I guess like every teenager
I needed to break out of my family restrictions
and often enough travelled an hour on the Long Island Railway to NYC
to breath the world.
On the way on the train there were so many extraordinary characters
that I longed for the gift of a quick pen to capture them in word or sketch.
I was terrible at both.
Now, 50 years later, I continue to be amazed
at how life develops,
how things then impossible are now within reach.
Writing and expressing myself was then an upmost challenge.
But I loved dancing as soon as I could walk and vented my feelings thus.
Modern dance, classical ballet, disco, yoga, Eurythmy.
Nevertheless, despite my incapabilities,
I was fascinated by foreign language.
My ballet teacher came from Russia and taught us of course in English,
but loved conversing in French. So I tried teaching myself Russian,
but didn’t get further than just a few words.
I took French for 6 years at school and didn’t get much further.
I blame that on my terrible teacher, but never mind.
My sister Pia says I would pick it up again easily enough were I to live
in a French-speaking country. She’s probably right.
I even took a year of Hebrew at University, and could read, and understand,
the beginning of the Old Testament. A very moving experience.
All long since forgotten.
As for my my Italian, I speak it like someone walking with a wooden leg.
No music, no passion.
My Italian friends who don’t speak any foreign language say,
well at least you can walk.
But I did learn German by ear and speak well enough to not have to take
the language test to apply for German Nationality.
Lothar and I mostly speak German. But there are instances where
an English or Italian expression fits the mood more suitably.
So when he strides through the kitchen declaring
that he wants hamburger for lunch
I assume with my German self that he wants Frikadellen, Buletten.
They are roundish in shape, spiced with finely chopped onion,
thyme and salt and pepper, served with mashed potatoes
and a fresh salad. Apple sauce for dessert.
„No, these are Frikadellen. I want a real American hamburger!!“
The first time I took Lothar to NY, we stayed at my older brother’s house
and took the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan. Then we walked
a couple of hours from Downtown to Midtown,
through Little Italy, Chinatown, Greenwich Village, the Empire State Building,
Macys, the United Nations.
Before going into the Metropolitan Museum of Art it was time for lunch.
We found a hamburger place, not McDonalds, called Jackson Hole.
The tables were like in a diner,
with bowls of coleslaw and pickles on the side,
which we devoured as hungry as we were waiting for the burgers.
And when those amazing things arrived, in my memory at least 8“ high,
my European husband said „how do you eat it?“
Here are some pictures depicting how. The ingredients self explanatory.
We were in fact in the real Jackson Hole in Wyoming at a later time.
But that is a story for another time.