“DAS WAR LECKER!”
Compared to its much softer English equivalent: it was delicious, the hard consonants make it so aggressive, or as I like to think of it, passionate. The louder you say it, the truer it is.
It’s my favourite German phrase (out of the 6 I know).
I learned it to make sure that when I’m eating and drinking out I can use it to compensate for my lack of language knowledge of everything else.
Restaurants and bars are where it started, but it’s also wonderfully applicable to cold showers on hot days, fresh morning walks and my time so far with Dan in Germany.
I haven’t worn make-up in a week. No one does here. My beautiful boots are gathering dust and I’m living in trainers. My hair has been treated to bountiful and cheap conditioning treatments and is softer and shinier than ever, rolling down my shoulders like silk. I’m fitting in. Not because I want to change myself, but because my mindset has been purely ‘explore and embrace’. It’s not a question of why, as much as why not?
For a few hours each day, I visit Sophie’s Brauhaus. The waitresses bring me coffee and help me with my German (just this minute she’s told me we’re only speaking in German from now on). I write and write.
My new book is brewing, bubbling and steaming at the back of my head. It’s gradually making its way forward. I’m doing the research and prep I can to coax it closer to the front of my head, so I’ll be able to shut my eyes and watch it play out.
Quitting my job and giving up our lovely flat was really difficult. For the few weeks after when the whole ‘I’m voluntarily unemployed what am I doing??!’ doubts were loud and harsh, I was so worried I’d not made the right decision.
Now I’m here and so totally happy and relaxed, eating, drinking, reading and writing all day, I’m still just a tiny bit worried because it’s so perfect and what on earth have I done to deserve this life? Will I wake up to discover it was just a few too many glasses of wine that lulled me into a long delirious dream? Even now, writing this, I’m beaming.
Stress has always been a driver of mine. Heat and pressure have made me thrive. Before I arrived I was terrified of boredom and slowness to the point of stopping, but Germany has even given me an answer to that: there are wasps everywhere. I just moved my bum further backwards onto the bench I’m sitting on and felt a sting. Happily it was just a prickly hedge.
Granted, the goosebumps I get when I can feel a wasp land on my hair aren’t quite of the same calibre to when I get a tricky brief and a tight time limit from a client, but goosebumps are goosebumps (right?).
But the very best part of being here? Every day for the last seven years Dan’s asked me the same question ‘how was your day?’
And every day for the last week and a bit, my answer has been truthful, instinctive and unfaltering.
‘Lecker. Absolutely bloody lecker.’