analytical Q May-Aug 2000 Sept-Dec 2000 Jan-Apr 2001 Discussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

13 February 2001 Tuesday



This morning I had breakfast in the empty dining room. I chose a table right next to the windows facing the little park behind the hotel.

After my usual initial course of freshly cut fruit, I ventured back for something hot. Nuremburg bratwurst tempted me to go off my non-meat diet. I had forgotten what a hearty German breakfast did for me.

As I savoured the sausage, bacon, fried potatoes, and mushrooms, I was reminded of my previous trips to Deutschland: Munich, Hamburg, Kiel, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Flensburg, Frankfurt, Hannover, Braunschweig, Berlin, Stuttgart, Konstanz, Ulm, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Muenster, and now Essen. The hospitality I received on each of these trips was second to none.

My German teacher repeated herself so often that we only learned the minimum necessary to get by. We were all too polite in this night class to tell her so. Every German word I learned automatically displaced the equivalent French I knew. Yet I felt comfortable enough to come back again and again.

Today I told myself not to repeat my mistakes from yesterday. I could ask questions, but I couldn't understand the answers in German. So, please, take down my pride and speak in English. "Sprechen Sie Englisch?" There is no harm in asking.

As I wanted to "feel" the local culture, I walked to the underground station to take the U-11 to the Messe Essen - the conference/exhibition centre. This will be another German memory to add to my list.