deird1: Faith looking thoughtful, with text "deep thought" (Faith thought)
I've been reading a rather interesting discussion on thinking that everyone experiences the world the same way that you do – until one day you realise that they don't.

Examples include: not realising you're colourblind, that you have synesthesia, that you don't have a sense of smell, etc; not realising that some people actually are extroverted, actually do like music, or actually can have a favourite colour; not reading body language and/or thinking everyone can.


Most of these I find interesting, but can't really relate to. The only one that's so far made me go "Huh. Me too." was someone asking "Do people really feel emotionally moved by pieces of artwork the way they are by music?" because I've always liked art, but never really been moved by art – whereas music can get me into intense emotions very quickly.

I've experienced various instances of the "doesn't everyone...?" thing throughout my life. Such as:
1) Putting on glasses for the first time, and suddenly discovering that leaves on trees weren't supposed to look blurry.
2) Having ritalin for the first time, and discovering what it's like to have a single train of thought continue without interruption for ten minutes.
3) Slowly realising that texture is the important part of food for me (hence I like pineapple juice, pineapple lollies, and cooked pineapple, but can't eat it raw), and that other people really do think that flavour is this huge component.
4) Having someone ask me how to tell if they were singing "off key", and realising they really didn't know.
5) Realsing that, not only can most people stand flickering lights without leaving the room, but most people don't even register that they're flickering.
6) Discovering my total inability to explain how to make a fake American accent sound good, other than... doing the accent like it sounds.
7) Recently, having my sense of smell go into overdrive, and trying to explain to my mum what this was like – to which she nodded and said "that's normal for me" to every example I gave of intense oversmelling. (We're both freaks, in this case. My sense of smell is normally terrible, whereas hers is superhuman.)

I'm rather fascinated by this concept.
deird1: Dawn raising an eyebrow, with text "srsly?" (Dawn srsly)
When I say everyone in Germany speaks English, I don't just mean they can pause, think "Okay. Going to change languages now.", and then start having a new conversation in a different language. I mean that they'll drop English into the middle of a German conversation.

This especially comes into play around teenagers. If something here is being marketed to teenagers, it will inevitably be written in English. There's a church near here that has a cafe with "Welcome To The Jesus Zone!" written on the outside - and even if the term "Jesus Zone" didn't give it away, you'd still be able to tell it was aimed at youth just because it's in English.

Ads are also like this. You'll see posters that are mostly written in German, except for a few words proving how awesome our product is, because English slogans are the best, yo.


I was finding this interesting, but didn't really have a concrete example to discuss until today.



(This ad is so cool.)


Now that I'm in Germany, all the pre-video ads are for German products. So they're mostly in German. This one, though, is in English - with German subtitles.

So I watch the groovy Brits do their awesome ad, and I watch the German subtitles doing their German thing... and then, suddenly, it hits 55 seconds... AND THE SUBTITLES ARE IN ENGLISH.

Seriously.

They have German subtitles right up until the last line, which is subtitled as: "Oh yes. It's good to be bad." IN ENGLISH. No, I'm not kidding.

Because we want our slogan to be cool. So it's got to be in English, because that's cool. So our subtitles need to be in English, because otherwise, they'll think the cool English slogan could be said in German, and that just wouldn't be cool.


I think I now understand what it was like to be French a couple of centuries ago.
deird1: Rapunzel, hanging just above the ground, afraid to touch down (Rapunzel nearly to the ground)
There are a few differences between being a non-(good)-English speaker in an English-speaking country, and a non-(good)-German speaker in a German-speaking country.


The Good

Germans correct you.

If you're talking in halting English, an English speaker will listen intently, pick up on approximately what you're trying to say, and nod understandingly. Polite, but not terribly conducive to improving your language skills.

In Germany, on the other hand, if you make an error, the person you're talking to will correct you the moment you make it. Very helpful.

(It also means that, if I want to, I can abruptly inform the Germans that their English is crap and I'm going to edit their writing so it makes sense - and no-one will find this rude.)


The Bad

Many native English speakers don't really speak anything else. Because of this, if they're talking to someone who's not good at the language, they'll dumb it down to kid-level.

German, though, isn't as flexible a language as English; it's harder to dumb down. And most Germans speak very good English. So, if you're having trouble keeping it... they'll switch to English. Nice, considerate, and makes it almost impossible to practise your German.


The Ugly Actually Rather Helpful

German is way easier to spell.

This means that it's ridiculously easy for me to look up unknown words in the dictionary and find out what they mean. Honestly, in English, I don't know how people cope.
deird1: Fred looking nervous (Fred nervous)
You might have noticed my lack of internettage.

Last week, I spent most of my time lying on a couch and groaning, wishing I felt well enough to go outside and actually interact with the world. This week, God answered my prayers by landing me in hospital, where I can interact with as many nurses as my heart desires.

(Nothing serious. I'm just having digestive issues, and they want to keep me on a drip for a few days.)

