Saturday, May 4, 2013

speak and spell

I enrolled in an intensive German class. Despite completing less than half of an assessment test, and getting even some of those answers wrong, I managed to place one level above absolute beginner (A1.2). For three hours a day, five days a week, over next month, I will sit in a small room with a handful of students and crunch my way through basic sentences and conversations, no doubt violating every single grammatical rule possible along the way. And German has a whole lot of grammar. We're an international bunch. Other than our (extremely patient) Austrian teacher, there is a Russian, an Iranian, a Korean, a Sudanese, and me. It's going to be a challenge, but I'm looking forward to it. I always feel a little ashamed, and frankly kind of stupid when I meet bilinguals or polyglots. Foreign languages have always been difficult for me, hence, I have never managed to learn one. But I told myself I would achieve conversational proficiency in at least one other language before leaving this mortal coil, and now is the perfect time. I'm actually a little relieved to have some daily structure and a project of sorts to work on, rather than simply wandering aimlessly about town all day, every day. And if I like the course, I'll enroll in the next level, which means I would continue to stay in Vienna. I'll make that decision in the next week or so.

In the meantime, since it's nice to have easily achievable goals in tandem with loftier, ambitious, and brain-cramping goals, I've challenged myself to eat every sausage on tap at the Bitzinger würstel stand. Okay, so it's not really too much of a challenge. I just started at the top of the menu posted in the window, and will work my way down one by one. I like getting them sliced up on a plate with a puddle of mustard and a slice of brown bread, but I suppose if I complete one round of the menu in that fashion, I can circle back and eat the hot dog variants; which are exactly what they sound like, except with superior buns.

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