So I'm in Germany, enjoying the crazy things of life with kids. I had no idea we would be here this long, but it has been refreshing and mind straining all at the same time. We're staying with Mark's sister and her family and so I'm having to keep up with conversations in Czech, German, and English and it's quite a challenge. We came on Sunday the 5th of September, so it's been quite a run and definitely good fun. There are four kids here. The girls are 9 and 11 and the boys are 3, so there's a lot of energy and excitement when everyone is around. The boys are in daycare during the week, but the girls were still on holiday last week so we were able to spend a lot of time really hanging out with them. It's definitely frustrating to have such a low language level. I can understand quite a bit, but any sentence formation is patchy at best, and just plain despicable most of the time. But it's all good for me, right? This learning and growing and oh so slow going...
It's been nice to have some fresher air to breathe, just something different from the routines I'd been living in. I've fallen horrendously far behind in my journal, and let internet connections dwindle to the point of freaking people out a bit because I was no longer on top of things in my Lexulous crazed lifestyle, but it's been good for me.
I've also been taught how to make Czech bread dumplings, although I'm not sure if I'll be able to find the right kind of flour in the US, and I'll have to reconvert the measurements. I also made chocolate chip cookies, but I'd done gram conversions and it just didn't really work. We're talking solid grainy sugar pools instead of the lovely perfect ones I made in ML a couple weeks ago. But the kids don't mind. After all, it's a bunch of sugar and Milka. What's not to love? I've forced myself through quite a few as well, just to make up for the fact that they aren't really what they should be. Ah well. Nothing like a few more pounds gained to make me feel better about life. Of course, if I ate all the food people around here seem to think I should I'd be a balloon, so at least I'm still working toward protecting myself on some counts.
I also was quite pleased of my jump roping prowess. The first day we were here the kids had me jump while they turned the short rope and in the process I believe I'm now supposed to have 58 children...I also managed to jump 114 times without a missed step on my own, which was pretty impressive to me considering how long it's been since my personal playground days.
Speaking of which, I was randomly remembering my stint as a cheerleader this morning. Don't ask how it ended up in my head, but I found myself trying to recall the moves and wondering if the video still exists when our little Klamath River squad managed to get a third place trophy both in Cheerleading and Basketball. Of course, at most I think there were five teams competing, but we never had a chance against Grenada and Big Springs who had at least triple the number of students we did. But at least we were able to overpower Hornbrooke. Just thinking the names conjures so many memories. Suddenly I was recalling the Castle Rock Basketball tournaments and sitting around late at night at Castle Rock Elementary school playing Murder and eating gummy bears and listening to the classic scary stories of Diane Oliver.
Perhaps it's partly being here with the kids that draws me back to those old days so long gone by. As the girls have been preparing for school I've been basking in the glow of fresh school supplies. The pens and folders and notebooks of fresh paper. It's interesting to see how different even their school supplies here, and yet the kids are still so much the same.
I've even found myself missing the idea of going to school. Odd, considering how stressed I get just thinking of tests, and how it fills me with dread to think of having to retain all that information again. But I was good at school. I worked hard, but I could do it. I guess that's part of why I've always been frustrated when it comes to finding new jobs. I know I can do whatever people need me to do. It's that way with cooking too. Okay, I'm not any sort of expert in the kitchen, but if I have to do it I can. The main problem is that I don't enjoy it. There isn't this feeling of joy and accomplishment, but more of, what if I boil the rice too long and it ends up a soggy mess - thus I read the package fifty million times during the 15 minutes it takes to boil 15 minute rice just to be sure I'm REALLY doing it all right.
So for those patient enough to make it to the end of this sloppy mess let me say that the title refers to a Czech saying. When they are feeling all messed in the head and can't think straight they say they have goulash in their heads. So the first half is written in Czech and the second half in German since those are the main languages I've been trying to manage around this place.
I guess that's probably enough of an update for now. We'll likely be here at least til the end of this week, so I'll try to share more once I'm back to my normal turf.