Sunday, February 07, 2016

REFORGER

In my own private version of REFORGER ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_Reforger ), I have returned to Germany one last time before I retire from the Army.  I am working at USEUCOM in Stuttgart, and enjoying Germany as much as I can during my time off. Since I returned in October, I’ve thought from time to time about making blog entries, but never seemed to find the time.  I’ve felt the urge more and more lately, and so here I am, to make another effort.

One thing that I think seems to mitigate against taking the time to compose blog entries is Facebook.  I spend a ridiculous amount of time on it, sometimes several times a day.  It is very easy to enter quick comments and to share articles and links, which seems to satisfy some of the urge to be “out there” saying something.  But when you get down to it, it is fairly superficial, and does not really permit the development of more complete trains of thought.  While I value the newsfeed aspect of FB, and enjoy reading and sharing articles written by others, I also enjoy writing my own.  So I’m going to try to maintain a better balance between the two, and start writing again a bit more regularly.

Germany is an interesting place.  In many ways, of course, it’s still the same country I came to know and love in my youth in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but it’s also changing rapidly.  The most immediately noticeable change is the much wider inclusion of English words in everyday life.  I noticed this when I was here in 2010, and it’s even more pronounced (no pun intended) now. 

Another big change I’ve noticed this time is the very high prevalence of foreigners here.  Unlike when I’ve lived here previously, I have found that it is almost unheard-of to be served at a restaurant by a native German.  I speak German fluently, and can spot accents well.  There are people here from all over Europe, particularly eastern Europe and the Balkans, and they seem to have taken over most of the service jobs.  I guess this is not unlike the situation at home in the USA, but it means I have even fewer opportunities to speak with actual Germans.  When I was here in the 1980’s I made friends with some people through the Wirtin at the local bar where I spent a lot of time after work.  But here, at least so far, my only encounters with Germans have been short casual conversations in passing.

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to change that or not in the short time I’ll be here.  But in any case, I plan to travel around and see and do as much as I can while I’m here.  And when it seems as if I have something interesting to say, I’ll do my best to write about it.

Mood:  Happy
Music:  BAP, Lebenslänglich

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