Friday, January 27, 2006

A Sneezing Russian, Guitar-Playing Spaniard and American Buffalo Wings

Last night I headed off to the New Years reception and concert for the Humboldt foundation. It was fun to catch-up with some of the other Berlin based fellows and amazing to see how many other people are involved with the Humboldt foundation from around the world.

It was especially nice to catch up with the Russian fellows, one of whom informed me that he is now famous. “Do you know Matthias Platzeck?” he asked. (Platzeck is minister-president of the state of Brandenburg). “Well, I was having an interesting conversation with him this afternoon and then I ‘gen???’ him.” At this point in the story I should explain that the Americans and Russians have a heck of a time understanding each other auf Deutsch but we enjoy the challenge.

So in my mind I am running through all of the past tense words I know that kind sound like what I just heard. Gegessen (to eat… that could be, this guy ate with Platzeck.) Giessen (to water… no, he probably didn’t water Platzeck’s flowers.) Geniest (to sneeze... no, there is no way my fellow fellow sneezed on Matthias Platzeck.) Alas after a few rounds of charades and re-explanation, indeed one of the Russia fellows now considers himself famous because he sneezed on Matthias Platzeck. This can be added to the list of silly stuff this guy did during orientation. What an ambassador for German-Russian relations!

Being the immature person that I am, the visual of this guy sneezing on a famous German politician was enough to give me the giggles throughout most of what turned out to be a fantastic classical guitar concert by a Spanish Humboldt fellow. Guitar is not usually what I think of when I think of classical music. I’ll post the name of the pieces and the guitarist soon. The music was so unique and relaxing!

Afterwards, we were treated to buffets from around the world—the US/Canada table had buffalo wings, tortilla rollups and muffins among other things. A Europe, Asia and Latin America/Africa table rounded out the offering. The other crazy part of the evening was who I ate dinner with. The director of the IES Berlin program, where I had participated in a model EU Summit during my semester in Freiburg happened to stand right next to me. She was pleased to discover a former IES student back in Berlin. I am very pleased to have another contact in Berlin! Small world!


At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Erin, a night of classical guitar! How wonderful!!! I have never heard classical guitar live, but my favorite recorded artists are Andre Segovia and Christopher Parkening. If you ever have a chance to hear them, you should definitely try! Hugs, Anuradha

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous DK said...

A New Years reception at the end of January? It's like the Seinfeld were Elaine says she got "Happy New Year'd" in February...

At 3:41 AM, Blogger Erin said...

I don't remember her saying that... oh no, I'm losing my memory of Seinfeld! Apparently the show is on at like 1am here because the Germans don't think it's funny. But I won't make a mean German comment because I don't "get" some of their shows either. Man I miss Seinfeld:-(

At 7:44 AM, Blogger Erin said...

Thank you Johnnie Oz for pointing out the Platzeck is also now chairman of the liberal party, meaning that my fellow fellow may have sneezed on the future chancellor:-)


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