It actually wasn't that bad. Her English was better than my German, so English it was. I know, this doesn't give me any practice, but I really think haircuts are important and I didn't want a major miscommunication. I actually think the experience was better than most of my American haircutting experiences. She did, like all American hairdressers, comment on how weird my hair was. (Is it really that unusual?? I can't be the only one.) But, unlike American hairdressers, she thankfully did not tell me to straighten it.
She also asked me if I was from ENGLAND! I'm not sure if she really thought maybe I was from England or if she was just trying to not offend a potential English or Canadian person by suggesting they were American. (This happens - often.)
Anyway - haircut survived. Whew.
* Having been raised in the psychological environment of the US, I respond with fear to sensational news topics just like they want me to. I wish I could shake this. The latest is these damn ticks which spread FSME - Early-summer Meningoencephalitis. It makes you brain dead (per rumor regarding what happened to a friend of a friend who got it) and you get it from a tick as tiny or tinier than the ones in the US that spread Lyme disease. Great. Pretty much everyone here is vaccinated, but of course being a foreigner I am not. The full vaccine is given over a year so even if I start it I won't be completely protected until next year at this time. And the vaccine causes a 40-degree fever! Sounds fun! It can also cause arrhythmias, which I already have, so I don't really want more of them. But, given I don't know what my chances are of getting one of these ticks, and what proportion of the local ticks carry the disease, I guess getting the vaccine since everyone has it might be a good idea. I can't really win - it's the terror of the possibility of going brain dead from some stupid tick, vs. the terror of sitting through a 40-degree fever and arrhythmias. Whaa, the whole thing makes me irrational.
* New Bjork today! Her (excellent) new track "Wanderlust" may appeal to some of the expats out there (and to others, it won't).
i am leaving this harbor
giving urban a farewell
its inhabitants seem too keen on god
i cannot stomach their rights and wrongs
i have lost my origin
and i don't want to find it again
* What's up with the medical names of products in Germany, such as toothpaste and lotion? In the US, toothpaste names are anything that might give a crisp, fresh idea - and lotion names are supposed to sound soothing and natural. Here, there are names like Blend-a-Med and Elmex for toothpaste, and Bepanthol for lotion. And these aren't products just for the elderly who like their old-school stuff, they are the regular products. I don't think these overly-medical names would market well in the US. (Though the US does have some doozies - Pepsodent comes to mind - fresh, yes, but still rather medical with that "dent" ending.)
* When friends and rented a paddleboat in Washington DC (hard to forget - it was Sept 10 or so, 2001) we all had to ride out in these puffy, hot, bright orange safety vests. They wouldn't let us get in the boat until we had them on.
They have paddleboats on the Neckar too. No safety vest on a single person. People stand up and dance on them, too! Is it a culture of safety in the US? Or a culture of not getting sued? (ie Is there a law that they must be worn, or is the company doing it to cover their asses?) Whatever it is, they don't have it here.