(I only spoke English one time, when I forgot that 'morgen' means 'tomorrow'. But I quickly bounced back and completed the purchase in German, bidding the ticket agent a friendly schöna tag--sp?--as I left.)
That's not to say that at the moment I can go into any situation and verbally resort to my shaky second language skills. The transit situation just happens to be one where I know all the words (and now I definitely won't forget what 'morgen' means).
But please don't assume I just woke up and realized I needed the pass, so I waltzed in and confidently and articulately spoke my request. Oh no, I practiced all morning the German sentence for: "Hello. I would like a zone pass for zones ten and eleven please, for the month of September. Thank-you."
Specifically, I practiced this sentence--out loud--over and over again as I hiked up the Gurten.
This morning was really beautiful, and I wanted to see the Alps so I decided to head up to the Gurten which is a mountain in Bern that has a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding alps.
It's getting to be Fall, which means that Mother Nature is being quite tricky at the moment by allowing the day to start off chilly but then gradually pulling the chill out of the air and letting the sun's pure warmth radiate.
I always forget this. I was dressed too warmly for the hike, and not in layers either.
I will blame this on the reason why I was finding it difficult to get to the top. Yes, I will blame it on my clothes.
So yeah, once again I was gasping for air like a fish pulled into a boat. I'd like to think I wasn't the only one who found the climb difficult, but the troop of over seventies who went whizzing by me didn't seem to be having any troubles. Nor did the two men who not only went running by me, but were carrying on a (slightly breathless) conversation!
You would think that after three solid months of hiking or walking an average of five days a week, my cardiovascular system might be a little more Ferrari and a little less 1981 Camry.
What's the deal Body? I forced down a complete and nutritional breakfast so I wouldn't have a blood-sugar attack, I made sure to stay hydrated, and I avoided the sun at all cost to avoid heat fatigue (though, let's face it: warm clothes + uphill climb = sweaty mess). Why did you have to preform like such a lemon?
I'm developing a complex of unfitness.
But anyhow, I stomped my way to the top of the Gurten in a show of defiance against my pathetic and weak lungs, while repeating (just imagine it's written in German, those skills don't exist yet): "HELLo...gasp...I WOULD like a zone pass for ZONES TEN and eleven...gasp, gasp, gasp, gasp...please, for the MONTH of...gasp....SEPTEMBER....gasp....Thank YOU."
As I repeated this mantra over and over I didn't hear the over seventies approaching me, and I was mid-sentence when they pulled up beside me to pass. It was slightly embarrassing: both to be passed by these mountain-goat grandparents, and to be heard repeating my out-loud request for a bus pass in the middle of a deserted forest.
But once I got to the top of the Gurten and sucked back the nectar of the gods, otherwise known as water, I enjoyed my desired alpine views immensely.
Once at the top, you will need to do the following:
Find a bench...
Or a bench
Maybe in the company of friends
Become part of the crowd
And marvel at the view
Or you could play disc-golf, if you're into that.
So today I learned:
(1) My German skills are improving; and
(2) My cardio-system appears to still be running on flat tires and non-premium gas.
*P.S. Can someone please explain to me why my sensor keeps getting dusty. I can't afford to keep taking the damn camera in for cleaning every two weeks. WHAT ARE YOUR SECRETS, PEOPLE WHO OWN CAMERAS?