It's rather unnerving being in a foreign-language hospital. For one thing, I've discovered that my language skills plummet whenever I feel dizzy – leading to a lot of baffled nurses wondering why I'm unable to comprehend things I understood five minutes ago. And for another, I'd feel a lot more calm about taking medicine if questions like "Did they actually say this was a suppository, or was that just my imagination?" didn't keep occurring to me.



Anyway, still in hospital, but now with limited internet. Hurrah!

a theory

Mar. 19th, 2014 12:16 pm
deird1: Willow's pencil-stuck-in-a-tree, with text "I don't have issues" (pencil issues)
No matter how bad you are feeling, listening to the Star Wars theme will make you feel better.


*da-da-da-DAH-DAH, da-da-da-DAH-DAH, da-da-da-DAH-DAH, da-da-da-DAAAAAH...*
deird1: a fictional creature called an Alot, being hugged by someone, with text "I care about this alot" (Alot)
Am currently experiencing a bout of nausea. Every time that I go to say that I feel nauseous, Josie Gellar frowns at me and says "Nauseated. You feel nauseated." and I hastily amend my grammar.

autofahren

Mar. 11th, 2014 01:39 pm
deird1: Anya, with text "is it difficult or time-consuming?" (Anya difficult)
When I was younger, we had a swing in the backyard.

It was very slightly lopsided, falling about a centimetre to the right. This was small enough to not be noticeable – the only reason I know about it is because, whenever I sat on other swings, I'd feel like I was leaning to the left.

This is what driving on the wrong side of the road is like. A bit unbalanced. The car is suddenly really close on the left, and sticks out way too far on the right, and I can't quite figure out how to turn corners properly, or where I am on the road.

It's vaguely like being drunk.



Not entirely helped by the fact that German roads are not nearly as well set out as Australian roads.* They give you almost no warning about things that are about to happen, so I keep finding myself about a metre away from taking the wrong lane, with cars wondering why I didn't telepathically figure out the lanes before I got to them.

The one thing I will give them is the traffic lights. It's nice having the red turn to red-and-yellow just before it goes green, rather than trying to take you by surprise.

* No, this isn't just patriotism and being-used-to-it; their train system, for instance, is amazing. It's just the roads that suck.
deird1: Giles studying (Giles studying)
It took me years to realise that Lily Aldrin being a kindergarten teacher meant she was teaching prep kids rather than 3 year olds.


And I only realised two days ago that, when Daphne Moon calls herself a physical therapist, she really means she's a physio - which means she's much more educated than I thought she was.
deird1: Toph looking pretty (Toph pretty)
No longer being quite so jetlagged, I thought I'd resume my posting schedule.

Germany! Yay!

(Or, alternately, Germany! Grr!, depending on how I'm feeling at the time. Mainly this is connected to how much my ability to speak German is working.)

ramblings under here )

How's everyone else going?
deird1: Darla and Drusilla, with text "old world" (Darla Dru old world)
Will spend today driving to the airport, tomorrow on a plane, Wednesday doing MASSIVE amounts of paperwork, and Thursday settling into my new place/country/continent.

Won't have internet all week. Please try not to implode everything while I'm gone.
deird1: Maximus the horse, holding a sword in his mouth threateningly (Maximus sword)
- spinning wool
- weaving
- staff fighting
- flying a helicopter
- dyeing fabric (traditionally)
- hot-wiring a car
- knife throwing
- embroidery
- pencil drawing
- Spanish
deird1: Dawn glaring at Buffy, with text "Dawn Summers demands an explanation for this bullshit" (Dawn bullshit)
While I have indeed ranted about this before, I feel the urge again. Bear with me.


I am currently reading John Rogers' blog, where he discusses, at length, what it was like to make Leverage. He also, at regular intervals, tells off his overseas fans for torrenting episodes from America.

And then, he says things like this:
The history of the "Zanzibar Marketplace", a criminal clearinghouse, is quite interesting, but you're going to have to buy the DVD to hear us discuss it.


Allow me to explain why this gets my goat.

1) I actually own the dvds. All five seasons – because, after all, Leverage is one of my favourite shows, and I want to watch it lots, and I have a private rule that if I have a legal way to pay for something I'm going to watch more than once, I should pay for it.
2) I cannot listen to the dvd commentary he's referencing, because it's only on the Region 1 dvds.

In fact, as a fan who would really like to listen to the commentaries and really loves supporting the people who make my nice shows, I would have to:
- buy a second set of Region 1 dvds via Amazon, hoping desperately that they'll actually sell it to me (because Amazon won't sell some things to Australians no matter how hard we beg)
or:
- torrent it

We get our dvds:
- late (cf: everything, ever)
- if at all (cf: Early Edition, another show I'd love to check out)
- with half of the special features missing (cf: BtVS, and the Seth Green commentary)

We get our tv:
- late (by which I mean years)
- or by piracy

THESE ARE OUR ONLY OPTIONS.

