Friday, October 31, 2008
This trip to Germany has changed my opinion about Germans totally. I used to think of them as cold, strict, and very serious people but I found that they’re really very nice and friendly. The owner of the hotel at which we were staying once gave us a ride to a nearby store to get something (of course this wasn’t a part of her daily tasks, she just volunteered). She was really nice and talked with us about her husband and kids. It was really a warm chat. You know we’re used to say “السلام عليكم” whenever we enter a place or pass by a group of people even if we don’t know them. I’ve always found this as a sign of warm feelings and tight bounds among us, Egyptians & Arabs in general. Here they just do the same but of course in German. Actually I found this a little bit strange because you know the idea about foreigners is that they don’t care about each other and each one is just concerned with himself/ herself only. Anyway, I think that this idea applies more to USA citizens than European ones (I shall make sure of this when I visit USAJ). Some of the few German words I managed to catch, only because I hear them more than once everyday, are: "Guten Morgen-Good Morning” and “tschuss-Goodbye”. You might not find the Germans friendly to you as they’re among themselves but I believe that this is only because of the language barrier. A very few people can speak English; mainly those who need it in their daily activities like the hotel owners and the managers at the factory we were visiting. The funny thing is that, whenever you ask someone if he/she can speak English, the usual answer is “a little bit”, the expression actually gives you the feeling that the speaker’s English must be really good then you find yourself communicating with signs!. I’ve been running into Germans a lot lately (of course I mean here in Egypt not in Germany) and I like them more and more. I hope that before my next trip to Germany (I’m talking as if I’ve a diplomatic passport and am going to travel around the world; at least I hope so but I don’t care that much about the diplomatic passport my ordinary one would be just fineJ) I would have learnt a good deal of the German language so that I can communicate better and get to know these nice people better.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
We are used to say “Green Tunisia”. I’ve been to Tunisia twice; indeed it’s green because they plant olive trees along the sides of the roads and in their lands but not everywhere so that we can call it “Green Tunisia” (with my apology to all Tunisian guys). Anyway to be fair, I’ve been there only in summer and they depend in agriculture on the rain. However, if it is up to me, I’d call Germany “Green Germany”. Here trees and plants are really everywhere; along the roads & highways, in the streets, in the balconies, around the houses & buildings; really everywhere (again!). The huge green spaces are very apparent from the plane. But as we’re in autumn, you can also see yellow and red spots beside the green ones. I hope that we can one day call Egypt “Green Egypt”, especially because we have the Nile river; the longest river in the world. But who listens!
I hope to live in such house (Nordhorn)
or such building (Nordhorn)
Friday, October 24, 2008
It rained today. I think that it's the first time it rains this season. It was very strange because it was raining while the sun was shining. It was a good thing that it rained actually because the weather was rather windy and dusty. I enjoyed having the soft drops of water falling on my head as well as the smell of the rain mixed with dust afterwards. The sky was really great especially near the sunset time. The resolution of the weather, as one of my friends says, was really high; As if the rain has washed everything. Welcome autumn [with no black cloud this time :)].
Monday, October 20, 2008
What is the first thing that cross your mind when I say autumn? In Egypt, of course it is the black cloud! Really every year I know that Autumn is here when I smell the smoke late in the night or early in the morning when I open the window searching for the morning breeze and get shocked with the fog & smoke. On the contrary- here in Nordhorn, Germany- autumn is just like what is written in books and shown in movies; with all the trees turning yellow and their leaves filling the ground. Today after breakfast, I went for a morning walk in the village to enjoy the autumn. The streets were very quiet though people were rushing to their work and schools; mainly riding bicycles. Yes, here they move around on bicycles. You find people of all ages doing so, even the elders who are in their 70s & 80s. I once saw a nun riding a bicycle. Some bicycles have back seats for parents to put their children and almost all bicycles have a side suitcase to place your belongings. It's really a great habit. At such early hour, only bakeries & coffee shops were open. The smell of the fresh bakeries can drag you to the inside of the shop. I enjoyed walking in the empty streets without having people bothering me or just watching me, like here in Egypt, as each one is just minding his/ her own business. I know that this could be a bad thing, for example in cases of emergency, but to be honest lately in Egypt people just bother you in ordinary times and leave you when in trouble.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I’ve been in a short business trip to Germany last week. While I was there I wrote some things that I’d like to share with you. So every now and then I’ll post something. It was my first trip to a European country, I’m very excited
A distinguished smell of coffee
As soon as I got on board of the Lufthansa plane @ 4 am on my way to Frankfurt, I was attracted by the smell of the coffee. I thought that I might be imagining as I was very sleepy and in a bad need for a cup of coffee. But when the breakfast was served latter (which by the way was hot, sweet French toast with cinnamon and cocked apple...hhmm) and I tasted my coffee, I knew that I wasn’t imagining. The great, alerting smell accompanied me in Frankfurt airport as well as in Düsseldorf. When I finally entered my room in the “In-Side Hotel” at Nordhorn, which by the way has a large balcony with a really nice view, I found a kettle, 2 rather large mugs, & more than one sort of coffee!! If things were back to me, I’d call Germany the “Land of distinguished coffee” and the “Green Land”, but this is another topic.
P.S. I forgot to tell you that they serve coffee and tee for free to passengers at the gate just before the plane in Frankfurt airport…No comment!
Monday, October 06, 2008
P.S. I wrote this on my last birthday and have just thought to share it with you
A quarter century old
Today is my 25th birthday. I prefer to say that I’m quarter a century old; it makes me feel the wisdom of my age :). My friends believe that 25 years are too much; especially because I’m not married or engaged or currently involved in a relationship. Lately marriage and relationships in general has been the dominant topic for our discussions during brakes at work. During such discussions you can hear the most weird opinions and situations. Most of my friends can’t wait to get married or at least get engaged. They believe that we’re approaching a critical age and have limited time to get married and be able to have enough kids! Though this isn’t true at all, at least from the medical perspective as women can have a very healthy pregnancy till the age of 35 or so. Though they may be right, if we adopted the society point of view. As from this point of view we are indeed too old! I can’t say that I’m not looking forward to being involved in a relationship. Many times I feel that I need someone to share my life with. Someone to share my thoughts, activities and dreams. Some one to discuss with the latest book I’ve read while having 2 cups of coffee in the morning. Someone like that angham talks about in her lovely song “Elalak 7ad”. Sometimes I just miss having someone to complete my sentences :). The good thing is that I don’t let these feelings be the centre of my life. I believe that everyone should have a life of his/her own first and should be able to enjoy such life in order to be able to share it with another one and have a healthy relationship. The presence of good and near friends can really decrease the times when I feel lonely. As the one with whom I’d like to share my life should be my friend before being anyone else. I believe that as the one gets older he/she can have a healthier and more successful relationship. I recall that in high school I used to tell my friends that I want to get married when I’m 30 years old or so such that by then I’d have experienced life perfectly well and would be able to build a successful relationship. I’m taking back these words now; I’ve all the experience required :). It really doesn’t matter how many years have passed; what really matters is what you’ve done in these years. I believe that I’ve done quite a good deal of achievements. But as my ambitions are usually very high, I’m not always satisfied. This is a bad thing actually. I’ve just read an article saying that every achievement no matter how small should be celebrated and that people shouldn’t set too high standards for themselves such that whatever they do they aren’t satisfied and say that they could have done better. Anyhow, I’ve really enjoyed my birthday this year. I think that I’m on the right track and should just keep the good work. You too do your best to get yourselves on the right track :).