November 13, 2014

adventures in the pfalz

Back to it! Daniel and I have had an insane summer, but now I finally have time to sit down and write a bit again! In August we moved to a new apartment in the beautiful countryside of the Pfalz, a region of Germany known for its wine and produce. It has been such a gift from God to get out of the city and reconnect with our small town upbringings, and besides having to move store locations with Hunkemöller things have remained about the same job-wise.

One thing I didn't realize, however, was how incredibly different things are between regions! Sure, visiting my in-laws down south (Ulm area) always carries some culture shock, but that's 2 1/2 hours away. I never thought that a 30 minute drive could take you to a new dialect, culture, lifestyle, etc.! First, there's the accent: Upon calling a farmer to ask about raw milk, he explained where I could find it (I think!) and I got off the phone only having recognized one word, which was the name of a village nearby. This is the language of the Pfalz, Pälzisch! Much like Schwäbisch, Pälzisch has managed to take basic German and turn it into a rolling, lilting, lisping, sing-songing language that sounds awesome, but is not terribly easy to understand. The amazing thing is how simple it is for people like my husband and my new boss to switch between "Hochdeutsch" (high German, kind of like "the Queen's English" or "Anchorman English" haha) and their own dialects. So far the only Pälzisch word I know is "Schoppen," which is a half liter of something alcoholic that you usually get at a market around here. The glasses have little bubbly holes to help you grip it better, and from what I've experienced the content is mostly wine with a little mineral water to top it off. Clearly an important first word to learn!

Another major difference is the lifestyle around here and the way people seem to behave. Daniel and I came from a city where the residents never smiled at each other, talked or acted neighborly. That has changed a lot! Pälzers are really happy to see you! I was so confused the first few weeks because everyone said hello to me on the streets, and I forgot how to say it back after living in nastyville for the last couple years. Apparently the Pälzers have a reputation for being laid back, wine drinking folk who are always up for a joke and a laugh. Not a bad bunch to wind up with! I'm looking forward to the Christmas season around here and having a better sense of community with our neighbors than we've experienced before.

There it is!

Some foods and their names auf Pälzisch

Ponies down the hill from us

Anyhoo, that's where we're at as of now. Hopefully that was a good first overview of the new region we're in! Obviously there's much more to learn, but that can come in a later post!