I have no legal way to watch half the stuff you guys watch. Ever. Because I live overseas. And, while I will happily spend money on watching things, if there is no way possible that I can ever give you my money, I'm going to go "screw it", and pirate it. Want me to stop, John Rogers? Give me the chance to buy the damn thing.
deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Fred pondering)
One week until we leave, and I'm getting sniffly and wanting to cling to things. Granted, some of these things may be worth clinging to - but some of it is just me being pre-emptively nostalgic.


The Stuff I Have To Put At The Top, Or Else I'd Get In Trouble
- my family
- my nephews
- my niece
- my cat
- my friends

...And The Rest
- my pretty tablecloths
- my zippy car and its loud radio
- being able to order a lemon-lime-and-bitters and have people know what I mean
- my soft toys!
- my ridiculously huge dvd collection
- my under-used sewing machine
- news announcers using the words "breatho", "prang", and "suss" in a serious news broadcast
- my rocking chair
- being able to instantly counter everyone's "it's so cold!" blog updates with my "HEATWAVE!!!" blog updates
- gum leaves
- vegemite
- tap water that's somewhat drinkable
- being able to use the word "paraphernalia" (diary entry from previous trip to Munich, 1998: "Happiness is being able to use the word paraphernalia and having people understand you.")
- making lots of noise in my house without disturbing the neighbours
- wandering outside in a tshirt and bare feet
- magpie song
- spotting the occasional possum running along the powerlines
- my piano
- gas cooking
- proper, Aussie sausages (weisswurst is rather gross)
- my lovely, lovely country, with all its stupid flaws


Of course, ever since I went to Munich, 16 years ago, I've had a little bit of me horribly missing all the things that I loved about Germany. And even though I'll be missing the things on my list like crazy, I'll also be getting to renew my tentative love affair with Europe. Which will be rather excellent.

*sighs*

Feb. 18th, 2014 11:46 am
deird1: Faith, with text " 'sup, bitches?" (Faith bitches)
Next time someone starts doing episode-by-episode reviews of their first time watching BtVS, I'm going to hop in my time machine, zoom off to the future, and check out what they think of Smashed.

Because if their opinion of Buffy/Spike takes a nosedive at the end of the episode, then it's not worth me wasting my time reading all the previous reviews.
deird1: Dawn drinking a milkshake (Dawn milkshake)
My life is currently busy and uninteresting, all at once.

Uninteresting because we've hit the dead period in between finding out about Germany and actually going to Germany. Busy because... well, we're going to Germany.

We are fixing the house like mad, so it'll still be standing when we get back. This involves:
- painting walls
- oiling the deck
- planting a lemon tree
- repotting my tiny parsley plants and hoping they survive
- pruning everything in sight
- clearing gutters

We are preparing our house for our housesitters. This mainly involves writing big lists of explanations on everything they should/shouldn't do to our stuff.

We are mentally packing, in preparation for the actual packing. Our packing categories include:
- clothes
- toiletries
- stuff for the husband's work
- stuff for my work
- stuff to stop me going totally insane (dvds, wool, books, soft toys, instruments)
- touristy stuff

We are hugging the cat at every opportunity, because he's my boy and I'm going to MISS him.

We are practicing language stuff as hard as we can, such as:
- German, since we'll be in Germany
- French, since we're definitely checking it out a few times
- Latin, because I'm not giving up on it now, dammit

We are simultaneously trying to catch up with everyone we know before we leave them for a year, and having to ignore most of the people we know because we're busy getting ready to leave for a year.

We are doing scads of paperwork. (Seriously, moving overseas comes with way too many forms.)

We are still trying to carry on with our normal lives, since they haven't actually stopped yet.


*is nervous, exhausted, and thrilled, all at the same time*
deird1: Spike looking at Harmony, with text "you were meant for me; perhaps as punishment (Spike Harmony punishment)
Okay, I give in. I have moved from Team Gale to Team Peeta.


Not only does Gale have a way cooler name, but the Katniss/Gale relationship is much more my style. Hence, the first time I read Mockingjay, I was TEAM GALE ALL THE WAY, BITCAS. *strikes cool pose*

BUT...

Rereading Mockingjay, it is now evident to me that, despite Peeta being a weepy dork with a sissy name, Katniss is genuinely in love with him. For pretty much the entire book. So...

*hangs up ♥♥♥Team Gale!♥♥♥ sign*
*pulls out teeny Team Peeta sign*
*waves it sheepishly*


You may now return to your normal lives. Carry on.
deird1: Buffy, with text "the Chosen One" (Buffy chosen)
Because I am highly insane, I have written a crossover fic of Buffy and the Cambridge Latin Course. No doubt it is full of errors, but I'm still proud.

This is for the "dispossessed" prompt on my bingo card.

Title: Melissa Necatrix
Rating: G
Word Count: 195

Summary: The life of a Slayer, in Latin. (Never fear, translation is provided.)

vita necatrices )

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deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Default)
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