I was looking forward to Saturday, a friend, let's call her L, had invited me as a late birthday present to go to an art exhibition in Dusseldorf with her, with coffee and cake at hers first.
A lovely girly afternoon without the children (who truly wouldn't appreciate looking around an art exhibition).
It started well (apart from the fact that she asked me how old I'd turned on my birthday, now I don't have a problem with owning up to my 44 years as I'm frequently told that I don't look my age, but when I said to L that I was 44 she expressed surprise and followed up with the comment that I looked more like 41 or 42. I'm sorry, but she might as well have just said that I looked my age - what the hell difference is there between 42 & 44?)
anyway nice cake & good coffee and then onto the exhibition.
After the exhibition, which was ok, but only ok, she suggested we go into the Altstadt for a walk and a bite to eat, I explained that I wanted to be home for 7 at the latest in order to eat with my family (L lives alone and had maybe planned to stay out longer but nothing had been said earlier, as far as I was concerned we were meeting for cake & then going to the museum, I could have arranged to get food out later but hadn't and didn't feel like changing my plans on her whim) although I was more than happy to go into the Altstadt before heading home.
In the Altstadt L bought a takeout pizza, we walked and talked as she ate her pizza, I was explaining to her about a Bonfire night party we're trying to organise for next week which sidetracked me into talking about Guy Fawkes and the punishment for treason being hanging, drawing and quartering - at which point she got huffy and said she thought she was supposed to be hearing about a party...ok....
A while later she suddenly attacked - verbally not physically, why did I hate learning German? I didn't I told her but she refused to accept that, I never spoke German with her therefore in her eyes I hate learning German.
It's true, we don't speak German together, we only speak English, because to me our friendship is based on her wanting to speak English with me to practice her English - she even knows that I have a small English group, the members of which pay me to speak English with them...adn the first time we spoke was in a supermarket where she'd heard me and Jas talking and had asked if we could get together to chat.
Now I hate arguments, I would go out of my way to avoid confrontation but when it's personal like that and so wrong I had to stand my ground.
She didn't like it. Germans love to argue and they love to be right.
Anyway, we eventually got past that, walked around a bit more and started home.
On the way back there was an uncomfortable silence in the car and at one point we drove past a sign for the local blood donation centre so to make conversation I asked whether she gave blood (I used to in the UK) the answer I got was something along the lines of 'no, it'd take too long to explain in English why'. I then commented that I can't give blood here in Germany as the German authorities wont take English blood for fear of CJD. I might as well have lit a firwork in the car for her reaction...she pretty much called me a liar and told me to check my facts - so I have;
and I've emailed the link to her!
That killed any further conversation so when we got to her house she got out and asked whether I wanted to take the rest of the cake home (afterall it had been made for me) but I said no that she should keep it and eat it (-a mistake I'm told by my husband) so she stomped off...
So much for my happy, girly, relaxing afternoon!