Thursday, September 23, 2010

Is it me or is it them?

I think I'm losing the plot, slowly but surely my sanity is slipping through my fingers...

The day didn't have an auspicious start, I was glad to hear the sound of my alarm clock, at 6.25am I was glad to be woken up from the dream I was having.
Actually it was more of a nightmare to me, but to a normal person probably not so.
I'm not sure where I was, Germany or England, remembering back the place doesn't look familiar, I was being dropped off by Simon to catch a bus to Lichfield (near where we used to live in England) but the bus I was looking for was a 142, which runs between where I live now and somewhere else in Essen - I'm vague about the details of the bus route because, as my friends here know (and laugh about) I don't do public transport, look, if Maria Carey can get away with saying she 'doesn't do stairs' then I can surely, in this modern world get away with saying 'I don't do public transport'? Why should I for heaven's sake when I have a car?

The last time I used public transport without adult supervision (you see I can do it if, and only if, there's another grown up there to offer support, you'll see why) I took my friend Al, who was visiting for the weekend, into Düsseldorf for the day, we got there fine, even managed to use the underground system there (such as it is) but then we tried to get home...wrong train/wrong platform/wrong time I don't know which - maybe all 3, anyway I started to feel a bit twitchy when I didn't recognise the stations we were stopping at, we ended up having to get off and travel back the way we'd come in order to find the right train, and so I vowed never again.
Which is why this morning's dream was more of a nightmare to me, goodness only knows where I'd have ended up if I'd found a 142 going to Lichfield...

So that was the start to my day, then I went shopping, had to get some boring ties for Simon (yawn) jeans for Jas, eyeliner for me - more exciting, except that the lady in the shop decided to pass comment on the state of my skin, how I need to to use an eye cream (I do) because the skin under my eyes is dry (I know it is, that's why I use an eye cream, silly woman) but that's not what's driven me over the edge today, and the old bint who tried to queue jump in P&C didn't make me question my sanity either, oh no, it gets worse - they're all staring at me!

Now I'm sure I've said before about the Germans staring, it's an Olympic sport here, they train from a really young age and I'm used to it, or I thought I was, but today I must have put the sign on that says 'stare at me really hard please', either that or I've grown another ear.

It was so bad that when the children both appeared from school I asked their opinion about my appearance - actually I only asked Jas, there's no point whatsoever in me wasting my breath asking a 13 year old boy if I look 'normal', I'm quite sure that if asked to describe me, or pick me out from a police line up Ben would fail to do so, eye contact and teenage boys are not close bedmates.
But no, there was nothing wrong with my appearance, jeans, shirt, waistcoat (they're bang on trend don't you know) and the de rigour (here in DE) scarf (no coat or jacket required since the weather forecast was for 20 degrees) nothing that screamed 'foreigner' or 'loony' apart from the flashing sign I was obviously wearing on the top of my head. I'd probably have just written off the whole starey thing as me being a little too sensitive were it not for what then happened in one of the smaller shops;
I was nearing the end of my morning and had a selection of bags from different stores with me, and was browsing casually through a ladies wear shop when a woman appeared from the back of the store and I'm sure spoke to me in English (curious eh?) and asked me to help her, I followed her mutely to the back, whilst doing a mental check of how I looked - surely she hadn't mistaken me for a sales assistant? Not possible with the bags I had, or was it? We reached her destination and she thrust a black strapless dress at me and asked if it was my size - mad, quite, quite mad. I told her it wasn't, but of course she wouldn't believe me until we'd held it up against my torso and it was clear that the dress was at least 2 sizes too small. I made my escape as quickly as I could after that, feeling truly freaked out.

But I'm left wondering, was it my behaviour that caused the locals to react to me in the way that they did, was I the one acting all weird, inciting them, have I lost the plot? Or was yesterday the local asylum's day trip to the centre of Essen? Either way, I think I need to lie low for a while, until I've stopped giving out freaky vibes &/or all the nutters have been rounded up.

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