Wir Leben Noch

September 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

An Update — I realized I haven’t written in a long time. Things have gone from bad to worse, but I think they are settling a bit now.

The positive: My son has started to play computer games with other kids from school. I may have written about this before, but this is pretty huge. For those of you who don’t have teenage sons, it might be hard to understand, but computers make up a large part of teenage boys’ lives and it’s a good breakthrough that he’s playing with others from his school. He’s still not thrilled with the school or Berlin or Germany, but I don’t get the “Send me home. Just please I want to go home. Look in the Internet for a ticket for me” umpteen times a day. Actually it’s just about 3-4 times per week, which is major progress.

My daughter has had a rougher go of it than I initially expected — largely due to some very unkind kids in her class. There appears to be a certain amount of bullies at the school and a lot of cliques. I don’t know if this is different from anywhere else, but it’s been extra hard on her on top of all the different things she’s had to get used to. Complaining to the guidance counselor and the principal has helped. And I finally spoke with her German teacher yesterday. Pauline didn’t want me to speak with him because she doesn’t think he will change. “He’s German” is her explanation for his at times cold behavior.

The other day she asked me: What is it that you like about Germany? The people are cold, unfriendly, unhelpful, they expect you to be polite to them but they aren’t polite to you and the service sucks.

Mmmm. I had to think about that one. My initial response was: I have a lot of friends here and I like the bustle of Berlin.

To that she said: But you have friends in Portland and if you want bustle you could move to New York.

Mmmm. I’m not really sure that’s true. I have acquaintances in Portland, but I don’t think I have very many good friends. And it’s kind of odd, but the people I feel more comfortable with are some of the Germans I know there. As for New York, I would probably love living there again, but I’m not sure that’s a possibility in the near future.

And so we slog on. As a German friend said: It has to get better because it can’t get any worse.

 

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