Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Fur Frau Kouevi

Frau Kouevi was our German teacher in school. We were the first set of pupils in our school to do German, linguistic guinea pigs, effectively. All five of us in the class were only allowed to learn German because we already proficient in another language, French. Those in our group were the doyens of French, which was more or less a second first language to most of us. What could a little bit of Bratwurst and Jugend Arbeiter do to us? Nothing, we thought. Heavens, were we wrong.

Possibly from the very first lesson, Frau Kouevi warned us that German was an incredibly difficult language, and that none of us would ever get above a B. To the suspicious eye, this is but a curse. Our new teacher was dooming us to the nothingness of Bs and Cs, even before an umlaut could be dotted in anger. I wouldn't take such a statement lying down. Over the next three years, right up to GCSEs, I worked harder in German than in any other subject.

And I was the best at it. But I still never got above a B. And in Year 11 when I was good enough to get the school prize for German, I still only got a B for GCSE. At the time I was learning German, I never thought about what use it would be. The only thing on my mind was some obscure polyglot record, which I still haven't broken. After all only Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have German as an official language, it isn't as widely spoken as French or Spanish.

But I'm off to Germany today, for that little thing called the World Cup. And even though an unscrupulous human trafficker might try to sell me, at least I know how to order Black Forest cake in German. Who cares if you don't know how to say, "don't shove me in the lorry, I'm not an illegal immigrant" when I can always tell them, "Ich mochte ein Schwarzwald Kuchen bitte". I might be in a cramped lorry with fifteen Iraqi refugees, but who cares? I'll have a Black Forest gateau, and they won't.

Frau Kouevi, this is for you. Danke schon. Entschuldigung. Nein. Ja. Schwarzwald Kuchen. Bratwurst. Those should last me a month. I'll be fine.


Quest said...


Anonymous said...

auvour herr playahated: get me a sausage or stupid of me, sorry, get me a can of bloody harsh larger.
Have fun and try not to get in the way of any Germans when my predictions come true.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, we'll miss each other. I thought of getting the train to Germany from Amsterdam on Friday but I won't have the time given work commitments. I'll be back in town on Saturday. Be Safe. Catch you on msn.

Don't know why I'm writing this an an anonymous, but I'm sure you know who this is.

Anonymous said...

Didn't know you were the efiko of Year 11. Still, that was before I got there so ha!

Have a fun trip, and read up on areas non-whites should not find themselves in under any circumstances. Ta-ra

A disillusioned Naija girl said...

Lol. Black forest gateau in German? If you were being shoved into a lorry with illegal immigrants, your request might well encourage them to accede to your demands, if only by developing some new torture method. Abientot on your trip.

culturalmiscellany said...


Its seems you're as stubborn as me:

I have a horrid habit of persisiting at something if someone says I can't achieve it!! You know, once someone knows you're that kind of person, they'll use it against you, pushing and pushing until you get to burnout so beware!! An interviewer guessed I was that ind of personality from just my CV the other week and asked me straight out in the interview how I managed my burnout, that was a big shock.

Anonymous said...

I learnt a lot more from 3 months of studying German in England than I have had from 6 years of "speaking" Dutch in Netherlands.

Ich möchte ein Stück die Frankfurter Kranz bitte - The Germans are just too good with their cakes.

If, I had a bone of envy, it would been broken over your head - You, lucky sod!

I suppose you would be covering England or the African teams?

Anyway, enjoy - Auf Wiedersehen!

TMinx said...

Have fun and take PHOTOS! I know u'll put some great ones up. And as a Nigerian I say SAFE JOURNEY

Nneka's World said...

NKEM are you there yet?
Hope your trip was lovelaay!!!

POST photos oh and bring back some Beer!!