One day as I glanced around the room where I have my weekly German language class, I couldn’t help but wondered why this group of people is learning arguably one of the hardest languages on earth. I don’t think it’s that difficult anymore but people make jokes about how life is too short to learn German. Today is week 10 and by now I already know most of my classmates and either they are married to Germans or Austrians or currently dating one or the other. This brings me back to when first I registered for the class, one of the question asked was ‘Warum lernen Sie Deutsch?’ I joked – ‘Für Spaß!’ and the teacher laughed. What’s not to believe? After all I can’t be one of the many people here learning out of love now, can I? But I did and not too long ago.
This goes back to one and half years ago when I decided to take one year off traveling the world. Like many Asians before me, I was scheduled to visit München and skip on Berlin when fate decides to mess around with me a little. Confronted with the possibility of expensive and no rooms due to Oktoberfest, I detoured to Berlin. It was in Schönenberg on the first night when I met Bernhard. He is one of the original Berliners, having been here before it was even hip to do so. We dated and romanced for a couple of days like how I usually do with my travel flings before moving on to Köln.
But I decided to return back in one month’s time. Maybe it was loneliness of being on the road for too long but seems like the feelings were mutual and he decided to see me again in Lisbon and later on in South America. It was then that he proposed that I came to Berlin to try work things out. While I am at it, why not study German? So that’s what I did. Every day I walked or took the Straßenbahn to Kastanienallee for class and the afternoon is free for me to do whatever I like especially when Bernhard spends 3 days a week being away for work. Armed with a BVG Monatskarte and museum Jahreskarte, I was free to explore and visit. I even went as far as Krumme Lanke on my own on one cold spring day.
Now in Singapore, we have since called it off for more than 7 months. Do I miss Bernhard? Yes I do. But then I realised that in the process of falling out of love with him, I have fallen in love with someone else – the city itself.
So this is the reason why I am now still learning Deutsch.
Guess I am not so different from the rest after all.