Last night in our German class we talked about our apartments. We drew little diagrams of the rooms and put labels on them like das Wohnzimmer (living room), das Badzimmer (bathroom), der Flur (hallway), etc. The guy across from us at our table had the biggest apartment of the group and he was showing us how it was laid out: the rooms where his kids sleep, guestrooms, and everything. His apartment was also the most expensive but his job must be pretty good — he works at the Iranian Embassy in Berlin. We already knew he was from Iran because that was one of the first things we practiced saying. We ask each other “Woher kommen Sie?” I say, “Ich komme aus den USA,” and he says, “Ich komme aus dem Iran.” The US and Iran are actually a little more complicated to say because they require articles. Lucy just says, “Ich komme aus Mexiko.” Yeah, with a “k”!
Later on, after the apartment drawing, Lucy and this same guy were reading a dialogue from the book. They say hello and “Is this chair taken?” and simple introductions like that. Next, he was supposed to ask “Are you also in the German class?” but he said the wrong word and ended up asking instead “Are you also in Germany?” The answer was “Yes, of course.” When he realized what he said he started just giggling and then it took over and he could not stop laughing everytime he started to read the next line. We all laughed for a minute but then he just couldn’t stop laughing — it was like one of those TV show outtakes where somebody screws up a line and then they get the giggles and they just can’t say anything. Someone else had to finish reading the page because he just kept on laughing. I was laughing, too. It was hard not to.
I was thinking about that on the train to work this morning and just smiling how a dumb little thing can just crack you up like that. And sorry to kill the happy mood, but I also couldn’t help thinking of something I read online a few months ago. When I got to my office I had to look it up… it’s from the New Yorker and you can read the whole thing here. But the part that is just stuck in my mind is:
A senior Pentagon adviser on the war on terror expressed a similar view. “This White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war,” he said.
This quote was from April of last year. Maybe the new war has already started. When I think about the guy from my class and the picture of the rooms where his kids stay and then later him just laughing… I don’t know what to type now. I just need to calm down and get some work done. I’m sure I will be laughing again when I get on the train tomorrow, but right now it’s hard.