(Or ‘Finding Normal’ part II)
When people ask me if we went anywhere for our holidays and I say, ‘No, we stayed here.’, they look at me askance. While they are thinking, ‘Why on earth would you stay home?’ I am thinking, ‘Why on earth would we leave?’ We live in fairy tale land! This place is a tourist magnet. This year Oktoberfest is expecting over 7 million visitors. The mountains, lakes, castles… It does feel like we are living permanently on holiday. And I have to admit that fact is not helping me to find ‘normal’.
Add to it the change in language and that ‘holiday feeling’ is intensified. When a foreign language that you don’t understand is being spoken, it can be difficult to take what is happening seriously (whether that is a speech, worship service, or classroom). We automatically tune it out. While I understand most of what I hear, there are times that a thick Bavarian dialect is being used which I can barely follow – if at all. That also then moves the experience into the realm of unreal, and attached to that unreality is the feeling of ‘temporary’.
Yet this is now our home for the foreseeable future – maybe even for the rest of our lives. So somehow, I have to integrate this holiday feeling into my normal. This will entail paying attention to local news, talking with neighbors, and getting involved. Mmmm, but there is such a long list of museums, castles and beer gardens to visit. I do wonder if I will live long enough to see ‘normal’.