Saturday, December 8, 2012
I have a friend here in Zurich that I do not spend so much time with simply because communication is a problem. His English is good, but he usually misses the meaning of what I am saying. My German is rocky as heck so I avoid speaking it out of embarrassment. And to make matter worse for me, he insists that I speak German only to him - therefore I have an abundance of excuses whenever he suggests we catch up.
Until today. And his text. It read "it is time to speak German Dawn."
It is relatively easy to live without German here in Zurich. However, I didn't really notice how limiting it was until last night. I was at an expat sort of Christmas party, and there were many people that I knew which was very cool. Being surrounded by familiar language and people is comforting. But I am in Switzerland.
As I left the party last night, I couldn't help but feel it was just a repeat of another day a week or two before. My friends also seemed a bit bored with the whole scene. Even though the expat community here is huge and dynamic, it is also only a small part of what is here. I don't plan to turn my back on what I have here, but it is time to make my world a bit bigger.
Sometimes it takes one thing to shake things up enough and make you realize that perhaps you are heading in the wrong direction. And that happened for me. I had to say bye to my best friend here. I knew it was coming, but I guess I sort of hoped that fate would intervene and I could keep them close. I threw myself into anything that would keep me busy - hoping to find something or someone else to fill the void. I know it sounds silly, but you can't imagine how incredibly important friends are when everything and everyone familiar is afar.
Tonight I cancelled my regular plans. My friend is right - it is time. Not just to learn German, but for a bit of a change.
So, to the familiar faces and places, thank you for making it so easy for me here - but it is time for me to disappear for a while.
Another Canadian tune...