) talk on the possibly that Amsterdam may eventually sink below sea level, and that tourists will only be able to see its sights with the assistance of scuba diving equipment. While we all found this wildly amusing, Frau Professorin did not. Needless to say, the spotlight is now (thankfully) on someone else. In class on Friday (pre-Viktor) we were asked to walk around the room, and tell each other a little about ourselves. Always entertaining with a large group of people from all over the world. I ended up in a group with a Venezuelan guy called Jonothan. He mentioned a few things about himself, his family, etc and then proceeded to inform us that he has a pet MONKEY!!!!! Of course I became completely obsessed with the monkey, asked him if it had a name, if it wears a little coat and does tricks(yes, no, no), etc. After I had asked him a-gazillion questions about the monkey (important details, such as where does it sleep, does he carry it around on his shoulder, does he miss the monkey), Jonathon began to sidle away - I think he though I was taking the piss (either that, or that I was some Monkey-obsessed freak). Maybe he thought I was going to spend the next three weeks following him around, asking him questions about the monkey. With that in mind, today I held myself back. As far as I'm concerned, the only thing cooler than a pet monkey would be a pet miniature elephant (well, miniature anything really).

Went to visit friends outside of Munich for the weekend (Stephi and her family, for those of you who know her). Was great fun; she has three adorable little kids, 7, 5 and four months. Phillip, the eldest, was very keen to explain all about how things work in Germany. My favourite kid-logic story - we were watching an afternoon kids TV show, where the viewers can send in drawings and they get shown on the TV, their name gets mentioned, the kid gets sent a little prize - you know how it works. Phillip explains it to me like this:

"You see Anna, let's say I send in a picture that I've drawn myself, and they send me a CD. The CD is like payment for the picture. The CD is worth about 15 Euros, and my picture is worth about 10 Euros, which leaves 5 Euros cash as a reward for your efforts."

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