I am currently (or finally if you ask him) dating a German man. While it’s true that Germans aren’t known the world over for their romantic side, I feel that this is something that should be rectified.
A German man, or at least this German man, shows you in a thousand different ways how much you mean to him – and he does it in a way that doesn’t make me want to vomit.
These little Germantic gestures include things like:
- getting up at crackofdawn o’clock to drive me halfway across the city to a morning lesson when I’m running late
- having a thermos of black tea with milk waiting in the car to soothe the savage beast
- doing the midnight run to the petrol station when we run out of wine
- having a word with a security guard at a concert to see if I could stand over by the exit so that I might see something other than the backs of tall Germans’ heads – it actually worked
- buying me little gifts, not because it’s a special occasion but simply because he thinks I’ll get a kick out of them
- He also bought me the rather entertaining Travel Pussy, which shows how well he knows me…
- He listens to my bizarre questions about his mother tongue and claims to find them “endearing”
Anyway, I could go on but that’s probably enough for now. The point is, he does so much for me that when he injured his leg playing football, I felt that this was my chance to do something for him so I offered to move in and play nurse for a week or so.
Regular readers will know that I’m hardly the most tender soul on the planet but well, what was the worst that could happen? My mother told me to wish Manfredas luck in between disbelieving snorts of laughter, and I told his next-door neighbour to call 112 if she heard screaming coming from the apartment. We were all set.
The second I moved in, I felt at home. This was partly to do with the fact that he’d previously bought me slippers that said “Home” on them. I quickly unpacked my bits and bobs and put them away in the drawers and spaces that he’d cleared for me. If he was horrified by the lack of neatness, he didn’t say anything.
We had decided from the get-go that we would speak more German. Ostensibly, this was to improve my fluency but I think he was secretly hoping for the entertainment value. Naturally, I didn’t disappoint.
Me: I just need to brush my hair.
Manfredas: Ha ha ha ha!
Me: What? What did I say?
Manfredas: Bah hahahaha!
Me: Oh wait. I know. Breast, right? I said that I need to breast my hair…
(Bürsten – to brush, Brüste – breasts)
Me: What’s “to score” in German?
Me: But that’s “to shoot”.
Manfredas: It’s the same in German.
Me: But isn’t there another word for “to score”?
Me: And “Ziel” means “goal”, right?
Me: So… in German, you goal it in the goal?
Me: GOAL IT! GOAL IT IN THE GOAL! Ha ha haha! Anyway, es ist nicht vorbei bis die dicke Frau singt… (it ain’t over til the fat lady sings)
Manfredas: NEIN! That doesn’t work in German.
Me: Oh well. It was worth a goal I guess…
Amazingly, he didn’t kick me out and, as the days progressed, we slipped into a nice routine. I’d go out to work, popping back home whenever I could, and picking up any supplies we needed along the way.
Every morning, I’d get out of the shower to find that he’d laid out everything I’d need to make breakfast, including a fresh pot of tea.
Every evening, I’d come home to find my washing done and a delicious meal underway. Pasta bake, pork tenderloin, roast chicken, burgers barbequed on the balcony… I started to wonder who was taking care of whom. Still, I wasn’t complaining.
We’d spend most evenings out on the balcony, chatting, drinking wine and making up stories about the neighbours. I’m convinced one guy, who Manfredas dubs “The Constant Gardener”, is actually out there to be closer to the all the bodies he’s got buried under the lawn (but that’s just me).
Regrettably, Manfredas’s leg got a little better every day so, after 9 days, I moved back to my own place. Yup, it’s back to toasted sandwiches and beans on toast for me. I’m not sure I was any better as a nurse than I am in the kitchen, but if it’s true that laughter is the best medicine, then maybe I helped a little after all.
OK, it’s time to breast my hair before bed…