|My friend, My Wife, My Teacher...
||[Feb. 2nd, 2016|01:53 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
Below is the English translation of this entry which I posted yesterday in my German Livejournal superigel.|
Many have asked me "Why have you learned German?"
I have several reasons: Because I wanted to learn a foreign language, because I'm interested in German culture, especially German music. But I always answered "My first German teacher was my ex-wife."
My ex-wife was Doris Kyburz. Last Friday Doris passed away. She was not young, a few years older than me, but she was too young to die. Last week she injured her ankle and a bloot clot formed. This blood clot made its way to her heart and she had a heart attack.
German was Doris' native language. But she wasn't German. She was Swiss. That means extra German!
Doris taught me German. I have also taken classes at the Goethe Institut and also at Language Schools in Germany, but she was the best teacher I ever had. She was mostly nice, occasionally mean, but always strict. I am proud that I have learned this language. It's true that too many Americans can't speak a foreign laguage.
My life really changed because of her. My first trip to Continental Europe was my trip with her to Switzerland. No, I can't speak Swiss German. When I went to Switzerland my German was good. Not so good as it is now, but not bad. Nevertheless I could barely understand anyone. Chuchichäschtli? Wat??? But Switzerland is a beautiful counrty. Zurich and Lugano and a train through the Mountains and Doris' wonderful family. Awesome!
After our divorce I made three language trips to Germany. Two to Berlin and one to Munich. Doris and I remained friends, but I kept going with my German adventure by myself. I love Berlin. I have friends in Berlin now. And I have made friends with many new people in my German conversation group.
Everyone is impressed when I talk about Doris. She had lived in Tokyo. She was a German professor at a University. She studied martial arts. She could speak six languages. (Seven if you include Latin!)
She was not a typical woman for me. Most of the women I've gone out with had tattoos, funny looking hair, and most were some sort of artist. (Painters, dancers, musicians...) Wild and hot tempered and oftentimes besotted. (As is often the case with bohemian types.) Doris was not at all like my past girlfriends. My life as a young man was wild and chaotic, ergo so were my relationships. My relationship with Doris marked a turning point in my life.
My German is a bit rusty. I have negelected this blog. (The superigel blog that is.) I have not taken a class in a long time. But I didn't totally give up. I still have my German conversation group. We meet twice a month so I can practice my German. I still read German books and see German movies. (Berlin and Beyond Film Festival!) Maybe my German is a little strange to Native German speakers, and perhaps this entry has a few mistakes here and there. Nevertheless I keep learning German. Especially now. I will really try to improve my German. I'll do that for Doris.
Goodbye my dear Doris. Until next time, at that Language school in the sky.
I'm a better man, because you've been part of my life.
Yes, Doris was also a biker chick!