„I am astrophysicist,“ meint er dann. „So many useful informations. I have them all. I know all about the world.“
Seine goldenen Zähne blinken mich in der Abendsonne an.
I find out at the end of April that I’ve been nominated Stadtschreiberin – city writer – by StudierendenWERK. At the beginning of May, I switch my creative writing brain from English to German, and start blogging for the Berlin Stories project.
„Let me follow you around,“ says a journalist when he calls me at home, „and write about how you write about Berlin whilst you write. Let’s meet at the carnival.“
I am unsure that will work but am not in any position to say anything at all authoritative. I am eating cake for breakfast when he calls, it is definitely after midday and I definitely should have been in a seminar. I can’t say anything much else for definite because I’ve lost my contact lenses and the world is a blur, the light swims and shimmers like under water.
I walk into a doorframe and he asks if I am okay.
Languages bleed into one another. I write „unterwater“ and puzzle over why it looks wrong. I create a „Presse“ page for my website. German crawls insidiously from the recesses of my brain in an English lit class about borders and boundaries, and I dream in English about speaking German.
Several Germans comment irately about the corruption of the German language: „Denglish, how could she? Was ist das denn für ein Quark?“ they ask. What is that for a curd cheese?
My Bielefeld Oma used to say, „macht kein Käse.“ Make no cheese. Don’t be silly.
To angry German man channeling Jens Spahn, I say there is nothing wrong with mixing it up and making linguistic cheese. Rules are made to be broken etc. etc, and then, fun and games aside, there’s something liberating about dealing the rigidity of German bureaucracy a small personal blow with a light bit of mixing and matching like „I have to be mich anmelding tomorrow“.
Alright, I say to the journalist, and ask mich how er would reagieren if ich one wort in Deutsch and ein word auf English rede.
Too far, says a friend.