05.05.2005

Friday On My Mind








The last week was quite heavy, actually. I had my first real argument in Spanish, and the limited means of expression are making this a quite abstract and linear experience as its rather one-dimensional. As one can imagine. I mean think about a normal argument. How hard is it to get your point across when you are fighting? Rather hard? So, how hard is it when you cannot actually utilise the language to the degree you are used to? Mmmmh, tuff one, really. The situation was certainly not funny but somehow, you get though everything if there is sympathy for the other person. I am starting to think a lot of shit can be avoided if you really think about the validity of your own anger and frustration before you kick off a stink. Half of the time it’s some grudge you harbour within yourself, and has nothing to do with the other person anyway. In this case, we argued about making music, and what was said needed to be said. Maybe we are just exploring the other’s limits by reaching our own boundaries. How strange. Nevertheless, I was quite pleased to get out of the room. It was my landlady’s b-day, she turned “thirty something something something” (funny when your age is something you refer to as “something”, I wonder when I will get to that stage). A typical asado grill cum fire thingy was popped into the garden, and we could hear the laughter of the people in our little cavern so eventually we made our appearance and duefully chewed a few hamburguesas with mostaza. And drank mucho vino tinto. It turned out that a lot of the people gathering around the grill in the garden were singers, opera singers to be precise. When they heard I was German, one of them, Eli, shouted, completely ratfaced: “Sing something in German. Lohengrins ‘Siegfried’!” “Eli”, said Theresa, my new found singer friend to my left – she specialises in Bossa Nova – “Eli, she is not an opera singer.” “But you can sing, right? Why don’t you sing the German national anthem, then?” ‘Oh my god, the national anthem???’ I am thinking. I really want to sing something although I feel a little inhibited because everone here can probably sing eight octaves or more, but the booze makes me feel boisterous and I want to show off. But the German national anthem? All I can remember is the forbidden Hitler chorus. “I don’t remember the words…“ I say, laughing whilst my brain is buzzing. But really, I mean really, I just can’t do it, I cannot stand up and roar out the no-no Hitler song right in front of some Argentineans. Even though they just a bunch of funny drunkards who just got off to Eminem. It just feels so wrong. But maybe it’s just me and my embarrasment about my own nation that’s quite embarrassing. “Oh sod it” blurps Eli, “sing something else, sing ‘cumpleaños feliz’ in Aleman.”·Turns out I only remember the English lyrics. I am just such a waste-of-space party killer… I feel great though. Like a German with no history—because really no-one cares it seems. I should stop feeling ashamed for my country, this is just so silly! A few days later I am in Eloisa’s house which she has decorated with a huge German flag. She even has the complete lyrics of the German national anthem as written by Hoffmann von Fallersleben including the now forbidden two first strophes abused in the Third Reich, and I read them full of awe and disbelief, recognising my history for the first time without feeling like a nazi nationalist turd. Everone loves Germany, it’s obvious, and if they can, I can. Maybe. I will think about it.

Links:
www.bundesregierung.de/Bundesregierung/-,8394/Nationalhymne.htm
www.von-fallersleben.de
www.derweg.org/deutschland/gesamt/nationalhymne.cont.html



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