English is “Schief”

It is mad how my character was formed here in Germany in many years. I can look back a 15 full years. And see how the German culture effected my personal development positively.

The first year here: I had moved into a new apartment from Munich to Augsburg. And had already a few friends who could help me out to deal with the challenges of a move. Great.

A friend who helped throughout the entire move came in the early evening hours with a bottle of wine and said that he could help me out with things. What shall we start with?

I said “lets start with hanging some pictures on the walls”- so that it looks a bit lived in around the house.

As a woman, I did not have much of tools and nails and screws at home. Only a few nails and a hammer and I took them out and said I would start with the small ones and he could do the big ones.

He took a look at me as if I was from another planet and said” are you kidding me Eveline?- when he saw those a few nails and the hammer on the kitchen table.

I said: “no.” I really was not kidding.

He murmured something and jumped into his car and told me he was coming in 20 minutes.

I had no idea what he was up to.

I began to pin nails to the walls and hang a few pictures up and was happy that the kitchen had already looked a lot friendlier.

Ding dong – the bell rang and there he was.   With a big case of tools and a borer.

Now, I took a look at him as if he was from another planet:   “What are you up to for god’s sake?” “We are not going to do any construction but hang some pictures on the walls!”

He smiled, nope it was not a smile actually, it was grinning:  “We will hang some pictures. You wait and see Eveline. You will have your part too.”

I had no idea what kind of “big action” was ahead of us.

He looked up and saw that I had already hung some pictures. And was totally thrilled: “Gosh Eveline these pictures are not straight- don’t you see it? “

Me: “Nope, they look straight to me.”  He took the frame down and saw that I had hammered an office pin on the wall…   And he started laughing at me.   I felt embarrassed.

I told him no one looks behind the picture and check how it was hammered on the wall. The picture was hanging! What he wanted and all that kind of things. He did not seem to care. All my argumentations did not help.

He already had begun packing the tools out of his box. Hammer, water scale (I must admit I had never seen one before in my life), dübel ?? , and all that jazz.

He asked me if I had a Hoover, of course I had one.

I wondered why he needed one to bring the pictures up on the wall.

you probably know-

After 10 minutes we were all set up. He bored, and my part was – as you can imagine – holding up the vacuum cleaner so that no dust is around. After an hour all my pictures were hanging perfectly straight. The distances between pictures were exact – millimeter to millimeter-.

We enjoyed a glass of wine after all the hassle. And I saw the satisfaction in his face when he stood at the door – when leaving-.

Wow. – I thought when I laid in bed that night staring at the pictures right opposite my bed.

Knowing -they are all straight and perfectly done.

Next morning when I woke up I could recall the dream I had; an earth quake: everything was a mess; cupboards, clothes, cups and dishes were all broken, spread all over the place …I looked up to the walls in the dream, my pictures were still –all- hanging perfectly straight.


Text: Eveline Goodman.

„Eveline Goodman ist Geschäftsführerin von EforP – English for Professionals, einem Sprachinstitut, das sich auf maßgeschneiderte Trainings – auf „Integrated Trainings“ sowie auf Sprachtrainings – für Unternehmer und deren Mitarbeiter spezialisiert hat.

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