January 15, 2016

German Swag 101: A Few of My Favorite Things

We've been whirlwinding just as much as the snow, wind, and rain ever since we returned to Vilsbiburg from Madrid on December 28th. January and February are full to the brim with friends, parties, and trips, and it helps make winter a lot less dreary.


We did New Year's Eve with friends at a local restaurant, complete with live music and fireworks not even fifteen feet away from us! After midnight, we hung out in the basketball player's apartment on the bottom floor of our house. Since no one had a plan ("drinking" is not a plan or strategy for anything), "Time's Up" entered the scene, followed by a Yahtzee tutorial.

I love Christmas, but if there's a NYE party, it usually ends up as my favorite of the year!


I can't figure out how to spell whatever is being said, but I'm pretty sure it's one of the hello greetings of "grüezi" or "grüß dich." Whatever it looks like doesn't matter ("dich" is a form of "you"); what it sounds like is: "gristy." But when the Germans don't hit the "g" sound very hard, it sounds exactly like: "Christy." 

Somehow I ended up in a region where a common greeting sounds like my first name, and I haven't decided yet if it makes me feel famous and popular or anonymous and even more thankful to be called "Swags." Also, Google Translate tells me this phrase means "howdy." Yee-haw.

The Dog Walker

The best part of walking to the gym everyday is speaking hilarious German with one of our neighbors. Old Man is at least seventy-five years old, wears something like a Bavarian fedora, and he walks his black and white poofy little dog everyday. And by "walks his dog," I mean Old Man walks very slowly, and the little dog rides like a prince in the basket of his rolling walker.

Old Man is the only person who cannot speak a word of English to me, and, even though our "conversations" usually end with a shrug and laughter, I wouldn't trade these mini-German lessons for anything! Next step: ask Old Man his name.

German Words

Sentences are still a bit of a stretch, so we'll stick to some words that fill the moment just fine on their own.

Genau. It means "exactly," can be used literally all the time, and is easy to pronounce with a hard "g" and short "i" as "ge-NOW." I equate it to using "c'est ça" and "ça va" in French. Great word for whenever you don't really know what else to say.

Entshuldigung. It's a mouthful, but it means "excuse me" and is very necessary. Once you get the hang of the syllables, it's even fun to say! Try "int-shool-dee-gung" ten times fast.

The words "verheiratet" and "verstehen" are a struggle. Unfortunately, the first one means "married," and the second means "to understand." Therefore, it's currently impossible for me to say, "do you understand that I'm married," because it will probably come out as, " do you married that I'm understand." I'll leave those words out of my vocabulary until later, kind of like how I did with "heureuse" (happy in the feminine form, instead using "contente") and many other words in French.

There are many other great things about living in Bavaria, but these are a few of my favorite at the moment. The raging blizzard* outside may temper my enthusiasm a bit, but winter can only last so long, right?

What do you love about where you live? 

*Californian translation: snow and wind combined.